We finished riveting the right wing after installing the AutoPilot and figuring out what to do about the aileron trim. Aileron pushbuttons were installed. Also installed the Garmin and GRT OAT fittings in the wings, one in the left, one in the right. Ran wires from the ELT to the panel. Both wings are finished and being sent to the warehouse to give us more room to work.
Well, my expert helper is back in town, so it’s time to take off of work and get some work done on the plane. I’m amazed at his breath of knowledge and don’t know how I could complete this build without his expert help and advice.
First he attached the rudder cable fairings that I fabricated from another builders plans.
Then we closed up the left wing. Once the riveting was done, we installed the aileron pushrod, etc.
We also painted the interior and built up the seat backs. No pictures for that.
Added the wing tip lights. When I first laid out the template for the navigation lights, it didn’t line up with the “Y” bracket. Had I used the template, the screws would not match. So I put the template down, then placed the “Y” on the template and marked the holes through the holes in the “Y”.
Here is the “Y” piece installed.
Here are the navigation lights installed in the wingtips.
Dennis was helping me with the plane and while he was here, I took advantage of his fiberglass skills. We fit the wing tips on and they lined up perfectly.
Both wings now have the fuel tanks and Outboard leading edges attached. I need to do the wing tips, lights and add any additional wires, then attach the bottom skins. Since I had to start on the wings and this is my first experience, I misunderstood the priming issue. I thought other builders were saying to prime on the rivet line and they were, but on the inside, not the outside. Oh well, it is getting painted anyway.
Here is one of the wings with the fuel tank, leak free and the Outboard Leading Edge attached. Progress!!
There are several builders that have built these wing cradles. Prior to building these, I had my wings sitting on the garage floor on carpet. Not the best place for your wings. They worked great and I was able to move them against the wall once I finished working on them. Out of the way, safe and sound.
The first tank tested perfect. The second tank leaked from one of the fittings.
Here Dennis is making the hole for the Garmin pitot tube mast. It came out perfect.
Did I ever mention how much I hate proseal? Some people say it’s no big deal, they lie. It’s a pain and extremely messy. It gets on everything and only sticks to what you don’t want it to. Don’t forget the days you are going to work with it and wear something you want to wear again. Here are a couple of pics of the fuel tanks. The biggest pain is taking a 3.5 rivet and dipping it in proseal, then trying to put it in a small hole with a sticky glove on. Now repeat 500 times.
Luckily I had my expert helper, Dennis helping me get through it.
Here Dennis is checking the flap trailing edge. We used this table with a piece of angle iron to hold the edge perfectly straight. It worked flawlessly. All trailing edges are perfect.
Here is one of the aileron skins on a table that a friend let me borrow. It’s great because the metal plate is big and the board gives a good flat surface to work on.
Starting to put the ailerons together. I don’t think aluminum makes a good drill guide for steel. While trying to “match” drill the holes in the steel bar used as a counter balance, the bit wandered. I was able to use some steel putty to fill the gap and it repaired nicely. That part won’t be seen anyway. Once painted, you won’t even know it had to be repaired.
Trying to get a good fit on the landing light lens. Had to replace one because I scratched it with a file while trying to smooth out the edges.
The flaps are finished, except for the trailing edges. I am going to wait and do all of the trailing edges, flaps & ailerons when I do the fuel tanks since I will be using proseal. You can see one of the fuel tanks on the wing stand all clecoed up.
Once you get the jig set up on the drill press, the countersink holes on the trailing edges came out perfect. You do need to be careful on the ones on the end and somehow support the CS cage, otherwise you will get a lopsided hole if the cage is not flush against the material at all times.
I dropped a tungsten bucking bar into the bottom of the Outboard Leading Edge and boom, an ugly dent. I was able to get most of this out later.
Here are all the stiffeners and Tank Attach Zee’s for the Fuel tanks all prepped.
I decided to paint the inside of the landing light holes, black.
What else would you be doing on Christmas Day besides building an airplane? Duh! My son, Stoney helping out with the top wing skins.
Using the DRDT-2 with the pneumatic head, worked great on dimpling the skins. With the foot petal, it allowed me to balance and keep both hands on the skin.
In reading through the primer wars, I thought people were saying to prime along the rivet lines, so I scuffed them up and primed them before I riveted. Then I found out they were talking about the inside, so the rest of my skins are clean on the outside and primed on the inside.
Getting this rib trimmed correctly was a pain in the ***! I trimmed the first one too close, the second one I tried using snips and it ended up putting a nice crack in it, so Van’s got some more money out of me and yes, 3 times is a charm. Finally.
Now it’s really starting to look like an airplane part.
I always thought it was a cool pic looking through the lightning holes on other sites, so here you go.
Both wings are finished with attaching the ribs to the spars.
Attaching the ribs to the spar was relatively easy and finally something starting to look like an airplane part.
Another great idea from another builder, Nick. This worked great to paint the ribs, until a little bit of a wind picked up and it sounded like I was painting chimes. Fortunately, no damage done to the ribs or the paint job.
These rivets are no good. I actually made the holes too big and don’t like any of the repairs, so I made my first call to Van’s for part replacement.
I decided to do both wings at the same time, so I didn’t have to go back and set up all over again. I think it worked out the best since I had the room to work. Dimpling was one of my favorite tasks, compared to countersinking, which I hate.
10/12/2013 – Made jig for CS Nutplates. Drilled and CS holes in spar for nutplates. Installed Nutplates for Fuel tanks and Wing access panels.
10/08/2013 – I match drilled the other pieces of the J-Channel that were supposed to be for the right wing while I wait until the other parts come in. Dale came over and went over the CS and attaching the nutplates.
10/08/2013 – I match drilled the upper side and deburred some of the spar. I rotated the J-Channel and drilled the remaining holes. Then I found out the J-Channel needed to be 1/16” above the spar flange, so I ordered two new long and short J-Channels.
I used different color dots to pre-mark all of the different types of nut plates I would be using to make sure I would drill the correct holes.
10/07/2013 – Received Wing Kit. Started inventory process, but left all of the subkits wrapped up. I was missing a few bags of hardware and Van’s said I had to open all the subkits and inventory each piece.
Wow, that’s a lot of hardware!
The wings have been shipped and are due to arrive on 10/07/2013.