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

 

Back to work on the tanks

Got back from Toronto yesterday and my replacement tank skins had arrived. I cut the splice strips from the skins with the snips and filed/sanded the edges smooth. I clecoed the baffles into the skins and machine countersunk all the associated rivet holes.

I’ll get the dimpling done tomorrow and start assembly on Sunday.

In other news… Van’s charged my credit card for the balance due on the fuselage kit. Hopefully that means the kit is being crated and will ship in the next week or so. Now the pressure is on to finish the wings!

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Wing Time (hours): 190.0
Total Time (hours): 342.0

 

Much progress on rear spar

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Peeled the vinyl from all the parts. Did the minor cutting and fabrication called out in the plans. Cleaned up and deburred all the edges with file, deburring tool, scotch brite wheel, and sandpaper. Scuffed everything with a scotch brite pad.

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Assembled and final drilled the aileron hinges. The inboard hinges are from the service bulletin. I’m surprised they haven’t updated the plans yet. Had to follow the SB instructions.

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Clamped the spar doublers to the spars and match drilled them.

 

 

Drilled out the aileron pushrod hole in the inboard doublers and cleaned them up with the Dremel.

 

 

Clecoed the right rear spar together with the wing assembly.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.5
Wing Time (hours): 59.0
Total Time (hours): 270.0

Trimmed and fitted the elevator and rudder tips

As much as I enjoyed looking at the aft fuselage with the tail feathers attached progress must continue! I remove the rudder, elevator, vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer. I trimmed and fitted the elevator and rudder tips using a Dremel with a diamond cutting wheel, files and 60 grit sand paper.

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I also received the molex pins I ordered from Mouser so I fixed the wire I accidentally yanked out of the aft wiring harness molex connector.

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Tomorrow Jared will teach me how to fiberglass and we’ll close out the VS and HS tips. I’ll need to drill, dimple, countersink and rivet/screw the rudder and elevator tips as well.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 196.0
Total Time (hours): 196.0

 

Prime time

I deburred, scuffed and primed all of the remaining empennage parts including the top skin and the upper side skins. I’ve just about run out of parts. Once I get my static line and nut plates from Van’s, I’ll be able to finish riveting everything.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 173.0
Total Time (hours): 173.0

 

Whole lotta scuffin’

I cut the aft tail skin with the snips. Cutting .040 aluminum with snips is a workout. I thought of using the band saw but it’s an awkward part to cut straight with the saw. I trusted my skills with the snips more than steadiness of my hand at the band saw. Good result but my forearm was pretty sore afterward.

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Cleaned it up with file and sand paper.

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My paint cutter arbor arrived from Aircraft Spruce. So I was able to cut the remaining countersinks in the rudder stops without the cage.

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I was skeptical that I’d be able to hit the right depth free hand but it worked out fine.

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I also heard back from Van’s support on the holes that I thought shouldn’t be dimpled and in fact they shouldn’t have. So I hammered them flat. This was definitely an error in the plans. Now my tie down bracket sits flush.

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And finished up with a marathon scuffing session.

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I’ve got to be honest. Scuffing parts is my least favorite part of the process. It’s dusty messy work.

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That was a lot of parts to scuff but I’m glad I fought through and got them done. This is most of the parts for the tail cone. Once these are primed, I’ll only have the skins and a few small parts left to scuff and prime in order to complete the empennage. Big priming session tomorrow. Then I can start assembling. 🙂

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 144.0
Total Time (hours): 144.0