August 16, 2009

Installing the Aft Deck - 7.0 hrs.

I had an opportunity to put in a good session today, and I'm happy with what I was able to accomplish. The first step after flipping the fuselage upright is to level it in both axes, side-to-side and fore-and-aft and check with a precision level for any twist. So the first thing I did was cut down my forward sawhorse. In order to get it to a height of about 21", I cut about 6 inches off each leg. It really puts the fuse down to where working inside will be much easier. I still had to block up the tail quite a bit to get it all level. When all was said and done, there was less than 0.1 degree of twist. Easily pushed out by hand before clamping the aft deck in place.

With the aft deck clamped in place and everything still nice and level, I drilled it to the longerons. Then, I removed it and cleaned everything up, deburred the longerons, and started fabricating the three spacers that go in place on the aft end.

Here you can see the F-710C spacer taped to the F-710 bulkhead. I taped these temporarily in place for drilling. Below it is the F-711E spacer/elevator stop, also taped in place for drilling.

Then I clecoed the aft deck back in place and drilled the spacers to the deck and the bulkheads.

While I'm all set up with my tools and I'm in the mode of fabricating parts, I decided to take care of the F-712D elevator stop, too. It won't really be needed until time to attach the horizontal stabilizer and the vertical stabilizer to the fuselage, but why not do it now while I'm doing the others? So I took the time to get it finished and installed now.

Next came the usual tasks of deburring, scuffing and cleaning, and priming all these parts. Finally, hours later, they were ready for riveting.

Using my squeezer with two different yokes and lots of fiddling, I was able to reach and squeeze all but about a dozen of these rivets. I hammered the rest home with my rivet gun. I riveted the F-709 bulkhead in place before putting the deck down, so I was able so squeeze all of those rivets easily.

Close-up of the riveting detail. I also installed and torqued the two AN3-5A bolts on the F-712D up elevator stop, and sealed them. I'm real happy to get all this done. It really turned out nice. The aft end of my fuselage is finished!

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)