7.9.5 to 7 Match drill & debur ailerons

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!

7.8.19 & 7.9.3 to 6 Rivet flap braces to wing and assemble ailerons

My Dad popped round again today to help me get the wings onto the bench. I need them on the bench to be able to rivet the flap braces on to the wing because doing it in the trolley or wing stand would be too difficult and risky. It didn’t take long to do. Once the first one was done we removed the other wing from the trolley and changed the two fixed castors to rotating castors to match the other two. We then swapped the wings and I riveted the right wing flap brace too. I also fixed a bad rivet my inspector and I discussed last week on the left aileron bracket. We then put both wings back in the trolley.

Next I deburred all the right aileron parts and then assembled everything ready for match drilling. It was now dinner time so I decided not to drill tonight. Instead I’ll leave it overnight and do it next time.

7.9.2 Rivet stiffeners and bend aileron skins

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!

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.

7.8.19 – 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.

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