The fuselage is built up in stages and requires no special assembly fixtures - it is built up on the flat workbench. The fuselage is built in modular sections: the rear fuselage and the forward fuselage assemblies are first built separately, and then joined together.
Construction begins with the assembly of the rear bottom skin, angle longerons, panel stiffeners and local reinforcements. The flat rear fuselage sides are then each built up separately on the workbench, and then joined to the bottom. Unlike other structural materials, aluminum construction allows for occasional mistakes since rivets can be drilled out.
The bottom rudder hinge plates are attached to the bottom skin and two horizontal tail frames (bulkheads) are drilled and clecoed in place, and the round fuselage top bulkheads are positioned to the rear fuselage assembly.
Pre-formed longeron angle extrusions produce the curved fuselage, and are used to join the rear fuselage assembly to the center wing section and the steel firewall bulkhead. The cabin floor skin is fitted under the center wing assembly and longeron angle extrusions are added, reinforcing the join from the firewall to to rear fuselage.
Additional forming stiffeners are added into place, and the forward fuselage sides are fabricated and positioned next from the pre-cut skins. The rear baggage floor is then drilled and riveted into position.
Fuselage and cabin parts are supplied pre-formed from the factory, as standard parts that make up the complete kit.
Installation of the cabin seat parts, instrument panel, and seat belt attachment points completes the basic fuselage assembly, followed by attachment of the tail sections to the rear fuselage and installation of the pre-formed rear fuselage top skin.
© Zenith Aircraft Company: 2008-09-10