Time: 2.5 hrs
Today I installed the wing tip on the right wing and made up some backing plates for the strobe lights. I would have liked to do the left tip as well, but I’m still waiting of the part from TAF. I believe it’s at Torrance TAF now, so I just need to see when I can get over there and get it. I also made up 2 backing plates for the strobe lights. I don’t have the lights yet, but I’ll be using the Aveo Ultra Daylight strobes. I had read that someone building a Zenith (I think) had equipped their aircraft for IFR, but the DAR only gave him “VFR Only” on his AC. When he asked the DAR why that was the DAR pointed at his strobe which were Aveo Powerburst strobes and said those aren’t “approved lights”. So while I guess you need to take these stories with a grain of salt I am slightly worried that since the Ultra Daylight strobe aren’t TSO’d then the DAR may complain about it. The nice thing is that Aveo does make a TSO’d strobe called Ultra Galactica which are the same footprint as the Ultra Daylight (they cost about $500 more though) so if I do have a problem then I can aways switch to those without too much trouble.
The wing tip went better than expected. The main issue was it was about 1/4″ too long. Now I did install the small aluminum tip piece which the manual says to install after, but I figured that I just needed to cut a little off the trailing edge to get the wing tip to slip in there. Looking at it closer it was evident that the trailing edge of the wing tip, even if I could get it into the space where it goes, was too long. I ground down the trailing edge of the wing tip with a Dremel and sanded. You can’t take too much off because you’ll get to the inside of the seam and the two parts can separate. I also had a bit of an accident when trying to get the tip on and the aluminum on the trailing edge piece cracked a bit right at the bend. I cut it off and rounded it off and actually it’s what made the tip finally fit well.
Once the wing tip was on, I checked that there was enough fiber glass inside the wing so the rivets would hold, I went through and drilled out all the holes, clecoing as I went. The fit is pretty good. I’m thinking I may add rivets in-between on the bottom of the leading edge to get ride of the scalloping in that spot and get the skin to sit better. I don’t think I really need to fill anywhere, but I’ll see once I’m done with those extra rivets.
Next was making the plates for the strobes. I don’t have the strobes yet so I couldn’t use them as a template. I was able to get the footprint diagram from Aveo online and then I just scaled the image in some image editing software so that when I measured the print out it measured 100.3mm long and 46mm wide. I then used that as the template to mark and cut a sheet of 0.32 aluminum.
Here’s how the trailing edge came out. I think the rounded cut in the aluminum piece really helped. I tried to thin out the fiberglass as much as possible as well, but you can only do so much.
It’s on and lines up really well. This is the newer tip with the area to mount the strobe light.
This is really the only “problem” area. I think if I add in 4 more rivets between these it will get the skin to flatter on the tip. The only place I may need to fill is the leading edge where there’s a small gap.
I made up my backing plates for the strobes. I put two small holes for the wire hole because I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do there. I’d like to use the small round connectors that I used on the tail strobe, but I need to make a 3/4″ hole (using the rear hole as the center) and it may be too large. So if I go with simple fast on tabs then I’ll just do a 1/2″ hole to get the wires and connectors through and use the other more forward hole as the center. In either case the pilot holes will get eaten by the larger holes. The holes in order from top to bottom of the plate are: 1/8″ for mounting rivet, 7mm for 5mm rivnut (strobe mount), pilot holes for where the wiring will run, 4mm (alignment pin on strobe), 1/8″ hole for the other mounting rivet.
The idea was to get these done and mounted and the I could rivet the right tip on, but when I looked at how the strobes will mount on the strobe mounting area I’m thinking it would be best to have the actual strobe light to see exactly how it will fit. The flat area of the mounting area is just barely large enough for the strobe to fit so just want to make sure I put it in the best spot.