Well I’ve been going crazy over the past few days working on getting the aileron and flap aligned on the right wing. I haven’t even started on the left one yet. There are 2 challenges when doing this. First is figuring out if the trailing edges of the wing, flap and aileron are all aligned all the way down the wing. This isn’t too hard, but did take a few tries to figure out what worked best. The Second challenge is once you get everything lined up nicely and clamped down, how to do put rivets into the leading edge of the aileron and flap. There’s no way to get a rivet gun in there without moving the part and once you move it the alignment is going to be off… well at least for me it was… especially on the flap.
So for the first part I leveled out the rear spare and then used a cheapo laser level thingy from Home Depot to project a line down the training edge of the wing. It basically just projects a straight line laser beam for about 20 ft. I had tried to use string with some wood stand offs, but the string would sag after a while.
I used some white paper in the far clamp so I could see the line projected by the laser and more easily line it up with the trailing edge of the wing walk skin. You can also faintly see it on the aileron/flap join or use your hand or paper to see it better to check the alignment of that joint. You really just need the beam to set the alignment of the aileron/flap joint because the other sides you just get them to match the trailing edge of the wing itself which is easily done by using some clamps to clamp the two parts together.
The laser level I bought fit perfect into a 3″ clamp so it was pretty easy to hold it on the wing and make fine adjustments to get it aligned with the far end (root) of the wing.
I also was able to measure the slope of the trailing edge which for me was about 0.6 degrees.
For the next challenge I removed the part from the wing and put on the work bench. I started with the aileron. I put it up on 2×4 blocks and strapped it down on one end. On the other end (wing root side) I put the leading edge on a 2×4 block and then cut a piece of wood as a spacer so that it set the 0.6 degree angle that I measured when it was on the wing. I then strapped down this side as well.
Later after taking the photo I used short pieces of floor transition molding to clamp the ends if the strap rather then use the screw. This was done so I could pull the strap nice and tight then tighten the 2 screws in the transition molding so it held down the strap.
So with the aileron strapped down with the correct slope dialed in I went and started to ream out the leading edge holes. There were quite a bit off so you need to elongate the top skin hole and try not to elongate the hole on the skin underneath so the rivet holds better.
I put in 3 rivets and then fit the aileron back on the wing to check the alignment. Everything seemed good so I strapped it back down on the work bench, checked the slope with the level and reamed and riveted the rest of the leading edge. You just need to make sure to ream all the holes so that you aren’t putting any pressure on the skin to cause it to mess up the twist that is set.
After the aileron was done I moved on to the flap. I put in a few rivets and checked the alignment and all looks good so far. I’ll try to finish up the riveting tomorrow and post some photos.
Well it seems to have worked. Everything lines up great so now just need to do the same on the left wing.
Wing root to flap
Flap and Aileron
Aileron and wing tip. So happy this worked out.
This weekend I did the alignment of the flap and aileron for the left wing. I was thinking it would have been pretty similar to the slope, etc. as on the right wing, but it seemed a bit different and for some reason a bit harder as well. In any case the trailing edge lines up pretty well and all the rivets are in on them so all seems good. Next I need to fill and sand the rivets on them.