Aft Bulkheads

Time: 10 Hours

I didn’t spend 10 total hours on just the aft bulkheads. This post is a cumulation of several days of building. My girl, T, and I bought a new home and I recently sold my townhome in one day. So that means between flying, building and other stuff I have to pack and orginize all my house stuff. We close on my home at the end of May which is why I’m getting a jump start on stuff. In between boxing and wrapping I get a little RV work done in the Hangar. First up was the big move of the wings to my buddy Glen’s for storage until the house move. We had a UHaul trailer that I moved some left over stuff from Omaha. While I had the trailer we took advantage of it and loaded the wings.   

 The next day I received my smoke kit from Smoking Airplanes and inventoried it. I had bought a few camlock connectors, from Agrimart, that I wanted to see if I could use them to make removal of the tank easier. From the initial setup I think I will be able to make these work.   


 Along with the different connections I also had them turn the pump 90° clockwise sonthatbthe output would be facing forward for easier access.  Another package that arrived was from Aircraft Spruce that had my brake master reservoir. The plans call for having one master reservoir and running plastic lines to each of the brake master cylinders on the rudder pedals. The ones I ordered are smaller and thread directly into the master cylinder for each of the brakes. This eliminates having the plastic lines and gives a nice clean look. 

 The only downside I can see with these reservoirs is that it limits the amount of forward movement if you put the rudder pedals in the furthest forward setting. This wouldn’t be a problem for me as I will most likely use the second or third setting which give me plenty of movement.  So I grabbed the rudder pedal assembly and installed the master reservoirs. Once I was happy with how they looked I installed the rudder pedal assembly into the forward fuselage. 

     Moving on the next task was to install the aft upper bulkheads.  Before I could do this I needed to take care of two tasks, the passenger shoulder harness connection points and the tiedown ring guesset. The harness attach points are pretty easy as you really just need to clean up the edges and carve out some of the end material to allow them to sit flush with the underside of the aft skin whil overlapping the bulkhead flange.  

   The tie down ring gusset was next. This gusset if structural support behind the passengers backrest bulkhead and the upper longeron. You also have the option of putting in a tie down ring storage in this spot. This is for the Van’s tie down rings that are meant to be removed before flight and stored here. If you can remember I went with smaller aftermarket ones that can stay in all the time. I still went ahead with the plans just in case I ever wanted the bigger rings I would have this done now. I bought som 3/8″ thick bar stock from McMaster Carr and cut and drilled per the dimensions. I then grabbed my tap set and tapped for 3/8″-16 threads needed.  

     Before riveting those in-place I put them on the bulkhead and matched drilled the longeron’s.  

   A couple days later I was finished with priming, painting and riveting all these parts.  

         Next I installed the upper flap moter bracket and installed the flap moter. I didn’t instal the lower end as the floors are not in yet.  

 From there I wanted to see if I needed to trim the bottom of the VS at the forward end. Some builders, including Glen, had to trim this a little as the skin was in contact with it. I guess I was lucky as mine was just fine.  When I called T to come look at the progress she made me get in a shot. 😀

             As with this entire build I got to take all the parts off including the VS so I could work the up and down travel of the elevators. There are two travel stops, one for the up and one for the down. These limit the travel of the elevator horns and can be adjusted. The forward movement or down elevator has a limit of between 20°-25°. As mine stood with no change I was at 23°. Due to the horns not being matched only the left one hit the stop when you really want both. After discussing this with my buddy I decided it’s not a big deal as it would be very rare if at all that you would got that stop in flight. So I left it as is and worked on the aft or up stop. This one could be hit inflight especially in acrobatics so I would work at it to get both hitting. The final product was to trim the right side of the stop to almost flush and the left about 1/4″ remaining. I angled both sides so that most of the flange of the horns came in contact. I achieved 26.8° with the range between 25° and 30°. I’m happy with this result.  

 Last night I decided to do a little work which consisted of installing the rudder cables. There are two protective sleeves one for the aft exit hole and one for the section that lies next to the passenger foot wells. You start from the aft end and feed the cable through snap bushings and holes in all the bullheads. Before going through the center section you need to secure the end of the protective sleeve to the floor support snap bushing. You drill a small hole in the sleeve and zip tie it to the bushing and bracket.  

 After feeding it through all the holes I went back to secure the aft end with an Adell clamp.  

   Here is a view of the cables running the length of the fuselage.  

   Some of you may notice an error in the last photo…yep I installed the forward sleeve aft of the secure point! It should be forward of that point and go into the yellow center section there by protecting the cable for the foot well. Not a big deal and I just cut the zip tie’s and slid them forward, put a new hole in that end and re zip tied them.  

   So that’s my multi day post. These next 5 weeks will be spuradic as I close on my home in 3 weeks and close on our new home in 5 weeks. That means reduced a Hangar time and a couple of weeks of no hangar time when we are homeless! I’ll try my best to keep you updated.  

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