Monday, November 5, 2012

Fuselage Side Skins

There is a portion of the side skins you have to bend yourself. It's a little tricky at first but then you work out the process and finish with a decent curve. There is a sharp bend in the front and it opens to a larger bend in the aft, opposite that for the forward skins. There is a lot of drilling which means there is a lot if deburring coming as well. The shop floor is filled with tiny bits of aluminum.

I test fitted the landing gear brackets which was a pain to get the holes to line up. I had to bend the lower flange further inboard on the LH side and didn't use the shim that's called out, but the RH side needed it. These things are made of thick steel so as you can imagine it was no picnic to get them to agree to go in.

Side note: I had a couple parts missing from one of the bags, a quick call to Van's and they're mailing them to me.

When fitting the skins I noticed the RH side didn't match well with the curve of the longeron. So I used a trick I learned from an old sheet metal mechanic, the tapered shim. Simple really, just start with a sheet as thick as you need and thin it out on one side using a belt sander. It smooths out the transition from shim to no shim. I have a pre-shim and post-shim picture posted.

The only major issue with this section so far is with the upper firewall brackets (WD-1002). I'll write a detail post about that when I get it all worked out.

10/31 1.5 started bending skins
11/1 3.0 bent aft side skins
11/3 5.0 drilled aft skins
11/4 6.0 fwd skins bending, etc
11/5 9.0 fwd skins drilled, other work

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