Build Log RV-10 #1

Blog for a Vans RV-10 Airplane Build

Wing Attachment - For Fit

The forecast was for a beautiful weekend so got some friends to come over and help put the wings on for the first time.  We started on Friday evening and by end of day Saturday, the wings were removed and put back into the shop.  Was a great site seeing the wings on.  A major milestone has been accomplished.

Taking off the wings was a hard thing to do, mentally.  Oh well, they have been on, fit was exceptional and all pieces have been fit and formed per the instructions.

And now that they have been removed, I can finish the last steps of getting the pieces riveted and primed for when final assembly comes.

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Finish Kit Arrival

Never thought I would be this far along yet, but the final kit I will be  getting from Vans came by truck today, 01/05/2012.  Not a real big  crate but they sure can pack the stuff in there. 

Really looking forward to getting started on this part of the construction.  Have not had a chance to do inventory but will start this weekend.

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Wingtip Installation

 Decided to get the wings wrapped up as much as possible so they can be stored away until it is time to do prep and paint work.  Was not really looking to do fiberglass work. Mostly because I have not had any experience with this type of work, and because it is very messy.  Oh well, had to start sometime.

Started by trimming the edge of the wingtips lip that attaches to the wing skin to 1/2 inch.  Also trimmed the after portions, the top is trimmed in enough so that there is a small gap between the tip and the aileron an on the bottom the same plus a bit for the aileron hinge.  Used a cutoff wheel to make all the cuts and it worked great.  Finished the edges with a hand block sander.

I then installed the wingtips to the end of the wing and match drilled the attach holes, starting in the front going from top to bottom and working back, installing clecos in each hole as I progressed.  Once screw holes were match drill, I match drilled the holes for rivets to attach the nutplates.  The holes were the countersunk for heads of the rivets.  Installed all the nutplates.

Once the nutplates were attached, I used a countersink with the end cut off. As long as you go slow and are carefull, this seems to work quite well.  Also dimpled the wing skins to accept a #6 screw.

When I first attached the wingtip with clecos, everything worked and looked perfect.  Then when I went to re-attach with screws, I ended up with a bulge issue towards the aft end. Can see pictures here.  After working the holes, redimpling, cutting the rear of the tip apart (needed to be done anyway as the tip was about 3/4" to long) and installed the tip rib, glassed the end back together, it all worked out pretty good.  The bulge is now gone.  I did the same installation process with the other tip and had no issues.  Am wondering if I had a bad constructed wing tip.  Took a bit of work and time but happy with how it fits now.

Match drilled the tip for the rib and attached.  Filled in the gap between with West Systems and fill so that it is flush with the end of the wingtip.

Now that the tips are screwed on and fit good, there is a small gap where the lip of the wingtip attaches to the wing.  This creates no problem, but do not like the cosmetic look.  So I decided to tape off the end of the wing and fill this gap in using West Systems resin mixed with some filler.  Let this dry  overnight and sanded to match the height of the skin.  Now the tip is a perfect match to the skin.  Looks much better and worth the extra time.

Next was to install the wingtip lenses.  I purchased a different set of lenses from Vans Aircraft Tires that are precut and the ones I received fit right out of the box with very little fitting.  Once fit and nutplates installed for attaching, I did the same method to fill the gap between the wingtip lip and the lens as I did on the wingtip and skin edges.  This worked very well, and again made the lenses look like a perfect match.

I then measured and drilled the holes for the Nav Strobe lights.  I chose to use the Pulsar EXP from AeroLED.  They are a tight fit as they need to be completed back as far as possible or they will hit the lens in the front.  Got the mounts installed but they will have to be removed and once the tips are painted will be reinstalled for good.  Will not be putting the landing lights in the tips as I chose to utilize the Duckworks mounts for the leading edges of the wing.

The wingtips are now done until prep and paint so will be installed temporarily to the wings and stored until needed later.

Click on images for a view of full gallery. 

Landing Lights - Duckworks and AeroLED

Due to many other builders having issues with the factory placement of the landing lights in the end of the wingtips, I chose to forgo the factory option and utilize a kit made by Duckworks Aviation.

