Deburred Right Upper Outboard Wing Skin, Right Leading Edge Rivets

July 29, 2011

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Tonight was only mildly more exciting than last night!

After taking the right upper outboard skin inside to deburr and scuff (AND VACUUM THE LITTLE ALUMINUM SHAVINGS OFF THE COUNTER, SORRY GIRLFRIEND!!!), I brought it back outside, and stored it (like the inboard skin), upside down (or inside out) on the left wing.

The two upper right wing skins, stored on the left wing for now.

For some reason I am paranoid about alignment, so I clecoed the right lower skins in place, although only 25%. I’ll come back with more clecos when I start riveting to make sure things are perfect.

The lower side of the right wing.

After looking at the clock, I figured I had about 30 more minutes.

Time to look at getting the right leading edge riveted to the spar (I had done the skin rivets, albeit out of order, a few days ago.)

From Brad Oliver’s site:

Oh boy, what a night. I riveted the left leading edge to the spar tonight. I used blind rivets to do this job, MSP-42, -43 and -44 rivets from Aircraft Spruce to be exact, but that isn’t the end of the controversy. I riveted (pulled) these rivets from inside the leading edge. Why use blind rivets? Why from the inside? Well, first of all, in my opinion certain blind rivets blind rivets are completely acceptable here. Van’s has said to many builders that the use of LP4-x rivets is acceptable here, and the LP4s are pretty soft as rivets go. I decided to step it up a bit and use MSP rivets here. They have a Monel (M) head, with a steel shaft (S), and a protruding head (P), and by my calculations are very similar in strength to solid rivets. I am likely to catch flack for that statement, but do your own calculations and see for yourself. Don’t take my word for it, and I am not recommending this method, only documenting what I did.

Why use blind rivets here in the first place? Because riveting the LE ribs to the spar involves grinding down a rivet set and you need two people for the job. These certainly aren’t big issues, but I wanted a easy method I could do myself.

Why from the inside? That one is easy, I wanted the factory head of the rivet to be on the thinner material (aft flange of rib). This was slightly painful, but I am proof that it can done. I also did this because even with the face of my cheap-o rivet puller ground down, I was having a hard time getting the puller on the shaft of the rivets due to their close proximity to the aft rib webs.

From Mike Bullock’s site:

No way to squeeze them. You could buck and shoot them, but you have basically no room to get a rivet set onto these rivets with the rib interference. The only purpose for these rivets are to keep the spar from bluckling. The way I see it, the chance of that is NIL, and there is a main rib set right next to each leading edge rib with the proper rivets in it. It doesn’t say it in the instructions, but builders have been told by Van’s to use LP4-3 blind rivets here. I did one better and used Cherry MSP-4? rivets. I bought a bunch of them from Spruce in the MSP-42, 43 and 44 sizes. They are very comperable to solid rivets.

I had some MSP-42 rivets in stock, so I grabbed 5 of them to try it out.

Once I got the ribs pulled into alignment, it worked great.

See? Great.

And any day you weren’t planning on contributing to your rivet total but you do…it’s a good day.

1.0 hour. 5 rivets. I’ll do the rest of the leading edge tomorrow. Also, someone PLEASE remind me to buy a balloon and a bicycle tire pump to test this darn right tank. It’s been two weeks, so the pro-seal better be dry.

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Started Deburring and Dimpling Right Wing Ribs

July 28, 2011

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Well, not much tonight, except a complete lack of motivation. I move the right upper inboard wing skin over to the left wing (just to hang there) while I started deburring and dimpling the right wing ribs.

I decided to only deburr and dimple the upper side of the ribs. I’m going to leave the lower side as-is so I can 50% cleco the lower skin (when able) to the skeleton while riveting the upper skin in place.

Action shot of me dimpling the ribs.

I was planning to be out in the garage for an hour and a half, but my boredom got the best of me and I quit after a (hot) half hour.

I told you it wasn’t exciting.

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Finished Drilling Right Top Skins, Started Deburring

July 25, 2011

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So, while today is probably kind of boring for you…it’s exciting for me.

