Cockpit Details

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The cockpit area has lots of little details that have to be wrapped up. This shot shows the floor stiffener. It is a square tube riveted to the floor, and held to the firewall and spar carry thru box with gussets. The standard gusset sits only on the left side, and creates a little pocket under the flange to collect junk.
To seal this off, I made a mirror image gusset and attached it to the other side, then riveted the two gussets together on the top flanges. It worked great, and was very easy.
With the floor stiffener in place, I then started on the under-seat structure.
I started by aligning the channels and gussets on the workbench.
Then, I transferred it to the fuselage to continue fitting it.
The cap strip is then added (seen with the piano hinge loops for the seat attachment).
You can see in this picture that the vertical clips for the side channels are way too small. The flange to attach then is about half as wide as it needs to be. And, as luck would have it, the clips were already riveted to the structure.
If these clips were used, the rivets would barely (if at all) catch the channel. They needed to be remade. I don't know if the plans were wrong, or if I just misread them as to the width of this flange. I remember making those clips because at the time, I noticed the flange was really short and assumed they were just a stiffener. Hummmm....
Here is the new clip compared to the old one. It was a pretty quick and easy fix, but just one of those things that needs to be done right.
Back in the fuselage to fit the cap strip to the seat belt attachment anchors (the two silver clecos on the left hand side).
The cap strip (like many other parts in this section) is very tight quarters, and my 12" drill bits got well used all through here.
Everything was then pulled back out to be riveted on the workbench.
The elevator bellcrank assembly (previously completed) fitted and clecoed.
Many of these rivets here were tough to get in properly. You can see the rivets in the center. There was no room for the longer rivets called for in the plans, so I substituted some smaller rivets. Additionally, I could not get to the bottom rivet on the vertical line, so I came in from the opposite side.
Then, back into the fuselage to be riveted for good.
Except for the spar carry thru tunnel, the bottom skin is all riveted!
I had been putting off fitting the front turtle deck formers for a while, but it was time now to finally do it. You can see the baggage compartment in the background also.
It was a bit of a tight fit on the attach plates. The rivets look closer to the edge of the former than they really are.
After riveting the forward turtledeck formers, I was a little unhappy with the gaps right at the base of the formers. I used some scrap 1/8" to keep the rivet from pulling the skin into a monster dimple, but I need to make it LOOK better as well.
As much as I don't like Bondo, it seemed to be the best option.
So I mixed up about 10 cents worth, and filled the gaps around the edge of the formers.
The Bondo didn't want to sand right until it had cured a few days, but I eventually got it to look ok.


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Updated: 1 May 05