This kit moves the landing lights from the wingtips and puts them just inboard of the wing end into the leading edge.  Installing is a straight forward process but is a bit nerve racking cutting a hole in the front of wing leading edge.  There are many kits from Duckworks that fit different lighting options.  I chose the blank mount so I could cut and do my own mounting of the landing lights. The landing lights I will be installing are the Sunlite from AeroLED.  Besides the bit of cutting I will have to do for the light mounting, the kit is very complete and nothing else is needed to complete.

Starting out is to cut the hole in the leading edge using a supplied template.  I cutout the template and taped to the leading edge, marked and cut with a dremel and cutoff wheel.  Finished off the edges with a file and sanding wheel on the dremel.

Next is to mark holes that need to be drilled for nutplates in two of the most outboard wing ribs.  These nutplates will be used to hold the landing light mounts that will go between the two outer ribs.  Got these drilled and the nutplates were riveted in place.

The landing light mount needs to be cut and extended using some aluminum angle.  This is so that you can get a perfect fit of the mount between the wing ribs.  Very easy to do, just takes a bit of time to get the width perfect. Once I got the fit right, the mount was riveted together.  I then measured for the cutout for the landing light and mount and got everything cut and mounted.

I then moved onto getting the pieces that hold the leading edge lenses in place match drilled to the skin.  There is one for the top and one for the bottom.  The top one is riveted into place and the bottom one will have screws that hold the lens in place.

With the lense holders in place, I cut the lenses for the opening per the instructions.  Tried to cut with a band saw and got the first one right to the end and it snapped.  Had to order a new lens.  Chose to use a dremel and cutoff wheel after that and it worked great.  The lenses need to be trimmed just perfect to fit in the top and bottom holders or there will be a gap between the leading edge and the lens.  This takes a lot of trial and error but take your time and it will all work out.

The final part is to install the landing light mounts between the wing ribs with screws. Then to install the lenses. This is a bit tricky because you need to get the lens in the top mount, the using tape placed on the outside of the lens, pull it forward and then try to get the bottom mount in place and screws started.  This was a real pain but eventually got them in and done.

Hooked the lights up to a battery to see how they worked and if the amount of light would be sufficient.  I think they will be just fine.

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Bottom Wing Skins

This part was left quite a while back as I was not sure exactly what I was going to install for lights, antenna, pitot, AOA, Stall Warning, Autopilot servos, etc.  So, I think I got what everything so far that I want.  Even if I do not, I do have some options to get more wiring in there if needed.

I clecoed the bottom wings skins on and match drilled all the holes common to the ribs, main spar and rear spar.  The skins were then removed and deburred, dimpled and primed.  Also, the two overlapping skins were sanded down where they overlap to make a more appealing seam.  The wing ribs and j-stiffeners were then deburred and dimpled.

The j-stiffeners were put in place and then inboard skins were clecoed to the rear spar and wing ribs down to the j-stiffeners.  Starting in the middle of the skin, I installed the rivets moving to each side until the spar was completed.  Working down a couple of rivets at a time, I completed the riveting to the wing ribs, then did across the j-stiffener.  Once that was done, I finished the rest of the bottom skin off in the same way, leaving the double row of rivets that the outboard skin overlapps.

Then clecoed the outboard skin to the rear spar and starting at the designated point, I did the same routing as the inboard skin but this time leaving the 3 outboard ribs undone until last. Then worked one rivet at a time towards the outboard edge until the skin was completely finished.

I left the most inboard rib nutplates until last, these were then done and the wing bottom skins are finished. 

If you have anyone that could help with these skins, I think it would be very helpful.  I did all the rivets myself except for about 10 in each wing that my wife Stacey helped with.  Left lots of markes and cuts on the arms trying to reach into the ribs through lightning holes and under the skin.  Oh well, another section done.

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Pitot Tube Installation - Gretz

For the pitot tube, I chose not to utilize the factor option and instead purchased a heated pito tube manufactured by Angus Aviation, the Gretz Pitot.

