Archive for February, 2011

Rework Aileron Brackets – 1.5 hrs

February 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Monday Feb 28, 2011

Lesson Number 41: Don’t assemble the aileron brackets before the wing is in the cradle.

Tonight I was going to do the simple task of fitting the aileron brackets to the wing rear spar. Unfortunately I discovered I had switched two of the aileron bracket parts, the W-413C and W-414C, and the holes would not line up correctly. There was no choice but to remove the rivets and switch the parts back. So tonight was spent mostly drilling out rivets. Once I had the parts switched I cleco’d them together and did a fit check on the wings. That’s when I found that I had to modify the parts a little to eliminate an interference with a rivet on the spar and the inside radius of the spar flange. It wasn’t a lot of material to remove but it was better done before riveting the W-413C and W-414C to the other parts. Remember lesson Number 41.

Here is a photo of the mid wing bracket cleco’d in place after making the modifications.

Fitting aileron brackets

Here is one of the outboard brackets.

An outboard aileron bracket

I’ll have to touch up the primer and then rivet the parts back together.

Categories: Aileron Brackets, Wings

Started Flaps, Moved Wings to Cradle – 2 hrs

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Feb 27, 2011

This morning I started working on the flaps by deburring the edges of the spars. For the non-builders out there, deburring removes the rough edges of parts that could later lead to crack formation. Plus it makes the parts much nicer to handle and they look higher quality too. Here is a side by side closeup of one spar deburred and the other not. Can you tell the difference in the edges?

Deburring edges, before and after

Here are both spars deburred; that includes all the light weighting holes too. I used a 1 inch scotch-brite wheel in my drill press running at maximum speed to deburr the holes.

Flap spars deburred

Then my buddy Dave came over and helped me move the wings from the construction stand to the cradle. It feels good to have this completed. Now I get to tear down the stand to make room for the fuselage which is on order and due to arrive in early April.

Wings moved to cradle

Categories: Flaps, Wings

Finished Right Aileron, Built Wing Cradle – 6.5 hrs

February 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Feb 26, 2011

Last night after work I finished all the riveting of the right aileron. The process was just like the left aileron but I was tired so I only took one picture of both ailerons side by side.

Both ailerons completed

I torqued the brackets on each end and applied torque stripes.

Brackets torqued

Instead of starting on the flaps this morning I next built the wing cradle. I had all the materials on hand because I bought them weeks ago when I was at home depot. It is pretty much exactly like the plans describe except I put casters on the bottom so I can easily roll it around the garage. Here it is ready to receive the wings, although I may add a shelf in the middle to hold the wing bottom skins until I install those.

Wing cradle

Categories: Ailerons, Wings

Launch Delayed

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Thursday Feb 24, 2011

Well I’m back from Vandenberg AFB. Unfortunately the launch of the Glory satellite was delayed by a ground equipment problem so the planned night launch did not happen. Since I am involved in the mission I was able to get within a couple hundred yards of the launch vehicle the next day to get this photo. There it sits, waiting patiently for us to get our act together.

NASA's Glory satellite on the launch pad

Categories: Uncategorized

Started Right Aileron Final Assembly – 1 hr

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Monday Feb 21, 2011

I started final assembly of the right aileron tonight after work. Step 1 was to rivet the nut plate to the spar and reinforcement plate.

Nutplate riveted to spar and reinforcement plate

Then rivet the nose ribs to the counterweight pipe. I doubled checked to make sure the pipe was not flipped around backwards.

Nose ribs riveted to the counterweight pipe

Then I cleco’d the skins onto the spar and mounted the spar onto the two blocks I made for the left aileron to hold the assembly on the bench in a convenient orientation for riveting. This time I’ll wait till later to rivet the nose skin to the counterweight like I’m supposed to. This assembly process seems easier on the second run through.

Skins cleco'd on, ready to rivet top skins to spar

That was it for the night because I am packing for a business trip tonight. I am heading up to Vandenberg AFB for the launch of the Glory satellite.

Categories: Ailerons, Wings

Left Aileron Assembly – 3.5 hrs

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Feb 20, 2011

My other project today was to assemble the left aileron. It starts by riveting the nose ribs to the counterweight tube using LP4-3 pop rivets.

Riveting Nose Ribs to the Counterweight Pipe

Then you install the leading edge skin. I misread the instructions here and riveted it instead of just clecoing it to the counterweight. Luckily this did not cause a problem. The rivets look good though.

