7.9.2 Scuff right forward aileron parts & rivet nutplates to both skins

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!

7.9.2 Prime aft Aileron parts

It was tax return day today but I managed to smash out the return in under an hour! Everything I needed was right to hand so it was no trouble at all. Great news! Hmm, what to do with the rest of the day? It wasn’t raining so it was good enough to prime all those parts I cleaned yesterday.

I mixed up some PR30B etch primer and primed everything with etch.

Again, it was seriously repetitive but it looked good once done.

After the etch primer it was ‘sealing’ primer PR143…

That’s all 32 stiffeners and both skins primed and all I have time for today.

7.9.2 Clean Aileron parts for priming

Not much time to work on the project today as we are expecting visitors for the day so nothing new or exciting here, after scuffing the skins, it was just the same old washing of the 32 stiffeners and 2 aileron aft skins.

You know, 32 Stiffeners doesn’t sound a lot but my goodness its boring doing something so repetitive! Oh well, at least it’s done.


7.11.3 Assemble push rods & meet with Inspector

The primer inside the push rods was almost dry which is exactly how I wanted it for fitting of the rod ends. I gently inserted the rod ends and then blind riveted the rod ends in place as per the plans.

Next up I riveted the small push rods too. I looked in my storage unit for the rod end bearings and there they were, right next to the perfectly sized reinforcement plates I was looking for this morning, DOH!!! After a major head slap, I screwed on the rod end bearings and adjusted everything to the correct length while making sure that the gaps at each end were equal. The only place I could think of to put them where I wouldn’t lose them was fitted to the wing where they belong.

My inspector also popped by today while I was working on the rods to check on progress and to discuss a few concerns I had. It was great to see him and catch up. I felt a lot better after his visit and excited to carry on.

7.9.3 – 4 Make Aileron reinforcement plates & drill forward ribs to spar

I had read other blogs about how kindly Vans include 4 perfectly sized plates ready for deburring and drilling. So first thing I did was search for said plates. I couldn’t find them anywhere. I decided to check the instructions which said to make the plates from stock sheet aluminium. Hmm, perhaps my kit didn’t include the precut plates. Oh well, I set about making the plates from stock 0.040″ aluminium I had.

As I had a perfectly set up chop saw, I decided to use that to make the cuts.

Next, I marked a centre line along the length of the plate to align directly with the centre holes in the spars.

I aligned the lines with the spar and clamped the plates to the spars.

I then carefully match drilled everything until all the holes were drilled to the correct size. I then located the steel brackets and attached those and drilled to final size.

I then assembled as much as I could and match drilled the forward ribs to the spar. That makes lunch time.

7.9.1 – 2 Drill stiffeners, debure and dimple

I’m waiting for the newly primed parts to dry so again I turn to my time filler job, building the Ailerons. The instructions have you match drill every hole debur and then dimple them. I followed the instructions but added a step of scuffing them for priming before dimpling. Again, not many pictures today as there is nothing particularly new or interesting in this task.

I wanted to make sure every stiffener was identifiable and easily mated back to it’s correct location so as I worked each stiffener I tagged it and hung it up ready to clean for priming.

7.9.1 & 7.11.3 Prepare Aileron Stiffeners and finish drilling large push rods

I’m waiting for a good weather day so I can prime the last of the wing structure parts. The list of jobs left to do on the main wing structure is running low so I decided to break out the parts for the Aileron and make a start on that. The very first job is to tackle the stiffeners. Vans gives you 8 strips of aluminium drilled and pressed but these need to be cut and trimmed to size to make 32 stiffeners.

It was pretty much identical to the rudder stiffeners. Once that was done I spent an eternity on the scuff wheel deburring these puppies.

Next I grabbed the rear aileron skins and remove the blue vinyl to get the best possible fit for the new stiffeners.

Once the blue vinyl was removed I started clecoing all the stiffeners to the skin for match drilling.

The problem with clecoing a large skin like this is that it’s very easy to forget your finger is behind the skin holding the stiffener in place. It’s super easy to stab yourself between fingernail and skin. Ouch!

Lastly I finished drilling the rods and rodends and called it a night after that.

7.11.3 Started large pushrods

The plans are very specific about the length that the large pushrods need to be cut to – 65″ 25/32. Problem is my tape measure doesn’t show 32nds at that length. It’s not a big problem as I marked between 65″, 12/16 and 13/16. I then used the (calibrated) chopsaw to make the cuts.

Once the cuts were done the drawing says to drill 6 holes in the tube with the rod ends in place. It doesn’t give measurements for the spacing so I assumed equal distance apart. I would have to repeat the measurements and drill three more times for the other end of the rod and the other rod. So for this reason I decided to make another tool.

I found a scrap piece of thin aluminium (0.020 I think) and cut it into a thin strip. I rolled it around a broom handle until it was perfectly round and then test fitted it to the outside of the tube. I trimmed the strip so that it was a perfect fit. Next I marked 1/4″ from the edge for the screw holes as that is where they need to align on the rod ends. Finally I clamped the strip to the rod (without the rod end) and drilled 6 evenly spaced holes. Perfect. I have now have a tool I can use for all the other holes. I then marked 1/4″ on the rod end and fitted that into the rod until I saw the mark and match drilled.

This whole episode took a lot longer than I had planned but at least it was accurate and I’m delighted with the result.

7.8.18 Aileron brackets

While the skins are still drying I had the opportunity to spend some more time in the workshop so I decided to make a start on the Aileron attach brackets. I located the bag of bits and instructions.

I also remembered to find include the parts for the SB 16-03-28 service bulletin which calls for reinforcing these brackets. I prepped the parts and combined them for match drilling and countersinking where needed.

I tested the parts on the wing to make sure they fitted. I had to make some minor adjustments to help seat the brackets better but otherwise they fitted fine. However, when I fitted the service bulletin parts I immediately spotted a problem.

In that picture you can see the silver parts are very close to the holes in the green spar. The blue skin needs to be riveted to the green spar but there is no way I will be able to get a bucking bar in there. It’s a tough job riveting this bit as it is. It’s going to be a hole lot tougher with these reinforcements in the way. I deliberated over this for about an hour and I’m still not sure what the best solution is here. I think I will have to send Van’s Aircraft an email and ask their advice. For now I scuffed and labelled everything ready for priming.

That’s it for today. I’m now off to do some research on this and see what others have done.

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