Monthly Archives: July 2011

Starting on the fuselage

Started cutting sheet metal parts for the fuselage.  Here are the sides of the forward fuselage.  I ended up using a nibbler to cut the holes.

I used an Olfa P800 laminate cutter to score the cut lines.  I was able to snap the parts out right on the lines.

Here is a form block I made.

On top are the parts I formed with the form block and underneath are a few parts I cut out along with some scrap I practiced using the hole cutter on with a hand drill.  I decided not to try this on the fuselage sides and ended up using the slower and safer nibbler method.

Horizontal Stabilizer Skinned

I thought it would be fun to have my friend Archie help rivet the stabilizer skins.  I got all the holes deburred and ready for riveting and had him come over one evening.  He ended up riveting most of the right stabilizer.  We had a good time with him telling some of his experiences aboard the USS Dunlap during WWII.

Attaching the hinges to the elevators and stabilizers and getting everything to line up seemed scary, but I was careful and everything worked out as perfectly as I could hope for.  Having it assembled and laid out on my 4’x8′ workbench really gives me an appreciation for how big this is (even if it is a small plane).

Horizontal Stabilizer Skinning


I started skinning the horizontal stabilizer.  Turns out I didn’t pay attention to what side was “up” and drilled all the holes for one side and had it clecoed on.  The next day I was thinking about it and realized I had a 50/50 chance of having it backwards.  Fortunately I got lucky.  Since both skins were laser cut, I THINK I could have simply switched them around and all the holes would have lined up, but I am very glad I didn’t have to.

It is a great feeling seeing the skin line up with all the ribs that were previously laid out.


Vertical Stabilizer riveted

I riveted the skin to the vertical stabilizer and built the rudder.  I decided to polish the skins while I was at it.  They seem like they need some more work, but I’m pleased with the results so far.