September 15, 2010

Wing Root Fairing - 4.0 Hrs.

Ever since I picked up my wing root fairings at Vans, they've been sitting here on my shelf staring at me. I decided that tonight it was time to work on them. So I began with the tedious task of deburring the edges. I decided to do both of them now and get it out of the way. I'm tired of deburring the edges of skins, and this is nearly the last time I'll have to do this chore. Yippee!

I'm impressed with how well these are made. The holes are prepunched, so you just cleco it on starting at the aft end and go forward. Actually, after thinking about it for a bit, I saw that the hole in the middle right where it widens, at the junction of the fuel tank and the main spar, uses a screw that's already in place for the fuel tank. So I took this screw out. Then I enlarged this hole to #19, and deburred and dimpled it. Then I screwed it in place, as seen below (red arrow). This anchored the skin and was my starting place for the drilling. I drilled and clecoed going aft from there, and then worked my way forward to the leading edge.

The holes forward of the main spar are all pre-punched in the fairing, but not in the fuel tank. so as you work forward it becomes a matter of getting it to fit nice and tight before drilling. Especially as you wrap it around the leading edge and go underneath the wing. How do you get it tight enough? Well, it turns out that at the aft end of the fairing underneath the wing, it joins with that same corresponding screw that I took out on top at the aft end of the fuel tank. So I got underneath and unscrewed that screw, enlarged the prepunched hole in the fairing to #30 at this point, stretched it tight, and put a cleco in. I learned a long time ago that #30 clecos fit just perfect in #8 platenuts. The very last aft hole in the fairing underneath joins the forward-most hole I had just drilled the other night in the belly skin, so I was able to enlarge that hole and cleco it in place, too. Now the fairing was in place nice and tight for drilling the rest of the holes, and then enlarging them all to #19 for the screws.

Now that the fairing was fitted and drilled in place, I got out my fine point sharpie to mark the skin for trimming. The plans call for trimming it to a minimum of 3/16" gap, maximum of 1/4". So I found a scrap of 3/16" material to use as a spacer and mark the edge for trimming. On a finished RV, a rubber strip goes on here to fill this gap and make a nice finish. That's as far as I got tonight. Next, I'll be pulling it off for deburring and dimpling all the holes, trimming and deburring the edge, and priming the inside surface. Then it will go back on the shelf until final assembly. I'll be installing a lot of nutplates when this wing gets pulled off, too.

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