Monthly Archives: April 2015

Wing stand

I’ve been away from the build for a while as a long list of “honey-do” items stood in the way of progress.  I finally got some painting and garage work out of the way.  I even got our bicycles hung up in the garage!

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I didn’t have a full day (I was heading into the city for my boss’ birthday party), but I finally finished the wing stand and deburred the left wing ribs that I match drilled last time.

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The stand is surprisingly sturdy and rolls well on it’s caster wheels.  It took a copy tweaks to the design to get the wing to fit.  In particular, I had to move the end cap pieces to the outside as I needed the full 10 foot length to suspend the wing.  That will be necessary when I convert the stand to a sling to hold the wing tips.

The stand gave me extra work space on the benches to do the final deburr.  I took the ribs off one at a time, deburred the newly drilled holes, and then reattached them.  It worked out nicely.

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The right wing ribs were already deburred (though I checked them again and found a couple holes that needed some retouching).  Both wings are now clamped to the cradle.

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Finally, it is time to get back to some riveting to finish out section 14.  I will pull a couple of ribs off to mount ailerons and flap brackets before riveting the ribs to the spars.


Starting to look like a real wing


So I had to finish the work on page 14-03 that I had skipped (needed a better socket wrench to get the bolts off the spar).  There was a lot to do there.  I clecoed the newly primed ribs back onto the spar and started drilling the #12’s and reaming the #30 and #40 holes.  I only had a few hours on Saturday morning to work before I headed out to work on some Arrow training.

I need to build some retractible time to get into our club Bonanzas and it will be nice to be able to fly something other than our dependable Archers.  I needed some work with the head instructor before I get my sign off. It was a very blustery day with 20kt+ winds from the west and big gusts.   We flew over to Bridgeport where the winds aligned nicely with runway 29.  After getting those aced, we flew over to New Haven where the crosswind runway was out of service.  We were landing on runway 2 with 90 degree crosswinds.  Lots of fun there too.  Huge corrections needed to keep on track.  One more day in our second Arrow, and I’ll have my sign off!

Anyway, I got the whole right wing match drilled and final drilled and took off the ribs and did the deburring work.  They’re ready to re-attach and rivet (and bolt).


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I set up the left wing to do the same, but realized that I was running out of work room.  So I decided to go ahead and build a wing cradle.

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I made a trip to the Home Depot Aviation department and picked up some 2×4’s and some castering wheels.  Just dropped them off at the shop that night.

So Sunday was awesome and beautiful.  What a great day to go flying!  Too bad the plane I needed was being used to ferry a pilot to pick up another club plane.  Sigh.  I’ll do the finish work next weekend if the weather holds.

So I got into the shop around 2pm and started working on the cradle (and cleaning out all the crap that accumulated in the shop over the winter).  My son was planning on dropping with a couple of his friends to help out.  The son showed up around 6pm with one friend, but the timing was great.  I had the cradle mostly built out, but I needed to flip it over.  It’s 10’x2’x3′ and hard to flip over solo.  My son’s friend had never worked on a plane before, so I put him to work reaming out the #30 holes in the spar and rib flanges.  My son moved clecos while the friend did the drilling before they swapped jobs.

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They did some good work (and I got my shop swept out for good measure!).

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The cradle isnt quite done, but it shouldn’t take long to put the top braces in place.  I’ll be able to use it for the rib riveting.

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Nice to have a sunny, warm, and clean shop!

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Slow cooked ribs…

I needed to finish prepping the remaining 18 wing ribs.

The weather was much improved from a couple weeks ago.  The shop was a whole 45 degrees F when I opened it up with no snow outside.  It really improved the ventilation for the priming.

20 or so minutes per rib to

  1. Uncleco from the spar where I had them sorted
  2. Mark and remove the spar bolts
  3. Check the sizes and locations of the snap bushings
  4. Mark the location of the bushing hole that wasn’t pre-drilled
  5. Drill a pilot hole for the snap bushing
  6. Step drill the 1 to 3 bushing holes
  7. Deburr the holes
  8. Deburr the rear-most lightening hole (too big to get with the Scotch-brite sanding wheel)
  9. Hand deburr the little slots in the flanges
  10. File the rough flange edges to something smoother
  11. Run the flanges through the big Scotch-brite wheel
  12. Shoot it with primer in the paint booth
  13. Mark the rib with it’s location
  14. Hang it up

That’s all I did… all day long.

I caught my knuckles on the spar a couple times trying to break the spar bolts loose.  There’s a sharp edge from the big double plate that just wants to grab you.  My father-in-law expressed no sympathy and simply suggested that I paint the whole thing blood red.  I was actually thinking about that as a color scheme.  Here’s a very nice paint job that I like!

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But in the end… All the ribs are ready for the next steps where I’ll install some snap bushings, rivet the flap attach and torque tube assemblies, match drill the bolt holes for the ribs, and install the ribs (rivets and blots).  The instructions call for doing the match drill step earlier, but I didn’t have the right sized socket to pull the bolts.  Easy enough to do in this step.  I should finish section 14 in the next build session and my wings will start to look like real wings!

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