Starting out this section is to determin the location for the pitot tube.  I chose to use the bay just outward of the inspection access plate on the bottom side of the wing. You need to plan this installation a bit because you want to be able to remove the pitot if needed and also get at the electrical connections and tubing connections.  This pitot comes with a control board and it must be within a certain distance of the pitot, the wires that come from the pitot and attach to the control board cannot be lengthened.  I chose to put in on the outboad rib just inside of the inspection plate.

The process starts with fabricating a aluminum angle that will be attached to the wing rib, the will have holes match drilled into the bottom that will go through the mounting plate and the bottom wing skin.  When riveting to the wing rib, make sure that you offset it up enough for the mounting plate to be mounted on top as so the bottom wing skin does not bulge out.

Angle is made and riveted.  Next is to get the mounting plate marked for the placement of rivet holes holding the backing plate to the skin.   I used the wing spar to get the main holes drilled and then clecoed that to the skin and drilled the rest of the holes through the skin and mounting plate using the template that was included. Also marked and drilled the #8 holes for attaching the mounting plate and the pitot tube mounting bracket.

Once everything was marked and drilled, I cleaned, deburred and prepped, all parts were primed.

The items in this section will be riveted on when final riveting is done to the bottom wing skins.

Finished mounting the control board and running the wires to the wing root through the conduit in addtion to a #14 black and a red wire for power and ground were also run to the wing root.  The wring was then connected to the control board per the instructions.

Ran the pitot line from the wing root through the wing ribs to where the pitot will be installed leaving enough extra for a service loop.

Everything has been attached and riveted for the mounting bracket and the bottom wing skins.  The rest of the pitot tube will be installed and connected when the wings are attached.

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Pitch Servo Installation

Received the pitch servo and bracket so thought I would change course a bit and get that installed.  This was a very easy process. 

You start by simply attaching the servo to the bracket in the kit.  May want to prime this before.  Go the bolts in and I decided tie wire everything so that I know it will not come loose.

Take out the screws holding the pitch push rod and than reattach only this time put the bracket in first. Tighten per toque values.

Measure out the on the bellcrank where the the pushrod from the servo will be attached.  Installed the bolt and nut and that is about it.

For the wiring, I ordered a harness kit from Stein Air and will install once it gets here.

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Aileron Trim System

Purchased the Aileron trim system and decided to get it installed in the wing before riveted on the bottom skins.

This was fairly quick and was straight forward.  Pulled out all the parts, cut them as directed, deburred all the edges and clecoed together for final drilling.

Got all the final drilling done and prepped all parts for priming.  While they were drying, I went ahead and ran the wires the the wing conduit to the wing root.  Only going to leave enough wire to get to the outer fuselage as I plan to put on a some bulkhead CPC connectors so that if I ever need to remove the wings, the wiring connections will not be an issue.  Also on the ends of the wiring, I am installing AMP connectors again so that the items can be removed and inspected as needed.

Parts are all dry now so I finished Riveting the items together.  The trim servo attaches to an inspection plate so that also needs to be measured for 8R8 screws that will go through the inspection plate into the bottom of the servo attach brackets.  These also need to be dimpled for flush # screws.

Now that that is completed, the last part is to attach a couple of brackets to the aileron pushrod assembly.  Got the locations marked per the directions and installed with rivets. 

The servo can now be screwed to the inspection plate and then springs coming from the aileron pushrod assembly can be connected to the arm coming off the servo.  Once those are on, connect the wire connectors and attach the inspection plate to the bottom wing skins.  Finished.

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Flap System

Today I finished up the flap system installation.  Started off by getting the holes marked and match drilled for the flap torque tube, flap crank and the flap horn.  Make sure that you take a bit of time to observe this.  There is a certain way that these go together and can be screwed up pretty easily.

Once I figured out the correct orientation, I attached te bellcrank jig to the flap horn, bolted the assembly to the table and drilled the bolt holes for the flap horn and flap crank.  then dissassembled and deburred. 

Moved on to fabricating 4 UHMW Bushings that go over the flap torque tubes and bolt onto the fuselage.  You only have to remove part of the blocks, but decided to take off all the acceptable areas and round the corners.  This took a bit of time but glad with the results.

