Forward skin disassembly

Well, my plan to leave the skin on long enough to do a trial fit with the canopy turned out to be a bust. Mainly this was my fault too, which is kind of the best part. Originally my estimated delivery date was this past Tuesday, and as off Monday my crate was in Dallas, so things were looking up. Well, I missed the call from ABF Monday afternoon, and then when I called them back it was just past 5:00…too late. No worries, I can wait a few more days. Except when I called back the next morning, I discovered that they only make a delivery run out here once a week…on Tuesdays…and I was calling on a Tuesday. So yeah, my delivery date will be six days from now. I didn’t want to let things sit that long, so I decided just to get going with things tonight.

First up was getting these skin support ribs fitted. I went looking for info on fitting these and found basically nothing. When I’m stressing about something and this happens, it’s usually a pretty good indicator that I’m overthinking things. What was getting me in this case was that while the manual says to just put the ribs in place and match drill through the skins, there’s plenty of room for these to move around – that is, there isn’t any obvious “this is the right spot” position to work with. I decided to draw a desired rivet line on the rib flanges, line that up with the skin rivet holes, and match drill that way. A little reworking of the ribs got them to fit snug against both the skin and the base of the roll bar:

With that done, I started taking things back apart. That aft upper skin I put on just for canopy fitting? Back to storage. I also went ahead and did all the demurring of the holes I’d match drilled, on all the different parts – skin, bulkheads, flanges, spacers, etc. Plenty of that to go around.

The last real thing I want to get done here is to get the edges of the forward upper skin cleaned up. There are still some little nubs from removing the cutout stuff, which nee to be removed before I move on to the usual skin edge work. What’s going to be fun is storing this thing, because the forward right side has just this long skinny strip sticking out that seems like it’d be really easy to bend up and damage.

Also, I realized something last night about the panel, which I thought I was done cutting – I forgot about the remote switch for the ELT. I think I’ll put the over on the right sub panel, but that’s another small hole I need to lay out and cut before I can get to wiring. Should be pretty straightforward though.

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