Why is it exciting for me? you ask…

Because I’m starting on the wing skins, and that means that coming up is some wing skin riveting, and that means that pretty soon, I’m going to have WINGS in my garage.

(Oh, also, I tricked the girlfriend into putting in some manual labor on the airplane. Ha. I’m so sneaky.)

First thing’s first. I ordered two new camera batteries. The one in the camera taking the picture says “12/09.” (Thanks, sister! Still one of the most used Christmas presents of all time! The one that replaced was the original from my Aunt Jan way back in 2002. Whoa.)

Now I'll never be out of camera go-juice.

Okay, let’s get on with it. A few days ago, I was clecoing on the top skins and realized that I hadn’t finished matchdrilling them. I think I only got half of them done. (I’ll go check my entries from then…)

So, back to 50% clecoed, and out came the air drill.

Okay, let's get to drilling.

After a loud 30 minutes of match drilling (“making loud noises”), I brought the wingwalk doubler and inboard top skin into the kitchen for some deburring and scuffing.

In the middle of deburring and scuffing the right wingwalk doubler.

After mucho mucho more cramping fingers minutes, I had some deburred and scuffed inboard wing skins.

Interior side...

...and exterior side.

Next up for these will be to dimple, then prime, then rivet to the wing (after prepping the corresponding ribs).

Before that, though, let’s get the outboard top skin done.

1.0 hour.

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Right Float Sender, Riveted Leading Edge to Spar

July 23, 2011

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Guess what? I worked on the airplane today, so the observant of you should realize that I am NOT on my way to OSH. Boo.

No use worrying about the spilled milk, though. More time for me to work on the airplane.

I need to leak test the right tank, but first, I have to finish sealing it up completely. Last post, I got everything sealed except for the float sender. Here’s the plans shot showing the sender, but it’s showing it mounted to the access plate. Mine will be the same dimensions, but entering from the rear of the tank in the second bay.

A couple 90° bends, and I'll be cooking with gas.

That was easy.

To install in the sender, you line up the plastic piece with the slot in the metal housing, and slide the float wire in.

Can't get any easier than that.

Now, let’s clean up and get this thing sealed in there.

Five #8 screws after swishing in some MEK.

After cleaning up a whole bunch, I put the rubber gasket in place with some sealant (couldn’t decide if I needed some or not), then put the float in, then more sealant around the edges, and some sealant for the screws.

Looks good to me.

I retested the sender and noticed 240 Ohms to 80 Ohms (I think I saw something lower before). That’s okay, my EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) will calibrate the range of fuel levels based on resistance later.

Okay, that was about a half hour, and there are plenty of hours left in the day, so let’s move on. I think the next thing on the docket is to get the leading edge on the spar permanently. I have the leading edge landing light installed, and the tiendown bracket is good to go.

A changing of the plans picture…to the wing rivets and skins page.

Always fun to change plans.

After a few long minutes of getting the spar holes countersunk, I rubbed the scotchbrite pad over the length of the flange, cleaned up with MEK, then taped off to get some primer on there.

Ready for primer.

Sorry the light kind of precludes the primer from showing.

Okay, before I just start riveting the leading edge to the spar, I want to make sure everything lines up again. So, I want to put the tank on the spar, and the opposite skin from where I’m working.

Before I can get the tank on, I need to grab some nutplate for the inboard tank z-brackets.

Looks like AD3-4 and K1000-3 nutplates.

Here they are.

Done. I couldn't countersink very well along the spar bars, so I went a little light and used oops rivets on the very top and bottom (right and left here) holes.

Then I grabbed the outboard lower skin, and got it clecoed on.

Here's just the leading edge clecoed.

Then, I grabbed the tank and put screws in every 5th hole.

And a screw in every hole along the tank/leading edge joint. Everything lines up great and looks awesome.

I told you it looks awesome.

With the leading edge 50% clecoed, I decided it was finally time to show the FAA I’m really building this airplane. Sorry this awesome picture of a pre-squeezed rivet blocked the shot.

My visor says "Foxy's" on it. Anyone? Oh, and that rivet size looks appropriate, let's get to squeezing.

