Fuselage Skins Done

Time: 8 Hours

I got early this morning and finished up the riveting the aft end of the fuselage skins. My buddy Glen arrived late morning after I was finished with that task and help me flip the fuselage upside down on a pair of sawhorses, man this thing is starting to gain weight. We took our time and planed the flip making sure the height was right with my adjustable sawhorses. I wanted the height to good for me sitting on my rolling stool and good arms reach will inside.

(null)From there we finished all of the remaining fuselage rivets on the bottoms and sides of the skins. It took us a couple hours but we worked pretty well together and all of the rivets turned out great. Every skin overlap was tight and no puckering. I did have a little oil-canning on the bottom aft skin behind the aft baggage ribs. This is a known issue for some builders and probably happened to me since I riveted the sides first. I will put a light weight angle on the inside of that skin to reinforce it.

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(null)After Glen left I finished up a few tasks like riveting the gussets to the bulkheads now that the skins are riveted. A couple other items I took care of like tightening the castle nuts on the rudder pedals and put in the cotter pins in place. I also fitted the two David Hoffman LED cockpit lights that I bought from Van’s into the forward roll bar angles. The holes are close to the edges of the hole but not a big deal as its steel.

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(null)I decided today to leave the fuselage in the upside down position. This is due to how hard it is to turn it over with just two people, putting the fuselage a greater risk every time we roll it. There is only a few more tasks that need to be done before I would need to roll it back upside down to do the landing gear installation. So I’m going to wait for those and do the landing gear installation next after I study and review the plans, as this is a critical task. My work schedule is quite busy over the next three weeks so I may have a break before finishing that gear installation. Until then I will take care of all the little tasks that remain now that I have the skins finished. For now I’m just going to enjoy the fact that all those clecko’s are removed! Another big mile stone in the Hangar!

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