Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Finished the Wings!

The wings are finished! Wow it feels good to type that. Things were busy this weekend. My birthday was Friday, July 12, and what better way to spend your 30th birthday than skipping work and building your airplane? Or more importantly finishing the wings to your airplane. Jess took the day off as well and helped all day Friday. It was her first time using a rivet gun and she got the hang of it pretty quickly. The lower skins are a lot of work. You're on your knees crawling around on the floor sticking your arm into the wing and stretching to reach the rivet while holding the bucking bar and straining your shoulder muscles to push against the rivet while it's being bucked (that sentence is as long as the work is uncomfortable). Then repeat another 1.3 million times for all the other rivets.....it's exhausting. Despite the nicks, bruises, and soreness it feels great to have the wings completed!

Wed July 10th - 1.0hr - Installed aileron actuation torque tubes
Fri July 12th - 6.0hrs - Jess helped all day. We completed the upper row of rivets and most of the rivets on the ribs down to the J-channel on both wings
Sat July 13th - 4.5hrs -  Just kept riveting.
Sun July 14th - 7.75hrs - Finished riveting skins. Deburred, dimpled, installed inspection panels.
Mon July 15th - 1.5hrs - Finished odds and ends. Safety wired auto pilot roll servo. Installed bell cranks.


The Pitot Mast is installed. I'm going to wait until later to install the pitot tube. There's less chance of damage to the pitot if it's tucked away on a shelf instead of hanging out waiting to get snagged in the shop.
I dinged the J-Channel with the bucking bar while riveting. (Sucks, but the show must go on.) The dent on the outside is hardly noticeable and it's on the lower skin so that's even better. I inspected as best I could for any cracking but did not find any. I don't think a repair is required and I could've just moved on, but for ease of mind I decided to make a little doubler channel. It took maybe 5 minutes and now my mind is eased.

The autopilot roll servo is installed and safety wired. This is my second attempt at my first safety wire job. Turned out pretty nice I think. Also the bell cranks are installed and torqued. I had to "polish" the inside of the bell crank tubes so they would freely rotate on the bushings.  I used a small roll of sandpaper wrapped on a drill bit and spun on a drill. Worked really well and very quickly.

RH Wing complete.

LH Wing complete.

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