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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  4-14-2016
Number of Hours:  4.50
Manual Reference:  p. 8-11
Brief Description:  Fitting Top Fuselage Skins

The first task today was to set the flange angles on the right side of bulkheads F-706, 707, and 708.

I had cut the top F-786A top J-stringers to length some time ago, so the next step was to trim the forward ends. After marking the centerlines and putting the stringers in place, I noticed that the hole in the tab in the aft (F-708) bulkhead for the stringer looked like it was offset about 1/8" outboard on the tab, enough enough to move it too far off the centerlines of the stringers. Clecoing the skin in place showed that the hole is actually in the right place, so the tab itself seems to be offset 1/8" inboard. I widened the outboard slots on both tabs on the F-708 bulkhead (photo 1) to allow clearance to center the stringers. Also, I predrilled the aft hole in both stringers rather than trusting tape (per instructions) to hold the stringers for drilling.

After clecoing the F-775 rear top skin in place, including the aft stringer holes, I located the stringer centerlines in the skin holes at the F-707 bulkhead and drilled about half way through the stringers, then unclecoed the stringer aft ends, slid them out an inch or two, then finished drilling the holes. This gives me perfect alignment of the stringers to the skin, and avoids the possibility of drilling an offset hole in the bulkhead tab if it happens to be bent.

In checking the fit of the bulkhead flanges, I noticed that those on the right side of the F-707 weren't quite mating with the skin, so I unclecoed that side and adjusted the flanges accordingly. I did notice that it takes a cleco in every single hole to make the skin curve around the bulkheads properly (photo 2). I final drilled every hole at the 708 bulkhead (except the stringer attach holes) by only removing the cleco in the hole being drilled.

With the F-707 now rigid on the structure, I clecoed and clamped its two F-656 gussets in place for drilling once the skin is removed.
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Widened the outboard slots to clear the stringers, and pre-drilled the aft hole in the stringers.

Widened the outboard slots to clear the stringers, and pre-drilled the aft hole in the stringers.

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Aft top skin 100% clecoed to the F-708 and 707 bulkheads.

Aft top skin 100% clecoed to the F-708 and 707 bulkheads.

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Aft view of today's progress.

Aft view of today's progress.

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