The Rocket is a fine transportation appliance for me and my wife, but it's cramped when it comes to cargo volume. Notice I said volume, not weight. With my diminutive bride in back, I can pack just about anything short of gold bars in the baggage compartment and remain within CG and GW, but bulk - that's a different story. Cross country in this bird is a game of inches (cubic, that is). That said, I thought I was done with the aft fuselage a few weeks ago but had to make some changes "as long as I was there..."
In short, I eliminated the shelf that covered the elevator bellcrank and replaced it with a robust, minimalist cover. On some Rockets this area houses the battery and other stuff. On mine the battery has been split into two and one went forward while another went aft, freeing up this space. Additionally, I removed the baggage compartment floor outboard of the center keel, gaining a few more cubes (and shedding some ounces).
Now I have more room to stuff soft bags and other odds and ends for those times when we need to travel maxed out, and I'm now slightly lighter when empty. More cargo, less weight - a win/win!
A shot of the -8 serves as a "before" shot:
Not shown are some simple sheet metal covers required to keep the rudder cables from rubbing on the cargo.
For those wondering about the added round access cover, that's to get at the transponder antenna and smoke oil plumbing.
The whole change isnt exactly "rocket science", but I thought I'd contribute a slightly different spin for the benefit of the collective.