Tail Top Skin

Time: 4 Hours

I gathered up all my tools and prepped the tail for riveting. Climbing in and out of the tail wasn’t an easy task and I wanted to minimize that as much as possible. I grabbed several bucking bars, the ones I thought I might use and my hearing protection. I placed a work light down in the tail to help see all the areas. Glenn volunteered to run the gun while I was squeezed into the tail. We worked from the center at the top and riveted the support ribs working outboard on each side. As we did those we worked aft along the seam on both sides.  

   It took around 4 hours as we took a couple of breaks since the bell crank was right in my lower back. I placed a couple of movers blankets to soften it out a bit but it was still uncomfortable! I could have removed the bell crank but all those washers are a real pain in the butt so I opted for discomfort. No drill outs needed and they all looked great!  
   The aft most support I could do from outside as will as the forward most.  
   One reason I hate skipping ahead in the plans is that no matter how hard I try to mark and remember items I always seam to forget them. The aft deck, where the horizontal stab lies is just one case. I put off riveting it to make it easier to shape the up and down stops of the elevators. Fast forward to now and I just finished riveting the top skin on and the deck wasn’t finished! What this caused was for me to get a little creative on how to rivet it on but it got done. After that task was done I was able to place the HS into its final position and bolt it down. This meant climbing back into the tail so that I could torque the bolts.  
     

  

  

  

 After climbing out I got to climb right back in to put the ELT antanae back in place. Good thing is I’m getting pretty good a sliding in and out of the tail although that’s not a task I wanted to be good at!  Big step finished and it’s starting to resemble an airplane again!  

  

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