Fuselage Skin Riveting Complete!

Build Crew:



We have finally gotten through the section “Skin Riveting”! It has been one heck of an effort by numerous folks to rivet the hundreds (dare I say thousands?) on the fuselage. Over the process we only had to drill out a handful of rivets (outside of my mid-longeron mistake) and successfully worked through numerous challenges.

One of the latest issues was that one of the rear bulkheads was installed facing the wrong way. AAAACCKKKK! I discovered this when installing the aft deck and realizing that nothing was lining up correctly. After a rant of explicitives, I took a deep breath and  drilled it out the offending rivets and corrected the installation. (In the end it really only took me a couple hours to correct this mistake) This is an area I wanted to make sure fit nice and tight so I opted to up size the rivets to -4 “oops” rivets. This gave them a nice snug fit while keeping the head size the same, and given the edge distance, was more than sufficient. I was happy with my choice.

An additional challenge was getting to some of the rivets in the seat back support plates, and the seat back support itself. I wanted to avoid bucking as much as possible and was successfully able to squeeze almost all the rivets in this area. At times it took some creativity like putting the yoke in place, and then building the squeezer around it. If I ever do another plane I will upgrade to the foot squeezer (by Numatix I think), which has a much smaller body. Jack was able to help me with the one side plate rivet that was unreachable.

The final step in this section is installing the seat back support. This is a big weldment that dividers the front seat area from the back seat. Although it is not much, it felt like a big step past the “canoe phase, and into the “let’s make this look like an airplane” phase.

Next up is fitting the landing gear and installation of the front bottom skins. Ugh… more skin riveting, but I think a lot of these are pop rivets… at least I hope! 


Until then I leave you with a picture of the first passenger in our RV-8 build…. Happy Building!!

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