GETTING THE FUSELAGE STARTED
The fuselage kit arrived at the same time as the wing kit in July of 2002. At the time I ordered this kit I did not know that my wife and I were going to acquire an FBO in Gallatin, Tennessee, but we did. We own an aviation maintenance firm called Jet Harbor, Inc. and in June of 2002 we participated in a competition to take over an existing FBO in Gallatin and we won out over two local companies. We officially took over in late August of 2002 and we moved the entire kit up there on 9-16-02. I had intended to work on the airplane in Tennessee, erroneously believing I would have more time to work on it there. In May of 2003, I decided to bring the fuselage back to Florida and leave the wings in Tennessee. At that point I had not even opened the crate yet to see what was inside. On May 19, 2003 I moved the Fuselage kit back to Florida and started the inventory on it in my garage there. The photo below at left shows Derek Tharp helping to load the RV 7 kit to take to Tennessee. Derek is the facility manager in Gallatin. The photo at right shows the complete kit stacked in the shop which is attached to our new hangar facility in Gallatin.
The kit was packed in a truck along with a lot of other items that we needed for the shop in Tennessee. We took the paint booth along with the kit because we knew that we would need to do some priming and minor touch up painting as part of our regular aircraft maintenance business. What I didnít know was that I would really miss this booth in the months ahead. Priming in Florida became a problem instead of a pleasure. Oh well. Life goes on.
Anyway, the two photos below show the fuselage kit back in Florida. So far, this has worked pretty well. I get to work on both major sub-assemblies at the same time.
The only glitches come when I find that part of the fuselage kit is in with the wings. An example is the fuselage center section or frame 704 as it is called. I also forgot to bring the longerons and had to have them shipped.
The fuselage assembly starts with the Firewall and Bulkhead assemblies.