<October 24, 2007>
Prepared New F-779 Skin
After the F-712 rebuilt of last night, tonight it was the F-779 Tail Bottom Skin's turn. Rather than match drilling the F-779 through the dimples in the skin I decided it would be best if I just reamed out the holes to final size all by itself. This seemed to work just fine.
I put the old and the new skin on the bench and something caught my eye. The new skin seemed smaller. After a brief comparison, I found that the new F-779 was bent much more to spec than the old. Van's seems to have improved the bends a great deal, and you can see the difference here (old bottom, new top). After this picture was taken I enlarged all the holes in the skin using my #40 reamer.
Wow! This went together with no wrestling required. I sure wish my first one had been like this, what a difference.
I couldn't resist, I had to cleco it to the fuse to see if I would notice an improvement here as well. I most certainly did, this was a piece of cake and the skin fit perfectly without any muscle required. The new guys have it so easy!
I then taped some paper to the outside of the old skin and traced where I had trimmed for the tailwheel mount. I then cutout along the line (on the paper) and used it to transfer the lines to the new skin. Worked great. Here is more evidence of the recent improvements in this part; take a look at how shallow the bend is here compared to the previous picture. No wonder so many people have complained about this area.
After a few trial fits and some adjustments, I was happy with the fit.
I then dimpled, scuffed, cleaned and primed the inside of the skin. Why? Why not!