At first a jig had to be made. In my case I was able to use one the original owner of my kit made some years ago, that  saved a lot of time. Just remove the rust, paint it and I was ready to go. Meanwhile this jig was used by Josef for his RV4 and will be used again some day.

August 2004: The shop is prepared for the fuselage.

At first you have to build the firewall. For obvious reason it's the only sheet-metal part made from steel. In case of fire it will last hopefully long enough to land the aircraft. It is easy to bend but hard to drill. I decided to make a cutout in it to get some more space under the cowling. Normally this extra space is used for a governour if you have a constant speed propeller, but I plan to use it for routing the oil lines of my inverted oil system.


Cutting and re-bending the upper firewall.


Fitting the cutout-plate.


...a little bit floppy.


A lot of clecoes. Because I did'nt want to mix up chromate for just 5 pieces I decided to go on with the main spar carrythrough to get some more parts for painting. It's always a big mess and you spend hours just cleaning the gun, so it makes sense to think ahead.


The main bulkhead, that takes the wingspars. It's a good idea to insert some kind of spar dummy before rviting it together, so the spars will really slip into later.




The skeleton starts to come together for a first try.....


...and the firewall is primed and riveted to the stiffners, ready the be bolted to the jig.


Yes, upside down. the whole fuselage is built this way.


After the main longerons have been bent per plans, the bulkheads are next. They are extremely floppy and I supported them with plywood. You can scew them through the tooling holes and add some stiffness.


Some parts can be assambled on the bench and plugged in later. That saves a lot of creeping around the jig.


Some rivets at the firewall are still clecoed, because the belly skin has to be riveted here. Read the plans and you don't have to drill out rivets:o)


When everything fits and all holes are drilled, it's time to disassamble everything, deburr, dimple, scuff, prime,......


...and reassamble again.


The rear fuselage comes together now.


Everything straight?


OK, now it's time to connect the rear fuselage to the firewall.


Main bulkhead F404, accuracy is everything with this bulkhead.


These ribs had to be shimmed to mate the main bulkhead.


It's measuring and remeasuring again.


.....but slowly....


...all ribs are fitted.


The brake pedals are easy to install in this stage. Once the fuselage is skinned it would be a mess to crawl into for this.


The brake pedals.


First fit to the firewall.


Drilled and clecoed.


Bending the supports for the brake pedals, caveman-style. See below.


Puzzling around with multiple layers of metal. This will support the engine mount and landing gear.


Brakepedal mounts, ready to rivet.


The last stringers are fitted, some beer left :o)


...all bolts installed....


...Christmas 2004, fuselage is ready for skinning!!

Started in August this year, the fuselage is ready for skinning at Christmas.

2004: 497 hours in the shop, 370 hours for the fuselage, 127 hours for  wings earlier this year.

1455 hours since I started the project back in 2002.

Time to finish 2000 hours??? I don't think so....