Priming mid & forward fuse parts [6.5 hours]

I primed all parts except for the forward fuse bottom skin in one large priming session. I now have a full size spray gun but am still waiting on a fitting so I had to use the mini-gun for the mid fuse skins – slow going. The paint booth was overflowing with parts but I managed to shuffle things around enough to get everything done. Now I’ve got a lot of riveting to do.

  • f6a
    Mid fuse skin a bit too big for paint booth
  • f6b
    Parts for mid fuse and forward fuse
  • f6c
    Mid fuselage skins primed

Forward fuselage preparation [43.5 hours]

It turns out there’s a lot of parts, and a lot of match-drilling/de-burring/work, in the forward fuselage assembly. I’ve taken it through to page 28-8 inclusive of the construction manual. Not many photos from the past few weeks, it’s just been a long, steady grind to work through the process. Now I’ve got way more parts than I can fit into the spray booth, so I’ll have to do a couple of priming sessions. I’m going to de-grease all the parts first, then etch/prime on a separate day.

  • f5a
    Trimming control column mount
  • f5b
    Trimming control column mounts
  • f5c
    Control column mounts after trimming
  • f5d
    Forward fuselage bulkhead subassembly
  • f5e
    Match drilling forward fuselage assemblies
  • f5f
    Match drilling forward fuselage bottom skin
  • f5g
    Match drilling forward fuselage floor panel
  • f5h
    Fitting inspection panel to forward fuselage left rib
  • f5i
    Inspection panel fits nicely in hand cut hole!
  • f5j
    Large parts backlog in priming booth
  • f5k
    Set up to start de-greasing parts


Started forward fuselage section [11.5 hours]

I started the forward fuselage section. The first step is to fit and rivet various angles and powder coated steel parts to the back of the stainless steel firewall. I decided not to prime the Alclad parts that were directly riveted to the firewall. I’m applying a sandwich of Fiberfrax inside stainless steel foil to the engine side of the firewall, but even so in the event of an engine fire parts attached to the firewall could emit fumes which would make a bad day even worse. All I did for corrosion protection of these parts was to lightly scuff the sides in contact with the firewall, degrease, and treat with an Alodine pen. The top side of the parts I’ve left bare, they’re all Alclad and very inspect-able through the panel openings.

Flush riveting the firewall rivets required some care, the stainless steel firewall is very smooth and like an ice skating rink for the rivet gun. I used the F-1048 forward ribs to hold the firewall upright. I shot the right hand side rivets solo, for the left hand side I enlisted help because I didn’t want to risk any accidents using my left (wrong) hand on the rivet gun. I could have tried turning the assembly over instead I guess.

I planned to add an inspection panel to the right hand F-1048 rib, but found to my surprise that the rib was 0.04″ Alclad. I only have 0.032″ material here, so I couldn’t really make a panel up out of that. So I’ve ordered some of the right size Alclad, in the meantime I’m going to hold off on completing the F-1048 forward ribs and riveting them to the firewall. I’m going to just leave them cleco’d in place, and proceed with section 28 of the plans, which fills in a lot of the forward fuselage area, including the bottom skin, false floor, front seat rail supports etc.

  • f4a
    Firewall parts set up for riveting
  • f4b
    Riveting progress
  • f4c
    Riveting complete for now on Firewall
  • f4d
    Scat tube retainer
  • f4e
    Heap of parts for the next step