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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Forward Fuse Initial Assembly Complete

Over the long weekend, I was able to finish the last two floor stiffeners to effectively finish the forward fuse.  Now I move to the part everyone dreads..   It is true in airplane building that taking it apart is actually progress forward, but it is not fun to do while watching everything you have done over the last month come apart piece by piece.   The next steps over the next few weeks are to take this apart, debur, dimple, prep, prime and even top coat some interior sections.  It takes a few weeks, but then will be back together before you know it for final riveting.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Forward Floor Stiffeners

Today I was able to temporarily mount the forward bottom skin and start to install the floor stiffeners.  But first there was the need to drill out the bottom skin where it attaches to the lower longerons as well as countersink a few holes where screws go to support the forward tank supports.  I counter sunk the holes directly with everything mounted and it worked out fairly well.  The right side did get a bit deep, but I was able to round it out and tested the screw, it fits fine.

After the bottom skin was clecoed in place, I modified the stiffeners to make them fit in the center section.  The center stiffeners are easier than the outer stiffeners which I still have to do, because you can use clamps to hold them in while drilling.   Once clamped, I drilled through the skin very carefully, then came back and drilled the stiffeners to the firewall and main spar supports as you see in the pics.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rudder Pedal Brace

The rudder Pedal sare held into the fuse by use of UMHV Blocks, one on each side of the fuse and one that acts as a center support.  The center brace mounts to the firewall and holds the UMHV Block on the outside of the firewall angle.  I drilled the block with the other two end blocks the other day, and now used a band saw to slice the middle block so it can wrap around the two tubes supporting the peddles.

I temporarily mounted the outer blocks and pedal assembly to help measure out my 3 locations to drill the center brace, drilled the holes, then cut down and lightened up the center brace.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Looking at the Big Picture

I wanted to take a step back and get a few shots of the entire state of things in my garage.  Sometimes I get into the details of the build and don't focus as much on the bigger picture.  Also, I know that sometimes looking at this blog its more difficult to make sense of the close ups.  So here are a few pics of my current status and taking it all in.  At my current state, it won't be long before I take this apart to prep and prime the metal, then begin the riveting sequence.  Hopefully by the new year I will be able to turn this thing upside right ! !

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pedals and Brakes !

With the forward fuse mostly built out its time to fit the brakes.   I have been looking forward to this step for a long time since it is different than the typical metal work I have been doing for so long.   Basically the pedals hang from the skin stiffeners using pre drilled holes.  Since the seats aren't adjustable in an RV, the peddles need to be movable.  I drilled for 3 locations for the petals to sit, each 1 inch apart.   Starting 3 inches back from the firewall, these three locations should work well for me.

To make sure the holes were drilled equally on both sides I clecod the stiffeners together and transferred the lines onto the second stiffener before drilling.

Also, note that I chose to only have brakes for the pilot. Some people opt for passenger brakes, but I decided to save the weight and as well for a tail dragger I think it is safer not to have brakes that could get in the way of a passenger while the plane is taxiing.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Forward Fuse continued

I received my additional parts from Vans which allowed me to continue through the forward fuse.  I basically was able to work through the left side just like the right, but got a few more specific pictures.  Here is how I drilled the fuel tank attach plate.   Slipping rivets on the inside fuse to hold the spacers in place.  Also, securing the attach plate with appropriate clamps.

Next I was able to work through both gussets between the aux longerons and the firewall angle.  I took my time on these and they turned out really nice.  I guess the second time is a charm.  Once they were clamped in place I drilled through the skin and the aux longeron,  Then using clecos I peeled the skin back and an angle drill worked great through the firewall angle.

Then Bekah snapped a shot of my where I have been spending lots of time these days.   Its crazy how much you need to crawl around, in and out of this fuse while its under construction..

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Forward Fuselage/Baggage Compartment; Odds and Ends

Last couple of days I was able to work through a few items on the forward fuse as well as the baggage compartment.   My order from Vans will be here later this week so I will be able to go back and work through some of the spots that I had to work around. 

In the meantime I was able to drill the ends of the lower longerons for the AN3 bolts that go there,  I did use a reamer at the end, but nothing fancy about this job.   Measured per Vans instructions and drilled.   No edge distance issues.   Also, I was able to mount the right side tank attach point.  This comes off until later, but was tricky to drill.   I will try to get better pics while doing the left side.  It was a combination of clamps and inserting rivets from the backside to keep the spacers in line while I used the tank attach point to match drill the second hole.  Look for more pics in a future update.

I also used a standard 1 inch wood boring bit to drill out the hole through the skin and the gear web for the fuel line.   Using these bits with the edge tips as you can see works great for these situations.  Here I am pretty sure two rubber grommets go on each side..  One for the gear attach plate, and one for the outer skin.  That is completed at a much later date though so lots of time to figure that one out.   Also I fluted and clecoed the baggage ribs in place.  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Continuing Forward Fuse

I haven't placed my order with Van's yet because I am a bit gun shy.  Every time I place an order, the next day I mess something up, so I am waiting as I pick my way through the forward fuse until I have everything done on one side or the other.   Last night I worked on the angles that support the tank attach points.  These were a bit confusing at first, but after looking at the plans I was able to piece them together.   I didn't do them exactly as the instructions said, because they have you drill a hole prior to locating the part on the airplane.   I handheld the part on the airplane and then used one of the #40 skin holes as a pilot through the angle without the spacers at this time.   The Spacers were already drilled in the same hole, so after that I was able to cleco the entire assembly in place via the one hole, then match drill all the rest.  Worked out great..  Now if I can get the other side to cooperate..  ;-)  You can see in the pic that I haven't drilled the top hole (bottom actually since the fuse is upside down).  This is because I haven't drilled the bolt holes for the lower longeron to the firewall attach point.  That will happen probably this weekend.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Forward Fuse

OK,  I haven't been posting much lately, but I have been working quite a bit.   The forward fuse work seems to be a bit rough when you compare it to the rest of the kit.   The instructions are vague and the order seems to be something that can be adjusted quite a bit to meet your needs.  I personally am waiting until I have all the parts fitting nicely before I do any of the drilling for the bolts and other "key" items.  There is a lot of fabrication and finessing in the forward fuse..   I won't go into details, but I will tell you to take it slow here if you are building.   I have found that myself as many others needed to order new parts as you burn through this section..   Here is a pic of the right side, which is the furthest along.   You can see I have most everything fit here.

Here is the forward view of the skin stiffeners.  You fabricate an Angle and connect it to the firewall.   I used my angle drill here for the hole through the firewall.  The two holes in the short angle are drilled per plans, then I used my angle drill to come up from the bottom into the skin stiffener.   I know it sounds confusing, but if you were working on it in this stage, you would get what I am saying.  ;-)

Here is where the Gear Web attaches to the forward bulkhead on the right side.   You can see that mine didn't match up perfectly, so I am going to put a thin shim in there.   The bulkhead is supposed to be bent so the web is perpendicular to the aircraft centerline, and my gear web is correctly proportioned in all other areas, I the bend was just created a bit short,  This shim will take care of it.  The pic below on the right shows the gear web as it slides in next to the outer skin.   I think this is mainly for -a models where the tricycle landing gear mounts here.  For mine, being a tail dragger, the main gear will be part of the engine mount further forward, so this is probably additional beefing up that isn't fully required, but they have you put it in anyway.   For extra strength and if you ever decide to convert to a tricycle gear later.

Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)