This post catalogs the journey of the Wings being delivered in Spring of 2019, and then the first three sections of assembly that began in July and continued through end-November 2019. It also acts as a diversion as we find ourselves huddled as a society in our homes during a tough time for all.
Freight delivery arrives via a very large truck and is too big to get up our driveway, so I rented a trailer to have the crates loaded onto and then brought them up to the barn. I was able to handle that whole process solo and the unloading is shown in the beginning of the time-lapse video.
I completed the empennage by end-July, with the exception of the fiberglass tips that will be completed near the end of the entire build. I then began Section 13 – Main spars, which involves preparing the spars for assembling the ribs in the next section. The instructions also have you taking lengths of J-Channel and clamping them to spar and using holes in the spar to match drill the J-channel for future use when riveting the top skins. The spars also have a lot of nut plates attached that will be used for mounting the fuel tanks much later. The flanges also get countersinks to accept the skin dimples when attaching.
Laying out J-Channel against spar for match drilling J-channels on main spar Both spars laid out for J-channel match drilling Installing nut plates for where fuel tanks will attach Installing nut plates and countersinking main spar Aileron bellcranks on wing spar Aileron bellcranks on wing spar Finished nut plates Finished nut plates
I then started all the work for Section 14- Wing Ribs in late September. It’s monotonous because of the the large number of ribs and there is a LOT of prep work that’s needed on them before assembly. But at least they are all pre-formed and I don’t have to make them from scratch! After prepping all the ribs, they are bolted and riveted to the mains spars.
Aileron bellcranks attaching to a wing rib
Aileron bellcranks attaching to a wing rib Flap hinge brackets priming the inboard wing ribs Ribs clecoed to the main wing spar Grace helping me with the torque wrench as we attach the ribs to the spars All ribs attached to wing spars
And that brings us to early November when I began the work on Section 15 – the rear spar. Off this piece the moving parts of the wing will later attach (the flaps and ailerons). It was somewhat straightforward and I was able to address a Service Bulletin from Van’s that has the builder utilize beefier Aileron Hinge bracket assembly. This work too me to the weekend after Thanksgiving.
In total it took 121 hours (!) to complete Sections 13-15, all of which can be seen below in much less time 🙂
My next post will document the top skins getting attached to this assembly.