Cut, deburred, scuffed, and primed the canopy frame parts.

Cut all the parts that needed parting.

 

Fabricated the canopy handles from aluminum angle.

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Deburred and scuffed all the parts.

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Primed everything.

 

Started assembling the canopy frame. Dimpled and rivered the hinge intercostals. Dimpled the skin. Fluted and fit the substructure. Started riveting the substructure together.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Finish Kit (hours): 26.5
Total Time (hours): 756.5

 

 

Started mounting avionics

Made some trial panels from plastic. I’ll use these to lay out the panel and make sure everything fits before I start cutting metal. I’f I do this properly and everything works out, I should be able to use these as templates to lay out the actual metal panels.

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Temporarily mounted the GAD27 (ARINC), GAD29 (electrical device controller), and GEA 24 engine indication system. I mounted the GEA 24 directly to the sub panel. I made a stand-off mount for the GAD 27 using some aluminum sheet and some aluminum tubing. This let me “stack” the two boxes fore and aft. This was the same approach that Jared took in his plane. So I can’t claim credit. I also mounted the TCW integrated backup battery system. I fit the boxes, drilled the sub panel, and attached the boxes with temporary hardware I had lying around. I’ll get the proper hardware this week.

 

I fabricate a doubler to mount the WaaS GPS antenna. I cut a piece of aluminum to sive, laid out the holes for the antenna and rivets. I match drilled the empennage top skin to the doubler. I dimpled the doubler, riveted nut plates to it, and primed with SEM rattle can. I dimpled the top skin with the pop rivet dimple dies. I riveted the doubler to the inside of the skin and screwed the antenna in place with the supplied hardware.

 

Started fitting the radio stack. I used a digital level and shimmed up the front of the radios so that the were perpendicular to the panel. Determined that I need to enlarge the center opening in the sub panel in order to accommodate the radios without blocking the canopy release. Even then, everything barely fits.

I picked up a vibratory cutter and a flush cutting blade. I’ll use this to cut the sub panel tomorrow.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Options and Miscellanea Time (hours): 7.0
Total Time (hours): 682.5

 

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

 

Began riveting top skin and installed canopy release

Sealed and riveted the top skin center section in place leaving the sides free to provide access to install the canopy hinges and release mechanism.

 

Installed the canopy hinges and canopy cradles and connected up the gas springs.

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Installed the canopy release mechanism.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 198.0
Total Time (hours): 652.5

 

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

 

Installed Canopy Decks and Panel Frame

Laid a bead of tank sealant to fill the gap between the side skin, longeron, and canopy deck. Then I clecoed and riveted the canopy decks in place.

 

Riveted the wire supports to the bottoms of the panel standoffs.

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Clecoed the panel in place. I couldn’t rivet it because I ran out of K1000-06 nut plates. Ordered from Spruce.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Fuselage Time (hours): 191.0
Total Time (hours): 645.5