Miscellaneous Wing Tasks

I have my second tech counselor visit this Saturday afternoon, so I’m trying to knock out as many tasks as I can before then.

Since installing the wing conduit is so loud, I came out to the garage this morning after Jenn was at work at the kids were at school/daycare and installed it in the right wing.

After work, I squeezed the remaining rivets along the rear spar and inboard rib.  The top of the right wing is totally done now.

I also deburred the edges and clecoed on the right wing flap brace and aileron gap seal.  It’s late, so I’ll drill these tomorrow.

Pitot Tubing and Z-Bracket Bolts

My 437-4 snap bushings showed up from Aircraft Spruce today, so I was able to install them and run the green pitot tubing through the right wing.

I also neglected to install any of the bolts holding the right fuel tank z-brackets to the spar, so I put a couple of bolts in each of the z-brackets and torqued them down.

Riveted Right Wing Leading Edge and Top Wing Skins

Andre will be stopping by later today to help me finish up the right wing, so I got started this morning by making the wing cradle that will hole the wings after they come off the jig.  This is basically built according to plans with the exception of the casters so that it can be easily moved.

I didn’t get any pictures during the process, but in about three hours, Andre and I knocked out the leading edge and top skins of the right wing.  I still need to squeeze the rivets along the rear spar and inboard rib, but other than that it is ready to come off the wing jig.

I went ahead and installed the autopilot roll servo and torqued the mounting bolts.  The wire still needs to be secured to keep from interfering with the aileron bellcrank, but that will have to wait until I get some adel clamps.

Wing Conduit and Bottom Wing Skins

I finished installing the conduit in the left wing.  I still need to put a little bit of sealant around the conduit where it crosses each rib to prevent vibration from cutting through the conduit.

I also got started on one of the bottom skins.  I removed the plastic along the rivet lines, deburred, and installed the nutplates along the perimeter of the access holes.

Fuselage Ship Date

I received my letter from Van’s today with the fuselage ship date.  It will ship during the week of 11/2, giving me about 5 weeks to finish up the wings.  The second wing will come off the jig this weekend, so the remaining tasks are to finish up the ailerons, build the flaps and control push rods, install the autopilot servo, pitot tube, bottom skins, and wing tips.

Flap and Aileron Braces

I noticed last night that the bearing in my right outboard aileron hinge bracket was binding.  I called Van’s about it today, and they happily sent out a replacement at no charge.  I went ahead and drilled out the rivets holding this together, which was a real pain in the ass since those top rivets are AN470AD4-9’s.  Even once you drill the head off, they’re nearly impossible to drive out.  I ended up having to drill nearly all the way through them before I could drive the rest out.  Fortunately, I didn’t elongate any holes.

Oddly, after removing the bearing, it was no longer binding.  After resqueezing the two lower AN426AD4-7 rivets (the flush ones near the bearing), it bound up again.  Argh!  After drilling them out a second time, I determined what was going on.  Basically, the holes for those two rivets were not perfectly normal to the surface, so squeezing the rivets caused the two surfaces to shift slightly which applied a sideways load to the bearing (squeezing it out of round).  I ran a drill bit back through those holes and resqueezed the rivets and the bearing now moves as smooth as silk.

I also clecoed on the bottom skins on the left wing so that I could match drill the flap brace to the skin.  The flap hinge will also rivet along here, but I can’t do that until after I build the flaps.

While I was at it, I went ahead and clecoed on the aileron brace, and match drilled it to the skin.  I still have to match drill it to the rear spar, but I’ll wait until the bottom skins come back off so I have easy access.

Miscellaneous Wing Tasks

I started pulling the conduit through the wing ribs on the left wing, but it turns out that this makes a hell of a racket.  Since the kids were asleep, I put this off and moved on to something else.

I went ahead and squeezed the rivets on the right wing outboard leading edge.  I still have to rivet the ribs to the spar, but that has to wait until I have a riveting partner.

I deburred the edges of the flap brace and trimmed it to clear the rear spar doubler.jk

I clecoed on the flap brace (on the left) and the inboard aileron hinge bracket (center) and match drilled them.

I also clecoed and match drilled the outboard aileron hinge bracket.

After deburring and priming the mating surfaces, I riveted the aileron hinge brackets on (though only the rivets I could reach with a squeezer since it was late).

Here is the rear part of the outboard aileron bracket. Notice that the lower hole (right in this picture) needs a countersunk rivet. This is to clear the leading edge of the aileron since it comes very close to the bracket here.

