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.

7.8.19 – 22 Prime flap brace & bottom skins

Not many photos today but, if you been following along, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before. I mix up a bunch of smelly paint, dress up like a mad scientist and spend a few hours spraying parts. Boring but necessary,

I also primed the access plates and pitot mast parts while I was at it.

That’s enough for this session.

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.

7.8.2 Drill, debur & prep wing access plates

Some basic metalwork this morning. I fitted the bottom skins to the wing structure and then started putting screws in to hold the access in plates. Unfortunately while putting the second screw in the head snapped off leaving the screw in the nut plate!

It took me nearly an hour to get the screw out. I tried everything I could think of. In the end I drilled it with a very small hss drill bit and used a tile drill bit in reverse to unscrew the screw.

Once that was fixed I carried on and match drilled all 6 access plates.

Once the plates were all drilled I deburred each one. I did the same to the skin and then dimpled all the holes in both parts that needed doing.

After that I washed the access plates and skins ready for priming.

I hung all the parts up to dry ready to prime when we get a decent weather day.

7.8.17 & 7.11.3 Glue conduit and start on push rods

The corrugated conduit that runs through the wings for wing tip wiring needs to be glued into place using RTV sealant or tank sealant to protect it from vibration. I chose to use tank sealant as I still have half a tin left. So back at mixing some sealant…

And then neatly(ish) filleted sealant around the conduit where it meets the rib.

Next I started on the push rods. I wanted as true a square cut as possible so I used a square on the chop saw to check it was true in both horizontal and vertical. I’m glad I checked because it was way out!

I then located the small steel rod and checked the plans like a million times and then once more for luck. I used two different tape measures for cross check accuracy too. Finally, I plucked up the courage and made the cut on both rods.

Next, I marked the points at which I needed to drill holes for the rivets and fitted the rod ends. IĀ popped it into the rod drill jig and drilled it with the drill press on real slow.

Finally, I marked, disassembled and deburred everything ready to prime the inside of the part.

7.8.19 Countersink flap brace & pitot mast and move wings into trolley

After work today I spent some time prepping the last of the parts for the wing. There’s not much left of the main wing structure to prep.

One part that does need doing is the flap brace. It’s very easy to miss this step as it’s not in the instructions. The flap brace is actually sandwiched between the skin and flap piano hinge. For that reason it needs to be countersunk and not dimpled. So I countersunk both braces, scuffed them and then washed them in Alkaline cleaner ready to prime. I then hung them up to dry.

I also countersunk the pitot tube where it meets the skin but, like an idiot, I also countersunk the part of the mast that fits behind he spar and doesn’t need to be countersunk, Doh!

I gave it some thought and decided it’s best to make a doubler plate from scrap aluminium to support the mast where it’s riveted to the spar. It’s a bit extra weight but cheaper and faster than a whole new mast.

Finally, as my Dad was round, we lifted the wings into the wing trolley. Darn they lol good in there.

I did spot that the flush rivet on the left wing inboard Aileron bracket was not sitting flush. So after drilling out the rivet I attempted to set a new rivet but I think the hole is enlarged so it immediately folded over! I think I will need to drill it out again and fit a -5 rivet there instead.

Ah the joys! That’s for another day as that’s enough for now.

7.8.1 Build wing crate trolley

I’ve got a pile of timber left over from dismantling the wing stand so I decided to use that to build the wing crate. I’ll be adding castors to my crate so from here on in I’ll call it a wing trolley.

Nothing particularly challenging tonight just follow the plans that Van’s give you…

First I made a cardboard template of the wing leading edge profile. Then I cut that out of the plywood using a jigsaw.

Then I cut several lengths of 2×4 to size using the chopsaw.

Once that was done I started assembling everything together as instructed. Finally I deviated from the drawings and tipped the trolley onto its size and fitted some 2×6 boards as base plates. I fitted 4″ castors to the base plates so I can transport the wings more easily.

Next I cut a carpet tile into 18mm strips and glued it to the surfaces that will contact the wings. I also used some duck tape to hold the carpet in place.

It’s done! It sure makes a nice change from all that metal work. I’ll have to wait for an unsuspecting visitor to pop over before I can put the wings in the trolley as I can’t (and won’t) lift the wings on my own. 😋

7.8.1 Dismantled the wing stand

My Dad happened to be over this evening and even cooked us all a lovely (chicken and rice) dinner. So what to do when someone has been so kind? Take advantage and ask for help with the airplane build of course!

I’m planning on building a wing trolley as per the plans to store the wings long term but I need the timber from the wing stand to do so. As the opportunity presented itself I asked Dad to help me unload the wings from the stands onto the benches and the floor temporarily until I build the trolley. Together we had the wings off in no time and Dad immediately started dismantling the frame too…

FYI, the wings are surprisingly light, I’d guess at around 20 to 30Kg as they are. Literally minutes later the frame that had served me so well for nearly two years was flattened…

Wow, the workshop looks big without that massive frame in there!

I’ll tidy up the left over bits and build the trolley later in the week! I thought about roping Dad in to it tonight but I didn’t want to overdo my cheekiness in one night!

Thanks Dad. Love ya! 😋

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