Then installed the torque tubes into the fusalege and got the bushing blocks bolted into place.  Did not mark the parts after match drilling so I installed the the parts and then found they were wrong and had to start over swithing the torque tubes to the other side.  The torque tubes were then bolted to the flap crank and then bolted the flap arms to the torque tubes.  These are a bit tricky to do because of the small space to work on when installing the bolts in the flap arms.  Pain in the butt.  Got pretty good with a system since I got to do it twice.

I then fabricated the WD spacers from AT6 X 058 X 3/8 tubing for the flap motor attachement.  Drilled a hole in the end of the flap motor rod to accept safety wire.  Then bolted the flap motor assembly into the fuselage per the instructions.  Got everything attached and tested operation of the motor. Everything worked great with no binding. Another section completed.

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Control System

This weekend I started working on tghe control system.  However, mad some mistakes and had to quit.

Started off by fabricating the elevator push tubes.  Got them cut to length the using the template, marked the holes to be drilled for riveting the threaded rod ends.  Holes were marked and drilled.  I did do both tubes at the same time so that I could get them coated on the inside with Akzo primer.  Made up a batch and poured inside getting them coated.  Set aside to dry and will finish riveting the ends in tomorrow.

Moved on to getting the jam nuts put on all rod end bearings. Then worked on the Aileron pushrods.  Installed the rod end bearings in each and all jams tightened to where the pieces are to the correct length.

I then started to work on the elevator idler arms and got them put together with clecos and then started to match drill.  For some reason I decided to not align the holes in the flange bearing and proceeded to drill completely new holes.  Once I realized this, time to stop and order a new flange bearing.  This probably was not a big deal but bothered me enough to set aside until new part arrives.

The pushrods then dried overnight so I installed and riveted the threade rod ends in and then got a coat of primer put on the oustide.  Again set aside for a day to let dry. 

While they were drying I moved on to the controls sticks.  Got the control stick base aligned up correctly and drilled to the control sticks.  This was a bit tricky but took my time and everything worked out good.

I then got the control column prepped and installed into the fuselage, bolted and torqued per specs.  Next was to get the control stick bases installed to the control column but there are a couple of bronze bushings that need to be opened up enough for a AN4 Bolt.  I did not have a reamer so I tried to use a 1/4 drill in a drill press to get them to the right size.  This ended in complete failure and ruined the bushings. 

Now that I have a couple of different pieces that I screwed up on and ruined. I am stopping with this section and will finish when I get new parts from Vans.

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Rudder Pedals and Brake Lines

My first decision with this section was to replace the brake pedals that came with the kit with a set of Sure Grip Pedals from Cleaveland Tools.  These have two seperate spots for your feet and decreases the chace that you would ride the brakes while taxing.  They are just plain stainless steel frames so I had them powder coated in chrome.  Turned out pretty good.

I also made the decision to not use the Vans brake hose setup.  Instead I used all braided lines custom made from Bonaco.  These hoses fit great, all where made to custom length with Brent at Bonaco now having a a complete set that you can order.  The lines come cut to length with the ends already on the hoses.  Definitely like this option much better than the ones Vans uses.

Once all replacement parts came in, I started installing the brake master cylinders to the pedals and the brake pedal sub assembly.  Then cut the bearing block in half that goes in the center of the sub assembly.  All holes were drilled according to the instructions.

The next step is to bolt the bearing blocks to the fuselage longeron.  There are two sets of holes that can be used depending on how close you prefer to have the pedals to the seat.  I chose the aft ones due to me being a bit vertically challenged.

Now that the pedals and assembly is installed, just have to run the brake lines and install the brake reservoir to the firewall.  This was pretty straight forward, just needed to find out which hose went where.

Then you are to hook up the pedals to the rudder cables.  When running these cables from the rear of the fuselage, make sure that you have the correct end going to the front.  Also, make sure that you cross the cables once they pass through the first set of snap bushings.  The snap bushing will need to be removed from the holse and squeezed a bit to allow the rudder cable end to pass through, then they can be pushed back in to place.

