June 29, 2015 – I fitted and drilled the canopy decks and gussets today.
First I had to finish riveting the aft deck in place.
I also had left out the upper two skin rivets on each side at the F710 bulkhead. I did this to allow the longerons to slide into place. I took care of these rivets with no problem.
I already had the F721B aft canopy decks clecoed in place; I had to fit and drill the F721A forward canopy decks. These have a close fit to each other where they join; I had to file a little bit off the end of the forward decks to fit nicely.
The F695 gussets were next. These are notorious for not fitting exactly against the firewall.
I trimmed the forward edges at the outboard side. Fits great now.
I laid out the rivet pattern on one of them per the drawing, then I piloted the holes to #40.
Since the two parts are mirror images of each other, I clamped them together to drill the holes, then took them up to #30 (1/8″).
I clamped them in place in the fuselage, then drilled. I clecoed them tightly in place as I went, and used a little BoeLube to help with the drilling through the firewall brackets, which are steel.
I took them off and deburred the holes in the longerons and the firewall angles.
I also drilled the shoulder harness anchors. These go way back towards the back of the fuselage, and are connected by a cable to the harnesses. I clamped them in place and drilled, using a reamer for the finish holes.
I clecoed the F709 bulkhead in place as well. This bulkhead is stamped and pretty wonky. I fluted it a bit to get it to lay a bit flatter. I’ll paint it and rivet it in place.
I put the F757 plates in place. A corner of these plates gets cut out for a sliding canopy. I marked that cutout on one. I’ll clamp the two together and do the cutouts, since these also are mirror-image parts.
I’m going to try to prep a bunch of these parts together at the same time, so I can paint them all at once.