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

 

Cleaned up all the partially cured sealant

Started the day with a nice flight down to Aircraft Spruce at FFC with Jared to pick up some PolyGone. Great excuse to go flying!

PolyGone polysulfide stripper is the shizzle! This stuff really removes fuel tank sealant as advertised. I had a real mess on my hands and this stuff saved the day.

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I slathered the PolyGone onto the partially cured sealant and let it sit for 30 minutes or so then used a plastic bondo scraper and rags to remove it. It took about four hours (not counting wait time) to get all the sealant off of the skins and all the stiffeners and other parts. It was tedious and messy but it worked and I got it done. Went through a lot of gloves and rags.

Back to fuel tank assembly tomorrow. I am so ready to be done with the fuel tanks.

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Wing Time (hours): 212.0
Total Time (hours): 364.0

 

Fuel Tanks: the struggle is real.

Fuel tanks are absolutely kicking my ass. I got back from Toronto last night and checked to see if the sealant had cured. The stuff I had applied Monday had hardened up nicely. The first batch from from Sunday was still gooey. Not cool. They came from the same can. So I must have made a mistake in mixing that batch.

I talked to Jared and Van’s. Consensus was that it may cure eventually but Van’s recommended that I re-seal these parts with properly mixed sealant. Unfortunately this meant removing 22 stiffeners, 2 fuel fillers, and 2 fuel drains. I had to drill out a couple hundred rivets and was left with a sticky mess. Thankfully the sealant on all of the ribs we had just riveted into the left skin was fine.

When the sealant is first applied, it wipes off easily with some lacquer thinner. Once it has started to cure, not so much. I’m headed to Aircraft Spruce tomorrow to pick up some PolyGone. It is specifically designed to remove polysulfide fuel tank sealant.

 

It was essential to my sanity that I make at least some modicum of forward progress today. So I bent up the rods for the fuel sender floats per the plans. Since the ribs were installed in the left tank, I was even able to fine tune the left sender to the proper clearances.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Wing Time (hours): 208.0
Total Time (hours): 360.0

 

Finished riveting the ribs and stiffeners

Finished back riveting the stiffeners and ribs to the skins. Which kinda turned into a fiasco when I realized that the holes that match up to the spars on the forward edges of the top skins are not symmetrical span-wise. Once you’ve dimpled the top skins, there is a left and a right skin. Wish I had known this before riveting the left ribs to the right skins and vise versa. So I drilled out the 32 rivets holding the ribs to the skins and re-riveted correctly. Lost about an hour and a half but no damage done.

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Once I got past all that, I assembled the ailerons and they’re now ready to have their trailing edges final drilled.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.5
Wing Time (hours): 179.5
Total Time (hours): 391.5

 

A little drilling, a little dimpling, a little riveting.

Reassembled the nose skin and match drilled the remaining #40 holes form the skin into the the counterbalance tubes. Then upsized them to #30.

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Dimpled the skins for the stiffeners and ribs.

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Started back riveting the stiffeners to the skins. After riveting the first one I realized that I neglected to trim them to the correct length. It was obvious that they would interfere with the trailing edge extrusion. I’m guessing that the stiffeners are another shared part with the RV-10 thus requiring shortening for the RV-14.

I was able to trim the one I riveted with a cutoff wheel on the Dremel by sliding a thin piece of scrap aluminum under the stiffener to protect the skin. I deburred it with sandpaper. No harm No foul. I trimmed the rest on the bandsaw and deburred on the ScotchBrite wheel.

Had to quit to go watch the Bruins in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Wing Time (hours): 177.0
Total Time (hours): 389.0