Prepping for the Turtle Deck Riveting

Time: 8 Hours

I started the tasks that I need to get finished up before I can or want to start riveting the aft top skin, turtle deck, on. The first thing up was to drill all the required holes for snap bushings for wire runs. I have two runs that head to the back, pitch trim and tail light.  

    
 In the 1″ holes in the gear towers I used rubber grommets I got from McMaster Carr this week. Once all the holes were drilled and either a grommet or snap bushing was in place I started routing the wires. First up was the tail light and its 3 conductor shielded wire. I started in the tail and ran my way forward going through the snap bushings as well as some well placed adele clamps along the way.  

    
    
 After I had the wire run up behind the panel I used some 1″x 1″ adhesive backed zip tie anchors from Home Depot to add some anchor points.  

    
 I also ran some flexible conduit along the left and right side along the bottom ribs so that after the floor gets riveted in place I can run wires later if needed.  

    
 With the conduit run and secured with zip ties I ran the pitch trim wire from the tail to the pack of the panel. I used 5 conductor shielded wire the SteinAir recommended.  

    
    
   I ran the remainder of that wire from the panel to the aileron trim servo tray as well. I then moved to the static port installation in the afte side skins. For the non-aviation readers these ports give a “static” air reading to compare to ram air as the aircraft is moving for airspeed or a sealed pressure in an altimeter to measure altitude. I’m using the SafeAir pitot-static line system. I came up with the locations on both sides and drilled the holes to 1/4″ with a step drill bit.  

   I placed one of the ports in place to check the clearance on the bulkhead rib.  
 The next process is to secure the ports to the side skins. You can rivet these but I decided to just use ProSeal to secure them as many other builders have done. So I broke out the ProSeal stuff and mixed some up and sealed the ports to the skins. I cut a piece of wood to act as a brace to hold them until they cute.  

    
   Next up was to tackle the 2 shelves that I want to house the avionics. The first one I started on was for the to ADAHRS units that will supply the instrument screens with the attitude references it needs. I started with some 3/4″ x 3/4″ angle to make two supports across the upper longeron. This is a perfect place as they are level with the longitudinal axis and that’s what the ADAHRS need.  

 I added some .032 sheet to the cross supports to make a shelf for the units to sit on.  

   I also made a bracket out of some angle to bolt a Tee for the static line to.  
   After the static ports cure I will run the lines to them and to the new shelf I built for later installation. Fun day in the Hangar! 

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