More Fuselage Riveting

Time: 8 Hours

I was back at the riveting progress on the fuselage parts. I needed to finish up the 13 rivets that are on the upper longeron and upper engine mounts. I thought about it last night and was planning on using the rivet gun and bucking bar but figured out that I might be able to use the squeezer and my no hole 4″ squeezer yoke. Turns out that worked like a charm! I did have to drill one rivet out as I let the squeezer move as it was at a difficult angle to hold and operate.

(null)From there I moved on to the first aft bulkhead, this one is where the passengers seat back will be, and started with just the rivets that attach it to the seat support ribs.

(null)I kept moving aft and riveted the rear baggage area support ribs and the angle that runs along the top of these ribs. The aft end of these ribs will hold a pitch bel rank as well as the Dynon pitch servo.

(null)There were 4 rivets that I couldn’t get the squeezer on since the end has a bracket built into it. I decided to try a back riveting technique and drilled a 3/16″ hole in the work bench for a squeezer head. I then laid the parts with the rivet in place and used the back rivet set in the gun. It worked like a charm and made quick work of those 8 rivets.

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(null)I added the 6 nutplates to the ends of the ribs, these would be for the aft location option for the battery. I won’t be using these for that purpose but may need them for something else.

(null)Next up was to rivet the nutplates for the aft end inspection access panels. These will allow for inspection of the elevator and rudder control connections.

(null)The plans then put your attention to the aft two bulkheads and the tail wheel attach weldament. First up was to rivet the rear horizontal stabilizer attach bars to the bulkhead. I was able to get all those with the pneumatic squeezer. I then enlarged the two bolt holes to 1/4″ for the AN4 bolts that tie the bulkhead, attach bars and tail spring mount together. Again I used my 1/4″ reamer to final size these holes.

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(null)The aft skins now get the middle longerons back riveted to them.

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(null)Those skins could now be placed into position on the fuselage.

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(null)I touched up all the primer on the two aft bulkheads since I made a few scratches during the drilling process.

(null)The aft two bulkheads get riveted to the aft bottom skin. I used a couple of spring clamps to hold the tabs tight to the skin and a couple of bar clamps to hold the pieces to my workbench so I could both hands riveting. I was able to get a couple with the pneumatic squeezer and the rest with the rivet gun.

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(null)I riveted the aft end of the rear baggage support ribs to the next bulkhead and clecko’d the bulkhead to the side skins.

(null)There is a small rib that goes between the aft and of the rear baggage support ribs, I riveted that at this time too. On top of the rear baggage support ribs at the aft end is where the bell crank will connect as well as the Dynon pitch servo brackets which I riveted at this time.

(null)I then spent an hour or so putting all the pieces on the fuselage, starting with the two aft bulkhead assembly, the two lower longerons and the two middle bulkheads. With all those parts in place I grabbed the bottom skin and spent a long time getting it in place, the fit at the forward end of the bottom skin where matches up with the rest of the fuselage was very tricky to get all the parts lined up. The job of getting the bottom skin and place is very hard for one person but a cinch strap at the aft end helps hold it up while you work at the forward getting the skin sandwiched between the other skins. Once I was happy with the fit I put a clecko in every other hole on the entire after end of the fuselage in preparation for riveting.

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(null)The skins are now ready to be riveted! What a big day in the Hangar and a lot accomplished. Before I start riveting the skins I need to work on the fuel pump, filter and fuel lines to the wings and fuel valve. I want to do this now as I have good access to the floor and gear tower area to work on the fuel lines. I will also work on part of the brake line runs as well for the same reason. So I ordered my electric fuel pump and fuel filter today from Van’s aircraft. Once I get those lines installed as well as the pump and filter I will have my buddy Glen come over and help flip the fuselage upside down on a couple sawhorses for riveting. Having the fuselage inverted allows for me to sit on a stool inside and do the bucking while Glenn will rivet on the outside. It was midnight so I decided to call it a day which was good because my back was getting a little sore!

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