Upper forward fuselage [85.5 hours]

With all the avionics in hand I decided how everything needed to fit behind the panel. This included not only the avionics, but also the SDSEFI system. Cable routing is another consideration – D connectors, and in some cases a “straight” section of cable running into the D connector – have to be accounted for. Suffice to say, the final layout turned out to be different than the layout I had previously worked out simply based on box dimensions.

I made up brackets for securing the rear of the IFD GPS chassis, and added stiffeners to the sub-panel where required in accordance with Van’s guidelines. I had to mount one item – the secondary system voltage regulator – on the back of the sub-panel. To make it easily removable I added nutplates to the mounting flanges. These will be easy enough to drill off and mount on another regulator if/when it must be replaced. I also drilled two fan mounting holes in the top skin, using a circle cutter in the drill press set to 250 rpm.

Once I was happy with all of the brackets and stiffeners, I primed them, riveted together the forward front fuse subassembly – including all of the brackets and stiffeners – and painted the exposed interior and top shelf area in a flat black polyurethane.

While the forward fuse was still open, I trimmed and fitted the Aerosport interior side panels, installed nutplates for these side panels, installed the NACA vents, and installed the rudder panels for the last time. I also completed all of the tunnel work, permanently installing the brake lines, fuel lines, fuel filter and wiring for the fuel pumps.

Finally the time came to rivet the subassembly onto the fuselage. One advantage of the Control Approach rudder pedals is that access is quite good through that area, once you’re upside down with your head under the panel. The riveting went fine and I was also able to complete the firewall riveting, including the brackets and spacers I had previously made up for the Skybolts.

Next job is to fit the firewall insulation and engine mount.

  • f40a
    f40a
    Drilling and cutouts in Aerosport 310 panel backplate
  • f40b
    f40b
    Making brackets for AFS ACM module
  • f40c
    f40c
    Making brackets for rear of GPS tray mount
  • f40d
    f40d
    Fitting brackets for rear GPS tray support
  • f40e
    f40e
    Fitting brackets for rear GPS tray support
  • f40f
    f40f
    Fitting brackets for rear GPS tray support
  • f40g
    f40g
    Fitting brackets for rear GPS tray support
  • f40h
    f40h
    Remote audio module fits in same bracket
  • f40i
    f40i
    Figuring out nutplate positions for Adel clamps
  • f40j
    f40j
    Drilling nutplate holes
  • f40k
    f40k
    Modified B&C regulator for rear sub-panel mount
  • f40l
    f40l
    Modified B&C regulator for rear sub-panel mount
  • f40m
    f40m
    Trimming Aerosport side inserts
  • f40n
    f40n
    Priming extra sub-panel brackets and parts
  • f40o
    f40o
    Cutting Fan holes in front forward subassembly skin
  • f40p
    f40p
    Riveting brackets to forward front panel assembly
  • f40q
    f40q
    Fitting skin to forward front subassembly
  • f40r
    f40r
    Upper forward fuse subassembly riveted together
  • f40s
    f40s
    Upper forward fuse subassembly riveted together
  • f40t
    f40t
    Ready to paint flat black on upper forward fuse subassembly
  • f40u
    f40u
    Painted upper forward fuse subassembly
  • f40v
    f40v
    Painted upper forward fuse subassembly
  • f40w
    f40w
    Fitting Aerosport side panels, NACA vent proseal'd in
  • f40x
    f40x
    Bucking rivets the hard way
  • f40y
    f40y
    Upper forward fuse riveting complete!
  • f40z
    f40z
    Upper forward fuse riveting complete!
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