Cabin cover countersinking, overhead console started

After removing the cabin cover from the fuselage once again, I worked on the rivet backup strips, which are used to attach the cabin cover more securely to the adjacent aluminum skins:

All backup strips match-drilled and clecoed in place

The aft flange backup strip gets trimmed to fit with the side-skin flange backup strip:

Mid-side-skin backup strip and tailcone-forward-top-skin backup strip

I made a small jig to let me countersink the mid-side-skin and tailcone-top-forward-skin flanges, as well as check the depth while countersinking:

Countersinking jig for cabin cover flange holes

Using this, I then countersunk all flange holes:

Countersunk cabin cover attachment holes

In the mean time, I got a "little package" from Aerosport, with the overhead console plus servo controllers (for the vent tee servos):

Aerosport console, as it was delivered

Aerosport Console, Switch pod and one of the vents

The first step in installing it is, of course, finding the center of the cabin cover (which is also an important step in attaching the center brace). I tried two techniques on the front and back - to use some tape around the edge and then finding its center, then using the center of the center hole on the back, and tracing a line through the center of the door attachment recesses - they all matched up nicely with the tape, so I'm confident I got the right center:

Tape around the cabin cover aft flange for marking its center point

Marking the center of the forward part of the cabin cover

To make the overhead console flush with the tailcone/baggage bulkhead, it needs to be a little farther forward than the factory shape, so I cut off about 1/2" from the side flanges:

Aerosport overhead console, notched to fit in the cabin cover

With the center marking, we could also attach the center brace. It's positioned using a .032" shim below it (plus we had to slightly enlarge the skin opening for it, due to some "fat" welding at the base):

Spacer for positioning the center brace

Filing the skin brace opening a little wider

Center brace on position with spacer

We match-drilled the center brace to the cabin cover, using a drill guide to make sure all of them were at the same angle:

Center brace attached to cabin cover

The holes were then enlarged, and filled with small segments of aluminum tubing - which was initially slightly too long, so we countersunk it all the way until the screws were flush (which actually took a long time, partly because it took a lot of adjustment as the spacers were sliding down with the force of the countersinking):

Spacers in place, sticking out of the cabin cover (they were flush with the bottom side)

Spacers after countersinking

Done countersinking the spacers

Screws sitting flush on the cabin cover

Finally, we match-drilled the forward cabin rib holes into the steel center brace and angle:

Center brace bolted to panel rib

With this, most short-term steps for the cabin cover are done, and the main tasks left in this section are transparencies and actually final-attaching it to the fuselage. We're skipping the transparency steps that would happen now until after the panel is in place, and I even excluded the parts from the kit so I can get the Cee Bailey's version.

Time lapse:

Total cabin cover rivets: 0
Total cabin cover time: 55.6h