Saturday, September 15, 2012

Completion Of Tail Cone Fuselage Frames

One of the first items in Van’s instructions for assembling the tail cone fuselage frames is to rivet the F-1208A nylon wear plate onto the F-1208-R fuselage frame with two LP4-3 rivets. The wear plate prevents the control cables from wearing into the fuselage frame. There is also an accompanying note stating the wear plate can be turned 180 degrees before requiring total replacement. Just thinking about drilling out rivets in the tail cone makes me cringe … even if the F-1208 frame is near the baggage compartment. To my way of thinking, it won’t be any fun at all drilling out those two rivets to flip or replace the wear plate … plus ugly things can happen when drilling out a perfectly good rivet.

I decided to just use two 6/32 Allen socket head cap screws (aircraft grade of course) to mount the wear plate to the F-1208-R fuselage frame. I was thinking about drilling for nutplates but since both parts already had rivet holes, I decided to use those holes to mount the wear plate.  Now the servicing of the wear plate should be much simpler.
      Wear plate screwed onto the F-1208 fuselage frame using 6/32 hardware for easy (well, easier) servicing.
                   The two 6/32 Allen socket head cap screws used to secure the wear plate to the fuselage frame.

Van’s plans call for the F-1208 and F-1209 frame halves to get riveted together using LP4-3 pop rivets … I elected to use AN470AD4-4 rivets, stronger and less weight (have to make up for that wear plate 6/32 hardware).
                                         Riveting the fuselage frames using solid rivets as opposed to pop rivets.

The F-1210 left and right frames are a little more complex because there is a mounting plate for the vertical stabilizer that is attached to the F-1210 frame along with a bracket to support the top fuselage skin aft of the stabilizer’s attach plate. Van’s plans call for two sizes of solid rivets here … but the AN470AD4-4 rivets called for in the plans are just a little short (I know I’m being overly picky). Having some half sized rivets, determined that AN470AD4-4.5 rivets fit perfectly … so they were used in place of the 4-4 rivets. The longer AN470AD4-5 rivets called for where the bracket is located were a good fit.
          Completed F-1210 fuselage frame/vertical stabilizer mounting plate – manufactured rivet head side.
                     Completed F-1210 fuselage frame/vertical stabilizer mounting plate - rivet shop head side.
                                                        Completed tail cone fuselage frames.