This morning I finished off the right aileron. It didn’t take long but I was just too tired to do it yesterday. Nothing too complicated, I clamped it and riveted it the same as the left. Then I put it on the right wing.
After a thoroughly crappy day at work it felt great to be in my quiet place! It’s great to have somewhere to go to vent out a bad day. I carried on assembling the ailerons and the instructions say to rivet the aft skin on to the nose skin. It was obvious this was going to be tricky to hold and rivet with a gun and bucking bar at the same time. I found on others build logs a great idea. I cut two 6″ lengths of 2×4 and screwed them to my workbench. Next I screwed the aileron to these blocks.
This made it much easier to rivet the top of the skins to the spar. About half way through the first aileron my dad appeared at the door and helped me for the rest of the afternoon.
Together we carried on working through the instructions which say to find a flat surface and weight the aileron down. I had a quick sort out and found a straight/level work surface and clamped the aileron down. Then started blind riveting using my cordless drill rivet puller tool. We started in the middle and worked outwards alternating left and right side of centre. The logic here is not to build any twist into the aileron.
Once the left aileron was done we couldn’t resist mounting it on the wing with a couple of bolts. It’s not rigged properly but it does look great.
That’s all for today, I was getting tired so I will finish off the right aileron another day.
Pancake day today so those had to get made before any plane building occurred.
After that I spent some more time in the workshop. I decided to start assembling the ailerons. As per the instructions, I started with the leading edge ribs to counterbalance weight. Next I riveted on the spar doubler plates and nutplates. Then I rivetied the nose ribs to the spar.
That’s enough for tonight as it’s getting late.
I managed to get the parts epoxy primed today as planned and got them hanging up to dry within a couple hours from start to finish.
Later that same day my inspector popped by and checked the wings, aileron parts and rudder. He had a good look around everything and was happy enough to sign my inspection log. This thing is starting to get fuller which is immensley satisfying!
Now that’s signed off I can make a start on riveting the bottom skins onto the wing structure anytime.
I normally prime all the parts in one work session but recently I’ve been having problems with the primer sort of ‘slipping’ off the parts. Mick Allen spotted this in one of my posts and called me to discuss it. He suggested that maybe I wasn’t leaving the was primer long enough before applying the epoxy primer. So tonight I decided to wash prime and leave it overnight to cure before applying the epoxy layer.
So first, I ran wash primer inside the aileron counterbalance weights and spun the tub round until there was a good coating of primer all over the inside of the pipe. Next I took the parts into the paint booth and sprayed them up with wash primer.
A few hours later and all the parts were wash primed. I will leave it all overnight and put the top coat on tomorrow.
More prep work tonight. I washed all the aileron parts ready for priming.
With some great music in the background the task didn’t take too long to get through. I hung up all the parts to air dry overnight.
With a bit of time to spare at the end of the session I decided to check and set the torque of all the fuel tank attach bolts and aileron bellcrank bracket bolts to 25″/lb’s ready for riveting the bottom skins on if I get a chance sometime. Once done, I put witness marker on each bolt head which I only every do once I have torqued a bolt.
That’s it for tonight.
Tonight’s session was all about dimpling the pile of parts for both the left and right ailerons. Not many parts could be done on the big dimpler so I had to break out various tools to get this all done. The pnuematic squeezer for the more awkward parts.
Then I used my bench die and a hammer to get into the small gaps at the end of the ribs…
Finally I countersunk the counterweights and used them as dies to dimple the leading edge skins.
Not too long a session tonight but it needed to be done.
An email arrived from Vans Aircraft this week to let me know that my flat pack Fuselage has been collected by the shipping company and is due to arrive in the UK around mid March! Ooh, that’s really motivated me to get this wing done asap. Looking around the workshop today it doesn’t look like there’s much left to do but as we saw earlier this week, the simplest instructions in the manual can be days of work.
So the wing is ready now to have the bottom skins riveted on which I’ll do once my inspector gives the go ahead. The ailerons have been started and are next on the todo list. The flaps need to be done after ailerons, then the fibreglass wing tips and the wing will be finished. Timing wise, I think it will be pretty close completing the wings before the fuselage arrives if I keep up this current pace.
So today I match drilled all of the aileron parts. It took a surprising amount of time to drill everything but it all got done. I even broke out the long drill bit at one point.
Once all the drilling was done I disassembled everything and deburred all the holes. Yep, every single one… on both sides! Then I ran the scotchbrite pad over the holes again just to be sure. Lastly I used some MEK to remove all the printing and my pen marks from the aluminium.
That’s enough for today as the next step is to wash these parts ready for priming. I’ll do that when I expect some nice weather which, at the moment, there’s no sign of!
Step 7.9.2 reads fairly simply;
Dimple the stiffener angles and skin. After priming (if desired), rivet the stiffeners onto the skin, preferably using the
backriveting method described in Section 5. Following this, complete the trailing edge bend using the homemade
bending brake used on the empennage. The bent skins must be straight up to the radius and the radius must be
between 3/32” to 1/8”. Match the degree of bend to the full size end view drawings. The upper and lower skin
should just touch the spar when placed in position.
but would you believe this one paragraph is a whopping 15 hours work! Don’t believe it? Read my previous posts! So tonight felt great to finally get some riveting done. I grabbed the skins and carefully marked the numbering of the stiffeners so I know which one goes where. Next I put all the rivets in place on the skin and taped them there with 3M magic tape. I grabbed the stiffeners one at a time and applied JC5A jointing compound then set the stiffener in place on the skin. I had my rivet gun all set up and ready to go at around 40 PSI with the back riveting set inserted in the gun. I riveted the 7 rivets with about 3 hits.
Then it was a matter of repeating the process 32 times until each stiffener was riveted in place to finish both left and right skins. Next it was time to bend the skins to the correct angle. The instructions say that the drawings are full size so I grabbed an angle measure tool and measured the angle on the drawing: 15 degrees. I found the bending brake I made for the empennage a few years ago and set that up on the bench with the skin in place and butt up against the hinges.
I then used my body weight over the brake and skins to bend the skin as much as I dared. This was a scary process. Bend, bend, bend, please don’t crack or suddenly give and go flat! I grabbed the spar and offered up until the skins just touched the spar as per the instructions.
Once that was done I took the skins out of the brake and measured the angle. Would you believe it, 15 degrees bang on!
I also couldn’t believe that the plans are actual size, they look way smaller so I offered the skin up to the drawing. Guess what? It really is actual size!
Someone said to me once, if you want to see the project finished do ‘something’ every day. I’m still waiting for parts to dry so I couldn’t think of much to do as wondered up to the workshop tonight. Once there I spotted all the Aileron parts that are in need of scuffing and deburring. I’d normally do this after match drilling but, with those words buzzing round my head, I decided to do it tonight instead.
Unbelievably, that took 1.5 hours to do and still the left aileron is waiting to be done! After that I thought I’d tackle something a little less boring. I located the nutplates for the wing skins that will hold the access panels in place and dimpled each one of the 32 nutplates, twice!
I then applied JC5A jointing compound and cleco’d them in place and riveted them in place using the hand squeezer. Once one side of the nutplate was riveted I removed the clecos and riveted the other side.
Next I cleco’d the skin back on the wing, mainly to keep it safe and out of the way. Then I couldn’t resist finding the panels and screwing them into place.
Not a bad nights work considering I really didn’t have anything planned to do!