Fuselage - Forward Section

2005-11-25 - Adding the forward fuselage. (5.0 Hrs).

Since I haven't worked on the plane for a month, I took it kind of slow, today (as if I don't normally work so slowly). Anyway, I managed to cutoff the front of the longerons, fabricate the F-704-L straps (actually, F-904-L), and attach the firewall.

Decided that this was a good time to match-drill the F-623 ribs. The instructions do not mention this anywhere--I looked.
The longerons should be 3/4" short of the FWD edge of the F-770 skin. Good news, they're not too short. Of course, this means I have to trim about 1/4" off the front.
I cut these with a Dremel cutoff wheel. After breaking the third wheel I went with the trusty hacksaw. Simple is usually better.
Close enough. What do you expect? I haven't cut metal for over a month.
My helpers are tired-out.
Two of the four F-704-L straps. The two pieces at the bottom are the scrap from cutting 5/8" strips off of the end of the AS3-063-3 7/8x11 sheet. Note, that the plans show these as F-904-L straps. Also, the instructions do not say whether you should drill these now, or not, so I didn't.
The four F-704-L straps are done. Ok, so I got a little smarter about the scraps after the first two straps. BTW, I would advise against trying to cut these with the tin snips. It can be done, but I would advise against it. Bandsaw works great.
Firewall clamped-on.
Ready to cleco-on the F-772 bottom skin, and I found this minor problem. F-772 is on the right with the two rows of holes that are supposed to match-up with F-776 on the left. Notice that someone has already set rivets where F-776 attaches to the AFT F-704 bulkhead--idiot.
Got a bunch of rivets to drill out. Only a minor setback, about a half-hour's work.
The good news is that not a single oops rivet will be needed.
F-772 cleco'd on, both rows. Here, Van says to take a break and come back and check a few things, so I think this is a good stopping point.