July, 2004 fuselage work

July 5 - Left the EFIS work to return to the garage & pick up where I left off.  Drill & cleco F721 C & D for LT side, and drill for nutplates.  1.0 hr

July 7 - Resume trying to drill F721Ds - it's about impossible to get in there and drill them to the F721As with the panel in place (which holds the F721Ds in place), even using angle drill, very stubby drill bit, and/or pancake drill.  Finally decided to use a pen to mark their location as best as possible, remove the panel, clamp the F721Ds as close to the marks as possible, and drill from there.     TIP - IF YOU'RE NOT DOING A QUICK BUILD, YOU SHOULD ATTACH THESE BRACKETS TO THE F721As BEFORE YOU RIVET THE F721As TO THE FUSELAGE, AND PUT THEM ON BEFORE YOU PUT THE NUTPLATES ON.  Prepped and primed F721Cs &Ds.  I also cleaned up some scratches in the F721As (already installed on QB), and reprimed them, too.  Rivet nutplates onto F721Cs & Ds.  Rivet F721Cs & Ds to F721As.  This was very tricky riveting, because both access & visibility were quite limited, and I spent a couple hours on this alone.  I did finally get them satisfactorily riveted into place, though.  5.0 hr

  This shows the outside corner of the instrument panel in detail.  The blue is the F703 instrument panel.  The gray in the lower LT is the F721A.  At the upper LT is the F703B and the F703C below that.  The F721C bracket (0.063" angle) goes on the top of the F721A, and the F721D bracket (0.032" angle) goes on the side of the F721A.  As you can see, things fit real tight here, and it's a bitch to work in here.  The F721A also has another lip under what you can see here, so it's going to be quite difficult to see under there or get a bucking bar in for doing the rivets.   The instrument panel will mount to these brackets through nutplates in the angle leg that faces the instrument panel.


  Here are the little F721 C & D brackets that help secure each end of the control panel, all primed and ready for nutplates and for mounting to the F721A.


  F721C & D brackets riveted on


  The F721C & D brackets from the other side


  NOTE: It would be much smarter to rivet the nutplates on AFTER you rivet the brackets to the F721As.  It's difficult to get a rivet set on the heads with the nutplates there, although I was able to get it done with this special narrow profile set I have.  I even got the one in the foreground, with the nutplate head right in the way, although it marred up the rivet head a bit.

July 8 - At NHIS for a race weekend.  Updating last 4 weeks' RV work during down time.  Updated text.  Forgot to bring my digital camera USB cord.  Will start adding pics & captions later in the weekend.  5.5 hr doc

July 9 - updating the web site at NHIS.  Adding pics & captions.  8.5 hr doc

July 12 - look over what needs to be done next.  Pick up tools.  0.5 hr

July 13 - pick up tools.  Look at F793 & SV vent system.  Fit SV-1s to fuse side skin, fit SV-5 vents to instrument panel.  1.5 hr

July 14 - Looking at SV vents and F793s.  It seems odd that all that oddball measuring they had me doing was just to hook up these (symetrical) vent balls.  They should have just had me match drill the holes to the plastic vent ball.  Also spent some time trying to decide whether to use the plastic ball vents supplied with the kit, or to get the aluminum ones.  The plastic is paid for, but the aluminum ones seal better.  The aluminum ones are also incredibly expensive; about $250/pair.  Enlarged holes in instrument panel for F721 bracket screws.  Polish edges of NACA duct.  Will wait until F771 skin is off before I try to install the SV-1s.  Spent some time teaching myself how to use the Thread-Sert tool, aka RivNut, for putting in baggage tiedowns.  Drilled & tapped aft fuselage for tiedown eyebolt.  Primed tiedown eyebolts.  2.0 hr

 Here, I am doing a couple practice runs on the RivNut tool.  Very handy, but do a practice run or 2 with it first.  It doesn't come with any instructions.  I believe I got this from Aircraft Tool Supply.  The head has 3 different sets of threads that work in different directions, so you'll want to understand how it works before using it for real.  Be sure the threads in the tool head are fully into all the threads in the RivNut before squeezing, or you'll rip them out.  If you squeeze, then readjust the head threads IN for more pull, be aware that you are screwing the threads OUT of the RivNut as you do this.  My first practice run tore out half the RivNut threads because of this.


  Here is a closeup of the results of doing a couple practice RivNut installs.  The second one was good.  The first one tore out half the threads after I readjusted the head to take up slack from the first squeeze.  Taking up the slack unscrewed the tool from half the RivNut threads, so when I squeezed it again, it tore out all the threads it was engaged with.  Basically, I found you really need to adjust it so you get it all done in one squeeze.  The tool pulls the RivNut body down over the hole in the material, so it clamps tight to the material, much like a pop rivet.

July 15 - Install & torque shoulder strap cables.  Install cargo tiedowns.  Install K1000-3 10-32 nutplates into F785A for more cargo tiedown eyebolts.  Put Rivnut into custom baggage area fwd upright for yet another tiedown eyebolt.  Drill holes in RT F760 for tiedown eyebolts.  Clean up tools, then start in on CANOPY.  Finished match drilling the bottom rivet holes on the F771 skin, then removed skin.  GRRRR - when I drilled out the bottom F771 skin row of rivet holes, I forgot about the fuel vent line right there next to the rivet holes.  I screwed up the vent lines on both sides, and will have to REDO them.  Removed F771 skin & found I have some rivet holes that didn't line up well, so they ended up enlarged.  Odd - it's on each tab of the subpanel - one hole is OK on each tab and one is elongated.  The skin panels must not match the ribs correctly.  Deburred rivet holes in firewall top flange, where I'd match drilled the F771 skin, after cutting my finger on that nasty stainless steel.  Finally got back to the canopy.    5.0 hr

  Here are the quick release cargo tiedowns installed on one side of the baggage compartment.


  Here, I am putting extra nutplates onto the already-completed F785A, so I can use AN42B-4 eyebolts as cargo tiedowns with bungee cords.  I particularly laid them out to be able to hold my rifle case securely in the custom baggage compartment.  These here will hold the fwd part of the case.


  This part will hold the aft part of the rifle case.  The hole in the angle at the bottom will hold one end of a bungee cord, and the RivNut at the top center of the pic will hold a little AN42B-4 eyebolt, which will hold the other end of the bungee cord.


  Here's a view from inside the fuselage, looking up toward the longeron, showing where the fuel vent line was installed right next to the F771 skin bottom holes.  I'll have to remake the fuel vent lines.  This is from the RT side.  The LT side had only one nick, but it's one too many.

Well, I guess that's it for the fuselage for awhile.  Now, I am finally beginning the CANOPY.

MAY, 2005 - back to the fuselage