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Build chronology milestones
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
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.
Cutting the left flap skin to shape.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.