Skylight Modifications

Today I finished the back seat covering. Now it’s ready for some airplane noises.

Here's the finished back seat bottom.

It's a front seat, in a seat. It and the engine mount are just having a chat.

Here are some details of how I sequenced the overlaps.

Since our back seat has the added headrest structure, I covered the back in two pieces.

I wrapped the front fabric of the seat back around the back side of the bottom tube.


After I finished the back seat I took a little lunch break. Fellow EAA 731 member Kevin Ball stopped by and we spent an hour or so talking about the airplane, then I went over to Bart’s to take a look at his avionics work and to return his bending brake. When I got back, I started preparing the ceiling structure for the skylight.

The first step was to cut the stringers off. I left them a little bit long for final trimming.


I also cut the old stringer supports down a little bit to effectively lower the roof line about 1/4 inch, after accounting for the thickness of the new tube that will be on top of it. I copied the spanwise tube sizes from the plans at station C (T3, 3/8 x.035), and the chordwise tube sizes from the existing tubes in that area (T2 5/16x.058). I chose that size since the spanwise tube at station C serves the same purpose as my new tube at station N- a forward border for the fabric and an aft border for the other than fabric.

I decided to run the skylight back to the aft spar, which is further back than Pat ran his. I'm planning to have three separate panels that each run the full length. This will help reduce the compound curves in that area.


Bob has also specified that another tube be added between station N and the x cluster for supporting the shoulder harnesses for the front seat passengers, if the shoulder harness is going to attach out in the middle of that big tube at station N.

Note the areas that I've cleaned for welding in the seatbelt support tube.


Since the skylight will move the forward end of the stringers aft, I'll need to cut off these tabs.


In this picture I'm cutting away the old stringer supports.


This is looking mostly forward at what used to be the tab that supported the stringer


Here's a nice overview. The two little vertical tubes that used to be stringer supports will now hold the spanwise and chordwise skylight tubes, and the new forward attach tabs for the stringers. The paint is gone in the middle of the large tube for the seatbelt support tube.


I also did some measuring to decide on how far forward to take the skylight. One certainty is that this is a lot of effort to make a big hole in the roof, and I’ll have to carry sunshades to cover it up for a lot of the time.

I still haven't decided on where exactly to end the skylight on the forward side. Here are some options, with the numbers reflecting the number of inches from the windshield track. This shot is looking down at the top of the fuselage with the nose to the right.

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Hours Logged This Session: 6.1
Total Hours: 1883.75