Time: 6 Hours
As the title says, everything you do with this building process you first build the section with all the parts in place and do your fabrication and match drilling. When that’s done you get to tear it all down so that the holes you just match drilled can be deburred and dimpled(if necessary). But Before I got started on the tear down I had received a small package in the mail from Van’s containing 2 parts I had ordered. The first was the replacement gussets that I accidentally match drilled in the wrong place last week. The other was a replacement of the left arm rest where the rear seat throttle is. I had made the rectangular hole I cut a little bigger than it needed to be. Would the first one have worked ok, yes but it was bugging me a little. So when I ordered the gussets I added it to the order. Fast forward to today when I got it out of the USPS plastic envelope that Van’s used and this is what it got:
The aft end of the arm rest has been smashed down flattening out the 3 flanges a little. I could fix those but the flat part of the arm rest has a dent in it due to the smashing and that I couldn’t fix. So I called Van’s and sent them photos and all the info hoping they will send me another one soon. The gussets were fine and that’s where I started today. It was a quick hop to clean up the edges of the gussets and put a bevel on one edge to fit with the inside corner of the mid longeron. Then match drilled and they were done.
After that little detail was finished it was time to do the tear down. Not much to show in this process as I just worked backwards from assembly.
That took a an hour or so to tear everything down and I had a close call with the long tailcone skins as I had removed the forward most bulkhead early which gave the skins structure when I installed them. Without them there as I removed the last side clecko’s the 2 skins started to fall away from the main section of the fuselage. Basically they tried to curl outward at the aft end. Luckily they didn’t go to far and I was able to coral them before they creased themselves! Whew! I organized the parts from this year down and moved on. The next list of steps on several pages in the manual are simply countersinking the various holes that will accept the bottom skins and the side skins. I slid the main section of the fuselage to the back of my bench, with ballast in the front part, so the center section was hanging off so I had access to the two rows of holes that are on the forward and aft flanges of the center section wing attach points. I needed to counter sink those holes so they would accept the dimples of the mid fuselage bottom skin. After that I moved the fuselage back to the proper place on the workbench. I then started the fun process of countersinking all the parts I removed. The plans lay out the order and I just check each item off as I go. The items I got done today were the lower longeron, mid aux longeron and the gear tower box plates.
Not a lot of cool photos today since it is just boring drilling. I use my cordless drill on its slow speed as it gives me better control of the countersinking. I’m glad I have 2 batteries for this as there are a lot of holes. Tomorrow I will get back at the drilling and keep forging on.