We spent Boxing Day and the following day over at my sister’s house, so I only got a little time after Mass to work on the plane. With the side skins riveted and the wiring and static lines routed, it was time to get started on the aft deck and prepare for the top skins. Most of the miscellaneous small parts are now primed and ready. In addition to these aft deck parts, I also primed the top skin and it’s stiffeners.
The aft deck clecoed in pretty easily. I’m still amazed at how well everything lines up. At this stage, you just have to do some final drilling for the attach brackets. A couple C-clamps made that pretty easy.
Now there are a lot of rivets to hold the aft-deck together. Not surprising considering the load the tail will put on it. A couple of the rivet call outs are wrong where the length doesn’t take into account the F-01411E. I was able to squeeze most of the rivets with my standard yoke and my 4″ flat-nose. I had to shoot a couple of hard to reach ones though. There is good access through the lightening holes for that.
It looks very pretty!
In the next step, I had to pull the vertical stabilizer down from the wall to temporarily mount it to drill a couple holes. The plans warn, “It is critical to drill the holes perpendicular to the Vertical Stabilizer Spar.” I used a wood block with a #12 hole I drilled using a drill press. It kept things very square. The plans say to use a cleco on top and bolts (with temporary nuts) to hold it below. I found that a cleco through the bracket hole worked just fine. Do note that you have to thread the wiring harness through the systems hole to complete the mount. Some extra hands would have been nice, but I was able to do it myself with only a little awkwardness.
Next step: The three top skins get assembled and mounted. I’ll need a hand to get the topmost one on since it will be a long reach. Some builders lined the inside with blankets and did it that way. We’ll see.