Started riveting the side skins to the fuselage

Back riveted the side ribs, center section, and forward stiffener to the side skins.

 

Clecoed the side skin and longerons to the fuselage and bolted the upper drag link in place. I ran a bead of fuel tank sealant between the firewall and the skin and the upper longeron and the skin. Unfortunately it wasn’t until after I put the sealant in place that I realized that I hadn’t dimpled the flanges of the firewall.  In my defense, I can’t find where it says to do so in the instructions. What a fucking mess!  Thanks, Vans!

 

Riveted the canopy latch bracket and bulkhead side channel to the left skin.

 

Got about halfway through the riveting on the left side. Slow going. I was hoping to make more progress than I did today.

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Ran into one frigging rivet that necessitated removal of the landing gear bracket. This was a huge pain in the ass with the skin in place. There’s not enough room to get a drift in front of the main bulkhead to knock the outboard bolt out. Ended up using the short end of an allen wrench and hitting it with the long bucking bar that I have. There wasn’t room for a hammer. Once I got it started with this arrangement, I was then able to get a drift into the space and use the bucking bar to knock the bolt out. Would have saved a bunch of time had I removed the bracket before the skins went on. Burned over an hour on this.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 10.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 115.0
Total Time (hours): 569.5

Dimpling, Countersinking, and Assembly continues

Constructed a support leg from scrap wood and bolted to the bulkheads. Then turned the fuselage assembly up on its side to rivet the bottom.

 

 

Put clecos in all holes to be riveted. The final drilled and blind riveted the bottom skins to the drag links. This is as far as I could get without a riveting partner.

 

 

Sealed the muffler ramp to the bottom skins with fuel tank sealant.

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Dimpled and countersunk all of the parts except the skins.

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Riveted the roll bar angles to the intercostal ribs.

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Fabricated the seat adjustment guides and assembled the seat adjustment stuff to the cross brace.

 

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 94.0
Total Time (hours): 548.5

Completed Forward Fuselage Lower Structure (Section 28)

Applied a bead of tank sealant to the bottom flanges of the muffler shroud sides and riveted them to the forward skins. Riveted the muffler shroud ramp to the sides and added a fillet of sealant to the bottom of each seam.

 

 

 

Positioned the firewall assembly on the forward skins and muffler shroud. Added sealant between the skins and firewall and around the curved area where the muffler shroud connects to the firewall and clecoed everything together. Riveted the cover bases to the skin. Riveted the curved part of the firewall to the muffler shroud sides and ramp.

 

 

 

Riveted the firewall angle to the firewall and skins. Dimpled the cowl places and shims and riveted them in place.

 

 

 

Riveted the tunnel sides to the skins and muffler shroud.

 

 

Riveted the routing bracket and fuel selector bracket in place.

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Riveted and bolted to forward center section bulkhead to the tunnel side. Riveted the skins to the cover ribs.

 

 

Sealed and screwed the firewall penetration fittings to the firewall.

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Fabricated and assembled the cabin heat vent assemblies. Then riveted them in place on the firewall along with their control cable brackets.

 

Machine countersunk the battery box attach holes and riveted it to the firewall.

 

Dimpled the cover panel and riveted it to the forward flanges of the cover ribs along with a gazillion nut plates.

 

Forward Fuselage Lower Structure… Done! On to the side structures!

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 73.0
Total Time (hours): 527.5

 

Assembled Trim Tab

Bought a 3/4″ MDF panel at Home Depot. Leveled it out on the bench and shimmed the dead spaces with sheets of paper to create a flat surface.

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Prepped the skins, spar, and trailing edge with isopropyl.  Mixed up a small batch of fuel tank sealant and put a thin layer on each side of the trim tab ribs and set them in place. I used the 3M VHB tape on both sides of the trailing edge. Used clecos to align it with the bottom skin and set it in place. Then I clecoed the top skin in place along the spar and trailing edge. I peeled the paper from the VHB tape between the top of the trailing edge and the top skin removing clecos as I went to avoid tearing the paper. I replace the clecos to clamp the whole sandwich together while the tape sets up.

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The sealant is ridiculously sticky and smells like ass.

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I riveted the top skin and hinge to the spar.

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All done!

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Weighted down the skin with a board and some 2×4’s to ensure contact between the skins and the ribs until the sealant sets up. The spec sheet says there is a 6 hour cure time for the B 1/2 sealant I used.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 101.5
Total Time (hours): 101.5

 

Disassembly and Deburring

Clecoed and final drilled the elevator horns to the inboard ribs and spars.

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Cut the trim tab pushrod parts and the trim tab horn parts.

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Deburred everything and got about half the parts scuffed and ready for primer. Next I’ll scuff the rest of the parts, peel and scuff the skins and prime everything.

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My pint of fuel tank sealant arrived from Sky Geek today. I’ll use this to glue the foam ribs in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 88.0
Total Time (hours): 88.0