Aft Fuselage Complete!

My replacement cover plate arrived from Van’s. I deburred it, broke the edges, and dimpled the correct side this time! I’ll prime the inside next time I shoot primer.

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We riveted the top skin in place. We moved the fuselage to the floor and Remy crawled inside and bucked while I shot.

Still looks more comfortable than a Delta coach seat.

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And that completes the aft fuselage!

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All that’s left is fitting and drilling the horizontal stabilizer and elevators and a bit of fiberglass work on the tips. Then the entire empennage kit will be complete!

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 186.0
Total Time (hours): 186.0

 

Riveted the top side skins

Clecoed and bolted the vertical stabilizer to the aft fuselage and match drilled the upper attachment holes.

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Rolled the aft fuselage on its side to rivet the top side skins.

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Finished riveting both top side skins to the aft fuselage.

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Clecoed the top skin in place.

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Tomorrow I’ll rivet the top skin and that will complete the aft fuselage.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 183.0
Total Time (hours): 183.0

 

Riveted aft deck

The nut plates and new static line that I ordered from Van’s showed up today. I installed the static line.

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Riveted the nut plates in place.

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Riveted the aft stiffeners.

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Countersunk the upper cover plate attach holes.

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Installed the left cover plate. The other one is on it’s way from Van’s. I bought some stainless screws to install the cover plates.

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I riveted the aft deck in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 180.0
Total Time (hours): 180.0

 

Dimpled top side skins and aft deck

Dimpled the top side skins. I used the squeezer for most of the holes and the DRDT-2 for the ones the squeezer couldn’t reach.

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I clecoed the side skin on. And I actually remembered to peel the rivet lines this time.

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I dimpled the F-01409 frame.

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And the aft deck.

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I clecoed the aft deck, F-01409 frame in place along with the Horizontal Stab Attach Bar Support Angle and deck angle. I clamped the attach bar to the support angle and match drilled. I also match drilled the deck angle to the aft bulkhead.

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I dimpled the cover plates for #6 screws as well. Then I realized for the first time that the cover plates are not symmetrical. <moan> And of course one is now dimpled the wrong way and primed on the wrong side. I went to order a new one from Van’s web site only to find that F-14112 does not exist in their parts inventory and it’s an hour after closing time. Oh well. I’ll call the tomorrow. No big rush given that I’m almost out of parts and my wing kit isn’t scheduled to ship for more than a month.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.5
Empennage Time (hours): 177.0
Total Time (hours): 177.0

 

Top skin assembly

Broke the edges of the top skin with the edge roller. Peeled the vinyl from the rivet lines and dimpled the top skin on the DRDT-2.

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Dimpled the top rib with the squeezer.

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Dimpled the top skin doubler with the squeezer.

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Dimpled the stiffener and back riveted it to the skin. Back riveted the doubler and riveted the rib with the gun and bucking bar.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 174.5
Total Time (hours): 174.5

 

Prime time

I deburred, scuffed and primed all of the remaining empennage parts including the top skin and the upper side skins. I’ve just about run out of parts. Once I get my static line and nut plates from Van’s, I’ll be able to finish riveting everything.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 173.0
Total Time (hours): 173.0

 

Finished riveting side skins and installed systems

Finished riveting the side skins! Remy came down and bucked that last row that I couldn’t reach solo.

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Ran the rudder cables, wiring harness, and ELT antenna cable.

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Remy helped rivet the rudder stops.

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Installed the rudder cable guide blocks.

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Installed the nut plates along the longerons. I didn’t rivet the nut plates for the cover plates because I decided to use countersunk screws and needed to order the correct nut plates from Van’s.

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I installed the static ports. Here’s one from the outside.

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…and from the inside. The static ports are actually pop rivets. I set the rivets and then used the broken off part of the mandrel to drive out the part that remained in the rivet.  I drilled a 1/4″ hole in a piece of scrap wood and used it as a backing block and tapped the mandrel out with a small hammer.

After I took this picture, I added a fillet of silicone around the tube and fitting per the instructions.

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While preparing to install the static system, I wasn’t paying attention to the instructions and cut the polypropylene tubing instead of the clear tubing. So I ordered a replacement from Van’s along with my nut plates.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Empennage Time (hours): 170.0
Total Time (hours): 170.0