March 29, 2009

Finished Cutting slot in Longeron, Joined the Fuse! - 8.0 hrs.

HUGE day today! I managed to get home earlier than expected from my out-of-town trip. So I got busy this afternoon and finished cutting the slot in the right longeron. When it was in place in the aft fuse and the skin clecoed back up to the longeron, Daniel came out and helped me flip it over. Then, with his assistance, we carefully joined the center section to the aft fuse. It is now joined and clecoed together!

This is kind of a funny looking picture, but you can see the right longeron in place if you look carefully. Then we flipped this over. Daniel helped hold the center section as we flipped it over and guided it into place. It took some gentle pushing and wiggling to get the parts to mesh, then I started with the clecos.

Here's the joining process, about halfway through.

The most valuable tool to have on hand, and I've used it many times in the project, is the awl or pick. If you don't have one, get one. Or an ice pick, scribe, or whatever you want to call it. It's extremely useful in lining up holes so you can insert a cleco. Especially where you have more than two layers of metal to line up. The tapered point is inserted and wiggled or rotated as it's pushed further into the hole, until things line up perfectly. Used in every other hole, or even every hole if necessary, it makes jobs like this a cinch. This actually went much easier than I expected. Then I crawled underneath and clecoed the baggage ribs to the F-706 bulkhead. Then, finally, I clecoed the baggage floor skins in place.

Here it is, all together. This thing is now officially BIG!

Here's a shot from the aft end.

And I couldn't resist this shot looking down through the inside. How COOL!

Well... the next thing was to cleco the forward side skins in place. That was actually more of a hassle than joining the center section. As it turned out, the aft end had to be lifted and blocked up a bit in order for them to fit, but I finally got them in place.

Shown above... the left side.

Next, I got down on the floor and checked the fit of the longerons to the forward-most edge of these skins. Lo and behold... check this out... the match was PERFECT. I was blown away by how perfectly the bend on the longeron matched the edge of the skin. Whaddyaknow, I did something right! All that time spent carefully bending and twisting the longerons back in mid-December really paid off.

Here's a closeup. The edge of the longeron lines up so perfectly with the edge of the skin, you can't even see it. But you can see through the holes and see that it's there.

The next step called for in the plans is to fit and drill the armrests to the forward side skins. This involves fluting and straightening them, clecoing them to the skin, and finally drilling them to the skin and bulkheads. Once finished, I removed them, and deburred the holes and edges (might as well get them done now). Then I dimpled them, too. Now, they're back on the shelf for a later date. I called it a day at this point. I haven't checked off this many items in one day for a long time.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)