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Monday, January 31, 2011

Firewall Gusset final riveting

I was only able to get about 1/2 hour in tonight, but it was enough to power through the firewall gussets.  These guys were easily squeezed with the 3.5 inch yoke, then the 4 inch flat nose yoke for the last two in each far corner.  Turned out well, for tomorrow onto more stuff.  Like finishing up the top J Channel and adding the rear top skin. You can see in the pic below I have done some work on one of the J Channels.  Tomorrow hopefully I will be able to continue to press on.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Riveted Aft Deck

This weekend I did lots of odds and ends on the plane.  I finished drilling the shoulder harness supports and was able to get through a priming session covering all the deck pieces.  I didn't prime the side rails or canopy decks since I am thinking I might anodize these but still not sure.  After the priming, I was able to rivet the aft deck in place at least all the rivets I could reach with a squeezer.  I was surprised as to the rigidity that this added to the fuse.  I also drilled the 1/4 inch holes for the static ports that will need to wait until I get some pro-seal before they get installed..  Next step on the list is riveting the firewall gussets.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Firewall Gussets

This piece was a bit tricky.  Trying to make sure that you had enough edge distance all around as well as making sure you space your pre-drilled rivet holes in the gusset appropriately around the end of the tab on the metal firewall angle.  You can see in the bottom picture better what I am talking about.   Also, trying to keep the drill shavings out of the firewall angles where you can't vacuum proved to be a difficult tape/paper job in itself.

Note rivet hole spacing at the
end of the tab on the firewall.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Canopy Attach Point Gussets

Next I started to fit and modify the gussets where the canopy attach levers slip into F-705.  These are modified differently on a tip up than a slider canopy.   Here I basically measured and drilled the oustide 4 corners and used a dremel and file to finish cutting the square.  Still needs a bit more work, but is looking pretty good so far.  I also need to match drill this to the longeron in the next working session.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Aft Deck and starting on the Fuse Gussets

After turning the fuse over, the next thing to focus on was the aft deck.   Basically you need to level the fuse in all directions and then make sure any twist is out as you drill the aft deck.  Mine was off so little that I didn't really need to put any pressure on it before clamping it to hold it in place.  After I drilled all the holes in the longerons, I removed the deck and taped the spacers that I had fabricated the night before.  These guys make sure the top deck has a flat surface throughout the aft section to support it before final riveting.  This process went well and other than prepping and priming I am pretty much complete with the deck


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Flipped the Canoe !

Today I reached a huge milestone in the RV building world.   I was able to finish all the riveting on the lower section of the fuselage and turn it over or "flip the canoe".  Karl and Ben my neighbors came over and with Bekah we had a very successful roll over of the fuse.  We then lowered it onto a rolling stand that I made from a loaner stand that a friend from my EAA Chapter gave me a few months ago.  Now my airplane will look like a canoe for the next few weeks until the rear skins go on and it starts looking like an airplane  ;-)
The fuse looks great and I am really excited to be at this point in the build and moving forward through the next steps that involve the upper sections of the fuse and then onto the finishing kit.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Finally Ready!

I finished riveting and am now ready to flip.  Bekah put in some time today and Mike came over again to help finish up the seat ribs.  Overall the riveting went well but there were a fee areas where the skin dented in more than I would like due to the universal rivets on thin skin and then one slipped bucking bar, but overall it worked out well.  I am really excited to get this thing turned over so I can start working on the top side. Just need to get a few guys over and Bekah so that we can turn this thing over safely.

Also, I sometimes get really excited about a few things much earlier in the build than I should, but to keep things interesting I find myself buying these cool things early.  So I picked up the Ray Allen G207 stick grip..  This baby has all four trim switches a push to talk switch and a couple others that I will use for autopilot disconnect button and hopefully a trim speed adjustment.  We'll see how it goes but it is fun to play with in the meantime.  Also, for my recent birthday I received a Grove Parking Brake valve.  This will come in handy when other RV'ers are jumping out of their plane quickly on the ramp so they can stop it from rolling.  ;-)  Not pictured is my SafeAir One static kit I got..  It will start getting installed shortly after the flip as well.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Will the riveting ever end ! !

This must be session 7 ?   Well, I made good progress, a friend Mike came over and helped me rivet the first 1/2 of the universal rivets on the seat ribs.  He is bulding a 9 and is a little bit ahead of me in his build.  We ended up not having a long enough set to finish all the rivets, and it turns out he has one, but I didn't think to ask him to bring it.  So I will have to borrow it later and finish this job with Bekah, or Mike said he might be able to come over again this weekend.   Either way I am flipping this thing this weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fuse Rivet Session 6

Bekah and I put another hour into the airplane riveting tonight and we are getting close.  We basically finished everything other than a few rivets that will be hard to buck and the universal rivets that attach the outer seat ribs.  Tomorrow Mike (who is working on a RV-9A and just a few weeks ahead of me) might come by and help with the universal rivets, then I will have to do a few odds and ends here and there and this baby will be ready to flip..   I am looking forward to that point for sure.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fuse Riveting Session 4 & 5

Continuing on the fuse.  Things have slowed down a bit, but hopefully will be able to finish and flip this thing soon.  I had Jason from the EAA Chapter over to help and then Bekah jumped back in and lots of progress has been made.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fuse Riveting Session 3

Bekah and I were able to get into the garage last night for an hour or so.  In general just continued riveting through the fuse.  I also was able to get out the sealant and seal up the firewall.  This is important so that no fumes get into the cabin from the engine compartment or fire in the case of an emergency.  Basically its a layer of sealant between the side and bottom skins and the firewall.  I can't rivet this yet since there are hinges that hold on the cowling down the road, so for now its just a cleco in every hole to hold it as tight as possible while the sealant dries.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fuse Riveting Session 2

Today Bekah came out and we riveted the baggage compartment area for about an hour.  I also was able to torque the bolts where the lower longeron attaches to the firewall.  Next session we will be working further forward on the fuse.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fuse Final Assembly

I have been out of town for a few days over the holidays, but am now back to the build.   It was hard to leave the build but its super exciting to come back to the point where I can re-assemble and final rivet.  I was able to rivet the side ribs onto the center section before I went on vacation, so now just a few odds and ends had to be taken care of before I was able to cleco the entire assemby back together.

Once everything was together Bekah helped out and we had our first round at riveting.  We basically got the bottom skin riveted on with no issues.  Tomorrow we will rivet through the baggage area and move forward through the fuse. 

In my spare time I am working on the forward fuse.  Pre-riveting the center skin stiffeners as you see in the photo.

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