Prepped Right Wing Main Ribs, Clecoed Skeleton

September 18, 2010

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I’ve been at a little bit of dilemmna the last few days trying to figure out what direction to take with the project.

I still have the left rear spar to work on (until the left main spar shows up from Van’s…shipped yesterday…should be here Wednesday), or, I could move ahead with some rib prep on the right wing.

For the sake of  seeing something cool at the end of the day, I think I’ll move ahead with the right wing, and hopefully I’ll be able to get it onto a wing stand (yet to be designed) by the time I can get the left spar caught up to this point.

With rib prep, I’ve decided not to follow the suggestion to do all the ribs at once. I’m going to do them a few at a time to save my sanity.

First thing, let’s find some ribs.

I've pointed out to you before that I am at a little bit of a disadvantage building the right wing first, from the plans that only show the left wing.

Notice here that of the three different kinds of main wing ribs, there are both left and right versions in each of the wings. From what I can tell, the flanges face left or right based on what will be easiest/accessible to rivet.

So here are some main ribs (I count 11 in the picture, there are really 14 main ribs in each wing).

My goal today was to get the ribs clecoed to the spars, so I’m only going to finish what I have to (out of efficiency, not laziness). This means I’m going to edge finish most of each rib, then move on to fluting and flange straightening.

The edge finishing (except the little crevices) only took about 30 minutes on the sanity-saving scotchbrite wheel.

The fluting and flange straightening took 2 more hours, though. Ugh.

I took all 14 right main ribs inside and watched the UNC-GT and the Vandy-Ole Miss games.

Here's a rib, halfway fluted.

After fluting (holes are straight), but before finishing up the flange-straightening (to 90° from the web).

After a little while, my hands were hurting from all the fluting, so I took a picture of what I have done so far.

Looks like 5 done, 9 to go.

My "to go" pile. {sigh}

And after another couple of hours, I had the main ribs edge-finished, fluted, and flange-straightened enough to cleco them to the spars.

I really didn’t think I’d get this far tonight. (I have to keep in mind there is still a lot more prep on the ribs before I can actually prime them and get them riveted to the spars.

Pretty. (Pretty big!)

And of course, here is the obligatory “down the lightening” holes shot.

Every other builder on the plant has taken this picture.

But that’s not all! I have variations on a theme.

It's Ginger!!!

And Jack!!! (I promise he is there, just hard to see.)

After sending the dogs back inside for their Saturday afternoon nap, I just stared at this thing for awhile.

It just looks so cool!

3.0 hours today.

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Riveted Right Elevator Skeleton

May 13, 2010

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Well, I’d been waiting for a couple days for an order from Aircraft Spruce to come in. I ordered a whole bunch (~60) #6 screws and nutplates to use to attach the emp tips, and added a couple 1/4″ nutplates to attach to the elevator counterbalance spars so I can add more weight later for fine elevator balancing.

Here’s the deal. When you initially balance the control surfaces (without paint), you can either leave them a little heavy (which some do), or balance them exactly. Given that I might leave my empennage polished, I thought I would go ahead and balance them perfectly for first flight, then rebalance (pronounced “add weight”) after paint. While the forward tooling hole in the counterbalance ribs would work for a straight up bolt and nut, I’d prefer a nutplate. Also, since the two counterbalance ribs are butted against eachother, I’d prefer to drill for the nutplate now, so I can deburr both sides of both surfaces.

(I wonder how people deburr holes drilled through two permanently attached skins. Maybe just the inside and outside of the two skins and not the middle two surfaces?)

Anyway, here’s the order.

screws and nutplates.

Both size #6 screws in their new home.

I'll definitely be able to tell the difference between the two sizes.

Here are the 1/4″ nutplates. I bought one-lug because I thought the second lug might interfere with the An509 screw and nut used to attach the elevator counterweight. I’ll point it out again later.

MK2000-4 nuplates.

Then, some of the smaller MK2000-06 nutplates. I bought these for some of the tight locations on the emp tips.

I forgot to take a picture of the 60-odd 2 leg nutplates.

Okay, now on to real work. Here I am trying to figure out how to get this thing in a place where I can drill it. I don’t have any 1/4″ clecos, so I had to just eyeball it. That was a bad idea.

After one of the #40 holes drilled.

Here's the second hole drilled. You can see I had to enlarge the tooling hole to much bigger than 1/4" because I am lame and didn't have a 1/4" cleco to located the two attach holes. Lame me.

After taking those apart and deburring the holes, I scuffed everything up, leaving only the four rear-most holes on the E-703 End Rib. Again, I use the rivet in the hole into the countersunk steel bar trick.

Ready to flush rivet to form this dimple.

I have a 5/8" flush set, which comes in handy in some places.

Both done.

After cleaning those two ribs, I set them aside to dry before priming. Then, I moved on to the WD-605-R-1 Elevator Horn.

Let's see. AN470AD4-4 rivets. I might have some of those.

A small smiley on the lower left rivet, but according to the diagrams, it is okay.

6 nice rivets. The shop heads are very nice.

See? Told you.

Then I shot the six on the other side of the horn.

I love this new tungsten bucking bar.

6 more down.

Back to the paint booth.

E-703 End Rib and E-704 Counterbalance Rib being primed.

And now, a big pictures shot of the elevator horn on the skeleton.

It's starting to look like an airplane.

Then, I deviated from the plans (like many builders here.) It is easier to attach the E-704 Counterbalance rib to the spar if you don’t rivet it to the E-703 End rib first. I managed to massacre the left head, and the flange on E-704 didn’t sit flat against the skin on the other side.

Whoa. Take it easy, Andrew.

I don't like how the flange isn't flush with the spar web here.

Time to get the drill out.

Drilled first with #40, then #30 through the head only.

Pop the heads off.

Then re-set. This is a little better.

But not perfect. I think it's going to be good enough. I'd rather see them sitting perfectly flat, but the area around the rivet is sitting where it should be. It's just around the edges of the flange that are standing off a little.

Here are the new manufactured heads. Much better.

There we go. What's next?

Okay, now I need to attach the E-704 to E-703. Wait a minute! There is no rivet callout for these.

I see one for E-703 to E-702 and for E-704 to E-702. Where is the E-704 to E-703 callout? Well, I guess I'll just use AN470AD4-4 rivets.

Yikes.

The three upper middle rivets are all horrible. I can't figure out why the gun is jumping around so much.

Anyway, before drilling those out, I wanted to get that nutplate riveted on. Same deal here, though. I couldn’t figure out how to cleco it on for riveting.

Here are the two NAS1097 rivets ready to go.

I ended up shooting both of these at once. (How cool is that?)

NAS1097-4 (I think they are -4s)

I held the bucking bar on the other side and used my finger to hold the nutplate firmly against the web of the rib.

Is this a good method? No. Did it work? Yes.

Anyway, in the above picture, you can see one of the three rivets that I botched. After drilling all three out, I reset 2 successfully, but messed up this one again.

Grrr. It didn't really bend over, but it kind of shifted to one side.

Drilled it out, then did the exact same thing. This is the third time I’ve drilled out a rivet on this hole.

Grrr.

I figured out that during the first try, I had bent the rib web a little, so the rivet was pre-inclined to lean. I took my tungsten bucking bar and my 5/8″ flush set (without a rivet) and got everything flattened out again. Next try, the rivet set well.

Top middle rivet. Much better.

Finally, an upside down picture of the right elevator skeleton.

Tomorrow, I'll get back to work on the skin. Maybe this weekend I'll have an elevator!

2 hours, 26 rivets. 5 drilled out (3 of those was one hole!)

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