As I’ve been disassembling I’ve had this nagging voice in my head telling me I’d missed something. Sure enough I had missed a couple of 1/8″ holes that connect the F-902 bulkhead to the longeron. Not a massive problem and easily done after the fuselage is rebuilt but luckily I was able to do this now while those parts were still together.
Once that was drilled I then went on to dismantle and prep the F-604 bulkhead.
So at this point in the plans it says ‘before you continue there is a laundry list of items to complete’.
The trouble is, that’s pretty much the end of the laundry list. So, what is there to do? How do I know what I need to do?
To find out I studied the plans in intense detail looking for anything I may have missed. I enlarged some of the smaller holes as per the drawings.
Then I had to decide where to put holes for the things that aren’t on the plans. Such as the AoA tubing and autopilot wiring.
Once again, it was very difficult to know where best to put the holes without fitting the wing and wiring. So, a trip up to the local farm strip to see Richard and his flying RV-7 was in order. It’s hard to see from this picture but it really does help seeing how he ran his plumbing and wiring.
When I returned I was greeted with a small envelope in the mail. Yep, it was a new valve for the compressor. Hooza, compressor is now working again!
So I spent the rest of the week looking for bits I’d missed, marking up what to dimple and, more importantly, what not to dimple.
I did spot one item I’d missed on the rear fuselage, a small joint plate. Tricky to do while the fuselage was assembled but nothing a paper template and some imagination couldn’t solve.
There is the drawing on paper.
Transposed to metal.
Cut out, match drilled and dimpled. I’m pretty pleased with those.
Next was to finish off prepping as much of the baggage area as possible too.
That’s it for this weeks instalment. I still have a nagging doubt that I’ve missed something so I’m off to read some other builders logs for inspiration.
I started this session by clamping and drilling the black rudder blocks to the forward longerons and the rudder brace.
Not having the seats in the aircraft yet, it was very difficult to judge where to fit the pedal assembly so I drilled plenty of holes to allow for maximum adjustment instead. All as per plans.
Then I removed the centre rudder bracket and deburred, edged and scuffed it ready for priming or painting.
The next job was to drill the inboard floor stiffeners to the bottoms skin. I just clamped them in place and then drilled them from the top.
I then drilled the stiffeners to the brackets on the inside.
While drilling I heard an unusual hissing sound in the workshop. After a short while I tracked it down to the compressor. So I removed the side panel of the enclosure I’d built to investigate.
With the side panel off I could tell the hissing was coming from the valve on the blue compressor tank. So, naturally I lightly touched the valve to see where it was leaking and
The valve vanished with an explosion that I can only liken to a gunshot. Not seeing where the valve went I instinctively checked myself to make sure I was OK. Shaken but, thankfully, OK. My heart was pounding so hard I decided that was enough for today. So I switched off the lights and went indoors.
Close up of the valve MIA…
The next day, and with my heart back at normal pace, I located the broken and missing part.
A quick search on the Internet soon has a couple spares on their way to me. So temporarily it was time to use the battery drill.
Next on the schedule was to drill the outer floor stiffeners to the bottom skin. The problem here is that I needed a hand so I called on my good friend Richard who managed the drill while I held the floor stiffeners in place. Good communication was definitely required here to avoid fingers being drilled. But, quick as a flash, they were done.
Next I located the baggage side panels and cleco’d those in place and then match drilled the various sized holes to the main structure.
A bit more match drilling on the outside too and that was it for this weeks sessions.
The fuselage is almost ready to dismantle for deburring, edging and scuffing but before I do that I want to make sure there are no other tasks left to do.