||Side skins cut and temporarily stored
I cut the side skins at the same time I did the bottom skin. And then, I
stored them rolled in my "store room".
||Avoiding some floppy work
The manual calls for installing the skin with the fuselage and then drilling
everything while the last thing the skin wants to do is to stay in
place. I tried something else and so far, I am very pleased with my
I installed all stiffeners to the skin directly on the table (as I did for
bottom skin). Then, I removed the lower longerons from the bottom skin and
drilled them with the side skins directly on the table (again).
||Here is one!
After the previous step was completed, it has been very easy and fast to
install the skin on the fuselage... simply clecoed in place. The rivet
rows for the H.T. frames were also pre-drilled in previous step. In this
step, I drilled the parts together.
||And another one...
Those two side skins were installed in only two evenings; including drilling,
installing stiffeners, lower longerons and attaching to H.T. Frames.
||Oh... some frustrations!
It does not look too bad like this, but that rear "box" was a real
pain. For whatever reason, I had several problems with edge distance
(maybe I was too tired). I ended up making the rear panel three times
(made new parts) and replacing the right side upper longeron with a new
one. In the end, everything is OK, but it was not so much fun getting
An attentive person may have noticed the upper rudder bearing which has a bizarre
shape. My plan is to cut it to final shape AFTER I determine the hole
location (when I will install the rudder).
The rear bulkhead was put in place temporarily for my personal
enjoyment. It is not yet drilled in place.
||The stabilizer attachment brackets
While my attachments on the stabilizer were cut as per the plan, there is not
enough material underneath the stab. (front brackets) to respect the mandated
edge distance of 13mm on any attachment brackets. I could do it at 10 or
11mm edge distance, but not 13.
So after I saw the solution for bad edge distance on the kit supplied wing
splice plate, I thought that this approach could solve my stabilizer problem
(Zenith Aircraft issued a service bulletin to replace the aluminum rear wing
splice plates by 4130 steel plates if edge distance is not appropriate).
So, I made my front brackets with 0.050" 4130 steel. I'll validate
this move with Chris Heintz later.
||Not in the plan, but maybe helpful
While the fuselage sides may look straight to the casual observer, they are in
fact shaped like a trumpet. The rear end of the fuselage is not
following the angle of the middle section. Here, I installed stiffeners
to make the top sides similar to the bottom sides. The skins do not
buckle, therefore I think everything is OK.
||Just for the picture
Some people put the stabilizer... I installed the rudder!