Attached the canopy to the frame.

Riveted the side skins and canopy handles.

 

Tightened the screws and nuts holding the canopy to the aft frame in the middle section called out in the places. Tightened the screws and nuts holding the canopy and skins to the frame rails.

 

Fabricated and attached the canopy wear strips.

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Mixed up some epoxy resin with micro balloons and black pigment. Used the mixture to fill the void where the canopy and skin come together.

 

 

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Finish Kit (hours): 69.0
Total Time (hours): 799.0

 

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

 

 

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