June 25, 2007

Finished the Tie-Down Assemblies - 5.5 hrs.

Today I finished the tie-down assemblies and installed them on the spars. I also installed the two platenuts that go on the inboard side of each spar. At the end of the day, this finished the front spar assemblies.

I clamped the tie-downs in my vice, and began the tapping process. I borrowed this tap wrench and the tap from my brother. It takes more muscle than I expected to tap holes this big, and this deep. I took my time. The last thing I wanted to do was break a tap when it's deep in the hole (been there, done that before!)

The finished tie-downs were then ready to be bolted to the spars. Here you can see both front and back sides of the spars. The aileron bellcrank brackets are held on the aft side of the spar by the same bolts that hold the tie-down in place. What a clever and efficient way to simplify things, reduce clutter and hardware, and add a lot of strength to the bellcrank area of the spar. My hat's off to the engineers at Van's. I used my torque wrench to check the torque on these bolts. They're installed for good, as far as I'm concerned.

I know, I did this out of order from the plans, but it's now time to add those two platenuts to the inboard front side of each spar. Here I have countersunk for the rivets that hold the platenuts in place. The reason I did this out of order is because the plans confused me. It actually took me a couple of days to figure this out. I just kept going on to other things and putting it off. It says to "Countersink the W-706C doubler plate to allow the flush heads of the rivets to rest on the aft side of the spar." Do you know how long I searched for the W-706C doubler plates? I looked through all my parts. Couldn't find this part. I studied the plans and couldn't find any such part identified on any of the drawings. I looked over my inventory list that came with the wing kit and couldn't find any such part either. About this time I was pulling the remaining hair out of my head, and I studied some websites and finally realized where this part is. Well, DUH!! It's already riveted to the spar! It's part of the finished spar. I wish Van's would clarify this on the plans and in the manual. There is no notation on any of the drawings identifying this part. No harm done in the end, but it was frustrating for a while.

Here I have the platenuts riveted in place. Perfect flush rivets! I'm finally having fun again.

And here's the flip-side of the spar, showing the platenuts from the front side. The front spars are now finished! I'm ready to move on to the rear spar assembly.

Before calling it a night, I laid out all the parts for the rear spar assemblies. I'm ready to get going on this tomorrow.

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