Received and started building the lower wings

December 29, 2009

The new wings finally came, well the lower wings minus a bunch of hardware. That was the deal I had with Raven Aircraft they were running a bit behind with multiple orders so they offered to send me a partial kit to tide me by until the rest of the kit came. I agreed and now my wing tables are in use at last.

The kit came in three containers with all the parts wrapped very well with clear plastic wrap to protect them. One box had the spars and wood for the trailing edges and along with stick for the wood between ribs. The next box had all the stainless steel drag/anti-drag wires and some more misc wood. The third had the lower ribs and plywood crush plates for the I-strut and spar roots along with maple drag wire blocks. So far I am pretty impressed with the construction quality looks like the spars are very high quality.

I started off by measuring out all the rib locations based off the Pitts S-1S drawings. I marked the centerline of all the ribs and then marked the edges of each rib all the way around so I knew where to A) glue and B) where they need to go. The aft spar protudes 1/2″ farther out than the foward spar so the to keep things square the aft spar rib measurements need to have a 1/2″ added to them. I spent probably 2 hours filing the inside of the rib spar boxes to get them to slide on to the spar reasonable easy. I tried to keep them as tight as possible but still capable of sliding the spar through. I did eventually get all the left wing ribs done and slide on but it was a bitch. I then set everything up so I could admire my handy work and enjoy the first part of my wing kit coming together.

I played around with the quarter round tip bow to see it would best fit. The spars were cut long and need to cut down and tapered to match the tip bow. I will need to play around with this a bit to see what works.

Next I need to mark the right wing spars and file down the right wing ribs. I also need to build some spar racks so I can level and square the wings prior to gluing. No gluing done yet, I am measuring 5 times and gluing once. I have a flyable airplane I am in no hurry, these babies are going to be beautiful cause I am going to do it right the first time (knock on wood) oh and I have a lot of that at the moment :^)

Time spent 7 hours
Total time on the wings 12 hours