So the paint was dry (enough) and I could start reassembling the fuselage for the last time.
It’s been a long time since I last riveted anything so I started with something easy, the bracket for the autopilot servo.
Then the stiffener for the aft F-706 bulkhead.
Once that was done I put jointing compound on and cleco’d the F-706 bulkhead into the aft fuselage.
Next I riveted the gussets onto the firewall as per the instructions.
And riveted on the angle brackets to the forward longerons. I won’t rivet these onto the firewall until the fuselage is together.
I then pre-riveted on the Gear Attach webs to the F-902 bulkheads. Doing it now is much easier than when everything is back together.
Next I riveted on the nutplates to various bulkheads.
Then the F-704 doubler plates.
Next I fitted and torqued nuts and bolts to the F-704 bulkheads as per the plans. Again much easier to do now than when it’s all together.
Then I fitted and riveted the outer seat ribs.
and torqued the bolts. (If you’r building don’t do this now, it interferes with 2 rivets you need to set).
As I’m building a tailwheel I filled the unused holes for the main wheels with AN4 bolts as per drawings.
Then I got stumped.
The plans have you run the wiring down the centre channel all the way up to the F-706 bulkhead. There are holes for the wiring in everything except the F-706. I can’t see how or where to drill 2 wiring holes without weakening the structure or interfering with the elevator push rod.
So I called Richard for a quick brain storm. In the end we agreed the best way was for the wiring to transition from the centre of the aircraft to the next ribs under the baggage floor. But, the baggage floors are supposed to be riveted into place permanently.
As there were nuts and, now, wiring in that bay, I didn’t like riveting up the floor permanently. So I called Nigel (my inspector) and asked permission to make the baggage floors removable.
He said that was find so the next job was to fit nutplates to all the rivet holes.
That took about 4 hours to do everything and in some places it needed the one legged nutplates.
Eventually they were all done and I was pretty happy with the results. Only time will tell if anything else interferes with any other parts.
Once I was happy with the centre section and there was nothing more I could possibly think of doing it was time to flip it and attach it to the aft fuselage again. Thanks Jake for your help.
I then started locating all the parts and reattaching them.
While on a tea break I spotted that I’d missed priming an overlapping part of the structure. Doh! So I quickly knocked up both primers and got it done.
Next I started riveting any hard to reach rivets that could be done now such as the three aft arm rest rivets.
Next I riveted the aft support rib as far forward as I could – some overlap with the side skin so I left those.
Finally, it was time to fit the main side skins. But first every contact surface needed JC-5a jointing compound.
Then on went the skins.
Once the skins were on I started fitting all the parts to the forward fuselage.
I peeled back the front of the skins just enough so I could rivet the angle bracket to the fuselage.
Then I looked for any more rivets I could do alone such as the ones around F-704 wing slot.
Finally, I fitted and torqued the 4 bolts that attach the firewall to lower longerons.
That’s it, everything I can do solo is now done. What’s needed next is a riveting buddy. Any offers?!