Assembling Fuselage – Join, Empennage, On Gear

Over the last few weeks, since I got the interior parts painted, I have been focused on getting the fuselage halves joined, the empennage ( tail ) installed, and getting the plane on the gear.

First, the two halves were set level, re-joined with clecos, and level checked again.



The next step was to bolt and rivet the halves together at the joining tabs provided.

2_7_2016_AttachingFuse01When all that was accomplished, I worked on the prepping and installation of the empennage.


The brackets were bolted in temporarily when aligned with the horizontal tail (HT). and the HT was then prepped to be installed on the fuselage.

2_13_2016 _PreppingHT01 2_20_2016 _AftHTtempAttach01

Then the HT was placed back on the fuselage and secured with temporary bolts.  Next, the Vertical tail (VT) was put in position to be aligned for plumb and the rudder was installed to be sure the HT was straight to the rudder and that the rudder would move freely.  Then my brother and I went thru the most difficult task of getting everything drilled to size, the bolts installed and secured with the permanent nuts.

2_20_2016 _VTplumbCheck05 2_20_2016 _VTstreightCheck01

With all that being done, I temporarily installed the main gear wheels and brakes. This involved attaching a fitting after having it reamed to the proper size by a machinist, to take the axle. We then set it on the floor for a Photo Op. The wheel and brake install is not complete as there is an issue with getting it to fit flush to the bracket due to bolt heads protruding into the space. The fix for that in the next post.

2_27_2016 _EmpenageInstalled01