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

 

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

 

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

 

Started riveting the side skins

Finished peeling the vinyl from the right side.

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Remy helped my shoot some rivets so we got the aft bottom skin riveted to the bulkheads.

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Then since I had his help we riveted the side skin to the bottom skin. I figured we’d start here while I had his help as I cannot reach those by myself. Unfortunately I read the note in the plans that said to start on the flats and work around the curve after we riveted this. I think If i just work around the curve and work my way up the side it will be fine. I’ll do the other side in the correct order.

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All in all good progress today.

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 160.0
Total Time (hours): 160.0