After 65 rivet squeezings, I had the upper leading edge skin riveted to the spar.

The leading edge looks so cool with no clecos in it.

After 65 more rivet squeezings, I had the lower leading edge skin riveted to the spar.

Oh man, I'm so excited.

GOOD DAY IN THE SHOP, high fives all around.

So….0.5 hours toward the tank. 2.5 hours toward the wings.

6 rivets for the spar nutplates, and 65 rivets each on the top and bottom of the leading edge. That makes 136.

Wuhoo!

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Started Prepping Right Leading Edge

March 25, 2011

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Jeesh, I can’t seem to get a minute away from our third puppy to head outside and do any work on the airplane.

Tonight, finally, during halftime (go UNC!) and just after the game (wuhoo UNC!), I managed to go outside and do a couple things.

I didn’t want to do anything major; I really just wanted to go out there and get back up to speed. I’m kind of in the middle of rib prep on the leading edge, so I disassembled a few of the leading edge ribs and worked on what I labelled R3, or the third rib from the inboard side.

After deburring (back up, looks like I forgot to matchdrill some of the holes….sigh). Okay, after drilling, deburring, edge finishing, and scuffing, I now I have two right leading edge ribs ready for primer.

R2 and R3 (my numbering) ready for primer.

After pulling out the rest of the ribs (including the two outboard-ish ribs shown below), I went ahead and drilled pilot holes for the nutplate holes that are needed for the leading edge landing light installations. I had previously marked these while they were assembled with the leading edge using the provided template.

The two outboard ribs, now with pilot holes drilled for the bracket (the two small holes just above the lightening hole).

So here’s my thought. I really hate rib prep, so I’m basically going to do one at a time, then get it installed in the leading edge. To do that, I’ll need to prep (deburr, dimple) and prime the appropriate parts of the leading edge, and prep one additional rib. Generally, you want the surrounding structure in place for whatever you are riveting. Hence the need for the “next” rib to be clecoed in place while you are riveting a particular rib. If you don’t have the next one in place (have everything perfectly aligned), then the final structure may not be aligned. Make sense? No? Oh well.

So, I put the leading edge in my cradles and got to work with deburring. I got all the exterior holes deburred, did some edge-finishing with my permagrit block and my edge deburring tool and a scotchbrite pad, then started deburring the interior before my hand got tired.

Leading edge during some prep.

Oh, and out of laziness, I screwed the right tank loosely into position instead of taking it back upstairs. I think it’s going to be awhile before I get back to working on it.

It kind of has a funny shape with no ribs in it.

It was a short night, but got me back into the mood, so I’ll call it a success.

1 hour.

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Matchdrilled Right Tank Z-brackets

February 20, 2011

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Well, it’s been a little while since I was out in the garage banging away on the airplane.

I have a few things piling up on my list of things to do. Among others, I could have finished up the landing light install, moved on to the left wing rib preparation, etc., but I kind of felt like continuing on with the right wing.

Van’s says that you should do both of the (insert noun here) if you want to save time.

Well, I have time, and don’t need to rush through this.

That means, on to the fuel tanks. The first step is to start removing metal on the Z brackets that hold the tank to the front of the main spar.

Let’s see, here they are.

Labelled appropriately. I wonder why Van's underlined the label in blue...

Oh, I almost forgot! The ceremonial plans change!

(Triumphant music...)

Okay, so there is lot’s of talk about the Checkoway method and what that is, but no one really does a good job of explaining it. I’ll give it a shot, and try to give credit where credit is due.

Basically, Van’s wants you to:

  1. Install the z-brackets (after some steps to get both sides of them drilled)
  2. Cleco on the baffle (“back wall” of the tanks) to the z-brackets.
  3. Cleco the skin to the baffle, then adjust fit as necessary by elongating holes in the baffle.
  4. Remove the skin and cleco in the ribs.
  5. Cleco the skin back on.
  6. Remove the whole thing for matchdrilling off the wing.

