June 5th & 9th 6h
In order to install the tie down rings, I needed to tap the tie down assembly, which went on pretty smoothly.
Then, we continues on riveting the left wing leading edge to the main spar. We continued using solid rivets. Again access here is hard, but we made it work with 2 people.
We riveted all of the ribs, but the holes in the outboard rib turned to be too close to the flange, making access to the rivets very bad. We tried riveting couple of those rivets, but the results were not good, so we are replacing those rivets and we are looking to modify the rivet tool or find some custom rivet tool for this rib.
June 5th, 8th & 9th 13h
We moved on with the preparation of the ailerons, with the aim to get the ailerons riveted and finished:
- Drilled the leading edge skin to the aft skin, the spar, the leading edge ribs, the main ribs and the counterbalance.
- Deburred the leading edge skin, the spar, the leading edge ribs, the main ribs and the counterbalance.
- Dimpled the leading edge skin, the spar, the leading edge ribs and the main ribs
- countersink the counterbalance.
- Primed the leading edge, the main rib, the leading edge ribs and counterbalance.
All the work went on smoothly. Then it was time to start riveting the ailerons:
- Riveting the leading edge rib to the counter balance: this had a little bit of tricky access requiring bending the tab of the leading edge rib, but it went on smoothly.
- Riveting the leading edge rib to the spar.
- Riveting the top leading edge skin to the spar and the aft skin. Access here was a bit hard, but we made it work with 2 people.
- Riveting the the main bibs to the aft skin and spar.
It is exciting to see the ailerons come together pretty quickly. A little bit more riveting is remaining, and then the ailerons would be done and ready to attach to the wings.
May 31th & June 1st, 13h
I riveted both left and right aileron stiffeners. It went very smoothly by using back riveting and the results look very good.
Then, I bent both the left and right aileron skins using the same bending tool I fabricated for the empennage. The bent met all the specs and aileron skin fit pretty nicely with the back spar.
Afterward, I moved ahead with prepping the skeleton:
- fabricating the reinforcement plates
- Match drilling and deburring reinforcement plates
- Match drilling and deburring the aileron brackets. These took quite a while to drill and deburr since the material is pretty tick and the access for deburring was not great. In order to drill #12 holes, I stepped up slowly from #40, so it took many iterations. Then I had to use a small file to deburr the inside of the brackets. The results look good
- Priming the parts.
- Riveting the reinforcement plates to the back spar and the platenuts.
Getting close to putting the ailerons together.
May 26th, 27th, 10h
Given that the main wings are nearly done, it was time to get started in the ailerons by getting the stiffeners and skins ready:
- Cutting the stiffness
- Edge smoothing for the stiffness and the skins.
- Match drilling the stiffeners with the skin
- Deburring stiffeners and skin
- Dimpling the stiffeners and skin
- Priming the stiffeners and skin
May 26th, 27th, 11h
We continued on riveting the wing top skins:
- We finished riveted W702 Left
- We riveted W703 Left
- We riveted W703 Right
- We riveted W703 Right
All went on very smoothly and the results looked great. The fit between the leading edge and W703 for both wings is great.
Then we moved on to riveting the leading edge ribs to the main spar. We modified a pop rivet gun so that it can fit is tight quarters. Then we tried to rivet, the rivet gun broke! Then we decided to go back to buck riveting, trying to be as dexterous as possible in reaching all the rivets. It was not that bad at the end. It took a lot of effort, but we got the right wing done with solid rivets, which are way more structurally rigid than pop rivet.
We decided to leave the rivet of the leading edge ribs to the main spar for the left wing to another day.
So, we move on to installing the conduit. This was time consuming and took a lot of effort, giving that the conduit diameter is larger than the diameter of the hole. This is done by design to achieve close highness. I did half of the conduit for each wing and the results look good.
May 24th, 25th, 15.5h
After getting the main part of the fuel tank done, I moved on to finishing the last details before closing:
- Fixing few rivets: first there was few rivets that were not flush, above the mil spec. So, I removed those rivets and reset new ones with fuel tank sealant.
- Vent line: first I needed to flare the vent line. It is very important to get the flare well done, since a bad flare can lead to leaks in the fuel tank. So, first, I purchased a flaring device and testing it in some extra pipe I had, the flare looked great. Then I went ahead and flared the vent line for both tanks. Afterward, I fit the vent line in both tanks, through all the ribs and fuel cap tab. Then, I bent the line so that it is pointing to the highest point in the tank. As well, I tested tightening the nuts. Everything looked great. Then it was time to add the tank sealant in to seal the input of the vent line for both tanks.
- Fuel pickup tube: I bought the pre-made fuel pickup tube, so it came already with a flare. So this one was easy. I fitted in the tank. Then I riveted the anti-rotation bracket with sealant. Then tightened the nuts. All looked great. Then I moved to sealing the fuel pickup input for both tanks.
- Fuel sander: this one does not need to be sealed in until closing the tank. But for completion, I added it in to see the fitting of everything together and test for any interference. All looked great.
- Removing fuel sealant from the edge that meets with the leading edge: after testing the fit of the fuel tank in the main spar, with the leading edge, the fuel tank was a little too high. This was because there was a bunch of fuel tank sealant a† the edge of the most outboard rib that added material causing the tank not to be flush. So, I removed the excess fuel tanks sealant., leaving only few millimeters at the outside of the rib for sealing.
May 17th and 18th, 19th 25h
In order to move ahead with riveting the leading edge and main skins. we needed to fix a couple things.
- One of the countersink did not go well in the main spar. I took a very conservative path fixing this. I filled the hole, re-drilled and re-did the counter sink. In addition, I added a doubled to reinforce the 10 holes around the fixed countersink. As well, I added an angle to attache the rib to spar via 4 holes instead of 2, which reduces the load in the hole with the fixed countersink.
- The most inboard rib in the leading edge ended up having holes too close to the edge. I took the conservative oath here as well. I ordered new ribs and I re-did the work. The new ribs look great.
Then I moved on to last items in the leading edge and the main spar, before riveting everything together, the point of no return:
- I finished installing the stall horn with the new hardware and riveting it to the leading edge.
- I torqued the tie down assembly to spec
Afterwards, I finished fitting all the main skins, the leading edge and the fuel tank. Everything fit together great.
Then, after checking that everything looked great, we went on with the riveting of the leading edge and main skin.
First, we riveted the new inboard ribs to the leading edges. This went great.
Then we moved to rivet the leading edge ribs to main spar. There is two issues here. One is that it is very hard to reach the rivets in the middle ribs with the bucking bar, Van recommends using LP4 pulled rivets here. The other is that the ribs from the main spar get in the way of the rivet gun. We started by riveting the ribs that we can access with an offset rivet set, but there was still a small angle that leads to the head of the rivet gun hitting the main spar. So, it looks like going with LP4 rivets for all the ribs from leading edge to main spar is the way to go here. But we are holding on doing these until we confirm with Vans.
Then we moved on to riveting the leading edge skin to the main spar. This went on very smoothly, especially given that we can use the pneumatic squeezer here. The results looked great.
Afterward, we went to riveting the skin to the main spar and skeleton. We started with W702, moving from the center to outwards as recommended. This went very smoothly and the results looked great.