This week has been all about the cabin top initial fitting. Travis helped me get it down from the overhead last week and its been a dusty several hours since then. The good news is the top is on and fitted with most of the holes drilled. I still have to drill the center support post but once thats done it will be time to remove it for lots of upgrades/modifications. I'm glad to get this part of the project almost done because of the magnitude of fiberglass to be worked. I don't really mind working with fiberglass but with the size of this piece it made it much harder to move around. Not only that but I cut my hands several times on sharp edges trying to manhandle the darn thing.
Next up is to fit and install the overhead console. Then there is a huge list of tasks that I want to get done before I do the final install. These final steps include riveting the last two skins on and I think I want to take advantage of the access to install wiring, brackets, nut plates, firewall stuff, you get the idea.
One thing you will probably notice is that I moved the airplane into the main part of the garage. I just didn't have room in the small bay to work on the cabin top. I may take down the temporary wall at this time but I'm not sure that now is the right time. I don't like leaving any of our cars in the driveway more than necessary, especially during the hot summer months.
|First, or second, or third attempt at getting it to fit. There was a LOT of cutting and sanding to get it to this stage. You may notice that at this time the top didn't quite sit down against the fuselage.|
|Ok, it fits, now its time to cleco the rear skin on so it can be drilled. This took at least three more on/off cycles to get the fit just right.|
|All edges drilled for riveting. |
|Look at all the dust and debris in there! Just a small sample, believe me!|
|Countersunk screw holes for bolting the forward half of the cabin top to the airframe.|
|"When it starts to looks like an airplane you are half way done"...well its starting to look like an airplane. :-)|