The Checkoway method (from what I can tell, because I never actually made it to his site before he took it down…):

  1. Drill only the aft side of the z-brackets, then bolt them in place.
  2. Attach a clecoed tank into position
  3. Drill the inboard baffle-to-z-bracket holes (doing this now, instead of before, ensures the tank is perfectly aligned.)
  4. Remove the leading edge to drill the outboard baffle-to-z-bracket holes
  5. Remove skin and ribs, leaving baffle in place.
  6. Now finish baffle-to-z-bracket holes.

The Checkoway method basically has you wait until you ensure propoer tank alignment before starting to drill holes in the front flanges of the z-brackets. If you do it Vans’ way, you might misdrill a z-bracket, and it will throw off the whole tank alignment.

Anyway, many sites have kind of hinted at this stuff, but Ethan really spelled it out nicely, and I have to give him some credit.

Of course, I’m out in the garage, so iPhone saves the day.

Ooh, remind me to charge up tonight, looks like I'm a little low on electrons.

Okay, as part of this whole Checkoway method, one of the suggestions is to move the “centerline” (future drilling reference) of the z-bracket flanges  to favor the type of fastener you’ll use later.

On the inboard-most bracket, you primarily use a socket to tighten or loosen bolts from the wing root. Hence, you should move the centerline (and resulting holes) AWAY from the web for better socket access.

On the other 6 brackets, the spar attachment is from the rear spar, so there are no access issues, but the front flange needs a blind rivet, so if you move the holes CLOSER to the web (allowing for enough room for the nutplate), then the whole thing slides over and there is more room for your blind rivet puller during final tank construction steps.

(I spent an hour in the garage tonight, and most of that time was just trying to wrap my head around this idea.)

Once I had it all sorted out, I laid (layed? Emily, which one is it?) the z-brackets out and started marking them with really obvious arrows.

Right wing inboard one gets moved AWAY from the web, second one is moved CLOSER to the web.

After some really precise (HA!) line drawing. I finally used my center punch to mark a good starting point for my #12 drill. (#12, because that’s the holes size for AN3 bolts.)

Punched.

Inboard bracket drilled.

Second one drilled.

After drilling the second one (actually, I checked before drilling, but didn’t snap a picture till after), I held a nutplate over the hole to make sure I didn’t get too close.

Looks good.

Then, I needed to bolt these in position to drill the other 2 (of 3) holes. I spent a few minutes removing the lower inboard right wing skin and laid (Emily!!) the brackets in position.

I love working on the airplane. Therapy for the soul.

Okay, I have my centerline and a hole. Let’s bolt them up. (I added tape and a washer for spar-protection.)

Centerline through both holes...

Everything was going fine until I got to the inboard bracket. This doubler prevented me from getting it snugged up.

Bummer.

So, I just moved it to the top side, knowing I’ll have to backdrill from underneath. No biggie.

See, worked great. (You can see I used sacrificial nutplates, instead of regular nuts...easier to tighten since once you get it started you don't have to hold the nut.)

Back to the outboard brackets…

I’d drill the top hole, stick an AN3 bolt in, then drill the bottom hole.

Wuhoo! I love making aluminum shavings.

After all 7 were matchdrilled. I headed inside.

Good progress today.

1 hour. It was basically 45 minutes of staring at the plans, the instructions, and other builders’ sites, then 15 minutes of marking and drilling.

With the start of the tanks, I need to start thinking about ordering some Black Death (Proseal (tank sealant). I used this stuff on the rudder, and it really wasn’t that bad. I’m just calling it Black Death to be funny…or at least conformist.)

I can’t decide if I’m going to order the quart, or a whole bunch of the smaller tubes, which are easier to work with, but more expensive.

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Started Matchdrilling Right Wing

February 8, 2011

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Well, after 50% clecoing the right wing yesterday, I finally broke out the plumb bobs and measured my wing twist again. It was within a millimeter (sorry, I could only find my metric rule tonight).

After a quick celebration dance (I must have misplaced the video of the dance, sorry), I fired up the air compressor and put a drillstop on my #40 bit.

