Sunday August 14th, 2005|
Aft Fuse Done (Below Longerons); Seat Nutplates, Etc.
I started out today's shop time by riveting the remainder of the aft fuselage below the longeron. The plans have you leave the rivets from the j-stringer to the longeron out so that the longerons can be slid in and out, but now that the longerons are in for good it's time to rivet these suckers. I sat them myself by shooting with my right hand and bucking with my left hand. No dings! :-)
I didn't get any pictures, but I also riveted the baggage ribs to the F-706 bulkhead. I was able to squeeze a few of those rivets but had to buck most of 'em. Again...back-breaking. I can definately see the value in the rotating fuselage stands.
Next I started installing more platenuts for the removeable seat floors. This is quite a daunting task...as there are many, many platenuts to install to do your floors this way. I'm assured by other RV builders that are already flying that this is definately the way to go as it gives you sooo many options in the future for upgrading, belly-mounting antennaes off the centerline, etc. I'll probably end up putting my ELT under the baggage floors but thusfar I have no plans for stuff (other than wiring) to go under the seats.
The one thing I should have done was to install all these platenuts BEFORE riveting everything together. It would make it much easier to do all of this on the bench then breaking my back leaning over the fuselage side.
After squeezing nutplate rivets for a while, I got tired and decided to work on the aft fuselage. The plans have you install the aft fuselage deck to set the torsional stiffness of the fuselage. Basically, when the deck gets riveted, the fuselage isn't twisting anymore. First you have to make these spacers that go under the deck. I've duct-taped them into place so that the deck won't move them when I drill them.
Here's the other spacer that gets made. It's sort of hard to see because the light washed out the picture, but the plate is shiny alcad sitting on top of an angle that's riveted to this bulkhead.
And here's the deck clamped into place. I checked the twist of the fuselage and it's right on the money with the deck clamped in place. Man, Van's kits are really something else. You would think with all the bending of longerons and stuff that goes on here there would be an opportunity for some serious twist in the fuselage, but there's almost nothing. I got tired and had to call it a night -- I want to sleep on this before I drill. Also, I may end up making some rudder cable exit fairings and installing those before I rivet this thing on. It seems like it will be much easier to do that and install solid rivets in the fairing rather than trying to drill/dimple everything later.