Posts Tagged ‘drilling’

Fuselage Drilling Complete!

July 18, 2011

All the drilling is finished on the fuselage now and it’s ready to be taken apart! The last week was spent confirming all the holes are drilled to final size, opening up various holes for fuel lines, vents, and wire runs. Technically I still need to drill the bottom of the 902 bulkhead flanges, but not until I remove the bottom forward skin. A lot of edge prep is done for the interior parts so I hope I can get through the prep process quick enough to start priming in the next couple of weeks. I’m not looking forward to countersinking the hundreds of holes in the longerons!

Below are examples of some of the extra holes drilled during the fuse prep:

A bulkhead flange in the baggage area drilled to the longeron

A countersunk hole for a #10 screw on the forward fuselage.

This photo shows the 1 inch hole for the fuel line pass through. The actual fuel line is only about 3/8" but its held in place by a 1 inch rubber grommet that shields it against vibration.


Planecation 2011: Day Three

May 18, 2011

Yesterday I got to clamp the firewall on for the first time. Today’s mission was to drill it to the main structure; time to get out the ruler! I spent most of the day aligning the firewall well before drilling it. A straight firewall minimizes adjustments to the engine mount later. The instructions say to measure 5/8″ from the front face of the firewall to the end of the side skin. This is because the stainless steel flange of the firewall has minor variations in its dimension so you can’t just align the flange with the skin.

I must have put on and taken off the firewall about two dozen times as I filed the longerons and remeasured over and over. After I got it as close as I thought I could, I drilled a hole on either side of the 772 bottom skin to the lower firewall brace. This set the distance for the bottom dimension while the longerons determine the top dimension. Then I drilled all the holes in the side skins to the firewall.

With that completed I started work on the 1/8″ holes that attached the top firewall weldments to longerons. Vans has you insert rivets into the holes you’ve already drilled through the skin and longeron here to keep everything aligned before drilling into the steel.

This is as far as I got today. Progress is a little slower than I would like but these attachments are critical to get right so I don’t mind taking the extra time.

Planecation 2011: Day Two

May 17, 2011

I dropped the kids off at daycare, grabbed a Starbucks, and got back to the airplane factory around 10am. First up, I finished the leftover longeron drilling. Next it was time to trim back the front of the longerons so they are exactly 3/4″ shorter than the 770 side skins. So far so good.

I had been bothered before that I didn’t get a good crisp bend when I made the downward bend in the longerons. The side skins make a revatively sharp angle where the downslope starts at the forward fuselage. The result is about a 3/32″ gap between the vertex of the longeron and the edge of the 770 skin.

My solve was an idea I came across in another builder’s log (I forget which one). I took one of my bucking bars and wrapped it in tape. Then I clamped it to the longeron and to the sawhorse. Pulling up on the longeron and giving it a whack with the hammer I tried to get a more exact bend on the longeron. I was able to reduce the gap by about half in the end.

After that I clamped the rest of the skin to the longeron and drilled the remaining holes.

Next up I had to fabricate some straps that marry the tops of the 704 bulkhead to the longerons.

And here they are in place on the fuselage. It was getting later in the day so I just had time to get the firewall temped into position.

There’s some critical measurements to make sure the firewall is perpendicular to the trust line of the aircraft. I will be studying that tonight before proceeding further. I’m also running out of clecos so I will need to scrounge up some more as I start drilling the firewall tomorrow.

Planecation 2011: Day One

May 16, 2011

I have this week off from work. The rest of the family is on their normal schedule, so other than some dog walking, I am planning on making some serious headway in the airplane factory. My goal is to finish all the forward fuselage work by the weekend. First up though I need to finish drilling the longerons from the tail all the way up to the 704 bulkhead. This takes Zen-like patience and concentration as there are hundreds of holes and some tricky intersections here and there. I did manage to double drill a hole in the right flange tab of the 710 bulkhead. I’ll report back on the fix later. Pressing on…

I used some bar clamps in the center section area to snug the longerons up to the edge of the 770 side skin.

This isn’t a very good picture but that bottom row of clecos is what I am drilling today on both sides of the fuselage. I took my time and got about 80% done before shutting it down for the evening. A good start but I am looking forward to tomorrow and getting the firewall hung. Time to rest the sore back and butt.

Center Ribs Prepped

December 14, 2010

This past weekend I finished prepping all the F-716 ribs for the center section. There are left and right versions with special mods for the center four of the eight. Then it’s your typical drilling, edge prep and scotchbrite treatment. Now I’m waiting to sneak into the School of Art spray booth for some priming before adding nut plates. Once complete I can start temp assembling the center section for match drilling. On another note, I have some help coming over on Sunday to knock our the aft fuse riveting finally.

The extra clearance in the center is for the control column linkage.

Aft Fuse Drilling Parts 2,3 and 4

May 23, 2010

Drilling the countless holes took about 3 more sessions this weekend. It was pretty tedious. I took my time on the rear most bulkheads as well. I am pretty sure all the holes turned out well. I am still debating whether to drill the F-711 and F-712 holes to #30 and use -4 rivets. I’ll inspect if any of the #40 holes got elongated in the match drilling process.

I was not looking forward to crawling around on my back to get to the bottom holes or flipping over the whole shebang without the longerons in place. When I stopped at sears to pick up a couple of punches, I almost tripped over one of those auto mechanic’s dollies that let them slide under the car. I took it as a sign and picked one up for $30. It certainly made the bottom holes easier to get to!

Next up is to take all this apart; debur it; dimple it; prime some of it; and put it all back together.