First, I matchdrilled every other hole on the top side of the right wing, then moved all of the clecos over one hole and matchdrilled the remaining holes. Keep in mind that I have about 600 clecoes, 500 of which are in the right wing right now. That’s a lot of drilling and cleco-moving.

I then moved to the bottom side and drilled all of the open holes, then started moving clecos, and got tired. Later this week, I have to finish moving clecoes on the bottom side of the right wing and matchdrill the remaining holes.

To help you understand how tedious it is to move all of these clecos, I’ll leave you with the following pictures.

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1.0 hours.

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50% Clecoed Right Wing Skins

February 7, 2011

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Well, my order of clecos showed up. It was in a pretty small box on the front step, but that little tiny box was deceptively heavy.

After unpacking the box, I noticed that this bag is a bag of 500 clecos.

They actually opened the bag and removed 100 clecos to get to my order of 400. I wish I had known, I would have ordered another 100 just to save them the trouble of counting them all out.

Bag o' clecos!

Anyway, I emptied them into my (now empty) silver cleco bin (an old tupperware container).

I even left the automatic flash on so they would shine a little extra for you.

These things are brand-spanking new. And made in the USA.

U.S.A!

Some people on the forums were pointinng out that I got a heck of a good deal at $0.35 each, and they suspected they were not going to be the new, USA-made clecos.

Well, these are new.

This next picture shows a few of my different kinds of clecos. From left to right:

1) Clekolok USA, new today (from Innovative Tool Supply)
2) Kwik lok USA, purchased about a year ago (from the Yard)
3) Kwik lok USA, purchased about a year ago (from the Yard’s used bulk area)
4) Unknown, purchased about a year ago (from the Yard’s used bulk area)

New to old, they all work the same. I haven't noticed any degradation of holding power.

Anyway, I then spent the next half hour sticking these new clecos into my right wing.

Based on a conversation with Bill Repucci, I’ve decided to mitigate all of my alignment concerns by just 50% clecoing the wing. (50% meaning every other hole, as opposed to 25%, which would be the Van’s suggested everth fourth hole.)

I have to admit, that thing is rock solid now.

The right top skins with a cleco in every other hole.

I looked at my new cleco stash and realized I was about halfway through them already.

Crap... those went fast.

After another half hour of every other hole clecoing the right bottom skins, I reached in my cleco bucket and only had two clecoes left.

Uh oh.

Darnit.

I almost made it with 600 clecos.

There are a few missing clecos along the rear spar (towards the bottom of the picture).

When I get to that area during matchdrilling. I’ll just move some of my clecos from other areas.

1 hour of clecoing fun.

Contrary to what other builders have to say, my hand isn’t that tired, and I therefore don’t intend on spending $200 for a pneumatic cleco runner. Take that!
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Started Leveling Right Wing for Good

January 25, 2011

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Well, tonight was kind of crappy. I started leveling the wings and ended up undoing all the work I did last time (clecoing on the skins felt productive!).

First, I set up my two new plumb bobs with some string.

Exciting picture, huh.

Then, I hung the plumb bobs and realized that with the skins clecoed to the wing, I wasn’t going to be able to easily clamp the skeleton into perfect alignment. Instead of messing with it, I quickly made the decision to backtrack and get to a bare wing skeleton for alignment adjusting.

After pulling off the skins, I played a little with my adjustable stands and realized I’m going to need my lower braces before going any further.

I cut two 8-inch pieces of angle to use for the lower braces. One of these will need an additional piece of aluminum before clamping to the outboard rib.

I didn’t have time to mount up my angles, so all I did before going inside was to more accurately measure the wing twist.

At the inboard edge, looks like I have 2.25".

The outboard edge is pretty much at 2.75."

Hmm. That’s a 1/2″ of twist.

I think after clamping the aft spar in place, I’ll be able to minimize the twist. Maybe more tomorrow.

1.0 hour.

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Mucho Leading Edge Work

January 3, 2011

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Warning: This is a long post with lots of pictures. I’ll try to keep commentary to a minimum. (Oh, and I just took the pups for a run outside, and it was cold, so please excuse the typos…my fingers are still a little frozen.)

