June 18, 2007

Began Wing Construction! - 3 hrs.

Today was an exciting day. I'm finally starting on the wings! It begins by studying the plans and the manual, and putting the right method into your head so you don't mess up. You don't want to make a mistake on one of these spars. I hate to think of what it would cost to replace one of them. They come as a matched set with the center section, so I don't even think you could replace just one of them anyway. Yikes!! Just be careful and go slow at first.

I wheeled my little workbench out onto the driveway and clamped the left spar on top. I'll be making a mess and it's a nice day so I'll just do it outside to make cleanup easier. The work begins on the main spars by riveting all the platenuts in place that will hold the fuel tanks on. (by the way... is it "platenuts" or "nutplates"? I've heard it both ways)

I taped some masking tape on the joint between the spar plates so that chips and shavings don't get in the crack, and began countersinking for the rivets that hold the nutplates on.

The microstop countersink cage and a #40 cutter did a great job on these. Every one came out perfect. You can see that I also did the ones that will hold the access panels on the bottom of the wing. This is the bottom side of the left spar. I'm going to do both spars while I'm at it and while I have everything set up. This is very easy once you get everything set up and get going on it.

My drill, set up with the microstop countersink cage and cutter. This worked really well for me. I like the lightweight hose kit from Cleaveland Tools.

The nutplates on the inboard ends of the spars are angled as you can see here. This simple clamping method worked so well for this job. It's only a moment to unclamp, flip the spar over, clamp it back down, and begin work on the other side of the spar.

I managed to get all the holes countersunk for all of them, on both spars, then called it a night.

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