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Assembling the Rear Fuselage

March 23, 2013

The pictures look pretty neat, and it is cool to see a big piece of the fuselage starting to come together, but there really isn’t a whole lot to it.

Fuselage - Rear Fuselage

Fuselage - Rear Fuselage

I actually got most of this done during the week. The bulkheads, of course, were already completed in a previous step, so it was just a matter of getting the sides and the bottom and riveting it all together.  The only mistake I made was in not understanding the fit of the J-Channel stiffeners.  They run the length of the aft fuselage and add support to hold everything together.

J-Channels run from fore to aft on the sides.

J-Channels run from fore to aft on the sides.

So I had to order four new ones and they are on the way.  The very aft section made up of the F-712, F-711 and the F-779.  They dont fit.  If you followed the instructions up to now, they just dont fit.

Fuselage - most aft Fuselage - most aft - skin

The F-711 just needed a little bit of adjustment of the flanges to make it fit just right.

The F-712 was another story.  I had to slightly bend it lengthwise down the middle, like a taco, and then bend it aft about a 1/4 of the way up the bulkhead.  This and adjusting the flanges eventually made it fit nicely.  Wish they had mentioned this in the instructions.

The bottom skin of this section is the F-779.  You need to continue the bend on both sides of the skin that they started at the factory.  I used my carpet covered workbench and just kept pressing down on the skin in an attempt to get it to roll just a little bit more.  Massaging it like this I was able to get it 95% right.  I thing I am going to use my hand seamer to get the bit where the holes line up with the J-Channel and the skin a bit more parallel with those pieces.  Both sides need just a slight tweaking.

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