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

Ailerons and pushrods

Today was a busy day, I helped my mom move some old furniture down to her office, so I had to get a uhaul and load it up with everything. Fortunately it also included a bunch of stuff from the garage, so now I have nearly half the garage now cleaned. More room means easier to move around the fuse and wings. 

A few days ago I had my friend help me out by welding the aileron pushrods. The manual calls for two aluminum rivets that hold the threaded steel bung to the steel tube. I didn’t like the way it would have been held together and the aluminum holding the steel together doesn’t bode well in my mind. The welding my buddy did is much much stronger and also looks cleaner than the rivets would have. 


Tonight I decided to rig up the ailerons, so I lined them up with the tooling holes in the end rib, and using the aileron bellcrank jig to line up the pushrods, I adjusted the lengths of the pushrods until everything fit perfectly. I disassembled them and set everything aside for now, I need to prime the pushrods again because the powdercoating had to be removed for welding. 

I also received an order from Aircraft Spruce with some shielded wires and some snap bushings. I finished rigging up the pitot tube plumbing in the wing as well as the wiring for the wingtip lighting. I’m planning on going with full nav/strobe and landing lights in the wing tips with another strobe on the tail. But that’s for much later in the build. 

Ailerons and pushrods

Horizontal stab and elevators

Tonight I pulled down the horizontal stab and fit the elevators to the stab. The final step in finishing the elevators required drilling the horns to the center bearing. I purchased a 1/4″ OD drill bushing with a 3/32″ ID. I then drilled #40 pilot holes in the horns and then stepped them up to 1/4 for the AN4 bolt. 

Here you can se the bolt at the base of the elevator horns. Once this was drilled the elevators swung freely with no binding in either direction. It was a smooth as butter! 

I also took this time to cut the horn notches in the aft spar, this will get cleaned up and then reprimed. I also fit the fiberglass tips just to see what it looked like, I’m holding off on the fiberglass work until later. 

The tail feathers look so good! Can’t wait to fit this up to the fuse in the future! You can see the trim tab on the left elevator (the whole thing is upside down) it still needs to be slightly adjusted for the trim tab push rod from the servo, but other than little things here and there, the empennage is done! 

Horizontal stab and elevators

Ailerons and flaps

Tonight I spent some time on the ailerons and flaps. Since I went with the quick build wings the aileron and flaps were all complete except a few things here and there. I started out by attaching the flap braces to the wings, I match drilled and deburred the edges and holes then blind riveted them to the rear spars. 

These will get riveted to the bottom skin wth the flap hinge. Another difference between the slow build and quick build wings is that the flap brace gets blind rivets instead of solid rivets ( it’s hard to get a bucking bar inside a closed up wing). 

Next I got out the aileron attachment subkit and prepped and bolted the aileron attachment brackets to the aileron. I couldn’t help myself but to attach it to the wing. 

It’s cool to see some more control surfaces going onto the plane. I haven’t torqued anything fully because I will remove this several times during the fitting and alignment. 

The aileron adds a nice amount of wing area, once I get some free time I’m going to pull out my old Aerospace Engineering books and see what kind of wing this is from a mathematical stand point. Very exciting to get more pieces together! 

Ailerons and flaps

Wings

Today I spent about 6 hours working on the wings and wing parts. I began by cutting the pushrods to length. I then primed and riveted the pushrod ends to the tubes. 

I then installed them in the wings. The rod end bearings will be adjusted to the final length when everything gets put together. I also put the autopilot servo wiring harness through the wing. Earlier in the day I put two dsub9 connectors on and connected them together. 

I also assembled the aileron attachment brackets. 

Here you can see them clecoed to the wings. The right wing brackets are also mounted to the wing. I’m going to hold off attaching them to the wing permanently so I can perform the latest service bulletin that Vans released. It will require some removal of the rivets, but it will be beneficial for safety. 

Wings

Finished elevator

Tonight I spent a few hours finishing off the left elevator. After spending the last couple days organizing and rearranging the shop with the wings and fuselage, I finally got around to finishing off the last few things on the elevator (minus the fiberglass). 

I rolled the last segment of the leading edge and inserted the eye bolt hinges and set the jam nuts. I then spent some time adjusting the trim servo and trim tab. 

I don’t  plan on using the trim tab indicator and switch from Ray Allen, but for alignment it was great. These wires will be routed up through the fuselage and then attached to the trim switch on my control stick. 

Finished elevator