<September 16, 2007>

More Tail Spring Mount & Clecoed Aft Fuselage

A big day today - The fuselage is starting to take shape. However, before I could get to the exciting stuff, I still had a fair amount of work to do on the tail spring mount, more so than I thought.

For my first trick I improved the fit of the skin by removing a little more material from the area where the skin was rubbing the mount. From what I gather, this is pretty typical.

Much better, no interference now.

I marked the locations for the keeper rivets. The plans aren't very specific about their location other than to say they are 1/2 " off centerline. I just estimated their veritical location using the plans as a guideline.

I then enlarged the holes in the F-711 bulkhead to ¼" for the AN4 bolts that attach it to the mount. I clamped this tightly and used a 7/32" drill bit followed by a 1/4" reamer turning at slow speed, in conjunction with some lubricating oil, in the drill press to enlarge the holes.

I put it all back together, clamped the F-712 bulkhead to the tail spring mount and backdrilled the keeper rivet holes in the mount using the cordless drill as slow speed, and again some light oil to keep the bit cutting.

I took it all apart, again, and using the step-drill I drilled a ¾" hole in the skin that will allow me to get a socket on the bolt that keeps the tailspring in the mount.

Next I needed to mark the centerline of each of the J Stiffeners which the plans say is 5/16" from the edge. I don't have one of those fancy little marking gadgets that Avery sells, so I make my own. It worked perfectly! Ok, enough with playing around, time to start putting this all together.

After about 30 minutes of clecoing, this is what I had to show for it. This is just too cool! I can't quite get in an make airplane noises, but we are getting closer to that day.

In fact it is so cool, it needs another picture! I only have two of the bulkhead installed, and I may take them out to improve the angle of their flanges, but that's OK, I am still excited to be at this point.

Sonoma is obviously overcome with excitement over this milestone… aren't you girl?!?!