Wings are complete!!!

Completed the repair to the attach hole that I blew out last week. The fiberglass and micro cured up nicely. I sanded it flush, re-drilled and countersunk the holes, and riveted the nut plate on.

 

The molex connectors that I ordered from McMaster arrived so I inserted the pins and bundled the wires with wire ties.

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This completes construction of the wings! Very excited to move on to the fuselage.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 0.5
Wing Time (hours): 298.5
Total Time (hours): 450.5

 

Completed left wingtip–Almost

All the things I did to the right wing yesterday, I did to the left wing today.

 

 

Thought I was finally at th end of the wings… but ran into another snag. When I was countersinking the screw holes in the tip, I hit a thin spot in the fiberglass and the countersink caught and made a giant hole. So I made a fiberglass patch. I’ll fill in the other side with some micro once the patch sets up. Then I can install the final nut plate and be done with the wings!

 

 

Traveling this week. So I will begin work on the fuselage next weekend.

Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Wing Time (hours): 298.0
Total Time (hours): 450.0

 

Completed Right Wingtip

Laid out the cut the left and right wing tips. I made over-ran on of the cuts by an inch or so on the left wing. So I did a little patch and fill with some fiberglass and micro and set it aside to cure. Then continued work on the right wingtip.

 

Cut and installed the nav light lens.

 

Installed the nav/strobe light. Used the template from the plans to drill the wingtip. Terminated the wires with Molex .062 pins. Unfortunately Vans provided a 4-pin molex housing instead of the 5-pin one that matches the wiring harness in the wing. <sigh> Now I get to pay $10 in shipping for two $1 moles housings. Mounted the bracket and installed the light. Tested it out with a 9-volt. That sucker is bright!

 

Fit the wingtip to the wing and set it in place with a ratchet strap. Match drilled the holes from the wing skins to the wingtip. Final drilled and dimpled the holes in the wing for #6 screws. Final drilled the screw holes in the wing tip and then used a nut plate, a screw, and a cleco as a drill jig to drill the nut plate attach holes. Machine countersunk the screw and rivet holes and riveted the nut plates in place.

 

Fit the wing tip rib to the wingtip. Laid out and match drilled rivet holes. Riveted the rib in place.

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Bam! Right wingtip done.

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Today’s Time (hours): 8.0
Wing Time (hours): 293.0
Total Time (hours): 445.0

 

Attach bottom rudder fairing

Last night I put a layer of glass over the foam in the VS tip.

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This morning, I trimmed and sanded the edges.

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I filled with a thick mixture of glass micro bubbles and epoxy resin.

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I set aside the VS tip to cure and got started attaching the bottom rudder fairing. I measured and marked the fairing and match drilled #40 and clecoed in place.

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I used a nut plate, a #6 screw and a rivet as a drill jig.

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I dimpled all the nut plate attach holes with the squeezer. I needed the close quarters dimple dies for the aft-most holes.

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I dimpled the nut plates.

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I machine countersunk the rudder horn bracket. It’s too thick to dimple.

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I riveted the nut plates in place. I made the aft-most hole too close to the aft edge of the attach strip. So I cut one ear off of the nut plate.

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I machine countersunk the fiberglass for #6 screws.

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Everything went together just fine.

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I disassembled and started work on the doubler for the tail light. I centered and taped it in place. I drilled the #30 holes and clecoed.  I ordered a #43 drill and a 4 40 tap from amazon for the other two holes.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 209.5
Total Time (hours): 209.5

 

Attached right elevator tip

Same drill as as the left tip… Final drilled #30, remove counterweights, dimple reinstall and torque counterweights, countersink tip, cleco, and pop rivet.

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Tada

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I used this bit on the Dremel to cut some fiberglass and phone out of the middle of the HS tip to correct the fitting issue I mentioned yesterday. Not a precision instrument. At least not in my hands. But it got the job done.

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I added a temporary foam block to hold the correct width.

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I used some masking tape to compress to the correct width. And adjusted to an interference fit with the HS skin.

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Cut some cloth to fit the inside of the tip.

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Added epoxy and set aside to cure. Once it’s hard, I’ll remove the temporary foam spacer and backfill the gap I cut with micro at the same time I fill the front side.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 203.0
Total Time (hours): 203.0

 

Attached left elevator tip

I final drilled #30 the elevator skin to the tip. Then I removed the tip and countersunk the holes.

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I dimpled the holes in the elevator.

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I had to remove the counterweight to dimple the forward two holes. Then reinstalled and re-torqued the nuts.

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Installed the tip with CS4 pop rivets. I’m thinking I might replace my pop rivet tool. I’m getting a burr on the top of all of the rivets and I’ve had several break off in the tool. I’m careful to keep the tool perpendicular to the work but this keeps happening. A while back, a mandrel got jammed in the tool. I disassembled it to remove the mandrel and reassembled it. But I think the jaws are not grabbing properly now.

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In other news, you can see that after trimming and sanding the left HS tip, it fits nicely. The right tip is another story. I think I neglected to final fit it after I sanded the foam or perhaps I seated the foam too deeply. In any event, it spread the tip about an eighth too far and now the tip wont fit between the top and bottom skins at the spar. I’ll noodle on how I might salvage the part for a while and If I can’t I’ll order a new one. My best thought at this point is to take a 1/8″ wedge out of the middle of the foam/fiberglass with a saw and then put  another layer of glass over it.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Empennage Time (hours): 201.0
Total Time (hours): 201.0

 

Fiberglass work on HS tips

Jared came by with all of his fiberglass stuff and showed me how to close out the horizontal stabilizer tips. I am so grateful to have someone who built the same plane as well as a couple of others that’s willing to help me out as I am learning to build my first plane. Thank you Jared!

We started by attaching the elevators to the hs on the bench. I drilled and clecoed the elevator tips that I had trimmed and fit yesterday to the elevators. Then we trimmed and fit the HS tips to the horizontal stabilizer. We drilled and clecoed them in place and trimmed the trailing edge to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator tip with a 1/8″ gap.

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Then we trimmed and fit the HS tips to the horizontal stabilizer. We drilled and clecoed them in place and trimmed the trailing edge to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator tip with a 1/8″ gap. We removed the tips and cut out a foam backer and sanded it to fit into the HS tip.

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I traced the inboard edge of the tip on some glass cloth and cut it out with shears.

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We used West Systems epoxy with the fast hardener. First we mixed up a batch of epoxy and incorporated glass micro bubbles into the resin to make a thick paste that we used to glue the foam in place.

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Then we mixed up another batch of epoxy and laid the glass cloth over the foam. I used a brush to impregnate the cloth with resin and set it into place. It’s rare that I get a picture of me actually building my plane! Photo credit to jared. I had the mask on to work with the micro bubbles. it’s powder fine and super light so it disperses into the air easily and probably isn’t very good to breath.

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And here are the HS tips setting up. Once they’ve cured I’ll fill them with micro and sand them to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 200.0
Total Time (hours): 200.0