14th August 2010

Aft skins riveted

Hours: 4.2 | Posted in Upper Fuse & Skins

Allison helped rivet the aft skins to the fuselage in an evening session today, while I laid inside the tailcone to buck.  A couple pieces of egg-carton foam made it bearable, almost comfortable.  After riveting the skins, I bolted the shoulder harness anchors to the longerons, as long as I was back there.  Also riveted the canopy stop brackets to the longerons.

I did end up–as I have read others do–using three blind rivets on each side of the aft skins, at the forward end where the heavy angle piece under the roll bar blocks access to the rivet tails.  The pride of solid rivets there wasn’t worth the frustration of the impossible bucking access.  They can always be filled with a dab of epoxy before paint and no one will ever know.

(edit: I see now that those blind rivets, CCR264SS-3-4, which I pulled from a “Cherry rivets” bin at Oshkosh, are actually soft rivets intended for installing nutplates.  I hadn’t realized the depth of the Cherry rivet catalog, and bought those on impulse, thinking of this spot.  I’ll research and order some correct rivets that would be appropriate here, perhaps a CR3214-4-x, and remove/replace these when they arrive…)

(edit 2: The CR3214-4-x rivets have been successfully used by others, according to the wisdom of the internet, but they are reportedly expensive, and the common suppliers only stock them in 100-pack minimums.  I did find where someone else had this same dilemma and ended up using the “nutplates” rivets that I just installed.  I flirted with the idea of leaving them in place, since they would be easy to replace later if/when needed.  But, I did bite the bullet and order some of the spendy rivets, since VAF threads indicate they may come in handy when closing up the forward top skin as well.  Genuine Aircraft Hardware is stocking them in 10-packs, though they are definitely made of precious metal, looking at the price…)

Bucking the tailcone Aft top skins riveted Forward view of fuselage status

Harness anchors installed Canopy stops installed Blind rivets at forward end of top skin

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