After 163hrs of work the Aft Fuselage is finished.
L Top Skin
The top side skins fitted like a glove. It never ceases to amaze me how accurate the parts have been fabricated by Vans, really impressive. The rivetting straightforward … Tim & I decided to continue to use the gun with mushroom set on the outside, bucking bar on the inside. It worked everywhere else, so we pressed on. First side still allowed easy access for the bucking bar, helped by positioning the fuselage on it’s side as we moved up and around the top.
R Top Skin
Access now a bit harder, but still OK through the gap where the top skin will fit.
We found it easiest to rivet the longeron rivets with the fuselage on its side. A bit awkward for the gun, but best to have a good view for the bucking bar.
For the top skin, the bucking bar person (Tim) had to get inside the thing. After playing around with various positions, we decided there was less chance of damaging things by making a little bed inside with the fuselage on its side again. Cushions provided good protection.
I was a lot more comfortable than Tim, but all rivets easily accessible.
Last Three Rivets
I thought we’d be able to get the squeezer on the last three 470-4 rivets in the bulkhead/top skin rib. But there was no way. I do not have a hand squeezer, and I suspect that would probably fit, but the body on the pneumatic squeezer just didn’t allow access. So we ended up carefully setting these with an extension set on the gun, a bit traumatic but it worked!