Bottom Skins Done

Time: 6 Hours

I got back from my 2 week trip, 1 week in Vegas/California and 1 in Tucson for my 6 month flight training and checkride. The first couple of days back were given to cleaning house, doing laundry and finishing errands. My girl is moving to Chicago with me from Omaha next week so I had to prepare the house for her and some of her belongings. After that stuff was done I planned a breakfast with my buddy Glen for this morning. I am so lucky that he is always willing and able to come give me a hand when needed! I was at the stage of needing to rivet the bottom skins in preparation for attaching the landing gear. We first started with the forward crossmember and riveted it to the forward floor as those rivets will be covered up by the bottom skins. Next up was to rivet the two forward bottom skins. Before that could be done you need to deal up some of the edges where the floor meets the firewall to prevent any oil, gas or fumes from entering the aircraft. I mixed up some ProSeal and sealed all those areas.

We then installed the two bottom skins and riveted all the parts together along the lower longeron. We then did all the holes on the inboard side of the skins. With the skins in place we moved aft and finished up all the holes on the lower longeron followed by the forward flange of the center section. With the center section firmly in place I was able to remove the bolts that I was using as spacers for the wing spar attachment. We then put in al the screws, washers and nuts in all the gear tower skin holes, there were a few that had me swearing like a sailor!

Since the ProSeal was still workable we used it and moved on the the cooling ramp. Same theory is applied to keep bad stuff out of the aircraft by sealing up the contact points. We first riveted the ramp to the firewall and bent it down to rivet the forward edge to the floor.

While I has some ProSeal still available I grabbed the rear seat vent pass thru to seal and rivet it in place. This will help with cold air infiltration and help keep that passenger warmer durning cold flights.

I moved over to the cooling ramp and taped off the side wall and the ramp to create a small opening right along the gap that was at the the ramp/bottom skin joint. I mixed up another batch of ProSeal and filled that gap. I used my finger with a glove on and smoothed the sealer to make a nice filet. After removing the tape I cleaned up any mess I made.

I spent a while cleaning up all the mess we made in the shop as well as all the sealer on the clecko’s. I was going to call it a day but just had to put the gear in place. I was able to get most of the bolts with the nuts except 4. Next week we will get to torquing all the bolts and flip this bad boy back over and let it sit on its legs!

Another great day in the Hangar and wouldn’t have been with out the help of my buddy Glen!

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