Building, testing and operating an experimental aircraft

Fuselage Pre-Cover Inspection

06 Oct 2013

Empennage Fitting Hero Shot Empennage Fitting Hero Shot

I wanted to have Tom Olson, our EAA Chapter 33 Tech Counselor, look over the work we’d done on the fuselage from the vantage point of an FAA inspector. I felt that if there were areas that might draw attention, we ought to fix them before we riveted on the aft turtledeck.

I especially wanted Tom to look at:

Tom graciously came out to the shop, and spent 3 hours looking at the plane and wrote on his report “workmanship looks great.” He called it the “fuselage pre-cover inspection.” He noted two bolts that appeared short because no thread was showing after the nut, which we will change.

He thought the fuselage riveting looked good. He said to use safety wire on what Van recommended and that he had never seen or heard of a problem with nuts or fittings coming loose without it. He did recommend torque seal on the blue fuel system fittings. He said some people use it on everything but he thinks that is overkill. He thought the fuel setup was fine and the bends were good. He thought the gear attach was okay, but did recommend applying torque seal the gear attach bolts.

We tried to measure the toe-in and he thought it was about 1 degree on each side. He took some measurements and is going to try to calculate it more closely. He was also going to call others who did this and see how they handled it, but he thought we should order the 1 degree shim kit.

He saw no reason not to put on the top skins next, but would run the tubing first for the static air. Also, when we drilled the rear top skin we missed the rear shoulder harness anchor that is riveted to the top skin and the 808 bulkhead (see DWG 71). We will have to install the skin, drill it and then remove it for dimples before riveting. He also recommended we put a drain hole in front of the 809 bulkhead and that we install the 869 bulkhead gussets (Detail A, DWG 71). He thought they would give important support. He thought we should do as much as we can on the fuse before starting the firewall forward.

Again, thanks to Tom for taking the time to come out and double-check our workmanship. We appreciate it!

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