Started the Seat Backs (Section 39)

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Picked and inspected all the parts. Peeled off all the blue vinyl and labels.

 

Cut the corners off the seat back angles.

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Separated the parts that needed parting. Deburred everything.

 

Fabricated the seat back and seat brace hinges. Match drilled the hinges to their corresponding parts. Machine countersunk the brace stiffeners and braces. Riveted the brace assemblies together.

 

Riveted together the seat backs.

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I’ll scuff and paint these along with the canopy.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Finish Kit (hours): 51.0
Total Time (hours): 781.0

 

 

Riveted the canopy frame

Riveted the skin to the canopy frame assemblies. Riveted in the splice plates. Clecoed the closeout in place. Riveted the skin to the support flanges and riveted the support flange splice plate. Final drilled and then riveted riveted the closeout in place.  Riveted the forward rails in place. The plans call for a rivet in every hole and frequently checking to ensure that there is no twist in the structure. So the final drilling and riveting was pretty tedious. But the frame came out laser straight. So I can’t complain too much. The process worked.

 

Clecoed then riveted the side rails in place.

 

Riveted the aft canopy frame to the side rails. Riveted the switch mount to the frame. Machine countersunk and screwed the pin blocks to the aft side of the aft frame.

 

Installed the canopy jettison handle. Placed the assembled frame on the fuselage. In the full open position, it hit the ceiling.  I had to lower the tail so that I could lift the canopy enough to engage the hinge pins. But finally managed to get it in place. I carefully closed the canopy while watching to ensure that it didn’t interfere with the forward top skin. It fit perfectly and no filing was necessary.

 

I shimmed up the side rails so that they are parallel to the side skins. I cut four clamping blocks/spacers and taped them to the aft of the aft frame and clamped it to the roll bar.

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Tomorrow I’ll start fitting the canopy to the frame.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 41.0
Total Time (hours): 771.0

 

 

Started assembling canopy frame

Riveted together the canopy handle and aft canopy frame.

 

Machine countersunk the side rails forward rails. Dimpled the side skins, the forward top skin, and the support flanges.

 

Clecoed the skins and forward rails to the substructure and reinstalled the forward and mid fixtures to the bottom.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Finish Kit (hours): 35.0
Total Time (hours): 765.0

 

 

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