Floors

Time: 4 Hours

I also started the process of installing the floors since all my work under them is done (I think). You start with the left and right sections of the passengers floor. Then you install the aft baggage floor with the lip on top of them however I decided to do just the opposite and put the baggage floor under that way if I do need to remove the floors under the passenger seat I won’t have to remove the baggage for as well.  So I needed to start with the aft baggage floor, but before I did that I needed to run a vent line for the smoke tank.  This line allows for expansion and contraction of the smoke oil so that it does not damage the tank and will be expelled overboard. You use a large pulled rivei to create a vent hole and attach the rubber hose to it. I decided to run mine straight underneath the oil tanks left side. That way the line would run straight down from the filler port. It has to run all the way up to the filler port so that it is the highest point in the filling process. Otherwise oil will run out of it anytime you fill the tank full. I then but the baggage for in place sliding the vent line, electrical connections and pressure line through their respective holes that I put in the floor.I then grabbed the rivet puller and went to it. For you RV-8 builders reading you may notice that the center rivets are countersunk, I did this so they wouldn’t interfere with the smoke tank brackets. I finished up all the baggage floor rivets and put the passenger floors in place with cleckos. Then it was just a process of going down each row and riveting all the floors. A few needed reaming out so that the rivet would fit otherwise they all went well. There are eight nutplates at the forward end of both sides of the floors that needed riveting to the floor and rib that allow for the foot wells to be screwed down. I had to use the bucking bar and rivet gun for these. When I was done I replaced the flap control rod and bolted it down as well. I put the foot wells in place and just used four screws to hold them in for now. I have a carpet kit from Flight Line Interiors and wanted to see how the side peices looked as well. The carpet is held down with heavy duty Velcro and I will wait to install them but just wanted to see how it looked. 

Flap Control Cover

Time: 2 Hours

The flap control arm sticks up through the passenger left arm rest and attaches to the bulkhead. This is a little unsightly to look at and many builders, including Glenn, have made a cover to clean up this area for a better appearance. Glenn had saved his template and allowed me to use it to make one for myself. I used some 0.025″ sheet and traced his pattern on it. 

I cleaned up the edges and drilled a couple screw holes then spent some time with the bench and hand bending brake to get all the bends right. 

After match drilling the holes for the screws I drilled for and riveted on the required nutplates. I then put it into place to check the fit. I happy with how it looks and the forward bottom edge will be covered up with a custom leather armrest that is being made at the same time as my seats. 

USB Port’s and Fuel Line

Time: 4 Hours

I had two sets of wires for the two Dynon Skyview screens left deal with. The backup battery wires which already have a connector that will plug into to battery that I will buy at a later date. The other is the USB pigtail that you use to plug a flash drive into to update the Dynon software and instrument data. I could have just left the wires lay behind the instrument panel and access them through the back panel door.  I decided to add two panel mounted USB ports to make this a cleaner installation. I decided the best place for these would be next to the hobbs meter inside to forward baggage area. This would allow me to do the updates by just opening the baggage door and inserting the flash drive.

I curled the one foot-long cable to make it more manageable behind the panel.

I drilled the holes for the USB port and filed them to get a good fit using the flash drive as a guide.

I’m happy with how these turned out and it will make the updates real easy. The next thing I wanted to work on was to cut the fuel line on the outside of the fuselage. When I have the wings on an in-place I marked these lines to be cut when I have more room with the wings off. So I cut the lines put the nut and ferrule on and flared the ends. 

I put some red plugs in the ends to keep dust out. It’s been fun catching up on these little task and not messing with the fiberglass for a little while, man I hate sanding fiberglass! 

Flap Fairing’s

Time: 4 Hours

I got a little time in the shop after some work tasks that needed to be done. My goal today was to finish up the fairing’s that close the gap from the wings to the fuselage. All they needed was the edges to be sanded, holes deburred and the holes dimpled for #8 screws. That didn’t take too long and I forgot to snap a photo of the work. I moved on to the flap fairing’s which needed the same work except the dimples were for flush rivets. After the edges were done and holes dimpled I scuffed up the inside surface and primed them. 

While those were drying I dimpled the matching holes on the fuselage using my blind rivet dimple set. 

When the primer was dry I worked the edges to get them to lay tight against the fueelage using my edge roller. Once I was happy with the fit I clecko’ed them in place to rivet. I was able to get about half of them by myself using the bucking bar and rivet gun. Once my buddy Glenn got to the shop I borrowed him to help finish the rest of the rivets. 

I was real happy with how they turned out as they have a lot of curves and can pose a problem getting them to sit flush. Not a lot to show but progress. Any task on the RV-8 is a good one and one step closer to the end. 

Fuel Tank Attach Brackets

Time: 8 Hours

After finishing the rear spar you have one task to complete before moving on to the fuel tank attached brackets. The fuselage bottom skin overlaps the wing by a few inches. The usual eventually get combined together with screws after the wings are attached for the final time. The wings skins add the holes drilled in them already but the fuselage skin does not. What you were supposed to do is mark all the holes on the wing skin with lines before attaching the wings so that you have a reference point and distance in order to drill the skin on the fuselage. However they make a cool drill jig that my buddy Glenn had so I borrowed it and made quick work of these holes. This tool basically as one side with a nipple that will identify the hole on the wing skin and sandwiches the fuselage skin between the tool so that you can drill the skin and it will match up perfectly. 

    
 I know that’s not the best description hopefully the pictures will help describe it better. So now when I remove the wings I will dimple the fuselage skin and put nutplates in the wing skin. With that tool I was able to get all these holes done really quick. From there you move on to the fuel tank attach brackets. When I built the fuel tanks I had put a bracket on each forward inboard corner that would eventually mate up with the brackets I need to make. The plans call for these brackets to be made out of U channel aluminum.  

 So I took the dimensions and measurements and marked them on the two pieces of U channel. 

    
   After four hours of drilling, cutting, grinding, sanding and filing I had the two final pieces. 
 This is where they will fit eventually.  

   As you can see that they don’t fit completely flush up against the fuselage, and flush against the tank bracket. Van’s says to hit them with the large hammer in a vice to bend them to get them to sit flush at both locations.  That is an understatement! These things are thick and not easily bent. It took me an hour to bend and manipulate the right side to get it to fit flush against the fuselage and the tank bracket. From there you clamp the brackets together with it tight against the fuselage and drill from inside the fuselage through the bracket. This is not an easy task as it’s pretty tight inside the fuselage. I started with a 12″ #30 drillbit from inside and finished with the  #12 drillbit in my angle drill from the outside. with the first hole drilled I put in AN 3–7 bolt in and tightened it down to hold it tight against the fuselage. I then drilled the second hole and repeated the steps to finish that bracket.  

  

  

 I moved on to the other side and finished it up a little quicker than the first as I had a little insight as to where to bend.  

 With both brackets secured to the fuselage I marked the brackets for the single AN4 bolt and drilled the hole.    

 So now all the wing attach points have been completed. This will no allow me to build and rig things like the aileron attachment, flap rigging and fuel line connections.