I started out by trimming the top flange of both F-749 forward baggage side covers. Out of the box, the top flange is rectangular and will not fit on top of the tapered forward section of the F-722 horizontal aft fuselage bulkhead. There were small notches on two edges of the flange indicating the endpoints of a trim line (similar to trimming control surface stiffeners), but I thought it would be a nice touch to have the flange follow the curvature of the fuselage at that point. I made a cardboard template of the curvature of the main longeron, then used the template to mark the top flange of the side covers. After trimming just outside the line, I finished the edge with a vixen file. A small touch, but well worth the extra few minutes it took (photo 1).
In fitting the forward side covers to the structure, I had to tweak almost every flange involved, but I finally got both of them to fit with everything relaxed (photo 2). The biggest challenge was the F-724 vertical bulkheads in the middle of the compartment. I had to tweak the outboard flange to move the screw holes into position on the covers, then tweak the inboard flange to make it parallel to the covers. To tweak the outboard flange (already riveted to the side skin), I sandwiched the web between two pieces of 3/4" square aluminum tubing and twisted with a pair of channel lock pliers. I even took the time to slightly tweak the forward flange of the forward cover to lie nicely on the F-706’s vertical channel.
The top of the F-749R trimmed to the curvature of thefuselage.
Left side forward baggae side cover fitted to the fuselage structure.