Well, today was a day off for me (New Year’s Day observed) where everyone else had to go to work, so I got a ton of work (on the airplane!) done. It was really cold last night (and today on our run…brrr), so as soon as I was ready to get out into the garage to work, I turned on my portable heater and turned right back around to go inside.

Hmm. I guess I can devinyl some leading edge skins while the garage heats up and I keep warm with coffee.

Here's the right leading edge.

Right leading edge upside down.

More right leading edge

Left leading edge, upside down. (That hole is the stall warning vane access panel. More about that later.)

Left leading edge again. (That small strip of devinyled leading edge on the left side of the picture is the stall warning vane rib attachment. Again...more later.)

That was about an hour of devinyling, so when I took my leading edge skins outside, it was not too bad temperature-wise. Thanks portable heater!

Note: I am working a little out of order. Technically, I should be prepping the main ribs for priming, then riveting those ribs to the spars, then setting the wing stand up, and then adding the leading edge. Since I’m waiting on some scotchbrite wheels for the rib prep part, I’m jumping ahead to the leading edge stuff.

Here, I’ve got all of the right leading edge ribs (except the inboard, undrilled rib) clecoed into the leading edge skin. Many people have trouble here, but if you follow the directions (which I kind of did), you start from the front end of the rib, top and bottom, and then you are okay from there. The biggest trick I found was to push the rib forward (towards the nose) as you are maneuvering the rib into place. I have long arms, so I could see the holes line up from the back, then reach around and stick a cleco in.

I like my modular leading edge/tank cradle. (No comments about my split triangular piece of MDF, please.)

Anyway, then I put the leading edge on the spar, and stood back in amazement. (Amazement at the size of the assembly, and that all the holes freakin’ line up! I know this is a prepunched kit, but still, everything just always lines up. Thank you Vans!)

Nice.

The dogs must have sensed my excitement…they came out to see what was happening.

Ginger: "Shouldn't you have prepped and primed all of these ribs first?"

Jack (tentatively): "Whoa, that leading edge looks good, but I'm going to stay here...the concrete is cold on my paws."

After playing for a few minutes, they went back inside (it turns out they came out to ask me to turn on the gas fireplace….okay, okay, I will).

On to the left leading edge.

This is an awesome sight. It finally looks like I'm building an airplane in here.

After setting both leading edges on the spar (and securing them from beneath with some #30 clecos through the main spar), I noticed that the spar really needs to be straight and level to proceed, even though it’s not fully assembled yet.

So, even though I know I’m going to take this all down soon, I went ahead and leveled the spar using the trusty (and calibrate-able) iPhone app from Stanley.

I couldn't decide whether negative or positive 0.0 was better, so I left it with negative. My wing stand mechanism sure made this easy. Every 1/4 turn of my adjustment nuts was about 0.1° change. Easy to dial in.

Then, I needed to address the spar bowing in the middle from the weight of all the components. (Once the skins are on the wings, they provide that support, but until they are, there is no (what I’ll call) lateral rigidity.

A variation on a (wing stand) theme. a threaded rod between two 2"x4" blocks.

I thought about this a long time ago, and I didn't know if it would work. It worked great. I know it's not permanent right now, but still, very elegant setup, if I do say so myself.

Oh yeah, I snagged this picture to elaborate on the reason for the larger angle off the outboard rib from the other day. See how the skin overlaps the edge of the rib and spar? I won’t have to notch my support angle to accommodate the skin now.

With the larger angle, there is plenty of room for the skin overhangs.

Okay, time to remove the spar sag.

I tied a piece of string between the top edge of two clecos (actually, it didn’t need a knot…the cleco clamped the string enough).

It's about 1-hole-diameter distance above the hole.

Same on the other side.

Before removing the sag, you can see how much bow there is (look at the row of primed countersinks).

There's about a 1/2-3/4" of bow in the middle of the spar.

A few cranks of my adjustable homemade jack, and the middle of the spar shows the same distance with the string. This was equally as easy to dial in.

Nice and level. (Ooh, that "flush" rivet on that nutplate isn't so flush. I might need a rivet shaver...)

