Forward fuselage ready to attach

We continued riveting the forward fuselage parts, which is now about bringing large parts together:

Firewall parts mated with the forward fuselage bottom skin and ribs

This involves using a layer of sealant between the firewall bulkhead and the bottom skin - I used the 3M Firebarrier 2000, as others before me have, for some added fire protection:

Firewall bulkhead clecoed with sealant to the forward bottom skin

Once the sealant cured, I riveted the parts together:

Firewall bulkhead riveted to the forward bottom skin
We proceeded to rivet the forward fuselage ribs to the bottom skin, which required some challenging positioning (or longer arms than my wife has), so we supported the firewall bulkhead in the right places for her to put her knees down on it:

Wife trying to find a good way to buck the rivets at the bottom flanges of the forward fuselage ribs
Wood supporting the firewall bulkhead to she could support her knees on it



and with that, got the whole thing riveted:

Fully riveted forward fuselage ribs (except the aft 4 holes)

The spacing between the forward fuselage rib and the forward fuselage bulkhead (per the previous post) worked out great and I riveted the parts together:

Forward fuselage bulkhead riveted to attach angle, with proper spacing to the nutplate

We then attached the floor ribs to the surrounding parts. Some pop rivets are used in the tighter area attaching the ribs together:

Inboard floor ribs riveted to forward fuselage bulkhead and firewall bulkhead

Finally, we attached the center section bulkhead, by bolting/torquing its web to the ribs then riveting them:

Forward fuselage parts attached to center section bulkhead

Special note goes to my newest accessory, rivet set caps - I thought this was silly, but the difference in the resulting rivet heads is blatant - even the coating of the heads was entirely preserved:

Rivets done with the caps (left row) vs rivets done without it (right 2 rows)

The next step is the big attachment - mating the forward fuselage to the mid fuselage. We're doing the two sections in parallel, so we now need to finish riveting the mid fuselage.

Time lapse:


Total forward fuselage ribs and bottom skin rivets: 578
Total forward fuselage ribs and bottom skin time: 101.1h

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