11th September 2009

Left flap finished

Finished up the riveting of the left flap by attaching the bottom skin and squeezing the trailing edge.  After checking for twist (all looks good), hung the flap on the wing.  Flaps are done!

Riveting left flap bottom skin Left flap trailing edge riveted Left flap finished Left flap mounted to wing

Hours: 2.8 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

10th September 2009

Left flap riveting & 500 hours!

Fit the top skin and leading edge skins to the left flap, and riveted them in place.  Made a couple light smilies when I lost track of the gun during the vertical riveting.  Sigh…but no big deal.

Riveting leading edge skins Riveting top skin Left flap top skin riveted Left flap ready for bottom skin

Tonight’s session also saw the passing of the 500-hour mark on the build.  It doesn’t seem like that much time, but I have been working on the project for over two years (I started in earnest in May, 2007).  This means I’m somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the way done, based on hours.  So, 4-6 more years?

Hours: 2.5 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

8th September 2009

Right flap finished

A quick stop in the shop before heading off to work this morning finished up the remaining rivets on the right flap trailing edge.  A check for straightness & twist (all looks good), and the flap is attached to the wing — because it’s a good place to store it out of the way, and because moving parts are exciting!

Trailing edge riveted Right flap complete

Right flap attached to wing Right flap attached to wing Right flap inboard attach point

Hours: 0.4 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

7th September 2009

Right flap riveting

Almost finished the right flap — just a portion of the trailing edge rivets remain.  First, the top skin is riveted to the spar & ribs in a manner similar to the ailerons.  The tungsten bar is great for this–it’s small enough to nest into the spar channel and tuck into the ribs.

Top skins riveted Blind rivet in aft-most rib hole

After riveting the top skin on, the flap is flipped topside-down on the table and weighted in place, then the bottom skin riveted to the spar & nose skin.  This is a tight operation, squeezing inside the flap with the weights/clamps/boards in the way.  Finished it up without a problem though, then the whole thing is weighted flat to the table, and the bottom skin-rib rivets inserted.  These are blind rivets everywhere but the outboard end rib, which can be squeezed.  I also used blind rivets at the most aft location in the top skins, same as on the elevators & rudder…those ribs are so narrow at the aft end that it’s nearly impossible to buck anything in there, and certainly not with any of the bars I have.

Riveting bottom skins Bottom skins riveted

Once the skins are in place, the weights are put back in place for the trailing edge riveting, which I’m doing using the same squeezing process I’ve used on all the other control surfaces.  I had to leave for work before finishing up this flap, but it’s nearly done.

Trailing edge clecoed Trailing edge partly riveted

Hours: 3.6 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

6th September 2009

Flap priming & assembly

Started out with a few hours spent priming all the flap & pitot mount components.  Had some trouble with that, but nothing major…the tip of the gun continually clogged up with a “skin” of primer, a result of (I believe) the warm temps, direct sunlight warming the primer in the gun hopper, and the fact that I was using the last slug out of a quart of primer.  When I opened a new jar, I realized that the old stuff was noticeably thicker–because the solids settle to the bottom, and even though I stir thoroughly, my stir skill must not be up to par.  Some of the solvent portion of the mixture probably flashed off over time too, since this can has been used for spot-priming, as well as several gun sessions.  Oh well, everything that needed primer got coated.

Flap parts primed

The first task is assembling the flap brackets/nose rib assemblies.  I clecoed the brackets and spacer blocks together for each bracket, then ran a Q-tip dipped in primer around the inside of the lightening holes to coat them better, as that spot is difficult to get good coverage on by shooting, at least to a painting amateur like myself.  Then added the nose ribs, which form the outside of the assemblies, and riveted them together.

Flap bracket assembly Flap brackets riveted

Clecoed and riveted the bracket assemblies to the spars.  The first one took some head-scratching to figure out the best way to get at all the different rivets.  Combination of the longeron yoke and standard yoke, with various set configurations, got most of the rivets; the only ones needing to be shot were the three in the “elbow” of the heavy angle on the inboard end of each flap.  The second spar went much faster, since the figuring was already figured.  After the brackets were in place, the main ribs were added to the spars, and those rivets are easy to get at with the longeron yoke.

Flap skeletons riveted Inboard right flap

Continuing on with the right flap, I clecoed on the top skin, followed by the nose skins.  Weighted to the table, I drilled the nose rib holes to 7/64″ for the blind rivets, then installed all the skin-nose rib rivets.  The right flap is ready for top skin riveting.

Final fitting of nose skins Right flap nose skins riveted

Hours: 7.4 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

2nd September 2009

More flap prep

Took advantage of a day off work–probably the last for awhile with the semester starting next week.  Hopefully progress won’t come to as dreadful of a stop as it did last school year, but I lose at least two nights a week, often more, from here to the end of May ’10.

Countersunk the spars and TE wedges, then dimpled all the skins & ribs, followed by several hours swimming in etch.  These flaps have a great lot of parts.  Ready for priming, but not enough time before sunset to get it done, and past experience priming in the dark wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Hours: 6.4 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

1st September 2009

Still deburring

More flap deburring tonight…wrapped it up with the flap skins.  Countersinking & dimpling remain.

Hours: 2.1 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

30th August 2009

More deburring

Deburred the nose skins, main ribs, and hinge bracket pieces for both flaps, as well as edge-finished the spars and skins.  Remaining work before primer is deburr all skins, and countersink the TE wedge and spars.

Hours: 4.4 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

29th August 2009

Left flap drilled, deburring

Attached the left flap nose skins, drilled the skins, and inserted/drilled the trailing edge.  Then disassembled the left flap, and got to work deburring flap parts…much like the wing nose ribs, the ribs for the flaps have numerous little tabs on them, and the main ribs taper into a very tight gap at the aft end, making the process more of a pain than usual (sometimes quite literally, as the attempt to slide a finger into that narrow aft end can remove skin).  I got through all of the hole deburring on the hinge assemblies, ribs, and inboard end pieces before going slightly nuts and needing a deburring breather.

Left flap drilled Left flap inboard end Flap components for deburring

Still hoping to wrap the wings (with the exception of bottom skins and tips) before school starts in earnest after Labor Day…which may or may not actually be possible.

Hours: 4.6 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

27th August 2009

Right flap drilled

Drilled the right flap: nose skins, top skin, and spar.  Also attached and drilled the inboard reinforcement plate, and the nutplate which attaches the actuator arm.  Disassembled the flap in preparation for deburring.

Right flap drilled Right flap inboard bracket Actuator nutplate Right flap parts disassembled

Hours: 1.5 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off