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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  4-9-2016
Number of Hours:  3.85
Manual Reference:  p.9-10, DWG 23
Brief Description:  Side Rail Gussets and Forward Fuselage Gussets

The result of last Wednesday's error while drilling the F-757 gussets was that the edge distances on the holes attaching it to the longerons are a bit short on edge distance. The longerons are fine. While I'm waiting on a new part (under $4!), I was checking the fit of parts on this very busy juncture, and noticed that it will be difficult to buck the three rivets behind the F-705G canopy latch angle that attach the forward top skin and side skin to the main longeron in this area. In photo 1 you can see where the drill bit hit the edge of the F-705G angle when initially drilling the longerons. I've seen at least one builder on VAF who's notched that angle to at least allow pulled rivets, if not bucking access. I'll post a question there to see how common of a problem this is.

Next I laid out and drilled the holes on the F-695 forward fuselage gussets. This was quite tricky, as there are a lot of holes in a small space, and if you aren't careful, you could end up with a hole too close to the aft edge of the top engine mount brackets, and a hole too close to the aft end of the bracket itself. I used the recommended 1/2-inch spacing for the forward 10 rivets, then went to 9/16 to clear the aft end of the engine mount bracket, then evenly spaced slightly less than 1/2 inch for the next three to allow 5/16 at the aft end.

Also, the (nearly) right angle at the forward corner of the gusset doesn't exactly match the angle between the main longerons and the top firewall cross member. There is about 1/16 inch gap between the inboard forward corner of the gusset and the firewall when the outboard corner is against the firewall. If strictly adhering to the plans' dimensions for the holes, this would cause marginal edge distance on the firewall cross member angle. Instead of the 7/16 typical edge distance along the forward edge, I used 3/8 edge distance on the inboard end, tapering to about 13/32 at the inboard end of the row. This gave me a fairly consistent 5/16 edge distance on the top cross member (photo 3).
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I think I have some whittling to do on the F-705G...

I think I have some whittling to do on the F-705G...

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F-695 gussets pre-drilled to #40.

F-695 gussets pre-drilled to #40.

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Edge distances on the structure check out fine.

Edge distances on the structure check out fine.

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