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Build chronology milestones


May 2008

11th: Finally, some actual build time, first in three months. I have been meaning to build a wing rack, but actually don't have the space. To get the right wing off the workbench to finish the aileron, I screwed an extension onto the workbench to hold the spar root and made a canvas sling with a 1x4 to hold the leading edge. It looks a bit precarious, but temporary.

After more than a year, dusted off the aileron and worked on finishing it. I had some tolerance issues with the counterweight assembly: this is one place where 1/64" accuracy is an absolute must on this plane. The holes in the skin ended up too close to the edge of the inside rib flange on the leading edge. I made a jig to move the rivet hole centers enough to get the required edge distance, and added an extra rivet to compensate for the one that was too close to the edge. The tip rib was a little disappointing. The plans call for the top skin rivet holes to be 1/2" from the tip, but the tip rib then has to be recessed to get the 1/4" edge spacing, since the flanges are the standard 1/2" width. I went ahead with it this way, may opt to remake the tip rib from scratch at some later time, unless I end up rebuilding the entire aileron. Picked up an extra rivet on the tip, too, from measuring from the skin for the leading edge rivets instead of from the end of the flange on the rib. I did test fit the aileron on the wing and widened the counterweight hole in the aft spar to get clearance for the installation.

A more long-term solution to store assemblies. After I saw a Zenith builder's wings hanging on a hanger wall, I bought an extra set of hold-down straps and hung the partly-finished right wing on the front of my cluttered storage racks. The spar end passes under the handlebars of our tandem bicycle. Tight quarters.

The left wing being rivetted on the workbench. This time, I made a pair of brackets to help level the wing, and made quick work of rivetting the rear spar to the ribs. Unfortunately, this makes rivetting the front spar from the back, as shown on the plans, a bit more difficult. But, putting a bit of skew into the flexible frame gives enough clearance on the rivet puller to seat the rivets, using the steel spacer I made from a bolt head.

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

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