Time: 4 hrs
Finally got to do some riveting on the wings. I finished up most of the rivets on the rear spar, but still need to rivet the larger 4.8 rivets. I want to wait on riveting these ribs because I need to make sure the holes are large enough for the wiring, just in case I have to widen the holes. Everything went fairly well, I needed to up a few hole sizes and had a few alignment issues, but over all not too bad. The manual shows to rivet the skin support channel onto the rear spar first, but it seemed like it would be difficult to rivet the ends of the ribs so I decided to do the trailing edge of the ribs first and then fit and rivet the support channel. That seemed to work well.
I also fit the AN3 bolts on ribs 12 and 13 and will tighten them later. The manual says to fit them with AN3 bolts but not the size so I just matched the existing bolts which appear to be AN3-14A with a thin washer on the head side and a thick on the nut side.
Rear spar mostly done with the trailing edge of the ribs and skin support channel riveted. All the rivets are done from this side.
This is a photo of ribs 12 and 13. The top and bottom holes of these ribs are fitted with AN3 bolts to continue the row of bolts used to hold the spar together.
Time: 4.5 hours
Today I assembled the ailerons. It all went together very well except for some issues around rib #3. The issue was I wasn’t able to get the leading edge to close up. It almost seemed like the ribs was too large. I disassembled most of the aileron, took out the metal reinforcing tube and then it seemed to close so I thought the issue maybe was the circular cut out in the rib wasn’t large enough for the tube. I compared the cut out with one of the other ribs and it seemed ok. What seemed to work was I relaxed the bend in the bottom half of the skin along the leading edge by just bending it with my hand. The holes then lined up much closer and I was able to get clecos in them. Once that was figured out I riveted the trailing edge and just left clecos in on the leading edge so that I can warp it to follow the shape of the wing when it’s finished.
Even with being very careful in the prepping of the ribs and putting bends on the tabs of the ribs I still got a small bump in the skin where one of the tabs was a little high. This happened on the rib that is doubled up so it’s a bit more rigid then the other ribs. Oh well, it’s not that bad so will just have to live with it.
I also starting prepping the flap ribs so I can get that going next.
Ailerons are done. I left checks in the leading edges so I can get the correct twist on them to match the wing trailing edge.
Nothing exciting today, just primed some of the rear spar parts (trailing edge ribs and reinforcing channel), aileron skins, and a few rib parts that I was missing that came into TAF a few days ago. I also got most of the parts for the flaps so I prepped those to be primed. I should be able to start riveting the wings together this weekend.
Time: 6 hrs
Finally getting back to working on the plane after a long vacation. I made some good progress on the wings. I set up the main and rear spare in the jigs on the rear porch. The porch is surprisingly level. I just got things close so I’ll have to go back and get the jigs completely leveled out, but it should work out fine. The tables I have aren’t really large enough to build both wings. I should be able to get both wings built up to putting on the leading edge skin, then I’ll have to finish up one and then process with the final wing. I test fit the ribs that I had primed and assembly a few weeks ago. Everything seems to fit well. I’m also going to prime the main spare where the ribs overlap. I wasn’t going to prime the main spare at all since it’s anodized aluminum, but the brackets seem to be regular aluminum so I’ll just prime them to make sure.
I also prepped most of the remaining ribs. I’ll see if I can clean and prime them during next week some time so I can hopefully install them over next weekend.
Spares in the jigs for the left and right wings and a few of the main ribs test fit. Not a whole lot of room to work here, but not too bad.
Time: 10 hrs
Over the past few days I’ve been trying to get a handle on the wing assembly. I’ve been prepping and priming parts to get ready to start putting the wings together. I have all the main ribs assembled and the rear spare parts primed and ready to go. I’ll be on vacation for a few weeks so when I get back I want to get the wing assembly going. I’m also missing quite a few parts so I really can’t go full bore on the wings without those parts, but I have enough to make some head way on it.
Nothing special to note on the wings so far, just lots of work deburring the parts. I hate deburring the ribs because they have the flanges and tabs on them and they are a pain to deburr.
Pile of ribs. These are the main ribs that hold the flaps and ailerons so they require a bit of assembly. The other ribs just need to be deburred, cleaned and primed.
The main spar is anodized so it doesn’t need to be primed. I have the rear spare and all the misc parts primed as well so I should be able to get all that setup on the jigs and start assembly when I get back from my trip.
Time: 5 hrs
Over the past few days I’ve been working on getting the carpeting installed in the luggage area. I tried to use some spray on 3M adhesive which looked to be pretty good, but it turn out to be a bit of a disaster. It really didn’t stick so well to the metal and you couldn’t reposition the pieces as you installed them so I ended up going back to the Barge and a bit larger brush. I also wore a respiratory since it a closed in area and the smell will definitely give you a decent headache. It all went pretty smoothly, the only area that was a bit tricky was the right side area next to the parachute box. This was only because there’s not a lot of room to work and you’re already in an uncomfortable position anyways.
I started the install by doing the main pieces along the top, some trimming was involved, but I left each piece a little oversized to get some over lap on backs or side (whoever another piece needed to get installed). Next I installed the left and right pieces on the parachute box leaving some overlap to the back (bulkhead), then I installed the back pieces on the bulkhead and finally the small pieces on the stringers.
For the floor I’d like to find some rubberized type material. I’m thinking maybe some kind of trunk or bed liner and I’d also like to install some luggage tie downs… maybe a rail where you can place the loop attachments at various spots along the rail. So still some work to be done in the luggage area, but the bulk has been completed.
Luggage area all carpeted. Just need to figure out the floor material and tie downs.
The luggage door came out pretty good. to do the hinge part I just opened the door all the way, cut the carpet to length and then glued it down. The piece that TAF gave me for the door was a bit short so I ended up adding on the top piece above the angle.
Time: 2 hrs
I finally cut the hole in the cowling for the heater inlet to the exhaust shroud. It’s a bit tricky because you can’t see it and you need to mark the hole somewhat accurately. Of course after some frustration of trying to mark the hole and getting something reasonably accurate so I could drill a starter hole I figured out that if I would have removed the radiator I would have been able to see in a bit better through the front of the cowling. Still a somewhat impossible task, but it would have definitely made it a bit easier. To get some idea of where the inlet pipe would intersect the cowling I cut down a toilet paper tube to fit in between the exhaust shroud and cowling. This worked well to be able to mark one edge with a marker so I could drill a 1 1/4″ hole as a starter hole. After the starter hole was done I put the lower cowling back on and used the Dremel with a sanding drum to open up the hole so the tube would fit. After achieving a pretty nice fit I remove the lower cowling so I could more easily clean up the hole and cut back the heat shield. I also cut and riveted the inlet tube onto the exhaust shroud. Unfortunately once the tube was riveted is seems that the angle had changed a bit and the near perfect hole I had made was now a bit off. I was able to bend the inlet tube a little the get a better fit, now at least I can live with the way it is… not perfect but pretty good.
Using a cut down toilet paper tube I was able to mark one side of where the hole needed to be cut. I used a 1 1/4 hole saw to cut the initial hole an then used the Dremel with a sanding drum to open it up.
The final hole. The pipe used to be centered in the hole, but after riveting it changed the position a bit. Not a bit concern for me. I don’t want to widen the hole to make it equal all around so I’ll live with this.