<September 23, 2007>

Drilled Aft Fuselage Skins

With the J-Stiffeners drilled, I turned my attention to drilling the skins and bulkheads. Again the fit issues in the far aft section were an issue that caused moderate frustration, but I am happy to say it is now done.

After crawling underneath to drill the bottom skin to the bulkheads, I worked my way up the sides of each bulkhead.

Ugh, the infamous tail section. The fit here was horrible and at times I was ready to throw in the towel, but I persevered. I found that through a combination of muscle and judicious usage of a pick, I was able to coax the F-711 bulkhead more or less into position. Before I drilled I managed to put clecos into every hole, and then I removed them one by one to perform the drilling. I will admit that a few of the holes got a little "hole rash" from my muscling of the clecos, but I hear it is common in this area, so I am not going to worry about it. Besides, the holes cleaned up fairly well during the drilling process. As I've mentioned many times, the fit here is bad (and I know I'm not the only one to say so), but you've just got to have patience and work through it a little bit at a time. It can be done.

I don't think Sonoma was too happy about being kept behind the gate today.