Finalizing the wing tips

February 28, 2010

Tonight I decided to finalize the wing tips and cut them. I meaured everything numerous times and everything was still good. So I got out my radial compound miter saw and cut the first angle on both fronts and both rear spars.

After the first angle cuts were done I started in on the tapered cut on the forward spar left wing. I decided this time to use my circular saw to cut the taper this time as the coping saw I had was kinda slow and not very accurate. So I set the taper angle on my saw and using a wood guide with the right offset I would get a very straight line. So I took the dive and the started cutting…it worked great. I then got cocky and started in on the other side of the taper and cut the same direction without changing the angle. After I started cutting maybe 1/3rd the way through I realize this didn’t seem right. So I stopped and came at it from the other direction so the angle would be correct. Afterwards, I just glued the scrap back on and I will cut the taper back the other direction tomorrow no big deal.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 152 hours

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Drilling the I-strut plates, first look at ailerons

February 27, 2010

Today I cleaned up the front and rear spar doublers because they had some excess glue drips, using my file. I then took the wing and tipped it vertical and put it in the drill press to drill the 3/4″ lug hole. I marked the 5/8″ further outboard of the I-strut center line and I drilled the hole. I then slide the lug into the spar with one of the plates squared everthing up and drilled the 4 bolts for the plates. I did the same thing on the other side. I couldn’t have done this very easily by myself so my buddy Josh came over to help me with the ackwardly long wing, which saved a bunch of time.

Once that was all done I started playing ailerons a little bit. Everything looks like it will work out great at first glance except I will be needing more upper aileron tails since I put on 8 and only have 5 tails left over the other wing which won’t be enough.

Time spent 7 hours
Total time spent 142 hours


Gluing 1/4″ ribs and I-strut doubler tops

February 25, 2010

Tonight I pulled the clamps off the I-strut doublers so that I could clean up the tops and glue on the the top cap with my file. I drilled through the bottom cap so I when I flip the wing over I will be able to transfer the I-strut hole to the top cap tomorrow. I then started gluing the 1/4″ ribs to the spar. I also triangle blocked the rear spar/rib attach point and the rear face of the front spar attach rib/spar attach point. I also glued several misc corner blocks at the center section and on the most outboard compression rib corners. (pictures to follow later)

Time spent 4 hours
Total time spent 142 hours


Gluing the I-strut doublers, marking the tip bows

February 24, 2010

Tonight I test fit the I-strut doublers in preparation to glue three sides like I did on the lower wings. I think mixed up glue and glued all 4 of the I-strut doublers. I left the tops off so I could transfer the I-strut holes throught the 1/4 wood.

After I glued all the doublers I had some spare time so I started playing with the location of the tips bows. After some tweeking I was able to get all the geometry correct and I marked both tip bows. Later I will need to cut and taper the spars down to meet the tip bows but that is another day.

time spent 3 hours
total time spent 138 hours


Drilling the upper wing drag wire holes

February 23, 2010

Tonight I unclamped all the the drag wire blocks after gluing and drilled all the drag, and anti-drag wire holes. It took awhile to get my jig just right requires a lot of clamping and re-clamping. It was all worth it in the end since all the holes were perfect and all the drag wires fit just right. I did have to adjust two ribs on each side no more than about 1/4 to 3/8″ one side or the other so that the drag wire didn’t hit the rib verticals. The good news is it was exactly the same on both sides.

Time spent 3.5 hours
Total time spent 135 hours


Gluing the Compression Ribs and drag wire blocks

February 22, 2010

Today I finished marking the centerlines and 1/8″ offset for the drag wire blocks on the left side of the wing. I then cut all the 83 deg and 97 deg triangle stock into the various sizes for the front side of the rear spar and the aft side of the rear spar and the aft side of the front spar.

After that I drilled the I-strut holes using the jig I made from the lower wing. One note though, The rear spar for the upper wing is only 3/4″ wide where as the lower wing spar is 7/8″ if i recall correctly. So I just used my front spar jig and shimmed it out a 1/32″ using a couple of pieces of engineering paper cut in to small strips.

After that I started gluing the 6 compression ribs and then proceeded to glue all the drag wire blocks and some of the corner blocks on the opposing sides of the drag wire blocks since my clamp had to go there anyway.

Time spent 4.5 hours
total time spent 131.5


Sliding the Ribs onto the spars, drilling the upper wing mounting plates

February 21, 2010

Today was a busy day. I removed the clamps from the previous nights gluing of the plywood doubler on the center section. Next step was to drill the mounting brackets in the center section of both the forward and aft wing spars. I used the drill press as I have in the past to drill the holes and it worked well much easier then eyeballing them in my opinion.

Next I decided it was time slide the previously filed ribs on to the spars. I tried to do this on the table but quickly realized it was going to be super ackward. So I moved the spars to the floor and put some card board under the tips so that they wouldn’t get damaged by the repeated slideing around that was required wrestling the ribs on. I slide the first rib on which took awhile and got it all the way to the center section and realized I forgot to make the extra cut out of the front of the rib for the extra doubler on the front spar Doh! So I slide it off and make the ~3/16 cut out for the doubler using a small drill bit and a chisel fishining up with a file. It slide right on this time. I got 4 ribs on the right side and then started in the left. The cut out was again required for the inboard most rib. After trying to slide that rib which I got it all the way on it was dinner time.

After dinner and my wife Eve whinning that I didn’t ever ask her for help, I decided it might be a alot easier to have her help me, and it was a lot easier. In about 15 minutes we had all the ribs on the spars. The best wife ever!!

We then placed the wings on the table and started lining them up and setting the wing jigging blocks. After all was adjusted and lined up I started measuring a bunch of stuff to make sure I was square. One measurement at the tip and I realzed i was out of square by 3/4″. Scratching my head for about 10 mintues I call Eve back down to the man cave to help me measure somemore. I did a diagonal measurement from the front center section line to the right and left rear tip finding out I was off by 3/4″ as I had found before. The part that baffled me is I spent copious amounts of time makeing sure the table was set at 6.5 deg of sweep each side. The center line was drawn and every thing was lined up and the wing was out of square. Then in a great discovery Eve says “I don’t understand this line it doesn’t look like it goes through the center of the table” I was “nah it just looks weird and I pulled my scale over and said see look it should equal…hummm thats whats wrong” I had made a reference mark to measure from and accidently used that to make my centerline. Well I fixed the line and religned everthing up and what do you know every thing was square. Like I said before BEST WIFE EVER (editorial note: I am not the only Aerospace Engineer in the family, no joke she is one too).

I then adjusted the ribs a little and started marking the drag wire blocks. I was ushered to bed (it was midnight anyhow) shortly after getting the right wing drag blocks marked. the left are left for tomorrow when I glue the compression ribs.

Time spent 9 hours
total time spent 127 hours