Sunday, April 21, 2019

Section 32 - Attaching the tail

I've been both looking forward to this step as well as dreading it.  Looking forward to having a full sized fuselage in the garage and one less step in the rapidly declining metal-work steps yet to do.  On the other hand I've been concerned about both pieces fitting in the small work bay of the garage.  Well, I'm happy to report that it does fit...barely.  I have about 14" of space on one end to walk around to get to the other side.  That's enough for me... for now.

Here it is with both halves cleco'd together.  The firewall is pushed up against the garage door and there is still room for me to squeeze around the tail.

Another view of the assembled fuselage.  In this picture I had already started doing some riveting.
This is all I have to squeeze around to get to the other side.  
I'm not sure if I posted this in the past but I printed this little tool on my 3D printer.  It holds the end of my back rivet bar over the rivet while I drive with the rivet gun.  I found that the secret to back-riveting is to make sure the rivet gun does not move around and this little tool really helps!

Here is that same tool with my back-rivet bar in the hole.  I would normally hold the free end of the tool with my left had but it was busy running the camera.  :-)

Hold my beer and watch this!  Sometimes you just have to be creative when finding a way to hold the back-rivet bucking bar against the head of the rivet.  Trying to do most of my riveting solo and this little configuration worked wonderfully.  This is the bottom of the fuselage where the tailcone and fuselage meet.  There are two rows of rivets that have to be driven.  Since I like the looks of a back-riveted rivet I try all kinds of things to make it happen.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Section 31 - part two

This past couple of weeks I was able to able to finish this section.  As I mentioned last time there are several modifications that need to be done and here are a few of them.

The first modification is the use of the Aerosport 310 instrument panel.  This is a beautiful carbon fiber panel that is designed to support 3 10" screens (hence the name).  I did run into a small issue in that the frame I received is actually backward with the flanges pointing aft instead of forward.  I contacted Geoff at Aerosport and he said its no big deal, just drill the center hole in the proper location as the rest of the panel is symmetrical. Easy enough to do by laying the van's provided instrument panel on top of the support frame and using the pre-drilled hose as a drill guide.

I'm also installing nut plates so I can just bolt on my avionics and wire supports.

Oh, since I had to do some priming for some non alclad parts I went ahead and finished the fuel pump brackets so I could install them as well.  See below for more.

I snagged this picture from one of the security cam's in the garage.  I realized I don't have many pictures of me building the airplane.  This happens to be the first day I was able to actually sit in the airplane.  No airplane noises yet....

Here is the support frame that I mentioned above.  See that screw at the top center?  It should be a little more to the left so I can flip the panel around and have the flanges at the bottom facing the other way.
The fuel pumps sitting on their brackets.  Bolts are not tight yet as I have lots of work to do down here but at least everything fits.

Another view of the fuel pump through the side access panel. These pictures were taken before I finished riveting the brackets in place.
Finished product.  Its not riveted to the fuselage yet as that comes in a step much further down the road.  Still lots of stuff to install under that section (rudder pedal for example) so it sits like this for now.

If you look closely at the sub panel you will see where I installed nutplates in several locations for avionics mounts and wiring organizers.