Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Forward skins and cockpit work.

I have have been making progress on the forward fuselage in recent weeks. I installed the floor ribs and then the floor skin was cut, bent, shaped and rivet holes drilled in preparation for its installation. In the 3rd photo below you can also see that I created the center control cover which is held in place by screws instead of rivets so it can be removed.

Click on images to enlarge

Next came prepping the side skins for installation. (These side skins were cut and sized last winter when the fuselage was still on the table.) This is a tedious process as you have to fit, remove, mark the hole locations, then drill holes in one piece, then debur them all. Then repeat the process with the adjoining piece until you have what you are looking for. I countersunk the lower longeron near the spar and dimpled the skin for flush rivet installation where the leading edge rib will be mounted later. I also creased any overlapping skin edges in hopes for a smooth, gapless edge once the rivets are installed.

I have yet to drill the rivet holes near the firewall or along the upper longeron as I still have work to do in these areas.

I then removed these skins so I could work on creating the interior side panels that go between F3 & F5 bulkheads. These panels will be made so I can remove them to have access to the landing gear bolts and rudder pedal cables.

In the series of photos below, you can see that I created a tab at the top of these panels that will sandwich the F5 bulkhead flange near the top. On my bulkheads, I found that the F5 flange becomes too narrow for me to install screws. This tab will make the panel fit snugly with the flange at the top.

In the photo below, you can see that I also created an angle from some .032 aluminum stock to hold the bottom edge of the panels in place. I slid these angles between the floor skin and the outer floor ribs so they can share the same rivets.


I still have some work on all of the above and should have pictures of the final product in the near future.

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