- Finished the 4mm rivets on the left fuselage side
- Almost finished the 3.2mm rivets on the left and right fuselage skins
Things done today:
Below are photos showing the join on the bottom of the front fuselage. I used the edge tool to put a slight bend on the edge to get a better seal. The bend helps prevent the scalloping between the rivets.
I moved the tie wrap mount to the front of the main center console support. This whole area is behind the instrument panels so there’s no need to pass the wires up behind the support like I had.
Time: 1.25 hrs
Clecoed the left side fuselage skin on today. Now I just need to find some time to rivet… lots of rivets. Unfortunately with the “Honey Do List” so long I know I will get in trouble if I get caught working on the plane instead of getting things done off the list.
I’m thinking of using the edge tool on the bottom flange of the skins to get a straight seam. I should have done this on the rear fuselage tops too, but the rivets were so close to the edge that the seam would have been in the middle of the rivet holes. I think the bottom flange of these skins are a bit wider so I think it will work.
Once the side skins are riveted I’ll need to fill the rivet holes. I’ll need to check out Peter’s build log, I know he had already come up with a good technique for this. Then I think I’ll do the gear and get this thing movable and can also mount some antennas.
Since I don’t have the wings yet I went down to Torrance TAF to look double check the width of the spar on the quick build they have there. The wing sparis just under 27mm… something like 26.86. My spacers are slightly wider then 27mm (like 27.1ish) and a tight fit so I think I’ll be good. Jean said even a millimeter too wide and you’ll get a crease in the fuselage skin when you tighten the wing bolts.
Almost looks like an airplane. Actually it’s funny because people will come by the house while I’m working and first it was… “What are you building, a sled?”, Then it became… “What are you building, a race car?”, now people actually say… “Is that an airplane?”. So I think it’s starting to take shape.
Time 1.5 hrs
Just finished up the dimpling/countersinking for the wing fairing holes and clecoed the right side fuselage skin on to the frame. I want to double check with Torrance TAF on the wing spar thickness to make sure my spacers are good before I rivet anything. I don’t have the wings so I can’t measure myself.
Skin is on and all supports inside are attached. I’ll add more clecos before I rivet.
A shot of a few of the holes that I dimpled to accommodate the wing fairing. The holes on the frame were either dimpled or countersunk. I think all the 4mm rivet holes were countersunk because they go into thicker material. The few 3.2mm rivet holes were dimpled.
I had to borrow a friend’s (thanks Jim) C-frame dimpler for the 4mm holes since they are too far in field on the skin for my hand held dimpler to reach and you can’t buy a 4mm (5/32″) pop rivet dimpler (also called a close quarters dimpler).
Time: 1.25 hrs
Things done today:
I wanted to tighten up what I could for the control push rods. Most need to be adjusted once everything is assembled and control surfaces attached. I was able to adjust and loctite only two of the control rod; the one that attaches between the two control sticks for left and right aileron and the shorter elevator rod that attaches between the front and rear elevator torque tubes.
I came up this cheesy way to find the middle of the elevator throw by putting a ruler down next to the short elevator control rod. Zero was the full down position (control horn fully ahead) and 3″ was full up (control horn full aft) so 1.5″ is about center. I then adjusted the small control rod on the pitch AP servo so that the servo arm was straight up and down… seemed to work, though it seems like the control may be just barely hitting the AP servo stop and not the main hard stops (shown below).
Craig also alerted me to the fact that I had moved the attachment point of the roll AP server control rod to the middle hole of the AP servo arm (well that’s how it was in the manual). I talked to the factory and they said that it doesn’t really matter. They have now been putting it on the bottom hole of the arm for both the roll and pitch servos, but putting it in the middle hole on the roll servo is fine, you just end up adjusting the control rod a little longer. I’m thinking that the second hole is a bit better because you get more throw out of the servo which means it won’t be too sensitive.
So with the front elevator control horn at 1.5″ this is where the control horn on the rear elevator torque tube was adjusted. The lower control horn that attaches to the AP servo was pretty much straight vertically and the upper one that attaches to the long elevator control tube was slightly back.
The controls sicks were pretty much straight up.
Now on to the luggage door latch.
I order a little bit longer rivets then the 10mm ones that are typical with the kit. These are Cherry BSPS-44, they have a grip range up to about 1/4″ which was pretty much perfect here. The heads are a little different but I don’t think too noticeable especially after they’re filled. They’re the 6 middle rivets along the top of the luggage door opening
The back of the latch catch and part of a scare crow it seems 🙂
I did a little research and figuring out today how I wanted to do the area where the wing fairing will attach to the fuselage. I had noticed in some photos that Peter took and that Craig had posted that the factory had left the rivets that are alone the wing fair out. That gave me the idea that maybe countersinking these holes would allow for a tighter fit of the fairing against the fuselage. I also found some counter sunk rivnuts that I need to look into. The thought is to remove any high point to allow the fairing to sit nice and flat against the fuselage. Below is a photo of what I came up with after a trip down to Torrance TAF to count rivets and examine the fairing. If you’re interested in the photos I took then please let me know and I can send them to you . I may post them here, but I don’t want to use up my quota (what can I say I’m cheap).
Note: the only thing I ended up changing was the holes right near the wing root. I ended up countersinking/dimpling the pair of side-by-side hole right below the red tape. So all countersunk holes aren’t seen and lie just below the contact point of the fairing… I hope.