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Archive for June, 2011

Riveting the Center Section, Part 3 – 3 hrs

June 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Jun 25, 2011

This morning I went out to Corona to fly a little in a Cessna 172N. I can’t wait to start flying my own RV-7A. I stopped by Aircraft Spruce for a few supplies while I was nearby. I bought a gallon of MEK because you can no longer buy it in Orange County I am told.

After getting back I attached the F-705 bulkhead and baggage ribs to the seat ribs and began riveting. It took longer than I expected but I finished riveting the skeleton minus the F-715 and F-623 ribs.

I torqued all the lock nuts including those for the seat belt brackets and torque striped them. Then I flipped it over and cleco’d on the bottom skin. So this is ready to start riveting again.

Here is a shot of the center section next to the aft fuselage. These two will be joined together in the not too distant future.

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Categories: Center Section, Fuselage

Riveting Center Section , Part 2 – 2 hrs

June 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday Jun 24, 2011

Tonight I finally got back to riveting the center section. In this session I riveted the F-714 ribs to the F-704 rear bulkhead and installed the AN3 bolts, washers, and lock nuts. You can’t use the squeezer here, you have to shoot them with a double offset cup set and bucking bar.

Categories: Center Section, Fuselage

Mounting Aileron Trim Servo Motor – 1 hr

June 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Wednesday Jun 22, 2011

I’ve been working extra long days this week so it’s been hard to get out to the shop. I did receive the missing aileron trim servo parts in the mail today from Vans. Thanks Ken! So with a time available I installed the link between the servo motor and the weldment arm. Then I aligned the weldment arm to the neutral position by measuring the distance between rib webs, dividing by two and placing the center of the end of the arm at the mid position. Then I removed the right rib so I could get access to drill the mounting holes using the servo motor holes as a guide. In this picture it is set up ready to drill.

In this picture I have drilled the holes to 9/64 for clearance for #6 screws and have the screws inserted to confirm alignment. With that done I can now get back to assembling the ribs to the spar and I won’t need a 90 degree angle drill later to install the motor.

Categories: Center Section, Fuselage

Riveting Center Section – 1.5 hrs

June 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Monday Jun 20, 2011

I called Vans this morning about the missing parts in the aileron trim subkit and Ken said they would send them right out, no problem. I appreciate that about Vans. It is so rare that I find something missing in the kit out of the thousands of parts that I turned everything over looking for those pieces. It is nice that Vans didn’t argue about it but just put them in the mail the same day.

I need those parts to align the trim servo motor before I rivet the center two ribs to the spar but I could go ahead and start riveting the crotch strap brackets to ribs 3 – 4 and 7-8. Since these are not attached to the spar yet I was able to squeeze solid rivets on all of these even though the instructions permit using pop rivets. So much the better.

I riveted both crotch strap bracket pairs to the ribs then I riveted ribs 3 and 4 to the spar. In addition there are two AN3-10A bolts on each rib with lock nuts that I installed but not yet torqued. In this picture the nuts that are not torqued striped are the rib nuts.

Categories: Center Section, Fuselage

Installing Aileron Trim Servo – 3.5 hrs

June 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Jun 19, 2011

Today I began the process of assembling the center section. It began by installing nutplates on the seat ribs. I did not think to take a picture of that. I also installed the access ribs onto the four center ribs using #8 screws and self locking nuts. Then as I was about to start riveting the crotch strap brackets to the rib I remembered that the aileron trim servo gets installed in between the center two ribs and I thought it might be smart to prep and align the parts now because it will be harder to install later, especially since I don’t have a 90 degree angle drill. So I located the aileron trim servo subkit and began working to the specific instructions provided with it. First thing to do was to mark a centerline on the angle bracket and match drill it to the seat pan. Then I cut a chamfer on one edge of the guide block.

In this photo I have mounted the bracket to the center two ribs and marked the ribs 1.032 down from the upper two holes to drill through.

Then I drilled two holes through the guide block to hold it to the bracket. I also made a notch for the cotter pin. Then I inserted the crank arm and marked it so I could cut the tubular body slightly below flush with the face of the block and used the drill press to drill a cross hole for the cotter pin.

Here is the assembled crank arm and guide block with the cotter pin installed.

Then I match drilled and installed four nutplates onto the angle bracket and dimpled the holes. There were some other minor steps that are clearly spelled out in the instructions but I forgot to take pictures. In this final shot tonight I have the angle bracket installed on the seat ribs with the crank arm. That is when I discovered that there are a few missing parts in the kit, namely the links that connect the servo motor to the crank arm. I’ll have to call Vans tomorrow to see if I can get those sent to me ASAP.

Categories: Center Section, Fuselage

Major Part Priming Session – 4 hrs

June 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Jun 18, 2011

I did some research on the installation of the harnesses today to determine where and how to drill the crotch strap brackets for the mounting bolt. The Hooker harness attachment needs to be 1/2 inch lower than the Vans standard hole but the Crow harnesses can be mounted at the standard hole location using the extended brackets from Crow drilled with a new 1/4 inch hole. Since I am planning on going with the Crow harnesses because they are way cheaper than Hookers and by all accounts just about as good I decided to go ahead and drill the crotch brackets to 1/4 inch at the standard hole location. I this photo you can see me using my drill guide to match drill through the pilot hole into the parallel bracket. Yes this photo is posed since I had to hold the camera with my right hand. I held the drill cup steady when drilling.

Then I opened the holes to 1/4 inch. Notice in this picture that the set on the left are flipped over compared to the right set. Both sets have the holes to the outboard side enlarged.

Then I broke everything down and commenced washing parts using Simple Green and water. That gets all the oils and aluminum dust off the surfaces. After drying a while I set up the spray gun and primed this large batch of parts including the inside of the bottom skin. The weather was great for priming after about 9:30 AM and I used the sun to help cure the primer after the parts were dry to touch. Here is the result laid out on the bench.

This shot shows the primed side of the skin. This session took about 1/3 quart of primer.

Categories: Center Section, Fuselage

Dimpled Center Bottom Skin – 1 hr

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday Jun 17, 2011

Tonight I dimpled the center bottom skin. Lots of holes in that thing!

Categories: Center Section, Fuselage