Forward fuselage ribs and bottom skins complete

We riveted the center section side plate to the surrounding parts:

Center section side plate riveted to the bulkhead side channel

Center section side plate riveted to the forward bottom skin and bulkhead side channel

To install the floor panel again, of course I had to remove one of the bolts I previously installed, since it's in the way:

Bolt that prevented me from installing the floor panel

Then we tried to install the landing gear mounts, to drill some holes against the forward floor panels. First, it wouldn't go in, so I had to bevel a corner of the center section bulkhead (per the recommendation on the manual):

Trimmed corner of the center section bulkhead, to fit the landing gear mount

With that, the mount went in (kinda, sorta):

Fitting the landing gear mount

Such a simple task, it should have been - pop the mounts in, make two holes, take it out, done. Except nothing lined up:

Misaligned landing gear mount holes

Turns out the part was catching on the seat rail supports:

Seat rail supports where they were preventing the landing gear mount from sitting in the right position



After trimming that, the front part was catching and also needed some significant trimming:

Aft flange of the seat rail supports that were also interfering with the landing gear mount

Trimmed seat rail support to allow landing gear mount installation

Since that removed a lot of the primer, we touched it up with the rattle-can type:

Primer touch-up on trimmed center section bulkhead corner

Primer touch-up on seat rail support

With that one also out of the way, now the mount flange was not parallel (grrrr), so (per Van's recommendation) we beat it with a hammer back to where it should be:

Landing gear mount flange, not parallel to the side plate

Landing gear mount flange, now parallel to the side plate

Landing gear mount flange with shim in place

With that, over 10 hours of careful work later, we could tighten the bolts and mark the intersection of the rivet hole line and edge distances on the mount:

Installed landing gear mount

Landing gear mount forward brace mount plate in place

Landing gear mount forward brace mount plate with hole locations marked

Landing gear mount forward brace mount plate, drilled for AN3 bolts

The other holes to drill were through the shim and landing gear mount flange:

Landing gear mount flange and shim with holes drilled

Side skin through which the landing gear mount flange holes go

Finally, I removed the side skins, drilled nutplate attachment holes where the landing gear mount "leg" bolt holes are, and riveted the nutplates:

Landing gear mount forward brace mount plate holes with nutplate attachment side holes

Installed nutplates for the landing gear mount forward brace mount plate bolts

With all this, the section is finally complete (except for the few items that this section would have me build but not use, like the seat floors). Now comes the dreaded section 29 (side skins).

Time lapse:


Total forward fuselage ribs and bottom skins rivets: 786
Total forward fuselage ribs and bottom skins time: 131.8h

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