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RV-7 Construction Log
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Date:  4-15-2016
Number of Hours:  5.35
Manual Reference:  p. 8-11
Brief Description:  Fitting and Drillng Top Fuselage Skins.

Today I finished fitting the F-774 forward top skin, the F-786A top J-stringers, the F-787 stiffener rib and the F-788 top gusset plate. The J-stringers turned out to be 1/16" to 1/8" too long, so I removed each one individually and retrimmed to clear the aft side of the web of the F-706 bulkhead (photo 1). Also, on the right side, I had to widen the outboard notch in the F-706 bulkhead's flange to allow the tab of the J-stringer to be positioned properly.

Once everything was in place, I final drilled the skin to the F-707 and 706 bulkheads, match drilled the full length F-786A top J-stringers (except for the most forward holes at the F-706 bulkhead, which I drilled only half way through), and final drilled the skin through the F-787 stiffener rib and F-788 gusset plate (photo 2). All holes were drilled by removing once cleco at a time, drilling, and then replacing the cleco. Since the holes through the sides of the longerons have already been drilled, I'm going to wait until unclecoing those edges to drill those holes in the skins to final size. The instructions call for drilling the 8 holes at the very top of the F-706 bulkhead, but I'm going to wait until fitting the F-732 brace to the tip up canopy frame (roll bar).

Once all the drilling was complete I fit the F-656 gusset plates behind the F-706 bulkhead. Since the baggage wall fits flat against the web of the F-706 bulkhead, that bulkhead has no inner flange for stiffness, so I clamped an angle in place to precisely locate the F-656 gusset plates (photo 3). I now have all four of the gusset plates clamped in place, and will drill them to the longerons after removing the top skins.
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Forward ends of the J-stringers trimmed to clear the web of the F-706 bulkhead.

Forward ends of the J-stringers trimmed to clear the web of the F-706 bulkhead.

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Top skins drilled to the bulkheads, J-stringers, stiffener rib and top gusset plate.

Top skins drilled to the bulkheads, J-stringers, stiffener rib and top gusset plate.

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Precisely setting the position of the gusset plates behind the F-706 bulkhead.

Precisely setting the position of the gusset plates behind the F-706 bulkhead.

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