Good to Go

Time: 2.25 hrs

Today I worked on the fitment of the top rear fuselage skins at the tail cone. Prior to priming the skins I had do a quick check to see how everything lined up. It seemed like everything was lining up well, though I hadn’t looked at all areas. Now that I’m getting ready to rivet the skins on I’m seeing there are a few areas that need some work. The tailbone section is one of them. It’s looking like I’ll need to up size a few rivets to 4mm since there is just no way to get things to line up using the existing holes.

Also Jean from Torrance TAF came by to check out the project before I start closing things up. He was very happy with what I’ve done so far and had a few suggestions. So it looks like I’ll work on implementing what he mentioned and then I’ll start to close up the rear fuselage.



Top Rear Fuselage

Time: 4.5 hrs

Things done today:

  • Worked on the fitment of the left top rear fuselage skin. Need quite a bit of work on the area where the skin meets the tail cone
  • Installe com1 antenna mount bracket. Needed to drill out some holes to 4mm due to poor alignment
  • Dimpled holes in ribs (002 and 003) where parachute cover skin will cover the rivets
  • Finished making com2 bracket
  • Worked on fitting com2 bracket to center fuselage
  • Pulled back com2 RG400 cable from old location and used the extra for ELT antenna cable run

This is the┬ánewer com antenna bracket (com1 in my case). The fitment isn’t too bad, but the 4 lower holes were off enough where I needed to up them to 4mm from 3.2mm. Also you can see the 0.064mm space I made that will keep the skin flat when riveting to the bracket. The 3 holes in the antenna bracket along the rib 3 line weren’t drilled out. I had to mark them from behind and drill the out from the top. It will be a bit tricky to do this for the right side top skin though. I was able to use the spacer to drill 2 on the 3 holes, but there’s one left that I’ll need to figure out how to drill that one out.

Above are the dimpled holes on the ribs (002 and 003). There are quite a few on rib3. Rib2 has just two on the right side of the break for the parachute tray and a few to the left. Since the manual doesn’t say anything about dimpling these parts I tried to use the factory photos from Craig’s site. I think I got most of them. I’ll double check it with the parachute cover skin prior to riveting. The manual does mention dimpling some holes on the parachute box.

New location of the com2 antenna. This seems to be an ideal place. It’s far enough from the landing gear and steps, but a nice straight shot to the instrument panel for the cable run. Also it will hide the antenna a little putting it on the bottom of the center fuselage rather then have it so far back on the rear fuselage where it’s right out in the open. I was also a little worried that the clearance wasn’t going to be enough where I was going to mount it on the rear fuselage. The RAMI AV-17 is only 9″ high, but it is able 23″ long.

ELT antenna cable run. I’ll have to look at the rear inside fuselage skin to see if I can drill out a hole and run the cable in this channel. The factory just runs it behind the rear seat and up to the ELT antenna mounted behind the rear seat.

Step Reinforcement

Time: 4.75 hrs

Things done today:

  • Drilled holes in RF-CHL-008 parts
  • Drilled holes in longerons (RF-LGN-501 L&R) to match holes in RF-CHL-009
  • Riveted step reinforcement parts
  • Clecoed back skins to rear fuselage frame


Holes where missing in the RF-CHL-008 parts so these got drilled out


Top holes were missing for these brackets that will eventually join the rear to center fuselage



So if you use the holes that are drilled in the longerons (RF-LGN-501 L&R) then the gusset stick out past the longeron which doesn’t seem right. The holes seem correct in the channel piece (RF-CHL-009) below that share these same holes so I’ll drill out the longerons using those holes.


Here’s the new set of holes. Now they line up with the holes in the part underneath (RF-CHL-009)


Much better. The Gusset fits flush with the side of the longeron. You can also see RF-CHL-009 that was used as a template for drilling the new holes in the longeron (RF-LGN-501)


All done. All the step reinforcement parts riveted.


Clecoed the rear most skins onto the rear fuselage frame. Everything lined up pretty well. I had previously needed to enlarge a few holes to 4mm to match the holes in the framing so with that already done the work went pretty quick. I’ll have to add more clecos before riveting and will also loosely cleco the large skins as well.