Made the four rudder cable links and installed as directed by the manual.  That was it, pretty straight forward and simple.  Went fairly quick also.

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Fuel System

I started this section according to the instructions and soon made to take a different approach.

My decision was to change pretty much everything.  I started with purchasing a new fuel valve from Andair (part #EFS20x7-T,3/8) in addition to the Andair fuel pump (PX375B-40A-5-28) and fuel filter (FX375MK).  In addition to the Andair equipment, I also decided to not use the normal aluminum fuel lines and had some custom stainless lines made by Bonaco Hoses and Fittings.  The Bonaco hoses I had made run from the firewall with a different bulkhead fitting also from Andair down through the tunnel to the fuel pump/filter then up to the fuel selector.  Then two lines coming from the valve down to the fitting that runs through the tunnel wall.  Then two more lines, one for each side that run from the tunnel to the fuselage fitting.  I also plan to have two more lines made up that will run from fuselage to the wing tanks.

Utilizing the Andair fuel valve and extension, the Vans bracket had to be removed and a new one made.  I did use the same mount holes be made the bracket a bit larger.

Overall, this installation was very easy to install and looks really good.

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Brake Lines

When it came to installing the brake lines.  I made the decision to include a parking brake system from Matco.  This can be ordered in a full kit from Airward.  Comes with everything you need including mount for the firewall.

In additon to this, I decided to not use the Vans supplied brake lines and go with a braided set that I had made by Bonaco.  This was a great decision.  Brent from Bonaco did a great job and now has a set as part of his catalog so you do not need the measurements, he now has them.

Installation was pretty quick and easy, just need to find out which hose goes where and then tighten them down.  All done and looks great.

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Baggage Door

Started June 3rd - 2011

Write up coming soon.

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Baggage Area

Started 4/14/2011

Started this section off today with clecoing the rear seat floor to the rear seat ribs.  Match drilled the inboard attach holes and screw holes per instructions.  Then cut and clecoed the hinges for the lower seat  haves.  Once all clecoed I match drilled all the required holes and removed the rear seat floors to install the nutplates on the inner portion of each seat.

Next was to locate the baggage door shim and lower baggage door seal channel and then cleco and match drill them. Did the same with the upper baggage door seal channel. Once these were clecoed I attached the close out panel to them.

The instructions have you match drill the close out panel for LP rivets.  I did not like the protruding rivet heads so I decided to change this and dimple everything for flush rivets.  Makes a much cleaner smooth interior.

I then proceeded on to cutting out the baggage floor stiffeners, clecoing and match drilling them to the baggage floors.  Also drilled the holes in the baggage floor, then deburred and dimpled for rivets.

All parts so far are match drilled, deburred, dimpled, preped and then primed for final assembly.

Riveted all the baggage floor stiffeners to the baggage floors along with installing the nutplates to the rear seat floors.

Before permanantly installing the rear seat floors and baggage floors.  It is a good idea to run conduit for any wires that may need to be run to the tail cone.  I got some really cool conduit from Lowes that was made fairly tough.  Wanted something that was a bit more stiff and thicker walls to prevent any chance of rub through.  You can see the pictures of what I did by clicking here.

In addition to the conduit runs, I also installed the wiring for a Comant antenna which will be placed under the left rear seat.  You can see pictures of that here.

Now that all the conduit and antenna wires are run I am installing the baggage floors and the rear seat floors in permanently.  Probably should have taken the time to install some inspection plates for the antenna and step areas but did not.  Will have to get those done later now that they are already installed.

Now that the baggage floors are in, I finished up installing the baggage door seals and closeouts.

Next step is to cleco the right baggage cover to the fuselage bulkhead.  The prepare the baggage bulkhead channel.  Then cleco this to the top bulkhead, these top rivets will be installed later.  At this time you do rivet the bottom of the channel to the bell crank rib and then once again cleco the tailcone forward skin  in place.

