Show Planes Fastback


I’ve decided to do the Show Planes Fastback conversion. I will use this page to be a one stop shop for all the posts that detail the required modifications, plus a general overview of the kit, the process, and the lesson’s I’ve learned along the way.

Show Planes provides a number of aftermarket modifications and accessories including a modified cowl similar to the Sam James cowl. You can visit the website at www.showplanes.com. The kit costs just over $3,000 at my time of purchase. Almost everything you need is included, well packed, and they provided fairly comprehensive instructions.

I am providing this page as an index of all the work required for the Show Planes Fastback modification. I am organizing the posts in two sections. The first is by subcategory, or section. The second is chronologically. In the first section, I will list posts that contain work on more than one section in both categories.

Rails:

  1. Fastback 4 (8/9/2015)  Removing the original rails from the quick build fuselage. Preparing bulkheads for new rails. Match drilling new rails.
  2. Fastback 6 (8/16/2015)  Completed rail installation prep. Began work on the forward fuselage skin. Match drilled. Cut and removed section for installation of removable instrument cover. Fitted skin reinforcement strip.

Forward Fuselage:

  1. Fastback 6 (8/16/2015)  Completed rail installation prep. Began work on the forward fuselage skin. Match drilled. Cut and removed section for installation of removable instrument cover. Fitted skin reinforcement strip.

Vertical Stab:

Turtledeck:

  1. Fastback 2 (8/2/2015)  Began work on the aft turtledeck by preparing the bulkheads and match drilling with the skin.
  2. Fastback 3 (8/6/2015)  Removed turtledeck for deburring.
  3. Fastback 5 (8/15/2015)  Deburring and more deburring.

Fiberglass:

Canopy:

Misc:

 

Chronological:

