September 5, 2009

J-Stringers and Upper Aft Fuselage Skins - 5.5 hrs.

Today I decided to get started on the upper aft fuselage skins and the underlying J-channel stringers that help support them. So I dug through my inventory and pulled out the J-channel stringers that I had made a long time ago when I made the ones for the lower aft fuselage assembly. I found that I had made two of them very accurately alright, but I made two right-handed ones instead of a right and left. Dang it! There's no way to fix it, and if I trim it it's too short. Since I don't have any of this stock left, it means another trip to Vans to buy some more. I'm keeping with my habit, at least, of ruining parts that don't cost much. So that's the good news. The frustrating part is that these things always seem to happen to me on a Friday night or on the weekend when Vans isn't open. It's frustrating. I decided to go ahead anyway and see how much I can get done without this one part, since I have the whole weekend ahead of me.

Here's the aft upper skin, drilled and clecoed in place, as seen from the left side. The J-stringer for this side is missing.

From the right side, you can see that the right stringer is in place, drilled and clecoed. It's surprisingly hard to bend the skin around the tailcone like this. The skins are stiff, not as flexible as one might think. They want to lie flat. But once in place, it really looks great!

Before going ahead with the forward top skin, I installed the F-656 gussets to the F-707 bulkhead. With the aft top skin in place, it positions the bulkhead where it will go, so you can clamp and drill these gussets in place. Then, following the usual deburring, scuffing, cleaning and priming, I riveted them in place.

Moving on, I put the forward skin in place above, then drilled and clecoed on the right side. I put a cleco in every hole along the bottom edge of the skin, pulling one at at time to drill the skin to the fuse. All the drilling on the right side is done. The left side will have to wait for my next work session.

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