Fastback 2

The first step in the instructions calls for the modification of the vertical stab to accommodate the aft fuselage top skin angle, however I’m going to return to this step later. I like the Show Planes instructions, but after today a few things to keep in mind. The bulkheads are not pre-drilled. You need to carefully mark rivet locations, flute, mark the center line and meticulously drill. Don’t go fast or you could wind up with a mess. Additionally, the rotating fuselage stand was an absolute blessing today. I used it in multiple positions to complete the work.

Today’s first task was to assemble the bulkhead immediately aft of the rear passenger. The first thing I immediately noticed with the kit is that the pre-punched holes are just slightly smaller than Van’s and clecos can be hard to set. The smaller F807s fit underneath the larger F807 angle to accommodate the raised center section overlap for the two halves.

After this was match drilled, I needed to bend the portion of the bulkhead below the longeron cut out to 17 degrees. I don’t need to be too precise with this, as the skin will help to align the part later. I used Mike’s digital level to approximate 17 degrees.
The instructions also call for removing the corner of the bulkhead at 63 degrees to accommodate the upper longeron. However, this has already been completed on the bulkhead’s provided. Additionally, the instructions call for the shoulder harness cutouts to be made in the bulkhead itself, but the ones provided have this completed already as well. Clearly, Show Planes have made some updates to the kit, but the instructions still need updating. No bother, I like finding out that work has already been completed. Next I secured all of the bulkheads in place by clecoing them to the fuselage.

I temporarily installed the skins so that I could mark the approximate rivet locations on each of the bulkheads as these are not predrilled.   In addition to marking the rivet locations, I drew a centerline on each of the bulkheads to assist with lining up the skins. Then I fluted and straightened each bulkhead as appropriate.

I reattached the skin by clecoing both sides to the upper longerons. Then I had to ensure alignment with the skin. This wasn’t as easy as I hoped. I had to constantly pull and push the bulkheads to get the alignment I was looking for. To do this, I used either a long bit of pipe I had laying around, or I the strap with the hook for the inner two bulkheads. Slow and diligent progress achieved excellent results. Here are some pictures of the final work:

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