Located the lower baggage bulkhead and clecoed and match drilled the required holes into the bulkhead.  Also adjusted the right baggage cover so that it is aligned with the lower baggage bulkhead and drilled the #19 holes through both into the bulkhead.  I then did the same with the upper baggage bulkhead corrugation.

Now that those are done they have been removed along with the right baggage cover so that they can be deburred and the holes in the right cover could be dimpled.  Finished off the right baggage cover and got it primed.

While that is drying it went ahead and got all the holes for the upper and lower baggage bulkhead corrugation drilled to install nutplates.  I did this by taking a nutplate and installing a screw through the bulkhead and then match drilling using the nutplates as a guide.  Not to hard just a bit time consuming.

The upper and lower baggage bulkheads have slots wear the shoulder harnesses travel through so you are required to install a couple of wear blocks.  Finished drilling these and got them riveted in place.

The baggage area section is now complete.  Yeah, one more step done and many more to go.

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Upper Forward Fuselage Assembly

Started 3/31/2011

Time to start a new section.  This one begins by fabricating a spacer, and angle and instrument attach panel flanges. Then cut apart the instrument panel attach flange into two.

Final drilled the nutplate attach holes and the #19 screw holes in the attach glanges.  Deburred, primed and then reiveted the nupates in place.

Gathered the forward fuselage ribs and final drilled the nutplate holes.  Deburred these holes and dimpled along with dimpling the nutplates. These also were preped and primed so that the nutplates could be riveted on.

Next was to bend the lower portion of the sub panel center.  Quickly done by clamping to the table with a steel plate.  Did the same 7.3  degree bend to the sub panel sides.

Took the ribs, the angles, sub panel center and sub panel sides and clecoed together.  The final drilled all #30 holes common to the parts clecoed.

I then removed the control cable bracket from the sub panel center, final drilled the screw holes and nutplate attach holes. Deburred, dimpled and primed.

Using a long #30 bit, I drilled downward through the pilot hole near the middle of  the upper firewall angle and through the upper surface of the firewall recess.

This whole panel assembly is then clecoed to the forward fuselage and match drill the common holes.

Moving forward I attached the instrument panel lower flanges to the instrument panel.  Flute angles between the screw holes and finally attach to the ribs and the instrument panel.

The forward fuselage top skin is then clecoed to the subassembly. Formed the hand hold doublers to match the contour of the top skin and clecoed in place. Once all was clecoed in place I match drilled all the common holes.

At this point I am stopping this section till a later time.  Have my instrument panel designed and instruments chosen.  So before I move foward I want to make sure I have the right dimensions and depths in case modifications need to be made to the ribs.


on 2011-12-08 22:29 by Brian Steeves

I once again was working on the upper forward fusalage assembly since I stopped in a previous section.  Now that I have most everything planned for the panel, I purchased the Symetrical Carbon Fiber Panel from Aerosport Products.  The plan is to have instruments from Advanced Flight Systems, 2 ofthe AF-5600 and a AF-5500 in the center.

Not being sure if the depth of the screens was going to be an issue, I decided to go ahead anyway and make the modifications to the upper ribs to make clearance.  In addition to the rib mods, I made a cut on the one side so that I can get wiring and other items behind the subpanel.  I think I will need to make one more cut in the center but am going to wait until I am sure it is needed.

Have all the modifications done, along with everything riveted together except for the actual riveting to the fuselage sides.  I am not going to do this until most of my wiring and instruments are ready for install.  That way I can still taka the upper fuselage portion off and work on it on the bench.

So for now, I am once again stopping on this section until I am more ready to rivet it in permanently.

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Step Installation

Started 3/25/2011

Well the step installation was a very simple and straight forward step. 

Started this section with drilling the support blocks that will be attached to the baggage floor ribs.

Deburred and ground all rough spots and edges of the steps.  Inserted them through the side skin and into the support brackets. Aligned everything according to the plans and match drilled the holes in the support blocks into the baggage floor ribs.  Removed, deburred and bolt the blocks back into place.

Reinserted the steps and set the angle of the steps per instructions and drilled the step mounting bracket to a #30.

Removed the steps and primed.  Once dry reinstalled and bolted with appropriate hardware.

