Mon May 25 2009

Fuselage details

OK, so after 12 hours of working on the plane yesterday (okay...10.5 once you discount breaks), I didn't have it in me to do anything on the project today, but I wanted to get a few shots of some areas that came out exceptionally well.

Here's one of the conical bends as riveted to the tail cone. Greg did an awesome job here and we didn't get even the slightest smiley on either skin. Nice work, Greg!

The fit between the side skin and the center section bottom skin came out great. There's virtually no gap. I didn't think I could be happier with the fit...

...until I looked at the same place on the left side. Apparently the planets were in alignment yesterday because we somehow managed to get a perfect joint at this side as well. One unusual aspect to this joint is that at the aft end of this junction, the side skin sits outside the bottom skin, but as you move forward, it transitions so that the bottom skin sits outside the side skin. I was surprised there wasn't any funky edge deformation.

I was a little concerned about these three flush rivets aft of the rear spar, but the non-swivel mushroom set did a fine job. We just had to tilt the set slightly to account for the curvature of the face of the rivet set, and they came out just fine. Oh, we also had to drive these without a retaining spring on the gun.

Also in this photo you can see that the two rivets just above (below in this pic) the rear spar were substituted with AN426 rivets. Having these as flush head rivets will hopefully eliminate interferece issues with the rear spar.

Here's a shot of the inside where the conical bend of the F-770 side skin meets up with the tailcone and the F-706 bulkhead. These all came out great.

This rivet line is where the forward bottom skin overlaps the center bottom skin. The joint came out very good, but not perfect. We ended up with a couple places like this where the skin didn't pull down completely tight. Mostly this occurred at the rib intersections, but this location happened to be in between ribs. As you can see from the photo, the gap is very slight, so I'm not worried about this at all.