Tail bulkhead assembly

Last time out, I started riveting the aft most bulkhead in the tail to the aft bottom skin. Tonight, I worked on finishing up riveting that bulkhead in place. It’s a bit of a pain working inside the tight curvature of the bottom skin here, but I got the first bulkhead done without much trouble. One of the rivets I shot last week had to be drilled out and replaced as well.

Next, the other bulkhead – with the attached tail spring mount – is clecoed and riveted in place. This was where things got really hairy. Not only did still have the tight curvature, but now I had the tail spring mount in the way as well. I actually ended up removing the two bolts I installed last time just to get some clearance to work – there were two rivets that I don’t think I could have done otherwise. Even with that little compromise, these things took a long time, I think about ten minutes per rivet on average. Another complicating factor was that the bulkhead tabs didn’t want to sit flush against the skin, so I had to get creative with methods to clamp the tabs while I riveted.

But finally, it was done, so I installed the aft bottom skin assembly in the tail, along with the lower longerons:

IMG 6829

Next up is the accursed forward aft bottom skin, which I’m not looking forward to. That thing was a huge pain to get in place last time. At least this time I can take comfort in knowing that it’ll be done with. But first I’ve got to dimple the thing, it’s still waiting for that. I honestly might work on installing the forward side skins first, we’ll see.

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