Then, with everything level, I clecoed the leading edge skins to the spar.

Leading edge skins now clecoed to the spar.

Now I can move on to the inboard leading edge rib. It comes undrilled, so first thing, I kind of held it in place and made little marks where the holes were going to go.

You can see my very faint marks.

Then, back to the workbench for fluting (between the hole locations) and flange bending (to 90°).

I had to pretty aggressively flute in some places. Some of these ribs are better than others.

Okay now I need the…what is it?

W-423 Joint Plate.

Okay where is it. I’m sure there are two of them, one for each wing…

[searching shop storage …hmmm…and the airplane room upstairs…hmm…]

Grrr. Where did they go?

Upon closer inspection of the plans…

Oh.

That was easy.

I marked my half inch line and then pondered how I was going to fit this round (straight) peg into the square (rounded) hole.

This goes in there.

[Many loud, frustrated grunting noises…]

Ahh, there we go.

Then, after careful measuring, checking, drilling, remeasuring, and rechecking, I had the right joint plate and inboard rib drilled.

That was annoying. There was no good way to clamp everything, so everytime I drilled a hole, the rib shifted on the other side.

This one turned out pretty good. 11/16″ all around. I repeated that exercise on the left wing.

I don't have the perscribed 11/16" flange that I am supposed to on the left wing for the tank nutplates because everything moved around a little.

It’s only 1/16″ short in some places. I’m assuming I can make it work with 10/16″, but if I can’t, I’ll just redrill a new joint plate.

Anyway, I was staring at the opening for the stall warning vane, so I got curious and fished out the (separately packed…not really part of the original wing kit) stall warning components. They have this doubler that fits in this hole, with a couple locator tabs (in case you are modifying an existing leading edge that was not prepunched with this access hole). Since mine already has the hole, I snipped off the tabs.

These directions are crazy complicated, but they ended up being mainly for retrofit into an existing wing. For new construction, it's pretty straightforward.

I definitely need the access plate doubler and cover no matter what, but I did give some thought to whether I am going to install the stall warning vane.

I am planning on using the Dynon AOA vane, which will give me good stall warning (I believe it is calibrated during some demonstrated stalls for the highest AOA seen during stall for any flap configuration). For awhile, I kept thinking that I won’t need the Van’s vane (and I was a little miffed that they cut a big hole in my leading edge!), but then the CFI in me woke up and thought of a few things.

Every once in awhile during a rotation or flare, I might get a little chirp of the stall warning. Everyone does, and it can’t hurt to have a small reminder, separate and therefore redundant from the Dynon Air Data Computers (ADCs…wait, I think dynon calls them ADAHRS…or air data, attitude and heading reference system) during slow speed maneuvering. The Dynon is based on pressure differential (between the front and the angled top of the pitot probe), and the other is based on direction of relative wind (the vane just lifts up and compresses a microswitch when the relative wind pushes up on it).

I’m going to go ahead and install all of the provisions for both. It will be pretty easy to get everything installed, and just leave the little vane out if I don’t want it in the end, but I have to fill all the rivet holes anyway, might as well not rule out any future decision changes.

I’ll probably install both; you can’t be too aware of low speeds, and frankly, it will probably help resale to have the more traditional stall warning.

Anyway, I drilled the doubler plate to the leading edge.

Then, I found the leading edge vane support rib. They come as a pair of two; one for the RV-9, and one for the RV-7,8. It was obviously while holding it up to one of the leading edge ribs that the one with the sticker on it is the correct one.

So I wouldn’t forget, I tossed the other one in my scrap pile.

The one on the right is the one for the RV-7 (and -8).

Whew. Good day. I’ve made good progress in the last few days. Tomorrow, back to work, but hopefully I can keep this up.

Oh, and for the record, I hardly had enough 3/32″ (silver) clecos to do both leading edges at the same time. I just ordered 100 more, but I am going to need way more that that to keep working on both wings at the same time. This might be a good time to work on one wing at a time…or break down and order the 500 or so that Vans suggests.

3.5 hours.

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