I decided to just permanently install the steps at this point.  Will probably hit them with my shins multiple times which will bring out some cussing.  Oh well we will see.

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Tail Cone Attachment

Started 3/21/2011

This step was very exciting as it is a big step.  When the tailcone is attached you get a great sense of accomplishment as you look at one of the major structures coming together.

Starting off this section requires to final drill holes in the forward bulkhead of the tailcone.  In addition to utilizing a uni-bit to enlarge holes where ultimately the cables for the rudder controls will pass through.  Mine already had them done.  Removed the bulkhead, deburred and dimpled the holes per instructions.

Removed the F-1006B bulkhead from the tailcone and clecoed to the baggage ribs of the forward fuselage.  Then attached the tail cone to the forward fuselage.  Looks really cool at this point.  Final drilled all the holes between the two.  Then drilled the four holes on each side that attach the forward and rear longerons.

Reinstalled the tailcone forward top skin once again and match drilled through the shims into the sideskin.  At this time you also match drill the remaining holes through the side skin into the forward fuselage longeron then counterskink these holes.  Did the same process to the bottom area of the baggage door.

Now that everything is match drilled I separated the forward fuselage and tailcone so that all the holes could be deburred and dimpled where necessary.  Once this was done I re clecoed the tailcone to the forward fuselage.

Per the instructions got all the rivets installed between the two parts.  For the amount of accomplishment this steps goes very quickly.  Now that it is pemanently attached, time to stand back and admire over a beer.

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Fuselage Side Skins

Started February 23, 2011

Started by cutting the longerons to length from AA6X3/4X3/4 Angle and marked the center line on each.

All of these longerons need to be bent to a curve that runs along the fuselage from front to back.  Vans supplies a template to match the bend to.

To do this you place the longeron in a vice and firmly strike with a rubber mallet.  You repeat this process at on inch intervals that produces the curve.  This take quite a bit of time and patients as you must make sure that you do not over bend the longeron.  In addition to this, while bending it is also possible to get a vertical bend while you are making the horizontal bend.  You need to be careful not to do this and check often to make sure that it is not happening.  I did get some of this vertical bending but not bad and was easily taken out.

Once bent to match the template, the holes in the longeron are match drilled at this time using the template as a guide.

You now fabricate a clamping block and Roll Construction Angles.  These are just tools that will be used to make the bend in bottom forward and rear portions in the side skins that make the curve to the bottom of the fuselage.  Not a hard process as it looks, just take your time and check your work often.

I bent both side skins front and back.  Amazingly they fit almost perfect the very first try.  For the back curve, I did used a brake to make a slight bend in the edge where the side skin will transition to the bottom fuselage skin.  This made a nice tight transition.

Located all the pieces for the rear seat back braces, clecoed them and match drilled as called out in the instructions.  Then clecoed them to the forward fuselage structure.

Cute the baggage door shims and clecoed to the left side skin.  Final drilled all holes except for the last portion that are not done at this time.  Also did this for the baggage floor angles.

Clecoed the mid side skins to the forward fuselage and checked the distances of the longerons.

Before clecoing the lower fuse channels in, you need to make a twist in them.  This requires clamping a spacer block into the ends, clamp one into a vise and using a cresent wrench on the other end, twist the channel a complete 180 degrees which will put about a 20 degree twist in the channel.  Once done cleco to the fuselage.

I already had the bend in forward skins so I just clecoed them to the forward fuselage. Installed the rest of the side channels and final drilled all the holes in the side skins to the forward fuselage structure.

Afer all channels and braces are attached and match drilled.  I disassembled all the parts to prep them for priming.  You got the process, deburr dimple, scotchbrite, clean with MEK, Alodine and then prime with an etch primer.

Let everything sit for a couple of days to let the primer cure and started the final assembly for this section.  There are a lot of rivets that need to be installed and it seemed that it took forever to get all of them in.  There are some that need a special bucking bar or some modifications to ones that I had.  After much time and some major frustrations, I got them all bucked.

