September 6, 2009

Forward Top Skin Drilling - 1.5 hrs.

Today I did all the drilling on the forward fuselage top skin, on the left side (minus the J-stringer that's missing).

I think it will be relatively easy to uncleco this side, slip the J-stringer in when I get a replacement, and drill it in place. I'm glad I went ahead with work on the project this weekend. This thing is looking cool.

September 9, 2009

New J-Channel Stringer, Static Line Clips - 4.5 hrs.

I drove down to Vans yesterday and bought another 6' length of J-channel, so I can go ahead now and fab the replacement stringer for the left side.

All I have to do is cut this to length and form the forward end, and it'll be ready to install.

After preparing the stringer and marking the centerline with my black sharpie, I held the forward skin up with some masking tape and slid the stringer into place. No problem. In the picture above, it's about half drilled. But before lowering the skin and drilling the rest, I thought I would take advantage of the open access to the inside of the fuse to take care of the static line clips. If you look closely, you see that there are four clecos in the lower-skin-to-longeron area. There were rivets here that I drilled out to install the clips. These are the most logical places to install the clips, as I see it. Why drill additional holes in between rivet holes when these are already here? Had I known earlier, I wouldn't have put those rivets in. But it's only 4 rivets. No biggie. So I drilled them out, drilled the clips, and clecoed them in place.

Here's a closeup of one of the clips, clecoed in place inside the fuse. After checking to make sure they won't interfere with top skin riveting, I went ahead and riveted these in place.

Above, a shot of the two clips installed between the F-706 and F-707 bulkheads. There are two more further aft between the F-707 and F-708.

While I'm at it drilling out rivets and installing clips, I might as well keep going. Moving forward, there are no clips needed in the baggage area because there's already a static line bushing installed in the F-724 vertical rib in between the F-706 and the F-705. So here are three more clips installed in the cabin area, between the F-705 and the F-704 bulkheads. These will be covered by the side rails and not seen. I had to drill out 3 more rivets to get this done. No biggie. I much prefer that over drilling and countersinking more holes. The clip on the right looks slightly tilted. That's intentional. The static line will go up slightly at this point to clear over the top of the F-704 bulkhead. There's a clip on the other side that tilts slightly back down as the line goes forward from there.

Once I finished riveting the static line clips, I clecoed the top forward skin back in place and finished all the drilling for this skin. Yippee!

Looks great!

Now why would a sane person go to the trouble to cleco all this forward stuff in place at this point in the build? The main reason I did this is to visualize where the last static line clip needs to go. I just want to get this done and move on and not have to worry about it anymore. So I studied the drawings enough to realize that it might just be faster to put this together and see it for myself. It didn't take very long. As it turns out, the static line comes out and goes behind the instrument panel just forward of the panel, so the last clip I riveted in place is just 1 rivet forward of where the panel comes to on the side. Besides... I think it looks really cool to get a preview of how this all goes together. Wow!

I just had to step back and take a couple more shots. No more canoe around here! It's lookin' more like a flying machine every day.

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