September 2, 2007

Landing lights, help from Dad - 3 hrs.

Today I started on the Ducksworks landing lights. I'm not going to attempt to finish the installation since my leading edge sections aren't finished, but I wanted to get some things done before riveting the leading edge together. Also, I had a visit from my Dad today.

The first thing you do is mount this template to the leading edge. The instructions are clear, and this is easy to put in the proper place. Then you mark the cutout with a sharpie. That's all I did at this point with the skin. I did this on both wing skins, even though the right wing hasn't even been started yet.

Here's the main thing I wanted to accomplish before riveting the leading edge skin to these ribs. I wanted to get these nutplates installed. These hold the bracket that the landing light mounts to inside the wing. Two nutplates per rib; two ribs per wing. Sixteen rivets later, all the nutplates are installed for all four ribs for both wings. You can use pop rivets if your leading edge has already been riveted together, but since I had the chance to think ahead I think this beats using pop rivets here. These ribs are now ready to be riveted to the skin.

While I was working on that, my Dad came by. My Dad is great. He has been calling occasionally, asking "are you going to work on your airplane? Want some help?" He's interested and he loves tools and workshops. So I put him to work cutting the stiffeners for my fuel tanks. I had them all ready for him a while back, waiting for a moment like this. I had stripped the blue vinyl off, and marked them with a sharpie where the cut lines are so it would be easy for him. He cut all the stiffeners out for me for both tanks using my little band saw. Thanks, Dad!

In the background, you can see other projects waiting for me. I have a new front door to install on my house, and carpets to install in the upstairs addition. My home-improvement projects never seem to end. But you can still build an airplane!

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