Mid-fuselage bulkheads started

The fuselage starts with the center bulkhead, doing lots of drilling:

Forward center section bulkhead parts match-drilled
then also drilling into the steel landing gear mounts:

Forward center section bulkheads with landing gear attachments

Drilled and bolted landing gear attachments
I had to significantly enlarge some holes for snap bushings where the rudder cables run  (it looks too close to the edge, but it's what Van's says to do...):

Snap bushing holes on center and side forward center bulkheads
and finally, a bunch of countersinking for flush rivets and screws:

Countersunk screw and nutplate rivet holes on the side bulkheads

Countersunk nutplate rivet holes on the mid seat rail supports

This was only the first part (the center section) and there are 3 more (the other half of the center section, the rear spar bulkhead and the fuselage bulkhead), so there's still a lot more drilling and countersinking to do.

Time lapse:


Total mid-fuselage bulkhead rivets: 0
Total mid-fuselage bulkhead time: 8.8h

Fuselage kit inventorying

I spent a good 7 hours between inventorying the fuselage kit and putting away all the hardware (which involved reorganizing the hardware bins). Luckily, for the inventorying, I had help from friends:

Rick and Jay helped inventory all the parts :)

Time lapse:


Bottom wing skin cracks

After sanding and priming the lap joint area on the inboard skin (which was a bit tricky given the skin was already riveted in place), I came back the next day to find this:

OMG a crack! :'(
After a few moments of utter panic as I saw a crack propagating, I contacted Van's, which assured me that the area is not structurally significant, and suggested two options:
  • Filling the cracks with JBWeld: I was really surprised by this, as I thought the crack would continue to propagate anyway, but they swear it won't.
  • Cutting off the corner: they say this should be fine, though less aesthetically pleasing due to the reduced thickness

I was way more comfortable with the second option, so I did that - it indeed doesn't look pretty, and I may still need a small doubler around that rivet hole to adjust the thickness, but I'm comfortable that the skin will stay in one piece now:

Cracked corner removed

As if that weren't enough, as I was dimpling the pitot mount screw holes on the other skin, some cracks showed up on the #8 dimples:

Cracks on the pitot mount screw hole dimples

so I had to file those down, which deforms the holes (but should be ok for screws):

Filed pitot mount screw holes
On the outside, it doesn't look perfect, but should not be even remotely visible:

Pitot mast holes on the bottom wing skin
In the meantime we also primed the other parts (such as the left bottom wing skin), and ultimately clecoed them in place and removed the blue pastic around the rivets, so they're ready to rivet and finally be done with the wings!


I'll make a separate post about the wing wiring and electrical planning.

Time lapse:


Total bottom wing skin rivets: 433
Total bottom wing skin time: 67.3h

Fuselage kit arrival

The fuselage kit is here!!

We opened up a lot of space in the garage, thinking that the crates would be huge:


Turns out, the crate is actually much smaller than that of the QB wing:

First glance

Uncrated fuselage kit

Now on to inventorying while I finish riveting the bottom wing skins.

Unboxing time lapse:


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