  1. Showplanes Fastback (5/18/2015) - Why did I chose the Show Planes Fastback modification?
  2. Fastback 1 (8/1/2015) - Delivery, unpacking, and inventory of the Show Planes kit.
  3. Fastback 2 (8/2/2015) - Began work on the aft turtledeck by preparing the bulkheads and match drilling with the skin.
  4. Fastback 3 (8/6/2015) - Removed turtledeck for deburring.
  5. Fastback 4 (8/9/2015) - Removing the original rails from the quick build fuselage. Preparing bulkheads for new rails. Match drilling new rails.
  6. Fastback 5 (8/15/2015) - Deburring and more deburring.
  7. Fastback 6 (8/16/2015) - Completed rail installation prep. Began work on the forward fuselage skin. Match drilled. Cut and removed section for installation of removable instrument cover. Fitted skin reinforcement strip.
  8. Fastback 7 (4.0 hrs) (8/17/2015) - When I attached the forward skin yesterday there were a few items I ignored in favor of focusing on the skin modifications. First among these were the baggage door support strips, that I had not included. I reattached the skin with these in place so they could be match drilled.  Next I included the baggage […]
  9. Fastback 8 (5.0 hrs) (8/25/2015) - First on today’s agenda was to do a little practice for the double flush rivets I would need to set for the forward fuse skin to F-821afb. I did this by drilling and dimpling a few holes in some scrap aluminum that had a similar thickness to the parts in question. Then I used a […]
  10. Fastback 9 (4.0 hrs) (8/26/2015) - Not a lot to report in this post. I deburred and dimpled both the forward and aft fuselage skins, and any miscellaneous parts associated with both that had not been previously completed. The forward fuselage skin is dimpled for #6 screws where the skin attaches to the f-821afb, but the rivets are machine countersunk. Unfortunately, […]
  11. Fastback 10 (5.0 hrs) (8/31/2015) - Lots of miscellaneous tasks in this post. First, I had been unsure how to position the nut plates shown in the first photo here. The instructions from Show Planes tell you to use a single leg nut plate at an angle so that the #6 screw will be 1/4 inch from the longeron edge. Well, […]
  12. Fastback 11 – Cockpit rails (11/5/2015) - Today I set about installing the rails for the ground adjustable rudder pedals. I immediately noticed that I had drilled every hole to the wrong size. The center rivets were all #30 vice #40, and the end rivets (BSPQ 5-4) required 5/32 drills. Installing the BSPQ rivets was a challenge as the offset locations required […]
  13. Fastback 12 – Vert Stab Modification (11/28/2015) - The Showplanes Fastback is slightly higher than stock at the intersection of the turtle deck and the vertical stabilizer. As a result, the front of the vertical stabilizer must be trimmed to allow sufficient clearance. 175 degrees to be exact. I bought a protractor on my way to the shop today, and presto here’s the […]
  14. Fastback 13 – Riveting turtledeck (1/1/2016) - Riveted the aft upper-skin (turtledeck) to the fuselage and other misc work inside the aft fuselage.
  15. Fastback 14 (3/13/2016) - Fitting the fiberglass top for the rear seat and other misc fuselage work. Plus hangar wifi!
  16. Fastback 15 (5/22/2016) - Filling pinholes in the rear seat back top.
  17. Fastback 16 (5/26/2016) - Setup of instrument panel and instrument panel cover.
  18. Fastback 17 (5/28/2016) - Began riveting the modified forward front deck on the fuselage.
  19. Fastback 18 (5/30/2016) - Fabricating the fiberglass instrument panel cover and custom instrument panel.
  20. Fastback 19 (6/11/2016) - Installing the custom instrument panel, panel frame, and instrument panel cover.
  21. Fastback 20 (6/15/2016) - Joining fillets to instrument panel cover & other panel cover work.
  22. Fastback 21 (6/20/2016) - More work on the instrument cover and fillets.
  23. Fastback 22 (6/23/2016) - Further work on the instrument cover, and the initial work on the canopy skirt.
  24. Fastback 23 (6/24/2016) - More canopy skirt work, including hinge installation and additional trimming.
  25. Fastback 24 (6/30/2016) - Canopy skirt minor repair. Rear seat back top installation. Preparing canopy skirt bulkheads.
  26. Fastback 25 (7/1/2016) - Preparing the hinge cover plate and installing the forward canopy bulkhead.
  27. Fastback 26 (7/2/2016) - Installing the rear bulkhead on the canopy skirt.
  28. Fastback 27 (7/3/2016) - Trimming the canopy skirt for canopy installation and installing the center bulkheads aft of the roll bar.
  29. Fastback 28 (7/5/2016) - Affixing the lower skirt reinforcement rails.
  30. Fastback 29 (7/8/2016) - Cleaning up flox fillets. Ensuring proper alignment and adhesion for stiffeners and bulkheads on canopy skirt.
  31. Fastback 30 (7/9/2016) - Canopy skirt - Cleaned and sanded flox filets. Began laying micro balloon filets.
  32. Fastback 31 (7/17/2016) - Micro balloon fillets and edges.
  33. Fastback 32 (7/31/2016) - Applying fiberglass to rear bulkhead.
  34. Fastback 33 (8/6/2016) - Installing more fiberglass reinforcement.
  35. Fastback 34 (8/8/2016) - Completing fiberglass application, sanding, and first application of Rage Gold body filler for smooth transitions in the canopy skirt.
  36. Fastback 35 (8/15/2016) - Fill, sand, repeat.
  37. Fastback 36 (8/19/2016) - Sanding. Sanding. Sanding. Oh, and Rage Gold application. Yay!
  38. Fastback 37 (8/21/2016) - Sanding and more sanding. Tired of sanding.
  39. Fastback 38 (2/24/2017) - Finally trying to start working on the plane again. Sanding and Rage Gold work.
  40. Fastback 39 (2/25/2017) - More canopy skirt work and Rage Gold. Installed engine desiccant inserts.
  41. Fastback 40 (4/11/2017) - Beginning installation of canopy skirt latch mechanism.
  42. Fastback 41 (6/11/2017) - Returning to the hangar for some fiberglass work on the canopy frame and instrument cover.
  43. Fastback 42 (6/19/2017) - Working on the instrument panel cover.
  44. Fastback 43 (6/30/2017) - Fine tuning the instrument panel cover and beginning the canopy latch mechanism installation.
  45. Fastback 44 (7/2/2017) - Continued work on the canopy latch mechanism to include the strike blocks fore and aft.
  46. Fastback 45 (7/4/2017) - Continued work on canopy latch mechanism. Installed hardware and latch pins.
  47. Fastback 46 (7/21/2017) - Continued work on the canopy latch mechanism.
  48. Fastback 47 (7/22/2017) - More body filler, sanding, flox, and latch mechanism work to include the taxi plate positioning and final drilling. Epoxy skim coat applied to the skirt.
  49. Fastback 48 (7/23/2017) - Sanding the epoxy skim coat and preparing for the first coat of sandable-filler primer.
  50. Fastback 49 (8/2/2017) - Sanding and priming the canopy skirt.
  51. Fastback 50 (8/9/2017) - FINALLY! Canopy cutting, shaping, and fitting.
  52. Fastback 51 (8/11/2017) - Final trim on the canopy completed. Began sanding and polishing the edges.
  53. Fastback 52 (8/12/2017) - Initial drilling, re-drilling, and front canopy flange fabrication.
  54. Fastback 53 (8/15/2017) - Front canopy fairing work and drilling the canopy for adhesive rivets.
  55. Fastback 54 (8/16/2017) - Taping the canopy and finishing the front fairing.
  56. Fastback 55 (8/17/2017) - Front canopy fairing work.
  57. Fastback 56 (8/18/2017) - Preparing for canopy bonding.
  58. Fastback 57 (8/19/2017) - Canopy bonding, associated prep and tack welding the taxi position plate to the roll over bar position.
  59. Fastback 58 (8/22/2017) - Prep work for the fiberglass layups on the canopy bonded seam.
  60. Fastback 59 (8/23/2017) - Completed sanding adhesive off and filled cleco holes with adhesive.
  61. Fastback 60 (8/25/2017) - Sanding rivet filler and filling the canopy skirt transition.
  62. Fastback 61 (10/10/2017) - Multiple shop sessions. Fiberglassing exterior of canopy, fairing exterior, interior cleanup and fairing, instrument access cover work.
  63. Fastback 62 (12/15/2017) - Sanding and shaping of instrument panel to canopy skirt fillets.