Ivan's RV-7

Starting the aft fuselage assemblyTimer icon2h

September 13, 2022

Started assembling the aft fuselage.

The first thing I did was to rivet the bulkheads.

F-707 and F-708 are riveted.

After that, I started working on an aft tailcone assembly. This one is really hard to fit right. Even without the side skins, making all the holes to match is difficult. I did some initial fitting hoping that side skins will help to keep the parts in their corresponding locations.

The aft tailcone assembly.

Then I switched to working on the J-channels. First, I clecoed the bulkheads and the aft assembly together with the skins.

Then I cut the aft ends of the J-channels. Instead of following the plans, I made sure they fit the tailcone assembly. I did not cut to the length at that time. The idea was to measure against the tailcone assembly so I don't cut them too short.

The aft ends of the J-channels.

Initially, I tried using the Dremel cut-off disc but found that I don't have much control. Sometimes it would grab and run over the part. Not willing to risk the parts, I switched to using a hacksaw blade.

This is what the parts would look like after trimming with the hacksaw:

Rough cut with the hacksaw.

After an initial trimming, I would file them to the desired profile.

Tailcone assembly with the J-channels slid in:

The tailcone clecoed. Another view.

Then I made sure I get enough of the edge distance on the F-710B part (a common source of edge distance issues).

An estimation of the edge distance on F-710B.

I used a short section of AA6-125X3/4X3/4 angle to simulate the longeron. The fit looks good. Not a lot of the edge distance, but about the maximum I can get. I think it will work just fine.

An estimated longeron fit.

Since I still don't have the tailwheel assembly, I am going to prepare (drill, dimple, prime) the tailcone without it and then fit the WD-409 tailwheel mount later."