VAF hat

I decided to join the club and make myself a VAF hat to wear when I’m out and about to represent one of the greatest communities I’ve joined. 

Vansairforce has been a huge help in providing information during my build. I’ve had nearly every question answered by someone on the forums. I’m proud to represent a community that is helpful, kind, and supportive during the long and sometimes very difficult process of building. Can’t wait to hop in my plane with my VAF hat and explore the world! 

VAF hat

Wings

Today I spent a few hours working on the left wing. 
I started out by removing the flap and aileron, so I could get access to the aileron brackets. Because I didn’t rivet the brackets, I was able to perform the bracket service bulletin. 


It involved riveted two doubler plates to the backside of the spar behind the aileron bracket. Here you can see the row of rivets holding those doublers in place. 

I then proceeded to install the aileron gap faring. 


Of course I edge finished, deburred, and primed the surface prior to riveting. Once that was installed I spent some time installing he aileron and determining the correct washer count and making sure I can get access to everything. 

I then installed the aileron with the alignment bracket on the bellcrank to align the flap and check the gap between the two. 


I also installed a pvc conduit for wingtip lighting. I fabricated some small L brackets to attach some adell clamps to hold the conduit. Once I finalize those I will be ready to mount the conduit and the wing will essentially be done! (Obviously the skin remains, but there’s no rush to install that until much later.)

Wings

Back at it (finally)

I finally had a little bit of time to get back into the garage! Work has been killer over the last few weeks and I’ve had no energy. But today I got a little bit done. I removed the aileron and flap from the left wing, prepped the flap hinge for riveting and set it back and realigned it. No pictures but it’s pretty straight forward stuff. Next on the list is to perform the SB for the aileron brackets. Which shouldn’t be too hard considering they aren’t riveted on yet. Hopefully I can find time tomorrow to do it. Til next time! 

Back at it (finally)

To-do list

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve worked on the project. Family parties and graduations and stuff have been popping up and work has gotten very busy so I haven’t had any time to get to the garage. However, I put together a list of what needs to be done on the wings to close them out. 

  • Remove ailerons/flaps
  • Dimple/surface-prep aileron braces
  • Prep aileron reinforcement brackets for the service bulletin 
  • Dimple top skin for aileron brace flush rivets
  • Dimple/rivet flap hinges to bottom skin
  • Install pvc wiring conduit through lightening holes
  • Dimple/prime/edge finish the remaining left and right bottom skins 
  • Install nutplates for last access panels
  • Rivet aileron brackets
  • Dimple remaining ribs
  • Rivet bottom skin

It seems like a long list but it’s pretty standard stuff. I’m going to hold off on riveting the bottom skin for quite a while, however everything else can probably be completed in a day of solid work. I didn’t include the wingtip work in this list because I’m planning on holding off on that for a long time as well. With the wiring conduit in the wing I should have no issues wiring up my landing/nav/strobe lights later on. 


Here’s the current status of the shop. ‘Till next time! 

To-do list

Cleaned shop and worked on wings

With the empennage 99% complete (fiberglass work not done yet) I finally got some hooks up on the wall to get everything out of the way. 

I also spent some time cleaning up the garage and getting things reorganized after I slacked a little and shop got a little messy. I then spent some time finishing up the pitot tube mounting provisions. 

Here’s the pitot tube mounting plate, the rivets on the side attach to an angle support that will get riveted to the rib. 

Once I finished this I installed it in the wing. Currently there are no rivets that go through the wing skin into this plate except the ones that go through the spar. I may add more but the mounting screws hold the pitot mast and the whole installing is extremely rigid. 

Even with the setup clecoed, the pitot tube is extremely rigid. I’ve flown many Skyhawks that have more movement in the pitot tubes by a factor of 10! 

I also closed up the stall warning access plate (the hole behind the pitot tube) 

The doubler plate is installed behind and held in by the clecoes, the cover plate is installed with screws into plate nuts that have been riveted to the doubler. The doubler has been match drilled, dimpled, deburred, and primed and can be installed at any time. 

The Dynon pitot tube has angle of attack along with airspeed, which will indicate stall visually (on the EFIS) and audibly via my headset. 

The wings are getting close to complete (or at least the majority of the work) and I will soon begin the work on the fuselage! 

Cleaned shop and worked on wings

Right flap and lower wing skin, pitot tube

Today I rigged up the remaining flap and lower wing skin on the right wing. 

Here you can see the flap and aileron are perfectly aligned. The gap between the two is 1/64″ under 1/4″ but with final riveting of the flaps and when I rig the aileron I can increase that gap to at least 1/4″. 

Here’s the shop with the lower wing skin on the right wing it’s been match drilled to the structure. 

Here’s the flap drilled to the structure. It’s perfectly aligned from the inboard to the outboard section of the flap. 

I also rigged up The pitot tube mount. I fabricated a bracket that’s clecoed to the rib. I decided to mount the pitot tube just outboard of the outboard access hatch. Some builders find this could interfere with the tiedown location (the small hole just above the square cutout). As long as I don’t get careless with tieing down the plane it shouldn’t be an issue. 

Here you can see the bracket clecoed to the rib and Lito mount bracket. Here the pitot tube was installed temporarily. 

The pitot tube mount can be removed from the plane with 4 screws that will install in dimples on the skin. This is incredibly strong as it is, but once I rivet the skin on it will be rock solid. 

I also drilled and tapped the pitot tube for #6 screws to mount it flush with pitot tube mast. 

Right flap and lower wing skin, pitot tube

Drilled left flap hinges, lower wing skin

Today I decided to knock out the left flap hinges and rigging. I began by aligning the aileron using the bellcrank jig, and slotting a few bolts in the tooling holes in the main outboard rib. 

Here’s the jig installed along with the lower outboard skin clecoed to the wing. With this installed I was able to then align the flap to the aileron trailing edge. 

Here you can see the flap hinge clecoed to the wing, the mark on the lower right side is a 1/4″ mark along the whole hinge. In order to align the trailing edge of the aileron with the flap I had to raise the hinge and flap about 1/16 of an inch, after it was drilled it’s perfectly aligned with the aileron. 

Here you can see the flap hinge on the left clecoed to the wing, and the flap above. Everything will get final alignment before riveting, and then again when attaching the wings to the fuselage. 

While I had the lower outboard skin clecoed on for the flap installation I decided to match drill the skin to the ribs and spars. There’s a lot of rivets for this one skin. Now all that’s left for this wing is to dimple this skin and the under-structure, but before I can rivet this I need to route a wire conduit for the wingtip lighting. It’s a bundle of 4 shielded wires wth 10 or so wires inside. 

Next up is the right wing. 

Drilled left flap hinges, lower wing skin