7.11.3 – 12.1 Rig left aileron and mount left flap

The list of jobs left on the wings is dwindling fast. One of the very last major jobs is mounting the ailerons and flaps. To keep the ailerons safe I put two bolts in the hinges and left it like that until today. Today I wanted to put all the washers, nuts, bolts and spacers necessary to finalise the fitting of the ailerons.

I started by attempting to fit the push rod bolt and washers etc while it was attached to the wing but I soon realised that was going to be impossible. The nut is inaccessible while the aileron is on the wing. Hmm, plan B required. I removed everything and then removed the aileron from the wing. I fitted all the push rod parts to the aileron as per the plans.

This is what it looks like fitted…

As it was inaccessible while mounted I also torqued this nut and bolt to 25″/lbs as per standards. Next I remounted the aileron to the wing again with just a bolt in each hinge point. I then worked on each hinge point one at a time fitting all the spacers and hardware as per the drawings.

Once all the hinge hardware was fitted I then aligned the aileron using some clecos and an aluminium angle. Some builders log sees them making convoluted alignment jigs for this task. I simply used 3 gold clecos. 2 in each of the big rib tooling holes and one in the very aft of the aileron and clamped them all to the aluminium angle. So far as I could tell this is exactly what vans intended to get the alignment of the aileron dead centre.

Once that was done I grabbed the alignment template that Vans supply in the kit and used it to align the other end of the push rod. I adjusted the push rod end bearing until the eye of the bearing fitted smoothly through the bolt while the bolt was in the template and bellcrank. Once there I then adjusted the push rod until it was dead centre of both rod end bearings. I checked the witness holes at both ends to confirm that I could see the thread of the rod at both ends. All good.

With the Aileron rigged I moved on to mounting the left flap. To make sure I didn’t go over the minimum edge distances I marked a line 3/16″ all the way along the wing side of the hinge. Mounting the flap was a bit tricky because alignment had to be in three dimensions while the flap brace was putting pressure one the assembly. The three dimensions where 1/4″ gap between flap and aileron, level with the aft edge of the aileron and, finally, forward/backward about its hinge.

In the end I found an easy way to solve all three dimensions.

  1. I grabbed a 1/4″ drill bit and placed it between the aileron and flap to maintian the 1/4″ gap required.
  2. I found a block of wood and some metal shims on placed them at the most inboard end of the flap too maintain the correct horizontal alignment. The aileron had 1.3 degrees out of level (because of the wing trolley) so I maintained the same 1.3 degrees on the flap.
  3. I used two pieces of aluminium angle and some shims to lock the forward/backward movement in the same position as the aileron.

With that all in place I took a break for a quick drink. When I came back to it I rechecked everything again to make sure I was happy with the alignments and then I drilled the first hole in the piano hinge. Once the first few holes had been drilled and clecod I was really committed to dimensions.

I used my calipers to make sure that every hole I drilled had the same gap between wing skin and flap…

Eventually I finished drilling and clecoing every hole.

After I took the picture above I notice that my red clamp is stuck between the aileron and flap, doh! Not to worry to much as the flap needs to come off so I can debur & prime the hinge, make the hinge pin locking mechanism and rivet the hinge on. All for another day, for now that’s the left side all done. I just need to repeat all this on the right wing too. 🙂

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