I come back for updates, but it has been a month and a half since the last one
I really want to see the hull taking shape.
So a while back I had to bent the longerons from ~15 feet of 1"x1"x.125" angle. They get a pretty gentile curve, then a sharp bend at the front of the curve, and some twist in front of the bend. Lots of people stress out about these, but I didn't think they were too bad- just took some time.
Mounting bracket for the autopilot pitch servo:
VERY aft end of the fuselage with the mount for the tailwheel spring:
And the tailcone coming together:
Right side skin in place:
I like this view- it looks like a cutaway technical drawing:
And both skins on:
588 hours into it so far
I'm not sure what I can and can't say about the Stratos project, as RB is very particular about what gets said, and what pictures are made public, etc. I did get to meet Joe Kittinger a few weeks back though and my work made it's way to the cover of Popular Mechanics last month. This months issue of Outside magazine has an articel about it, but the one action shot they have in it has a picture of Felix wearing the parachute harness that alsmost killed him before I was brought into the project. It's definitely the biggest, most corporate project I've been a part of and since I'm working on it in my "off time", the RV is going pretty slow....
How about an update? I wish I wasn't such a slacker on my build log, otherwise updates would be more frequent, BUT I AM WORKING ON IT
The center section going together (your knees go over the gold spar, and you sit in the lower part of the ribs):
Anchor for the harness crotch strap:
Skeleton riveted together:
Bottom skin ready for riveting:
Seat and baggage floors clecoed in place:
Joining the center section to the tailcone:
Had to bend a curve into the forward skins to match up with the curve of the tailcone:
And how it sits now, with the longerons drilled from nose to tail:
Hopefully I'll be able to get a fair bit done between Chistmas and New Years
If it's something you want to do, I say go for it! I grew up with stories of "it took so and so 10-15 years to build his plane". But the truth is, this would be going together a LOT faster if I worked on it regularly- and if I wasn't married, it'd be done by now
Got some work done in the last two weeks
Firewall temporarily mounted:
Bending aluminum angle for some of the forward longerons (stiffeners):
A few of them in place:
And some pedals- we have the clutch, brake, gas and panic brake for my instructor :
Next up is the floor stiffeners and walls for the baggage compartment
Not sure why the pictures are distorted since I've been taking them with my phone.....
Thanks! It's definitely a satisfying way to spend an afternoon, it's just hard to find a nice chunk of time to work on it. They say the fastest way to get done is to work on it a little bit every day, even if just for five minutes, and sometimes I do that. But I much prefer to have a few hours to immerse myself in it and clear my mind of everything else that's going on in my life
Thanks Gern! Fly out to KBDN when they have their airport appreciation day. I might haul the fuse to the airport and do a riveting session on it where our EAA chapter meets to allow the general public to learn a little about building planes. I'm sure the 7X would get some foot traffic too
Just wanted to say you've done some great work and to keep it up!
Really enjoy reading this. I have 2 student (father, son) who are going to buy a kit plane and build it once they get their licenses. I'll be sure to pass this thread onto them, sure they will love it.
If it's not foggy
and you have your fog |ights on
you are a doofus.
"Pro Tip: Don't **** with people who've been trollin' longer than you've been alive." - OOOO-A3
A little more progress this weekend. The forward fuselage floor stiffeners and skin going into place:
And some ribs to stiffen the skin in the baggage area:
I'm getting pretty close to the stage where I disassemble the forward section of the fuselage for the beburr, dimple, prime routine, and right now, I'm not really looking forward to it- too many pieces to keep track of!
Been following this for about 2 years now, great stuff.
Please forgive my ignorance, two questions.
Do you have an instruction manual on putting it together? How big has that book got to be?
A little more general, but I'm not quite understanding the true purpose of the cleco. You install a cleco where you plan to rivet correct? Why not just put a rivet in the first place and be done with it?
"Make it ghetto, make it gangsta."
Sorry I don't have many updates at this point, but I'm close to disassembling the forward portion of the fuselage to do all the prep work for final assembly. There's a LOT of pieces, so my plan is to take a few pieces out at a time and prep them individually, instead of tearing the whole thing down and having a pile of parts on the floor of my shop.
The clecos are a temporary locking fastener that allows you to assemble the structure, drill all the holes to final size, then disassemble it so you can debur the holes and dimple them for flush head rivets if required. When it comes time to rivet the structure, you cleco the assembly together using every other hole, then put rivets in the empty holes, remove the clecos and rivet the holes previously filled by the clecos