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Build chronology milestones


December 2006

30th: With the flaps completed, Work begins on the ailerons. This panel illustrates the meaning of the "51%" rule. When coworkers and friends hear we are building an airplane from a kit, they say, "Oh, you get the pieces and just fasten them together, right?" Wrong. The builder is required to contribute 51% of the effort toward construction of the aircraft. This photo shows one aileron counterweight assembly. In the foreground, the lead counterweight, cut from a rectangular blank on the band saw - slowly, and with lots of candle wax for lubricant - is clamped between the laser-cut attachment plates provided in the kit. Later in the process, bolt holes will be drilled though the attachment plate pilot holes and the lead weight. In the center are four angles cut from an 8-foot length of 2"x2"x0.032" angle material, which comes with the kit pre-bent to the correct radius. These four pieces will be fabricated into two spacer brackets as part of the left and right aileron counterweight attachments.

30th, later in the day: the spacer bracket pieces, cut down to size on the band saw, filed to precise measurement, and deburred on the Scothbrite wheel, clamped, drilled to 3/32", realigned and drilled out to 1/8", deburred and ready for riveting. Shown with the tools required, clockwise from top: pneumatic blind rivet tool, sheet fastener pliers, hand deburring tool, pneumatic drill, blind rivets, one bracket assembled with clecoes (sheet fasteners), one bracket drilled but not assembled, and the clecoes for it. In the background is the inboard aileron rib with the actuator horn riveted to it. The counterweight attach plates will be riveted to two more ribs before the assembly is complete. After fabrication of the brackets, we closed out the year measuring and marking the aileron skin for cutting the angled wingtip end and the slots for the actuator horn and counterweight.

25th: Cutting the left flap skin to shape.

Used the die grinder to notch the bends, then cut up to them with snips, filed to the trim line. By the end of the day, had drilled the pilot holes in the skin for the ribs.

24th: Right flap parts drilled, deburred, ready to rivet.

Part way through the riveting process.

23rd: Drilling the rivet holes for the right flap joint, using the hinge pilot holes as a guide. The flap is white because it still has the protective vinyl wrap. I removed it from the rivet areas using a small soldering iron to melt the plastic in a line without marking the metal, then peeled the strip.

23rd: Right flap in clecoes. I like to attach the hinges with the hinge assembled; hopefully, it will keep the hinge aligned and prevent binding when the control surfaces are mated to the wing. To line up the ribs with the rivet holes on the second side,I used a piece of 12-gauge electrical wire through the reference holes to pull the the rib into place for drilling.

12th: Completed both rear spars. The root ends are shown above, with the left spar on the right. The root rib attach fittings are offset because the ribs all face the same way, with the flange to the left, so the web is next to the fuselage on the left wing, but the flange edge is inboard on the right. The wing attach fittings are offset because the left wing is slightly forward of the right by the thickness of the spar web and cap flange where the main spars overlap.

12th: Started on flaps and ailerons before proceeding with wing assembly. I set up a drilling fixture for the rivet holes in the flap hinges using a scrap of 1/2" x 1/8" rib spacer material clamped to a scrap of 3/16" angle as a stop. The 140 holes in the flap side of the hinge went very quickly, but the deburring did not: for the aileron and ruddervator hinges, I'll use a scrap of 1/8" material under the drill bit to reduce the burr.

7th: Left rear spar work. Here, using a large step drill bit in the drill press to remove material from the center of the aileron counterbalance pass-through in the spar end, before finishing the hole with the round file. About 1/8" to 1/4" from the edge is enough, the file cuts fast, and so does the step drill. Tight clamps are essential, especially if the holes overlap.

7th: Using the round file to shape the aileron tube pass-through in the rear spar, after roughing out with the step drill. This went surprisingly fast, after "practice" on the right spar. Unlike the right spar, where I measured and drilled the rib pilot holes last, I marked the left spar rib positions first, then drilled the pilot holes where the doubler plate and attach plate pass through, which made the alignment much easier.

Copyright 2005-2019: Larye D. Parkins
Last updated: 16 September, 2019.

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