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Old 02-27-2017, 10:03 AM
asw20c asw20c is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Edgewood, NM
Posts: 83
Default Tailcone Advise

I'm getting close to the point where I will be closing the tailcone. The only way I see being able to finish riveting the top skins is to have someone crawl inside to buck the rivets. How have you guys done this without damaging any of the stiffeners or bulkheads? Those are really thin aluminum and I can see them getting mangled easily if a helper were to inadvertently sit on them, or kick one with a knee. Do you stuff a bunch of blankets and pillows inside?
Empennage Complete Except for Tips
Wings Underway
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:10 AM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 426

Yep - then general consensus from blogs I visit is to crawl inside. I put the tailcone on the floor on a few layers of moving blankets, and used a combination of moving blankets, cushions and foam to fully bridge all the bulkheads and crawled inside. If you have a backriveting set - try backriveting from the inside rather than bucking. I found this great backriveting bar to make this easy for the assistant:
Turner Billingsley
RV-14A Fuselage in progress
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:17 AM
asw20c asw20c is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Edgewood, NM
Posts: 83

Wow. That's a great idea. If I use that technique then I can be the one to crawl inside.
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Wings Underway
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Old 02-27-2017, 10:38 AM
control control is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 339

Used some stiff sofa pillows, worked great.
RV-14 kit #140138
working on the finish kit
wings, tail kit and fuselage basically done
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Old 02-27-2017, 11:24 AM
jwoolard jwoolard is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Sevenoaks, UK
Posts: 17

The pillows work well - see
Building an RV-14A with my wife in the UK
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Old 02-27-2017, 01:42 PM
n982sx n982sx is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 178

I also back riveted a lot of the tail cone and it worked very well. Hardly had to get inside at all.
Bob Meyers

Built and Flying RV-14A N626KM SN 140093
Built and Flying Sonex N982SX
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Old 02-27-2017, 02:26 PM
ppilotmike's Avatar
ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,692

I back-riveted my entire RV-10 tail cone, which is similar to the 14 I believe. One other option I saw someone did was to stand up the tail cone vertically on some sawhorses and then had a person stand up inside it to buck rivets. Wear a headset and earplugs, I'm thinking...
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301, President
VAF Dues Current: as of 01/13/17
RV-10 (41PX Reserved) Fuselage
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:35 PM
mrhorspwr mrhorspwr is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Okc, Oklahoma
Posts: 29
Default tail cone

I personally wouldnt get inside the tailcone it is pretty flimsy. You can reach all the rivets by reaching in through the hole in the back bulkhead just fwd of the horizontal and you can turn it on its side and reach all the fwd rivets by reaching in through the front. If you are shooting/bucking with someone make sure the bucker pushes the rivet out once so the shooter knows hes on the rivet. Alot of the rivets are easier just to shoot and buck by yourself so you know your on them when you cant see the tail.
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started Rv14 May 2016
emp kit and fuse kit done
wings almost done
canopy done
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:12 PM
Nova RV Nova RV is online now
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 151

I would get the back rivet set that Turner has linked and use pillows or moving blankets inside to build up the cavities until you are putting no pressure on the bulkheads. This way is much easier than bucking and your helper really needs minimal training to hold the back rivet set square to the skin and on the rivet vs learning how to use the rivet gun or bucking bar. You can set most of the skin rivets yourself until you get to the center middle skin, or if you are lucky, your helper can back rivet most of the skin rivets with you.
Chris Moon

Leesburg, VA
RV-14A kit # 140243
VAF 2017 and 2018 paid
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Old 02-27-2017, 06:20 PM
salto salto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Wee Waa Australia
Posts: 227

I rigged a pully and hung it vertical. Made access easy and no weight on cone. Stabilised it by tying it off to nearby infrastructure. Riveting buddy stood on a chair with earplugs in place.
Didn't take long.
Kit 140241
Tail Feathers done
Fuselage kit completed.
wings almost complete.
Flaps and ailerons done.
Canopy next. Phew!
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