Wing Skins

Ok, this will be the last post of the day to bring te blog up to date.

One of my friends helped me to drill all the skins into the skeleton. It was very satisfying to see how sturdy the wing gets once the skins are clecoed in. The structure becomes very strong and gives a better perspective of how things go together.

I did not mentioned before, but while I was waiting on the wing stand, I assembled both leading edges. What a pain it was, I found an alternative way to do it on the VAF, and with it I was finally able to do it. I’m wondering how hard is it going to be to assemble the tanks once they have all the proseal in knowing that the construction method is pretty similar.

The last thing I’ve done so far is to assemble one of the fuel tanks. The idea right now is to use it to match the last platenut holes on te leading edge. Once I do that I’m planning on assembling the leading edge first to learn how to better deal with those hard to assemble parts before finishing the tanks. I’ll try to finish leading edge and tank on the left wing first, and then do the same on the other side.

Wing Skeleton

Once spars and ribs were ready I went ahead and assembled the wing skeletons. At this time I did not have a gig/structure so I assembled them on my workbench. I think this method was best as I had access to all parts/sides for easier riveting.

I found out that being stressed from work is not a good thing while riveting. I usually work on the plane after work or at night to relax as I find it very therapeutic, but it doesn’t always work like that. The bucking bar slipped a couple of times, but nothing that a little bit of sanding and primer couldn’t fix.

After a couple sessions a very nice set of wing skeletons came to life 😀

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Wing Spars and Rib Preparation

The first thing I did was to get both spars ready. Now, working on the tanks I realized that I installed 6 nutplates (3 per spar) that I wasn’t supposed to install that early.

In general everything went pretty straight forward with these steps. I got them prepped and assembled in around week and a half. Next I prepared the ribs and the rear spars which was a very tedious and boring thing to do, but the results are pretty good.

I started by fabricating a quick template to make sure that I placed holes for wiring around the same place on all ribs. After that deburring and priming.

A long overdue update

Two months ago my wing kit got delivered. A few details on one of the boxes but everything inside was ok. A couple of hours of inventory and some extra time to place things on their storage area and I was ready to start building the second kit!.

I’m always surprised of how Van’s is able to fit some many things in such small boxes, and also give them enough protection that they have a good chance of surviving shipping.

Once everything was ready I started working on the spars. I’ll try to write about progress so far on a couple separated posts.