October 1, 2007

Drilled bottom skins, finished leading edge work - 5 hrs.

Today I drilled the bottom skins to the wing, took them off, and worked on the leading edge.

Here are a couple of shots of me drilling the bottom skins. A chair is very nice to have during all this drilling, to save your back.

Next, I deburred the edges of the leading edge skin, then clecoed the leading edge to the spar to check the fit of the seam between it and the main skins, on the top and bottom of the wing. I didn't get a picture, but it's a perfect fit! I'm amazed and impressed at the fit of these pre-punched kit parts. Now, since the bottom skins are drilled, you remove them and put them aside for a while. A lot of work needs to be done before they will be put back on again.

Here's a little detail that needs to be done at this point. The hole for the tie-down ring is carefully marked and drilled out. I'm not real happy with how this thing fits. It's loose and rattles around a bit in the hole and I'm afraid it would fall out in flight unless you really screw it down. But doing that distorts the skin because of the flat flange under the ring pushing on the skin, indenting it. There's no support directly under the skin at this point. I don't see myself leaving this in place during flight. Besides these issues, I don't like the drag it presents. I see it more as something you carry with you for those times when you will be tying the plane down. But when you unscrew it and take it off, there's a big unsightly hole left here. I don't like that either. I'm going to have to do some research and see what others are doing about this. I wish I could find a white nylon-plastic type of threaded plug that would screw in place, flush with the skin. Or very nearly flush with the skin. I'm going to think about this and see what I can find.

UPDATE: When I did this for the right wing, I found a solution and installed a spacer on the threaded shaft of the tie-down ring. See my entry for February 6, 2008 for details and a picture.

I'm now ready to start on the tank. I know a lot of people dread this task, but I've actually been looking forward to it.

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