Access covers/floor panels started

While waiting for a riveting partner to finish the forward side skins, I started to take tasks from the other sections ahead, so I started section 35 by fitting and drilling the rear floor pans.

The pans don't really go in without some serious deburring - the aft seat rail supports are about 1" wide, and the gap for them in the floor pan was only about 0.9" - I targeted a little slack and widened them to about 1.07", then they fit perfectly:

Trying to fit the rear floor pan
Floor pan gaps around aft seat rail support

I then clecoed them in place, final-drilled the holes to the adjacent ribs and rear spar, then match-drilled the forward holes into the main spar web:

Final-drilling floor pan attach holes

Match-drilling floor pan into main spar
After that, I removed them - which was in itself a challenge, since they go in pretty tightly and "snap" under the rear spar attach bar. I had to use two thin pieces of metal (two chip removing tools) to bring it over that edge, pulling them with clecos (there's also nowhere to grab):

Lifting the floor pan out of the rear spar attach bar

I then final-drilled the other holes (which were already dimpled in floor stiffeners, so no point in final-drilling together), then deburred the holes and edges of the pans, so they'll be primed on the next batch of parts, whenever that is.

Finally, I final-drilled most of the screw holes and deburred holes and edges on a pile of access cover parts:

Final-drilled and deburred access cover parts

Time lapse (now in 4K!):


Total access cover and floor panel rivets: 0
Total access cover and floor panel time: 7.8h

Fuselage side skin riveting continued

I got some new tools to try to get to all those side-skin rivets, and that was immensely helpful:

New riveting sets and bucking bars
We finished riveting both mid fuselage side skins, and the aftmost part of the forward side skin (where it's very annoying to rivet due to the large wing attachment bolts/nuts):

Riveted right mid fuselage-skin

Riveted left mid-fuselage skin

including all the bottom rivets that get done in this section:

Bottom rivets on the right mid-fuselage skin

I installed the rear seat vents:

Rear seat vent installed

Inside view of the rear seat vent

We then installed the mid cabin decks, and for bucking those rivets, we had someone inside the airplane for the first time!

Bucking the mid-cabin deck rivets



Riveted right mid-cabin deck

Riveted left mid-cabin deck

We also performed a bunch of smaller tasks, like riveting the nutplates on the forward cabin floor panels:

Nutplates riveted to forward cabin floor panel

We applied sealant (Firebarrier 2000) between the firewall and the forward side skins before we rivet it in place:

Applying sealant between the firewall bulkhead and the forward side skins

Firewall/side skin joint all sealed up!

Since we were playing with Firebarrier anyway, we also sealed up the gaps in the firewall recess:

Firewall recess corners filled with Firebarrier 2000

Time lapse (now in 4K, starting at 44:48):


Total fuselage side skin rivets: 1040
Total fuselage side skin time: 137.8h

Fuselage side skin riveting started

I finished dimpling and riveted most of the mid fuselage side skins, and the rear part of the forward side skins which will go underneath the mid-cabin deck (which is the next step, and will make it nearly impossible to get to some of those rivets). I did all the rivets I could do by myself:

Right mid side skin almost fully riveted to the understructure

Left mid side skin mostly riveted to the understructure

Center section side plate and center section bulkheads partially riveted to the side skin

Longeron fully riveted to the side skin

Some of these are relatively hard to reach with the bucking bar and/or only visible with a mirror:

Hard-to-reach and hard-to-see rivets underneath the outboard rib flange

Lots more riveting to come...

Time lapse:


Total fuselage side skin rivets: 724
Total fuselage side skin time: 120.5h

Fuselage side skin substructure riveting

Finally, I started riveting the fuselage side skin parts:

Fuselage bulkhead riveted to seat back brace

Left side of seat back brace, gusset, and mid-fuselage longeron riveted together

Right side of seat back brace, gusset, and mid-fuselage longeron riveted together

Mid-fuselage longeron riveted to forward gusset

Upper fuselage channel riveted to gusset

This section doesn't call for it at this time, but I added the nutplates on the upper fuselage channel since it's easier to do at this time:

Nutplates riveted to upper fuselage channels

I then riveted the channels to the firewall brackets - the ones closer to the firewall on the lower flange of the lower channels were the most annoying, since the firewall lower channel was not trimmed for this, but I got to most others with the squeezer:

Upper fuselage channel riveted to firewall upper angle

Lower fuselage channel riveted to lower firewall bracket

Bottom flange of lower fuselage channel riveted to lower firewall bracket

Inside view of the bottom flange of the lower firewall bracketed, riveted to the lower fuselage channel
and then the longerons to the forward gussets (to my own surprise, easily doable with the squeezer):

Forward fuselage longeron riveted to forward gusset

Fuselage channels and longeron riveted in place
as well as the bottom flange of the bulkheads:

Lower flange of the forward fuselage bulkhead, riveted to the lower fuselage channel

I also got a new dimpling bar which made it easy to dimple those #30 holes on parts that were already riveted in place:

Dimpled #30 holes on outboard rear seat rib

A missing step in the manual is to countersink this bulkhead hole for the dimpled hole that goes over it (the rivet is called out on the last page of section 29, but no other steps before then to actually allow the riveting):

Machine-countersunk hole for attaching forward fuselage rib

I also jumped a few steps ahead and back-riveted the vent doors:

Back-riveted vent doors

And in preparation for the big riveting (the actual skins), I started to remove the vinyl and dimple them:

Dimpled forward side skin

Mid fuselage side skins with vinyl removed
and finally, I riveted the baggage floor angles:

Right baggage floor angle riveted to skin

Left baggage floor angle riveted to shims and skin

Next up will be the actual riveting of the skins - exciting!

Time lapse:



Total fuselage side skin rivets: 225
Total fuselage side skin time: 106.9h

Rudder pedal brace riveted

This is part of the firewall section, but I delayed it until now in order to be able to test-fit the Control Approach pedals and match-drill its bearing block to the brace before priming.

It was only 5 rivets, but they're somewhat annoying by being nested in the firewall recess, and definitely require a second person driving the bucking bar unless you have really good skills and long arms:

Riveted rudder pedal brace
With this in place, I can continue assembly of the side skins.

Time lapse:


Total firewall rivets: 601
Total firewall time: 59.1h

Some remaining tasks from the forward fuselage bulkheads, ribs and bottom skin

When I primed the section 29 parts, I also included some parts that I had left behind from section 28, so I could (and needed to) finish that in order to complete section 29 where they're actually used. This involved riveting the mid-seat rail supports that go on top of the landing gear mounts:

Riveted mid-seat rail supports
It also meant dimpling the forward floor panels:

Dimpled forward fuselage floor panels

There are still the seat parts that I'll do later, since they're not needed now.

Time lapse:


Total forward fuselage bulkheads, ribs and bottom skin rivets: 836
Total forward fuselage bulkheads, ribs and bottom skin time: 132.9h

Fuselage side skin primer

Primer day!

We had quite a few parts to prime, so this took most of a day between scuffing with Prekote and applying the primer:

Fuselage side skin parts ready to scuff and prime

Lots of smaller parts to prime, from various sections (mostly section 29)

After many hours of work, the results were pretty good:

Primed parts (longerons, floors, cover, mid-cabin decks, etc.) laying on the fuselage

Primed forward side skins

Primed mid-fuselage side skins

Checking for primer defects

Primed small parts

I also took the opportunity to touch up on the primer of the side angles I had trimmed for access before:

Trimmed firewall side angle corner ready for primer touch-up

Touched-up firewall side angle corner

Once this cures, on to riveting!

Time lapse:



Total fuselage side skin time: 92.8h

Popular posts