Counterweight rivets

Then I cut two pieces of 2×4 and used wood screws to make a simple stand to hold the aileron oriented nose down on the bench. Then I clamped it down to the bench so it would not move around during riveting. The skins are just cleco’d together in this picture.

Simple stand for riveting

The skins are riveted to the spar along the top surface from the inside as shown below. The tungsten bucking bar worked great with the 15 degree angled side. The lower skin lifts up just enough so I could get a hand in to hold the bucking bar. I was able to shoot all these rivets solo.

Upper skin riveting

Do you see a problem in this picture? The row of holes along the bottom of the skin should be dimpled. I guess I just missed this step when preping the parts. Fortunately I could easily dimple these with the pneumatic squeezer. A good reminder to make and follow a checklist whenever possible.

Wait - these holes should be dimpled!

After riveting the upper surface of the aileron to the spar and ribs, I flipped it over, put it on the floor and weighed it down to hold it flat. Then I riveted the lower surface to the spar and ribs. In this case the spar rivets are CS4-4 pop rivets. Then I installed the A-406-1 and A-407 brackets and the aileron is done.

Left aileron done!

Categories: Ailerons, Wings

Right Wing Top Skin Finished – 2.5 hrs

February 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Sunday Feb 20, 2011

In a riveting session of about 2.5 hrs I finished the top right wing skin today. My helpful mate Denise gave me a hand for about 1.5 hrs to rivet all the remaining ribs and the main spar. Then I squeezed the rivets along the rear spar. It feels good to have this completed. Now I can make the wing dolly and take this big jig down to make room for the fuselage coming in March.

Right wing top skin riveting complete

Categories: Skins, Wings

Aileron Part Priming – 6 hrs

February 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Saturday Feb 19, 2011

A productive day of airplane building today. It was supposed to be raining this morning but the weather was behind schedule and it was partly cloudy in the morning so I hurried up and finished preparing the aileron skeleton parts for priming. First I finished deburring holes and scotch-brite scrubbing the parts. Then I slightly bent the edges of the nose skin where they overlap the aft skins using my new edge forming tool from Cleaveland. Then I dimpled the spar, ribs,and skins.

Dimpling aileron skeleton parts

The end ribs have two holes each that are hard to dimple. Builders don’t often talk about these. My technique is to use a simple tool which is a piece of steel with a #40 hole drilled through and machine countersunk. I clamp it in my vise, put the rib in place, and with a hammer whack a #40 dimple die into the skin to form the dimple into the machine countersink. Works pretty good.

Dimpling those tough holes

After washing all the part with Simple Green, rinsing and setting them out to dry, I sprayed them all with Ekoprime. Here is one set for the left aileron. A hour after this it started raining again. Good timing.

Parts primed and ready for final assembly

I few hours later I installed the nut plate on the left aileron spar and the reinforcement plate. I stopped work on the ailerons here so I could install rivets on the right wing with my wife.

Nut plate riveted to the spar and reinforcement plate

Denise drove rivets and I bucked. We completed about half of the rivets for the top skin, not including the aft spar which I will squeeze later alone. Altogether a good day today. We stopped here so we could get ready to go out tonight to a movie with daughter #2.

Right wing top skin riveting progress

Categories: Ailerons, Skins, Wings

More Right Aileron Progress- 1.5 hrs

February 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Thursday Feb 17, 2011

Tonight was all about getting the right aileron caught up to the left aileron so I can be ready to prime parts when the weather permits. I match drilled the skins to the skeleton including opening up the holes for the lower edge of the nose skin to #30 for flush CS4-4 rivets, and drilling through the leading edge into the counterweight pipe.

Right aileron skins match drilled

Then I removed the trailing edge skin and end ribs and drilled the nose rib tabs through the pipe “through the back door”.

Coming in the back door

Then I took the nose skin off, countersunk the holes in the pipe and dimpled the nose skin leading edge holes with a dimple die, a hammer, and a couple of pieces of 2 x 4.

Pipe countersunk and leading edge dimpled

Categories: Ailerons, Wings

Right Aileron Progress- 1 hr

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011

Tonight I did this:

1) Devinyled the right aileron nose skin interior

2) Deburred the edges of both nose skins

3) Deburred the right aileron end ribs

4) Match drilled the right aileron end ribs to the spar

5) Cleco’d together the right aileron skeleton in preparation for match drilling

Right aileron cleco'd together

Categories: Ailerons, Wings