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Finished Right Wing Bottom Skin Riveting – 4 hrs

December 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday Dec 23, 2011
Yahoo! I finished closing up the right wing this morning. It took about an hour and a half to finish riveting the last two ribs and the front and rear spar sections between them on the outboard bottom skin. Here is a view of the finished wing still on the work table.

A package arrived from Tower Hobbies today with the control rod hardware I need to mount the Ray Allen POS-12 position sensor for the flaps. I got this parts tip from Mike Bullocks web site. Here are the parts I ordered.  You can see Mike’s installation here.

LXK088 THREADED COUPLER 2-56(0.074″), 2 ea.
LXK064 THREADED PUSHROD 2-56X12″, 6 ea.
LXK077 STEEL CLEVIS 2-56, 12 ea.

And here are the parts. I need one coupler, one pushrod, and two clevis’s for the flap setup but I may use the same approach to install an elevator trim position sensor also so I have extra hardware I can use for that.

I was at Lowe’s this morning and I picked up hardware store bolts for the upcoming wing assembly to the fuselage. I bought eight 7/16 bolts that are 4 inches long and one that is 6 inches to make a drift pin. In this picture you see one of the four inch bolts and the six incher that I modified. I cut off the threaded portion and ground the end of the shaft to a slight taper.

The bad news today is I tried to run the drift pin through the holes in the main spar and I found that it hangs up tight on the landing gear weldment holes. It seems that the holes are not quite large enough or are slightly off center to the spar holes. I wish I had discovered that before I “permanently” installed the weldments a couple months ago. Back when I installed them the plans warned me that I might need to file the holes for the weldment mounting bolts but I did not check the holes for the main wing bolts. My mistake.

So I started the process of removing the weldments so I can file the holes into submission. I got the left weldment removed and filed before I ran out of time (and steam) today. I still need to final torque the weldment bolts on this side.

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Categories: Fuselage, Fwd Fuselage, Skins, Wings

More Right Wing Bottom Skin Riveting – 4 hrs

December 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Thursday Dec 22, 2011

Ok, so I admit I am bouncing back and forth a bit between different parts of the project but that variety makes it more fun. this morning I finished building the right fuel vent line. No I didn’t screw it up on the last bend.

Later I continued riveting on the right outboard bottom skin. Here is one of the “down under through the hole” positions used to rivet along the aft spar. The skin is being held up by a string attached to a hook on the ceiling. Photo courtesy of my daughter Jessica.

I finished all but the last bay. The rest will be easy to set by comparison but I’ll have to finish those tomorrow.

Categories: Fuselage, Fwd Fuselage, Skins, Wings

Started Riveting Right Outboard Bottom Skin – 2.5 hrs

December 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Wednesday Dec 21, 2011

First topic today is a little clean-up task. When I installed the dynon pitot tube I mated the spade connectors that hook the pitot tube to the heater control unit. Afterward I realized I should have put a small piece of shrink sleeving on each one just as insurance that they can’t work themselves loose over the years of vibration. So today I demated each connector and installed that shrink sleeving. Here is a picture that shows you what I mean.

On a more major note I started installing riveting the outboard bottom skin onto the right wing today. Jennifer helped me with eight extra tough rivets but the rest I did solo. It would be faster if I had more help but Jennifer was only available for a few minutes. In spite of that I was able to make progress by myself. It’s getting a little easier because I am learning the best contorted position to get into for each rivet and I am getting to where I can pretty much tell by feel if each rivet is good when I set it. I inspect the shop heads of every rivet but I can now set two or three in a row as a group and inspect them as a group and that saves time compared to inspecting each head immediately after setting it.

I also did some work on the fuel vent line on the co-pilot’s side of the forward fuselage. This one is 90% done now if I don’t mess it up on the last bend and flair.

Finished Riveting Right Bottom Inboard Skin – 4 hrs

December 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Dec 18, 2011

This morning I had to keep the noise down since it was early so I worked on the short 3/8 inch fuel line that runs from the fuel selector to the Andair fuel filter. My first attempt was looking good and I thought I had it done until I noticed a small crack on the flair at the fuel selector end. The last thing I want is a leak in a fuel line. So I started over. My next three attempts were unsuccessful as you can see in the photo below. This task was tougher than I expected because the bends are so close to each other and the AN fittings. My Imperial tube bender does not easily do bends without about an inch of straight section between bends. Finally on the fifth try I got it right. Good thing I bought extra aluminum tubing.

Here is what the fuel line looks like installed but not yet torqued up. Note to self: I hope I don’t have to do another one of these.

Later in the day Jennifer was able to help me do some of the tougher rivets on the inboard bottom skin. I was able to finish it before shutting down for the day.

Categories: Fuselage, Fwd Fuselage, Skins, Wings

Started Riveting Right Wing Bottom Skins – 5 hrs

December 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Dec 17, 2011

Last night Denise and Jennifer helped me get the right wing moved to the work bench and this morning I started riveting the bottom inboard skin. Here is the wing set up to start. Notice the roll servo wires routed along the spar.

The first rivet is set!

Four hours later I had finished five rib rows of rivets, all solo except for five rivets that Jennifer helped me shoot. Not a bad start.

Categories: Skins, Wings

Finished Left Wing Bottom Skin Riveting – 5 hrs

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Dec 4, 2011

I finished riveting the bottom skins onto the left wing today. Not much more to say about that except my hands are sore from reaching into tight places with contorted positions and awkward grips and I have marks on my arms from pressing deep into the rib holes.

One wing down and one to go.

Categories: Skins, Wings

More Bottom Skin Riveting – 8 hrs

December 3, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Dec 3, 2011

Last night after work I made some more progress on the left bottom skin riveting with the help of my daughter Jennifer. In about an hour we riveted the two overlapping rows of the outboard skin. Scott said he would come over today at about noon to help me continue the skin riveting. So in the early hours this morning I worked on one of the fuel tank vent lines that routes through the front of the cabin. Here is the result of my efforts. It looks pretty much like the routing illustrated on the drawing. None of the fittings are torqued down but it fits pretty well.

Update: I learned later that the diagonal section at the top of the F-902 bulkhead needs to be larger in order to clear the F-768 outboard sub-panel which gets installed later. See my March 4, 2012 post. I wish I knew that on Dec 3, 2011! I had to remake this vent line to fix the problem.

When Scott arrived we jumped right in and continued riveting on the outboard bottom skin. He stayed three hours and we made good progress but it’s still slow and methodical. By the time he left we completed up to the row just prior to the pitot tube. After he left I was able to continue solo and complete one more bay including the pitot tube mast. I admit that I have wondered for a long time if the mast was going to be a problem but I could reach the rivets pretty well.

Categories: Fuselage, Fwd Fuselage, Skins, Wings