Pitot Tube and Mount

I got started tonight by cutting out the hole for the pitot mount that I laid out a couple of days ago.  I used a unibit to drill out the bulk of the material, then used a nibbler and files to finish off the hole.  Next, I laid out some holes to rivet the mount to the skin (in addition to the holes along the right edge where it will rivet to the spar).

I installed the skin on the wing and match drilled the mount to the spar.

I test fit the pitot tube.  The 3/16″ aluminum tubes coming out the other end needed to be trimmed somewhat to allow the pitot tube to fit fully into the mount.

I laid out holes to attach the tube to the mount and used some aluminum tape as a clamp to hold the tube in place.

After drilling through the mount and the wall of the pitot tube, I countersunk the mount for #6 screws.  This was tricky since this is a curved surface.  Instead of using my microstop countersink, I basically just did these freehand.

I also tapped the pitot tube for 6-32 threads.  The stuff with the red lettering on it is aluminum tape.  I wrapped this around the pitot tube because there was a little slop between it and the mount.

Here’s the finished pitot tube installed in the mount.  This really turned out well, the pitot tube is tight in the mount and the screws are nice and flush.

Here is the business end of the pitot tube.  The hole at the top is for measuring pitot pressure and the hole at the bottom is for measuring angle of attach.  Basically, as the wing’s angle of attach increases, this hole becomes more directly aligned into the wind.  This increases the pressure of air inside this tube which the instrument indicates as an increase in angle of attach.

I disassembled everything and countersink the pitot mount for the dimples in the skin since this will be flush mounted.

I cut the 3/16″ aluminum lines on the pitot tube shorter so that they just stick out of the mount in the wing, then installed fittings and flared the ends.

The male end of the fitting is installed and torqued.

Using some EZ-Turn, I then installed the quick disconnects on the ends.  The tubing I’m using will just push into place on these fittings.

Finally, I installed the AOA tubing in the wing.  I didn’t have enough 437-4 snap bushings to install the pitot tubing, so that will wait until I order some.

Pitot Mount Fitting

I didn’t have much time to work on the plane tonight, but I decided to start modifying the left bottom wing skin for the pitot mount.  I’m using the pitot mount from SafeAir.  The mounting instructions call for mounting the pitot tube in the bay just outboard from the last access hole.  The problem with that is that it also puts the pitot tube just outboard of the tie-down bracket.  Since RVs have relatively narrow wing spans compared to typical GA aircraft, it means that tie-down ropes typically splay outward from the tie-down brackets.  This means they could easily get caught up in the pitot tube and damage it.  Instead, I’m mounting the pitot tube in the bay just inboard of the last access hole.  This is only about 1′ inboard from the recommended mounting location, and only about 3″ inboard from Van’s stock location, so it shouldn’t have any impact on pitot measurement (others who have mounted it here confirm that it works great).

Since I’m mounting the pitot tube just behind the tank, the tank attach platenuts prevent the mounting bracket from sitting as far forward as the installation instructions call for (I have to mount it about 1/4″ aft of the recommended location).  Since I’m deviating from the instructions so significantly, I decided to just scrap them and improvise.

I took some measurements off of the leading edge and the adjacent rib holes.  While ensuring the tube will be aligned with the airflow, I marked where the cutout goes.  It’s late, so I’ll cut this later.

Riveted Left Wing Leading Edge and Top Wing Skins

I got started this morning by forming the scarf joint where the inboard and outboard top wing skins meet just behind the tank skin.  This keeps the skins from sticking up where they are doubled up.

Andre stopped by and we got started by riveting the leading edges onto the spars.  This required the double offset rivet set I modified the other day.  Bucking these was tricky since it required reaching way into the leading edges through the lightening holes and bucking blind.  We managed to get all solid rivets into these holes.

Here’s a shot inside the leading edge showing the shop heads for some of these rivets.

Afterward, we squeezed the rivets along the spar.

We then clecoed the wing skins on (remembering the wing-walk doublers of course).

We back-riveted all of the skins on using a 5 lb back-rivet bucking bar.  This was held against the outside of the skins while…

…the rivets were driven from the inside using an extended reach double-offset back-rivet set.  This worked beautifully.  The outside of the skins look perfect and we didn’t have to reach between the ribs to hold the bucking bar as we would for normal shooting/bucking (which is painful between the wing walk ribs.

After squeezing the rivets on the rear spar, the left wing is ready to come off the wing jig.

Here is the top of the wing from the outboard end.

Here is the bottom of the wing.  The bottom main skins (inboard and outboard) are riveted after everything else in the wings are complete (ailerons, flaps, control linkage, pitot tube, autopilot servo, etc.).