Now the parts are starting to get bigger, not many rivets to put these together but they are pretty darn large!
Now the bulkhead primer has dried it was time to rivet it all together. F-710 was a one-piece bulkhead so didn’t need riveting together. The other parts were quite easy to rivet together.
Todays task was to prime all the bulkhead parts, not my favourite task but a necessary one nevertheless.
That was a lot of parts to prime!
A long session today checking, scuffing and washing all the bulkhead parts before priming. When you see the mountainous pile of parts it takes some willpower to work through it all. I just put some good tunes on and settled into it for the day.
The past few bulkheads have been single parts but the F-711 bulkhead was a bit more complicated. I started by finding the two bulkheads and clecoing then together back to back. Next I found the aluminium bar and cut it down to length. I then marked a centre line on the bars and the lowest drill hole as per the plans. I drilled the bottom hole on each bar and then clecod it to the bulkhead assembly. Using the centre line I drew earlier I lined up the bars with the predrilled holes in the bulkhead and back drilled the remianing holes.
Once that was done I fabricated the to support angle but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt. I had cut it too short so I made another. The second attempt was much better. I clamped it in place and then back drilled that using the bulkhead and bars as guides.
Once that was all done I removed the cut out as per the instructions but forgot to take any pictures afterwards.
Nothing exciting to report today, just a standard session deburring and drilling the F-708, F-709 & F-710 bulkheads…
Back at the bulkhead work today with yet another bulkhead to work on. Today it is F-706. I started by gathering all the parts needed and then deburring the sharp edges. One thing that struck me about this bulkhead is that it is super thin. I’m not too worried as I know that it is reinforced with a blanking plate that closes the entire hole. This particular bulkhead is the one that forms the back of the luggage area. In a larger plane it would be the back of the rear passenger seats but mine will be a two seater so this will be the baggage area instead.
You may have noticed the football on in the background, well it turns out watching England play in the World Cup from my workshop is good luck. It’s the first time I’ve ever watched them and they’ve won a match! And won spectacularly too, 6-1, nice! Anyways, while the football was on I was still working making parts from angles for the bulkhead. Like this F-729C bracket which had to be made from angle stock and then bent in the vise to 88.5 degrees. Boy am I glad Van’s supplied a scale drawing here.
After making the various extra parts I assembled the bulkhead and then match drilled all the holes as usual.
It looks so cool. The rectangular hole at the bottom is for the elevator push rod (which makes the plane go up and down!). Once everything was match drilled I disassembled everything and deburred the drilled holes and scuffed all the parts ready for priming.
That’s it, all the parts are ready to be washed for priming. I’ll do that when I’ve done more bulkheads so as to make the most of a priming session.
Today I wanted to rivet the second of the two bulkheads that I had primed last week. There weren’t as many parts on this F-704 as there were on the F-705 but it still took quite a while to get it done.
One of the steps in the instructions is to assemble to control stick fit it and then disassemble it. This seems a total waste of time at this point so I will leave that step until much later in the project.
After riveting the parts on I then riveted the uprights on as well. It wasn’t too difficult but took a long time because I checked the plans over and over again to make sure I didn’t rivet anything I shouldn’t have or put any parts on upside down! The finished product looks pretty awesome.
Both of these gold bulkheads bolt together to create one bulkhead and then forms part of the seat and the frame of the aircraft and is where the wings bolt on to.
I think there are 9 different bulkheads in total including the firewall. That’s 3 done and 6 to go. Thankfully they get easier from now on I think/hope!
It’s been 5 whole days since I sprayed all the parts of the bulkheads so, today, I decided to start riveting F-705 bulkhead together. I started by riveting the nut plates on to the vertical spars of F-705.
Next I riveted the parts on to the top channel.
Then I riveted the reinforcement bar and other parts to the lower section. Next I taped over the holes that shouldn’t be riveted and then riveted the remaining holes. Finally I bolted the white seat belt attachment brackets on to the section and tada… One F-705 bulkhead ready for use.
I started the day scuffing, washing and prepping all the parts of the F-704 & F-705 bulkheads.
The weather was beautiful today so I decided to prime all the parts as well.
After leaving the parts to dry in the sun for a while I brought them all back into the workshop so they could dry (cure?) for the next few days.