The last portion of this section is to install the rear vents.  I am not doing this at this time because I am not sure I am putting them in or not.  The vents look a bit cheap and going to look for other options.  I will be installing vents in the ceiling so maybe these will not be needed at all.

For now this section is considered complete.  Lets move on.

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Fuselage Ribs and Bottom Skin

Started  February 5th, 2011

Located the F-1043 attach angles, separated them and attached with clecoes to the fuselage ribs. Countersunk the nutplate attach holes and deburred all the final drilled holes.

Gathered all the parts for the forward seat rail supports.  There will be two sub assemblies made which will be a right and left outboard forwards seat rail support.  Clecoed these parts together and match drilled.  All holes for the nutplates have been countersunk also.

Repeated the last step to create the right and left inboard seat rail supports>

I then broke apart the F-1042 clips and spacers which are then clecoed to bulkhead side channel. Final drill #12 holes along with the nutplate attache holes and countersunk them.

I disassembled all these parts and preped and primed.  Once they were dried I re clecoed them and riveted everything together.

Next was to cut out a portion of control column mount for both right and left.  Bolted the seat rail supports and the column mounts to the  forward fuselage bulkhead.  The column mounts then need to be positioned, clamped and the match drilled for the bottom two holes into the forward fuselage bulkhead.

Next step involves clecoing the forward fuselage floor ribs to the forward fuse bottom skin.  You need to study this a bit before match drilling to make sure that you have the proper orientation as it is not symmetrical.

Got them all clecoed and match drilled.  I then clecoed the subassembly of the forward fuselage bulkhead  to the bottom skin.

Broke apart the system brackets and clecoed to the bottom skins then match drilled.

I then layed the bottom skin assembly on the work table and positioned the firewall bulkhead assembly to it.  Inserting clecoes from the bottom up, clecoed the fuse bottom skin to the flanges of the forward fuselage ribs and the bottom flange of the firewall assembly. Match drill all the holes.

The forward cabin floor panels are clecoed in place and match drilled at this time then removed. Deburred all the edges and holes and dimpled.

Before clecoing the forward center section bulkhead assembly to the bottom skin, the center section side plates side channels forward fuselage bulkheads and systems brackets are removed from the bottom skin. Then match drill all the holes, remove and deburr all holes.

Next is to mate the mid fuselage assembly to the forward fuselage assembly.  Make sure that the center bottom skin fits between the forward center section bulkhead assembly and the forward fuse bottom skin.  Cleco together along with  center section bulkhead, aft center section, side plates and systems brackets.  And then final drill all holes common to the center bottom skin, forward centere section, and fuse bottom skin.

Now that all is match and final drilled, disassemble all parts, prepare and prime.  Once they are cured I attached all the nutplates and started to reassemble all parts.

All parts were riveted to the bottom skin and bulkheads were attached permanently.  The forward fuselage assembly was reattached and riveted to the bottom skin.  Center section was then bolted to the forward fuselage ribs.

I then mated the mid fuselage assembly to the forward fuselage assembly inserting bolts into the holes in the forward and after center section bulkhead assemblies and using spacers between the forward and aft center section bulkhead assemblies to ensure proper alignment of the center section bulkhead.

Finished riveting and bolting the remaining parts to the forward fuse assembly.

The next step involves the forward seat floors.  Started by breaking apart the seat floors and attach strips. Final drilled all the #19 holes in the seat floors and seat floor attach strips. Clecoed the floor strips to the seat floors and match drilled the holes between them using the seat floor holes as a guide.

All the remaining holes were final drilled and the nutplate attach holes were countersunk.  I disassembled all the parts, deburred, alodined and primed.  Once dry all nutplates were attached along with the seat floor attache strips.  Not that they are completed they can be set aside for later use.

The next step was to cleco and assemble the mid seat rails.  Did per instructions then preped, primed and did the final assembly.

The last portion of this section is to temporarily install the forward cabin floor panels and landing gear mounts for final drilling and alignment.  Got everything in place and final drilled.  I also match drilled the side plates and the landing gear mounts.

I then removed the floor panels and landing gear mounts, deburred and set aside for later attachment.

That concludes this section.

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