When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

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When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby NWade » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:56 pm

Hi All,

So I am finally closing in on completing the basic airframe! Wings & Empennage were done a long time ago, and the Fuselage has been the main project for the majority of this year.

I'm working on the SNX-F09 and F08 pages, and I'm wondering when I should rivet in the lower forward fuselage skin. Conventional wisdom says to wait as long as possible. But with all of the F10 parts that tie into the lower fuselage skin (between the spar tunnel and the aft spar carrythrough), it seems like it should all go together at once, no? The aft bottom skin can still be left off until much latter (to make rigging controls easier), but it seems like the forward skin should go on now.

Any tips or thoughts on the ideal time to do this?
(Other tips or suggestions on finishing out the fuselage are always appreciated as well)

Thanks, take care,

--Noel
Sonex #1339
Center-stick, Taildragger, Acro-Ailerons, Flush (pulled) rivets, Aerovee Turbo
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby Bryan Cotton » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:21 pm

Noel,
I had the same mindset as you. Steve from down under talked me out of it and I am glad. I think I will rivet mine after first flight. Much easier to work under there kneeling on the floor of the hangar.
Bryan Cotton
Poplar Grove, IL C77
Waiex 191 N191YX reserved
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby kmacht » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:45 pm

Not until the very last minute before the dar inspection. Having it open will allow you to easily get behind the panel to fix wiring, pull the gas tank if needed, adjust the rudder cables, etc. The moment you rivet it on you will instantly find a reason to wish it were still remove able. I have been finished with my plane a few years and still wish mine could be pulled at times.

Keith
#554
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby wlarson861 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:12 am

Not until the very last minute before the dar inspection. Having it open will allow you to easily get behind the panel to fix wiring, pull the gas tank if needed, adjust the rudder cables, etc. The moment you rivet it on you will instantly find a reason to wish it were still remove able. I have been finished with my plane a few years and still wish mine could be pulled at times.

Keith
#554


I agree. I riveted the forward floor on and left the tail belly skin off. There were several times i had to crawl under the panel while finishing everything. Just make sure the floor is clecoed well when rigging the wing to keep everything rigid.
Bill Larson
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby wlarson861 » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:12 am

Not until the very last minute before the dar inspection. Having it open will allow you to easily get behind the panel to fix wiring, pull the gas tank if needed, adjust the rudder cables, etc. The moment you rivet it on you will instantly find a reason to wish it were still remove able. I have been finished with my plane a few years and still wish mine could be pulled at times.

Keith
#554


I agree. I riveted the forward floor on and left the tail belly skin off. There were several times i had to crawl under the panel while finishing everything. Just make sure the floor is clecoed well when rigging the wing to keep everything rigid.
Bill Larson
N861SX
Sonex, polished, tail wheel, AeroVee Turbo
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby Area 51% » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:58 am

Like a good little soldier, I riveted mine according to the plans schedule. I didn't join this group till it was too late. I can already see the advantages of a removable floor.


What's going to save me, however, is I have a 3'9" wife that has an extra elbow and wrist on each arm, and I still have a hang-glider harness and plan to suspend myself from the ceiling when it comes time to rig the wings.
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby mike.smith » Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 pm

I riveted mine on the day before it's DAR inspection. I had it on with clecos any time I needed the skin on, but no riveting until the night before. Glad I did it that way. Highly recommended !!!!!!

http://www.mykitlog.com/users/display_l ... 0851&row=2
http://www.mykitlog.com/users/display_l ... 0899&row=1
Mike Smith
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby rizzz » Sat Dec 03, 2016 7:32 pm

Area 51% wrote:..., and I still have a hang-glider harness and plan to suspend myself from the ceiling when it comes time to rig the wings.


Make sure you take some pictures of that when the time comes :-)
Michael
Sonex #145 from scratch (mostly)
Taildragger, 2.4L VW engine, AeroInjector, Prince 54x48 P-Tip
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby NWade » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:12 am

So all you guys who waited until your DAR inspection: You rigged the wings with all of the F10 & F09 parts (all the bits aft of the spar tunnel) just cleco'ed in place? You can't rivet in the tunnel until you rig the wings, and those F10 & F09 parts all connect to either the spar tunnel or the lower rear horizontal cross-member. They can't really be riveted into a stable configuration without the bottom skin in, right? As strong as a well-cleco'ed bunch of parts seem, I think things can still wiggle into a different alignment when you put weight or torque on a series of cleco'ed parts... Did you essentially stop fuselage work at F09 and work on the canopy, fuel, electrical, and engine pages; then return to finish off the lower fwd fuse afterwards?

Thanks,

--Noel
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Re: When to rivet lower fwd fuselage skin?

Postby peter anson » Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:10 am

All the advice is good. Wish I had known about it when I built my Sonex. Even well after the aircraft is flying good access in the forward fuselage would be nice. Here's how Brian Ham achieved that; a removable floor panel which you can see in this photograph of VH-ULB (which Brian tells me stands for "you little beauty").
Image
It does add some weight because you need to add a reinforcing ring around the hole. I think the main reason Brian fitted the panel was for access to the toe brakes he has also fitted.

Peter
Sonex 894
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