First fit rudder pedals and brake master cylinders

So here is the assembled fuselage sat on saw horses upside down.

And here is a shiny new delivery of a Beringer Brake system…

Todays job was to fit the pedals I made last time and the Beringer brakes into the fuselage. To do that first I needed to drill and fit the mounting blocks for the rudder system.

Those black lines were way too difficult to see in the dark of the fuselage so… brainwave…

Once the block were ready, I did a test fit on the workbench.

Looking good. As you can see, I cable tied the pedals the a piece angle on each side to dead centre the assembly then fitted and back drilled the pedals.

Once the pedals were mounted to the assembly I fitted the whole lot into the fuselage and also fitted the supporting bracket in the centre.

Here they are; mounting blocks, pedals, brake master cylinders and centre bracket.

Beautiful. Shame it all has to come out again for the next stage.

Rudder pedals

At the end of last week I had just located all the parts for the rudder pedals, so today it was time to start working on them.

I’d already cut 4 pieces of aluminium angle ready for this part. So first there was a lot of clamping and drilling everything together.

Once the parts were match drilled it was time to trim the angle brackets as per plans.

These pedals look awesome when assembled.

Finally the pedals need to be countersunk on the front side so that was next on the list.

That’s it. Pedals are done.

Fitted tank brackets, spacers and started rudder pedals

Continuing on with the F-902 bulkhead todays job was to fabricate the reinforcement for the fuel tank attach bracket.

First I found the fuel tank attachment bracket, put it in place and back drilled through the skin and one of the longerons.

Next I fabricated the reinforcement angles and spacers as per the plans and fitted those.

Finally I back drilled through the skin again and clamped the reinforcement in place with clecos.

I repeated exactly the same process on the other side.

With a bit of time to spare I located the rudder pedal parts and began laying them out ready for the next session.

That’s it for this week.

Made another gusset

Remember the gussets I made last month? Well one fitted nicely and worked out well, but the second one I really wasn’t happy with. I just couldn’t get a good fit.

So after some internal debate I decided to make a new one. The second one was much better and I was much happier.

The next tricky task was to fit the gusset and match drill it. That involved clamping the gusset to the firewall and bending the skin back so I could get the angle drill in there.

Once the vertical holes were drilled and put the skin back in place and match drilled the horizontal holes in the gusset using the skin as a guide.

Eventually, both gussets were finished and done. Except I noticed at the end of the session I’d forgotten the nutplates that fit around the centre of those gussets. Oh well, I’ll do those another day.

That’s all for this week.

F-902 Bulkheads

The last of the bulkheads (upright structural supports) is the F-902. This bulkhead is a single upright of extruded aluminium that needs to fit around the longerons and some doubler plates.

After fitting and match drilling the bulkhead I offered up the double plate and could see that, like other builders, it needed a spacer to fill the gap.

So I quickly made up a spacer for each side.

Next I assembled and back drilled the interior and match drilled the doubler plate with the skins.

It didn’t feel like a very productive day today, but every little helps I suppose.

Fit lower longerons

Longeron is a funny word. I’ve heard it used many times before and, until I started making them for the aircraft, I was never really sure what it actually meant. So I Googled it…

In engineering, a longeron and stringer is the load-bearing component of a framework.

For my aircraft it basically refers to the aluminium angles that form part of the aircraft structure. There is one long one that runs from tip of the tail to the firewall, and there are a bunch of others on the fuselage itself.

In this picture you can see 4 of the longerons (silver angles running from the firewall backwards.

That was basically todays work. Finding angles, filing them to fit.

Match Drilling them to the skins and firewall brackets.

Oh and I made a Gusset too.

Overall, not bad progress this week.

Auxiliary Longerons

I managed to sneak into the workshop today for a bit of longeron fun. Last time I forgot to take so many pictures so this session I am trying harder.

First I found the main auxiliary longeron and trimmed the end as per the plans. Marked a centre line and match drilled it. Also did the same the other side.

Next it was time to make 2 attach brackets. I love making parts from basic stock metal like this. First get some standard aircraft aluminium angle.

Cut 2 pieces to off at the described lengths.

Next, carefully study the plans a million, billion times and then mark and trim the parts.

Drill holes in the right places.

Et voila! Suddenly we have aircraft parts.

Next job was to find some more aluminium angle. These ones have had a ‘joggle’ on the end done by the factory. So all I had to do was draw a centre line and match drill and cleco these to the skins.

Then I used the parts I made earlier to join the silver longeron to the yellow/green firewall angle.

Finally I just needed to back drill through the part I made to the longeron and firewall angle.

Overall, a fun day in the workshop working on the structure that strengthens the fuselage.

Drill Firewall to Skins, make attach straps and start auxiliary longerons

This week I only managed a total of 4.5 hours in the workshop.

I started by putting cleco (clamps) in every other hole of the firewall to fuselage. I did that because I wanted to pull everything together and have the most accurate match drilling.

With the fuselage being stainless steel I made sure I used a different drill bit as SS can really blunt tools quick.

Once all the holes were match drilled I then made the 4 attach straps that hold the golden F-704 bulkheads to the upper (bottom in the picture) longerons.

I also started work prepping the auxiliary longerons. These are basically aluminium angle used on the front of the fuselage section.

No pictures for those bits though cos I forgot!

Fitted firewall to fuselage

I had a change of mind regarding the longerons that I drilled last week. I had planned to leave the longerons but decided to drill them to the side skins now instead. That was because the longerons have to fit flush with the skin so there was no room for movement.

Man that was a lot of aluminium shavings!

Once the upper longerons were all drilled I then mounted the firewall and bottom skin.

I then spent a bunch of time aligning the firewall to the fuselage.

That’s all for this week except for a little arty shot of the fuselage through the firewall recess hole….

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