Rear Fuselage Skins Done

Time: 5.5hrs

A momentous day for the airplane. Today the rear fuselage got closed up. Before closing it up I doubled checked that all the holes that need to be dimpled for the parachute area where correct. The only way to really check is to place the cover one the parachute box hole and verify that any holes that are covered by the cover skin are dimpled. I missed two on the right front side so it was good I checked.

Lots of photos below

Here’s the left and right side, checked and ready to go for riveting. The two areas I had some fitment issues where the tail cone along rib 6 (I think) and up in front on the right side along the join to the bottom skin… maybe 10 rivets. Other then that everything lined up great.

All the dimpling finished and checked for the parachute area.

Com1 antenna mount in place. I’ll need to install a few rivnuts here later for mounting the antenna.

Top of fuselage along the join. I used an edge tool to put a bit of a bend on the edge so that it seals well. Seems like it will work well. Thanks Peter for sharing this on your build log.

This is the luggage door area. The spot where the open rivet holes are have a spacer behind them. The spacer fits between the inside of the skin and a channel piece, But I noticed that the spacer they give isn’t really thick enough so I’ll have to make a thicker one or add to the existing. I found this after I riveted it and saw that he skin was being pulled a bit so I drilled out the rivets. I’ll have to come back to this.

Here’s where the space goes. It’s a good size gap, probably 1/8″ or a little less.

Here’s the spacer only about a 1/16″

Almost done

A good shot of the holes that I sized up to 4mm. There are a few on rib 6 and the last 4 holes on the top join. The long line on the top to bottom skin join is because of a prior issue with the skin and the longeron holes not lining up.

Still need to do some work here.

And it’s done. It all came out pretty good. Not too many bumps or pulls in the skin.

The only area that may need some work is the top middle section right where the com1 antenna and parachute box area is. Even though I made a spacer along the rib for the antenna bracket there is bump in the skin. It’s not that big of a deal since the parachute cover will cover that area up, but it would be nice to get it looking better. I did notice that even on the factory built planes this area is bumpy so I don’t feel too bad.

So next is to finish up riveting the luggage area… floor, parachute box, etc. then I should be good to put the front fuselage side skins on.

 

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Getting Ready to Close It Up

Time: 2.75 hrs

Things done today:

  • Finished putting edge grommet of rear fuselage ribs
  • Greased long elevator push rod at bushing in rear fuselage
  • Riveted hard to reach areas on luggage area and parachute box
  • Clecoed rear top fuselage skins
  • Drilled a few missing holes in skins for parachute box

Gnarly grease for the long elevator rod. You can put this after through the access door, but it’s much easier when the skin is off.

I decided I should rivet the above areas in the luggage area now since it’s going to be difficult to do later when the top skin is on.

Parachute Box and Cable Tray

Time: 1.0 hrs

Did a test fit of the parachute box and the cable tray. Had to drill out a few missing holes, but everything fit well. Still trying to schedule time with Jean from Torrance TAF to come up and look over the build before I start closing things up.

Just one missing from the right side parachute box.

These three holes were missing for the new cable tray.

Miscellani

Time: 1.75 hrs

Miscellaneous work done today:

  • Installed M3 rivnuts in the parachute box
  • Installed grommet edge on the parachute box
  • Installed straight MPT to -4AN fittings on parking brake lever
  • Installed and torques Garmin roll servo
  • Torqued parking brake level bracket bolts
  • Riveted gear uprights
  • Clecoed top ANG-010 part and spacers to fuselage

 

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Saw in the new manual that grommet edging is installed in these areas, so installed that. Also I tried to clean off that funkiness on the aluminum, but can’t see to get it to come off. I was looking at the way I built the parachute box and I noticed that the side (to the right) in some photos in the new manual is actual inside those flanges from the other sides. The manual shows it as I made it and it appears that the other builders built it the same as me so I don’t know if it really matters. The other thing is that I put my rivets pointing into the box, I saw the factory and a few other builders put them in the other way. It probably doesn’t matter, but I was thinking this is where the parachute bag sits, do the side need to be smooth for the parachute to come out. Will it catch on the rivets… I’m thing not, but….

 

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Put in M3 rivnuts along the edge of this channel piece. This is where the rocket cover goes. I don’t have the cover so I wasn’t sure if I should use M3 or M4 rivnuts. The manual says M4, but M3’s fit. I saw that Craig used M3 and confirmed that the holes in the cover fit 3mm screws so M3 it is.

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Yay the roll servo is installed. I used an AN3-6A for the top and an an3-5A for the bottom. The top is a bit thicket because of the bracket. Also I kind of followed the manual for the bearing on the servo arm, but also used the Garmin instructions which used an AN970-3 washer instead of the AN4 washer called for in the build manual.

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-4AN fittings installed. I’m not able to use 90 deg fittings here because they will hit each other when installing them. I’ll need to use a 90 deg fitting on the hose end instead. Of course those are a lot more expensive 😦

 

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Got the gear channel uprights riveted and clecoed the top ANG-010 part along with all the spacers.

 

Parachute Box

Time: 1.5 hrs

Things done today:

  • Riveted the gear channel uprights
  • Riveted the parachute box
  • Installed the AN3 rose gearing for the autopilot servo on the control stick tube

 

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Parachute box all riveted. I noticed that I’m missing the rocket cover and I guess the rocket mount comes in the finishing kit. The manual says that the holes along the U shaped channel need M4 rivnuts. I was originally thinking that I would just wait until I get the cover to be sure, but it will be hard to ream them out if this is installed in the plane.

 

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AN3 bearing loosely installed in the control stick tube.