Cut the pilot-side instrument panel

I used the fly cutter in the drill press to cut the round hole for the G5, I drilled small pilot holes for all the switches and the corners of the GDU 460 cutout. I final drilled all the holes with a step drill. Then cut the hole for the GDU with a Dremel and a cut-off wheel. Actually went through several cut-off wheels. That’s some thick aluminum. Used a file to clean everything up and tweak to fit. Then I painted the back to match the interior. I screwed the G5 mount in place. I drilled the screw holes for the GDU mounting bracket. Then screwed it to the firewall and match drilled the rivet holes, counter sunk the holes and riveted the bracket to the panel.

 

Mounted all the avionics and switches in the panel and mounted the panel in the plane.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 22.0
Total Time (hours): 705.0

 

So close!

Today was a bit of a shit show. Last night I worked on the roll bar after a fun day of flying with Jared, Wes, and Scott. Realized that I didn’t have enough AN426AD4-5 rivets to complete the roll bar. So I put in an order with spruce. I need a bunch of stuff anyway.  Drove down there this morning and picked everything up. So far so good.

Here’s a picture of Wes’ beautiful RV-7 on the way back from NC yesterday.

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Last night I riveted the brackets to the roll bar brace. I temporarily mounted the left and right forward roll bar parts to the fuselage as a jig to rivet the splice plate. Then did the same for the aft half of the roll bar. Then I clecoed the forward and aft halves together with the inboard and outboard straps and window shims and final drilled everything. I deburred all the parts and countersunk the ones that needed countersinking. I riveted the forward roll bar assembly to the inboard strap with the AN470 rivets called out in the plans. That’s when I realized that I didn’t have enough AN426AD4-3 rivets to do the next step which was to rivet the outboard strap.

 

Segue to today… Went to Spruce. Got the rivets and a bunch of other goodies… Ignition switch and toggle switches. Then back to work… I riveted the outboard strap to the forward roll bar assembly. I joined it up with the aft half and used the LP and CS blind rivets to assemble the whole thing. I also riveted the bushings and doubles in place on the aft sections.

 

And then… Disaster! The little arrow in the picture is pointing the wrong way. I misread the plans last night. I had to drill out three quarters of the hundred or so rivets holding this whole thing together so that I could reorient the outboard strap to face the proper direction to properly mate to the roll bar brace. I lost about 2.5 hours to this. Plus a lot of frustration. Stupid mistake.

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Once I got through reassembling the roll bar, I was able to mount it on the fuselage and match drill the bases and get everything riveted in place. But to add insult to injury, I’m now short a number of CS4-4 and LP4-3 rivets due to the error. So I can’t actually finish the section. But I did get as far as I could and placed an order with Vans for the rivets. There’s only about half an hour of work to finish it up once I have the rivets.   I’ll move on to something else but it sure would have been nice to have been able to paint it up this weekend and call the Fuselage complete.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 221.0
Total Time (hours): 676.5

 

Primed the control system parts and began assembly

Primed all the parts.

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Bolted the elevator idle arm in place.

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Assemble the stick link pushrod.

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Riveted the elevator pushrod ends into the rods and added the rod end bearings.

 

Bolted the forward push tube to the control column.

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Put together the elevator bell crank assembly. riveted the bell crank halves together with the flange bearing in the middle. Machine countersunk the the nut plate holes in the bell crank bracket and riveted in the nut plates. Bolted the bell crank angles to the bell crank and then to the bell crank bracket. Machine countersunk and riveted together the yaw servo bracket. The match drilled it to the the fuselage and installed the bell crank assembly together with the mid elevator push tube, pitch servo bracket, and yaw servo bracket.

 

Connected the forward and mid push tubes to the idler arm.

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Final rilled the control stick bases to the control sticks. The installed the bases into the control column. Bolted the stick link to the right hand stick base. I’ll bolt up the other side after I’ve checked the alignment of the sticks.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 214.0
Total Time (hours): 669.5

 

Match drilled the cowl attach hinges

Match drilled the cowl attach hinges.

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Took everything apart and dimpled the skin, the firewall flanges, and shims. Machine countersunk the hinges and longerons.

 

I got the nut plates I ordered. So I also finished riveting the instrument panel in place.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 195.0
Total Time (hours): 649.5

 

Assembled and installed fresh air vents

I assembled the fresh air vents by sealing the vents to the ducts with silicone adhesive and then bolting them together with the mounting bracket. I then glued these assemblies in place on the side skins with tank sealant.

 

Assembled the canopy release mechanism. Used the jig that came with the kit to align everything and drilled the tube for the AN3 bolt. Then put everything together.

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Machine countersunk the doublers and top skin for AN426AD2 rivets using a #34 drill bit. These suckers are teeny tiny. Double flush riveted the doublers to the forward top skin with the squeezer.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 193.0
Total Time (hours): 647.5

 

Continued assembly and did a bit of painting

Clecoed then riveted the sub-panel assembly to the fuselage.

 

Riveted nut plates into the wiring channel. Painted the assembly and later installed it into the fuselage after the paint dried.

 

Match drilled the forward and aft canopy decks to the left and right longerons. Then dimpled the holes in the canopy decks and machine countersunk the holes in the longerons. Painted the canopy decks as well as the panel brackets and wiring supports.

 

Machine countersunk all the holes in the instrument panel frame. Riveted the instrument panel angles, nut plates, and flange doubler to the frame. Painted the assembly.

 

Ground one of the corners off of the fresh air vents to match up to the flange that connects it to the fuselage and naca duct.

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 189.0
Total Time (hours): 643.5

Primed everything and started assembling

Got all the forward fuselage parts primed.

 

Machine countersunk all the doublers. Riveted the stiffeners and doublers to the forward fuselage ribs.

 

Machine countersunk the doublers and riveted them to the canopy hinge ribs.

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Riveted nut plates to the pivot block channel and riveted that assembly to the forward fuselage channel.

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Riveted the map box doubler to the sub panel. Riveted the sub panel angle, canopy hinge ribs, forward fuselage channel to the sub panel. Riveted the forward fuselage rib assemblies to the sub panel. Riveted the instrument panel standoffs to the sub panel. Riveted the seal angles to the sub panel. Painted the aft side of the sub panel to match the interior.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 184.0
Total Time (hours): 638.5