25th August 2009

Flap prep

Weighted down and clamped the right flap flat with a pair of 2×4′s, several buckets of clecos, and a bag of pea gravel, then proceeded to attach the nose skins.  Double-checked flatness, inserted the trailing edge wedge, and drilled the TE to the table.  I’ll need to finish this flap to the point of disassembly before continuing with the left flap, since the opposite flap’s TE wedge is used to locate the wedge for drilling, and the right wedge is now securely clecoed in place.

Right flap nose skins in place Right flap TE drilled to table

Also looked through the book, and, failing to find a specific notation to install the bushings into the flap brackets, decided they must have been part of the “assemble bracket per drawing” instruction.  So, I pressed them into place using a C-clamp and block of wood.

Flap pivot bushings installed

Hours: 1.6 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

24th August 2009

Flap drilling

Snuck out to the shop for a bit tonight and drilled the ribs to the spars, then the bottom skins to the ribs.  Clecoed on the top skins and hung the nose skins from the bottom of the spar.  Need to weight these guys down before clecoing the nose skins in place…must…stay…flat…

Drilling bottom skins to flaps Adding top & nose skins to flaps

Hours: 0.9 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

23rd August 2009

Beginning flaps

After lunch, work begins on the flaps.  Pulled lots of blue plastic, then assembled and drilled all the nose rib/hinge assemblies.  Them drilled those assemblies to the spars.  Fabricated (hacksaw–oh joy!)  the heavy inboard reinforcing angles and the spacer plates that go behind them–all turned out well, so they were clamped and drilled in place.

Flap brackets assembled Flap spars going together Flap parts fabricated

Next, the bottom skins were set up on the table and the spar assemblies attached, then the skins drilled to the table.  A woodworking project ensued–drilling 54 5/8″ holes in the flat table…followed by a thorough shop-vac session.  Finally, the main ribs were clecoed to the spars, ready for match-drilling in the next work session.

Skins drilled to table Drilling holes in table Table with holes for clecoes Main ribs in, ready for drilling

Hours: 5.4 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

26th July 2009

Right wing body complete

Hit the ground running today and riveted on the flap brackets and associated angles.  Nothing major different than the left wing process; the only “problem” rivets are those three spar-angle rivets nearest to the top skin, but with added experience from yesterday, then came out passably.  One ugly “smiley” in that awful root-end rivet, but after yesterday’s lesson, I decided to leave it as-is.  After the brackets were in place, I riveted on the gap fairings, and the right wing is done.

Right inboard flap bracket Right root rivets Right outboard flap bracket Right wing gap fairing

Wrapping up, I vacuumed the aluminum shavings out of both wings, then went through them and spot-primed the scrapes and scuffs from the riveting process.  Torque-sealed the fuel tank bolts on the right wing (I had anready done the left wing while it was in the jig).  Bolted the bellcrank brackets in place on the right wing (the bottom bracket replaced by the Trutrak servo mounting bracket; I have left the top servo support bracket out for now, because with no servo, one end is loose in the air, and would be free to vibrate.)  Torqued and sealed the bellcrank bolts.

Right wing fuel tank bolts Bellcrank & roll servo bracket Right wing body complete

Spent some time at the end putting tools away, sweeping the shop, and re-organizing to fit two vehicles into the garage bays.

Hours: 3.3 | Posted in Ailerons, Flaps | Comments Off

26th July 2009

Left wing body complete!

A solid full day in the shop ahead of vacation plans, which resulted in good progress on the wings.  Started out by etching and priming all the flap & aileron bracket parts, plus the gap fairings…a task made interesting by the afternoon’s weather.  I set the parts out on the priming table in the sun, and by the time I had loaded the gun with primer, it had begun to rain.  Inside with all the parts, and start to prime in an impromptu cardboard “booth”…  Soon enough, the sun was back and normal operations could resume.  Primed everything and set it aside to dry, while I worked on deburring and dimpling the #40 holes in the wing skins that attach the gap fairings.

Once the gap fairings were dry, I dimpled the skin attach holes there as well, then set about assembling the aileron brackets.  Had to drill out a couple rivets in two of the brackets when I realized I had misread the plans, and not countersunk for the installation of flush rivets in a few spots.  Oops…not a big deal to fix, though, and the brackets were soon assembled.  Installation onto the wing was relatively painless, the riveting being rather straightforward.

Bracket parts etched, ready for priming Aileron brackets assembled Flap brackets ready for installation

With the aileron brackets in place, I started work on the flap brackets, at which point I realized that I had never countersunk the holes where the skin dimpled nest into those pieces either.  Took care of that, and spot-primed as necessary.  I first installed the rivets that hold only the main piece of the flap brackets to the rib (many of which are squeezable), then went back and installed the bracket-spar angles, then the bracket-skin angles.  It feels more productive to do a whole set of related tasks while a tool (gun, squeezer, air regulator, etc) is configured for a particular situation, rather than having to constantly reset the tool.

