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 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 top rudder tip

I was away in south Florida all last week for work. Good trip but glad to get back in the shop today.

I final-fit the top tip to the rudder with some sand paper. I match drilled #40 all of the holes.

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I final drilled the holes to #30.

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I machine countersunk the holes in the tip to fit the dimples in the skin.

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I dimpled the holes in the skin.

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I attached the tip to the rudder with the pneumatic pop rivet gun.

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Et viola…

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I attached the rudder to the vertical stabilizer on the workbench. I fit the VS tip with sandpaper and match drilled all the holes #40.

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I used the band saw to cut some foam to back the fiberglass closeout. I test fit the assembly to the VS and used sand paper to gradually reduce the size of the foam until I got an interference fit.

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I mixed up some epoxy resin with glass micro bubbles to . nice thick paste that wouldn’t run.

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…and used it to glue the foam into place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 206.5
Total Time (hours): 206.5

 

Filled the horizontal stabilizer tips

Filled the crag I cut in the right HS tip with micro.

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Then filled the aft space of each with micro. Once hardened, I’ll be able to sand the curved profile into them to match the leading edges of the elevator tips.

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Today’s Time (hours): 0.5
Empennage Time (hours): 203.5
Total Time (hours): 203.5

 

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