Fuselage - Forward Section

2006-04-15 - Riveting the side skins - more prep. (6.0 Hrs).

Early this week, Rudy Greyling asked a question on Doug Reeves' VAF forum about fabricating the F-623 FWD attach straps. I remembered doing those parts, but I did not remember installing them when I riveted the F-623 parts on--doh!

I have been worrying about this all week. If I forgot those parts, what else did I forget? How hard is this going to be to fix. I know those rivets will be hard to get to with the side skins on, etc. It turned-out to not be that big a deal. I had to drill out three holes on each side for the FWD attach strap, but the AFT rivets were not set, yet, so I just cleco'd on the AFT attach straps, and that was that. I did find a few more attach straps for F-704, but I don't think those rivets have been set yet, so no problem.

Of course, I did find a bit more preparation that needed to be done on the FWD section before I could start riveting that section, so no rivets got set today.

Here's the F-623 FWD attach straps that I forgot to install, as well as the AFT attach straps, and the F-904s that go on F-704--dang!
So, drill out the rivets for the FWD attach straps.
F-623-L FWD attach strap cleco'd in place.
F-623-L AFT attach strap in place. Now, fix the right side.
Cleco'd on the firewall, then ...
... I realized that since F-719 (the sticky-up piece) was already riveted to the FW, it did not get countersunk when the rest of the parts were deburred and dimpled. So, remove the FW, and countersink it. Like I said before, ignore Van's instructions and rivet this part to the FW when you start riveting the side skins. Having the FW sit around in the garage with this stupid piece sticking up for the last month was a PITA. Really, you'd think Van's tech writer had never seen one of these things built before he wrote the manual.
This is why you shouldn't rivet the bottom hole just FWD of the wing spar cut out on F-704H. We need to rivet the side skin to the bottom skin to F-704H. Notice, that the bottom skin is not deburred or dimpled, so do this now.
F-772 bottom skin with rivet tracks cut in the vinyl.
Two hours later, all deburred, dimpled along the edges, ready to be pounded with the C-frame.
While dimpling the bottom skin, I thought about the bottom of the firewall. Sure enough, this needs to be dimpled and F-601M needs to be countersunk. In fact, the whole edge of the FW is not dimpled, which means I have to peel back the FWD edge of the side skins to dimple the FW.
So, I though I would try to dimple the FW with the side skins in place--worked great. Maybe this should not be dimpled now, since I think we need to drill the cowl to the FW--no help from Van here.
The holes in F-601M need to be countersunk. I masked the edge between the FW and F-601M to keep the chips out of the groove. There was already quite a few chips in there from earlier. I got to use my chip chaser--woo hoo!