Started riveting fuselage and assembled replacement flap

Well, here we are still in the middle of the Coronavirus lockdown with the fuselage ready to be riveted. Following my last blog, it was lovely to have offers of help from people, but it’s really difficult to wait until after lockdown and it wouldn’t be right to ask the usual suspects to come over now so I resorted to relentlessly nagging the family!

It worked! My wife, Karma and son, Jake both relented and helped me get some riveting done this week. First Karma helped me rivet the F-704 bulkhead and the armrests in the seat skins for a couple of sessions.

Then Jake helped with F-705 bulkhead, baggage supports and the F-706 bulkhead in the baggage area.

Overall good progress this week considering.

Riveting is tiring work so, not to put the volunteers off riveting for life, we kept the riveting sessions short.

While they recovered I looked for anything I could find that could be riveted solo, like the aft rivets.

And the bulkhead to longeron bottom rivet.

And the forward floor stiffeners to brackets.

And the rear floor stiffener to bracket rivets.

To make the best use of the rest of the build time I decided to build a replacement left flap that had been on my to-do list for a long time.

When I finished the original left flap the blind rivet didn’t set properly. After drilling it out the hole enlarged. So I used a larger -5 rivet but that meant that I didn’t have the right edge distance. Also on close inspection the flange of the rib inside the flap didn’t sit flush so a lot of the rivet is between the flange and spar.

While it was probably no problem at all, I didn’t like having such a problem with my pride and joy. So, for all those reasons about 18 months ago I ordered a replacement left flap to be built when convenient.

Well, now is convenient. So I got the box of bits out of storage and started clecoing parts together.


It felt weird – but fun – going back in time building something i’d put behind me some time ago.

Before long the flap parts were all prepped and ready to disassemble for scuff, debur, dimpling and priming.

That’s enough for this week. There’s just the main flap spar, bottom skin and top skin left to prep – next week. Oh, and more fuselage riveting when I can convince the crew!

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