Fuselage

Dec 2004.

All the skins have been drilled to the skeleton and here the steps have been fitted.
and from the other side.
and from the back.
Inside view of the firewall. The light coloured brackets in the corners are steel and transfer the load from the engine to the rest of the plane.
Inside looking aft.
And the underside of the baggage and seat areas. lower right is the steel tube from the step.
Finally the skins have been deburred, dimpled and primed and now riveting has started. I did the aft side skins first as I could do this single handed.
Then my mate who's building a 7A in Houston was home and gave me a hand rivet the centre skin and tail cone. The last few rivets in the tail cone is a pain to get at in the jig so we opted to leave until the right side up.
This is the bottom forward skin now with the stiffener angles attached.
And the other side of it.
 

January 2005

 

Happy New Year. 4000 RV's flying world wide and 98 flying in the UK.
Big step forward, the forward side skins are on and riveted and also the stbd wing. the tank is off to give access to the gear mounts to drill these to the spar and fuselage.
Another angle of the same.
  There are different ways of measuring and drilling the gear mounts. The Vans way is to fit both wings and drill through the spars from the rear with a drill bushing. Then there are ways using false spars and doing it off the fuselage using just the wings and centre section (too late for that one now, center section installed.) My garage is sized for 1.5 cars and so not quite big enough to get both wings on without either having the door open or cutting a hole through the partition wall to the workshop.

Solution, rewind to wings page 1. Remember the damaged spar? I've cut 4ft off the outboard end and now it fits inside the garage. I can at least set everything up and hopefully drill the mounts using one wing and the damaged spar. I'll double check it with the actual wing but don't fancy having the door open too long. It's winter in Scotland after all, outside it's close to freezing and just now blowing a gale!

Test fitting the other wing panel and gear mount.
Marked on the side skins where the tank outline, attachment bracket location and also the location of the fuel pick-up and vents.
This is the funny shaped hole required to allow the gear mount to exit the bottom.
February 2005  
At last, the final skins going on the under side. Last step before removing from the jig and turning the correct way up.

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