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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  2-9-2014
Number of Hours:  5.00
Manual Reference:  p.8-6
Brief Description:  Center Fuselage

To start the day off, Mike and Donna Drake stopped by for a project visit. They're just getting started, having recently ordered an RV-7 empennage kit, and are in the process of acquiring tools. We also took them out to the airport for a close look at Hal Lyons' flying RV-7. Welcome to the RV community Mike and Donna!

The first order of business was riveting the bottom skin to the center fuselage. Hal Lyons ran the gun and I bucked (photo 1), and we knocked it out in less than 2 hours! After Hal headed home, I flipped the assembly upright (photo 2), and added 8 nut plates for seat rib access plates that I'd forgotten before installing the ribs, as well as the rivets connecting the F-704 bulkhead flange to the forward most top flange hole in each of the 8 seat ribs. If you are reading this and haven't yet riveted your center fuselage, make SURE you've installed all required nutplates in the seat rib webs, as they are a BEAR to install with all the other ribs in the way.

Next I installed the forward half of the F-704 bulkhead with the wood spacers, and snugged up 2 of the large wing attach bolts on each side, then clecoed all 6 floor panels in place to square up and stiffen the assembly.

At this point, the instructions have you match drill the F-715 outboard seat ribs to the F-704 bulkhead and the bottom skin. I had already drilled these ribs to the bottom skin earlier so I could dimple the skin in this area before assembly, so I clecoed the left one to the bottom skin, and to the F-705 bulkhead. With the two halves of the F-704 bulkhead bolted together the lower ends of the F-704C uprights that attach the forward end of the F-715 ribs are pretty stiff but the upper sections still have some play. To make absolutely sure these parts were in the right place, I clecoed the F-704H side plate and left side skin in place. This also allowed me to drill the skin, side plate, upright, and outboard seat rib as an assembly rather than piecemeal (photo 3).

Rivets Today: 350
Rivets Total: 10253 (milestone!!)
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I'm the

I'm the "headless bucker", and Hal Lyons is running the gun.

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Center fuselage center bottom skin riveted to all ribs and the F-705 bukhead.

Center fuselage center bottom skin riveted to all ribs and the F-705 bukhead.

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Left outboard seat rib match drilled to the F-404 bulkhead and the side skin.

Left outboard seat rib match drilled to the F-404 bulkhead and the side skin.

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