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Assembly Order

Your assembly order may very well be influenced by something particular with your building situation and circumstances.  For example, I had to install the top skins and canopy long before I really wanted to so I could safely transport my project cross country.  But if nothing else got in the way, what would be the perfect order?  

There is no perfect assembly order.  Something that you do first will get in the way or make later assembly more difficult.  If, for example, you hang the wings too early, you will have to jack the plane up with them installed to install the gear and fit the fairings.  This is doable, just more difficult than without the wings attached.  If, however, you install the gear too early, you will have to climb up into the cockpit instead of just leaning over into it.

If there were no other outside influences, and everything was perfect in my little world, I would accomplish things in the following order:

  1. Build the empennage parts.
  2. Build the wings, but leave the bottom skins of the left wing off for now.
  3. Build the fuselage but not install the upper skins.  I would drill, dimple, etc – just not install them.
  4. Make final decisions on all electric components and instruments.
  5. Install pitot/static system.
  6. Finish bottom of left wing.
  7. Install all the electrical components and run all the wires.
  8. Install fuel system.
  9. Fit the wings.
  10. Fit the Wing fairings and install flap fairings.
  11. Install the forward and aft top skins.
  12. Install rudder pedals.
  13. Install brake pedals and lines on the inside.
  14. Fit the canopy.
  15. Install the empennage.
  16. Rig rudder and elevators.
  17. Install the gear.
  18. Install the axles, wheels and brakes.
  19. Hang the wings.
  20. Rig ailerons.
  21. Fit and rig flaps.
  22. Hang the engine.
  23. Weight and balance.
  24. Inspection.
  25. First Flight.
  26. Install the main gear fairings and wheel pants.

Of course some of these things can be done at the same time, like finishing the bottom of the left wing and installing the electric components.  But think about the step that you are getting ready to take before you do.  Make sure there is not something else that would be a lot easier to do now, before you take that step.

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