June 20, 2009

Prep Work on Aft Fuse, Priming, Tru-Trak Servo Bracket - 5.0 hrs.

Today I finished scuffing and cleaning the overlap areas on the aft fuse, then primed them.

Next, while the F-706 bulkhead is out of the fuse, I decided that now is an excellent time to install the servo bracket for the Tru-Trak autopilot system. As you may recall when I was building my wings, I decided back then to go with Tru-Trak for my autopilot system. So I contacted them and ordered the brackets that hold the servo motors in the wing and here in the aft fuse. I wanted to install these brackets during the construction of the plane while access is easy. I don't have the servo motors yet, nor do I have the Tru-Trak unit for my instrument panel. I will purchase those later. For now, I just wanted to get these brackets in place. It will be very easy later on to add the servos and finish the installation.

The bracket is just sticking up over the top of the F-729 bellcrank rib in the picture above. I clamped it in place and drilled and clecoed it to the F-729. Next, I put this assembly back in the aft fuse and clecoed it in place and drilled the bottom of the bracket's flange to the bottom skin of the fuse. Then I pulled this all back out again to deburr and dimple the aft fuse skin and countersink the flange on the bracket for the skin dimples. In spite of all my careful measuring and clamping, the bracket didn't sit down quite far enough on the bottom skin. There was a very slight gap underneath it. So I ended up putting a shim underneath it so I don't distort the bottom skin when I rivet it together. After scuffing and cleaning it all up, I primed it. While the primer was drying, I deburred and dimpled the bottom skin in the fuse for the 4 rivets that will hold it together. Then later on I riveted the bracket to the F-729. It's done. All ready to install.

I'm very happy to have this bracket now so I can do this work now and get it done. I can't imagine doing this after the plane is finished, having to crawl back into this tight space and carefully measure, clamp, drill, deburr, etc. I suppose it can be done, but it's SO MUCH EASIER NOW. If I don't get the autopilot system for a while, this bracket is harmless. So I think this is a smart decision.

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