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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  4-2-2013
Number of Hours:  2.60
Manual Reference:  p 8-1
Brief Description:  Started Fuselage - Firewall

I've been getting anxious to start the fuselage, so I'm declaring the wings ready for pre-closure inspection. A couple of guys from EAA Chapter 49 down in Lancaster will be coming up soon to do the honors. Actually, I have a few minor tasks to complete before I start riveting bottom skins. The only one that I think really HAS to be done is dimpling the rivet holes for the pitot mast. I'll probably also add snap bushings for running pitot and AOA lines.

Anyway, on to the fuselage. I located most of the firewall parts and got started. All I got done was fabricating the F-601J-L & R angles that transfer loads from the inboard engine mount to bottom forward fuselage stringers. I started by cutting 3" pieces off of 12" stock, then laying out the angles according to the plans, marking the lines with a scribe. I roughed the cuts to within about 1/32" to 1/16" on my bandsaw, even though the blade is a bit coarse (and dull) for cutting the 3/16" thick angle. I took it slow and finally got through it. I then ground right to the scribe lines with my belt sander.

The plans tell you to radius the bottom and inboard vertical edges to nest in the firewall stiffener angles. I did this and got an excellent fit all the way around on both pieces. It turns out this was a bit of a wasted effort, because the plans have a note to locate the angles 3/32" above the lower stiffener. Also, there is a gusset between the angles and the vertical stiffeners, so neither edge of the angles really nest into the stiffeners. With the F-601J's fabricated to plans dimensions, the 3/32" gap at the bottom is necessary to get proper edge distance along the forward diagonal edge.
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Wings Ready For Tech Inspection

Wings Ready For Tech Inspection

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Parts, plans, and instructions for firewall.

Parts, plans, and instructions for firewall.

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F-601J-L&R fabricated and test fit.

F-601J-L&R fabricated and test fit.

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