Bracket-rib rivets first Bracket-rib-angle rivets second Left wing, outboard flap bracket

The only real problem rivet was the 470 rivet at the root end, where the flap bracket attaches, as it’s a rather long (-9) rivet, and it’s close up to the skin, requiring the use of the double-offset rivet set.  A tool which I have never been satisfied with the use of.  It seems as if the double-offset allows the tool to “spring” and doesn’t transfer the energy of the gun into the rivet nearly as well as the straight or single-offset sets do.  After drilling the rivet out twice (I had distorted the manufactured head with the set), I had a hole that was ovaled in the top piece of metal (the rear spar doubler).  I decided to address that by making that rivet a flush rivet, same as the other two rivets on that row.  The countersink removed the ovalled portion of the hole, and I was able to squeeze the rivet with the 4″ no-hole yoke on the squeezer.  The bugger is still not perfect, but there are many other rivets in that area.  I’ll point it out to my tech counselor for his opinion on the next visit, as well.  Today’s lesson?  If the rivet is good enough, don’t try to drill it out (again!) in hopes of making it perfect…

Troublesome left wing root rivet

All in all, the left & right aileron brackets are installed, and the left flap brackets are in.  After all that, it was a quick job to cleco on the left wing gap fairings and rivet them in place.  Only 2 rivets in the gap fairings require use of the gun (where they’re too close to ribs or brackets to fit the squeezer body); the rest are squeezable.  I love my pneumatic squeezer and longeron yoke!

Gap fairings installed Inboard aileron bracket Outboard aileron bracket

Hoping to get the right wing to the same point tomorrow, then I should be able to roll the wing cart off to the side of the shop and move the fuselage kit out of the second garage bay, so we can get both cars in and secured during our trip.  Looking forward to watching the news out of Oshkosh this week, as well.

Left wing body complete

Hours: 9.3 | Posted in Ailerons, Flaps | Comments Off

21st July 2009

Endless deburring

The task that never ends…  deburred & edge-finished all four gap fairings, as well as the #30 holes in the spar and ribs for the flap & aileron brackets.  Still need to deburr the #40 holes in the top skins, and dimple where necessary.  The pieces with the little radii, cutouts and such are the worst to deburr — you end up using several different files, including the set of miniature files, plus scotchbrite pads.  Still not as bad as those square corners of ribs, though.

Hours: 2.1 | Posted in Ailerons, Flaps | Comments Off

20th July 2009

Drill, deburr, repeat

Drilled the flap & aileron gap fairings to the skins and spars, then removed them from the wing.  Deburred all the holes on the components of the flap & aileron brackets, and finished the edges with files and scotchbrite wheel.  With time, luck, and perseverance, I might have all this stuff installed before we leave for AK on the 29th.

Drilling gap fairings to wing Flap & aileron bracket parts

Hours: 2.6 | Posted in Ailerons, Flaps | Comments Off

19th July 2009

Flap bracket fabriction, continued

Aligned and drilled the flap bracket angles that were fabricated yesterday; lots of drilling, but easy enough, with a set of 12″ bits and an angle drill to use where necessary.  Clecoed on the bottom skins and back-drilled those holes into the angles as well, then removed the skins, and all the flap & aileron brackets.  These parts are ready for deburring and priming.  Finished up the session by clecoing the flap & aileron gap fairings in place.  They need to be drilled to the wing, then they’ll be ready for prep & prime.  This is the last batch of parts to prime & install before control surface fabrication begins in earnest.

No progress pictures, as the camera batteries are dead.

Hours: 2.5 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

18th July 2009

Flap bracket fabrication

Worked on fabricating the flap bracket angles, using the hacksaw and bench sander.  Cut and shaped all twelve pieces in preparation for drilling.

Hours: 1.4 | Posted in Flaps | Comments Off

7th June 2009

Wing odds & ends

Nursing some wrist pain today, so not much productive shop time.  Finished building the wing cart by attaching some swivel casters I picked up last night, and padding the leading edge cutout with foam pipe insulation, then set the completed left wing in the cart.  Looks good, and rolls nicely.  I think there is enough room between the two wing slots that the horizontal stabilizer could be stored on the cart, as well.

Drilled the flap and aileron brackets to the left wing, and pulled out the gap fairings to mess with for a bit.  Torqued the aileron bellcrank brackets in the left wing.  Dimpled the wing walk doubler for the right wing.  Cleaned up the shop a bit, and spent some time just sitting in the shop and looking at things, pondering.

Left wing in cart Left wing aileron & flap brackets drilled

(NB. This post being counted in multiple categories — something which may happen more often, as a work session touches on multiple items.  I’ve split the last several sessions into multiple posts, as the time blocks were larger and more well-defined.  In the case of multiple categories on a post, each category will total the entire number of hours from the session, but the “grand total” will count it only once.  I wish there was an easy way to resolve this, but it is what it is–and since the hours tracking isn’t a requirement of any sort, just for my curiosity, not a big deal.)

Hours: 1.6 | Posted in Ailerons, Flaps, Fuel Tanks, Wings | Comments Off