August 1, 2008

Aileron Bellcranks, mounting ailerons - 5.0 hrs.

The bellcranks are now ready to mount inside the wings, so here we go! I can see the finish line in sight for these wings, so it's exciting to begin putting it all together.

The first step is to attach the aileron to the wing. It takes a while to figure out the optimum number and arrangement of washers needed to make the best fit. This is the outboard end of the left aileron. Very straightforward, mounting the aileron bracket to the wing. The hard part is getting those washers in there. I bought a set of washer wrenches recently, and am I ever glad I did! I know I will be using them throughout the project. You will frustrate yourself miserably if you try to do this without washer wrenches. Ask me how I know.

This is the inboard end of the aileron. There was a lot of fiddling with the bolts, washers, and nuts to get this all put together properly. Here you have the attachment of the aileron bracket to the wing on the left, but you also have the aileron pushrod on the other end of the aileron bracket. It's coming up through the hole in the rear spar. The other end will be attached to the bellcrank on the forward end inside the wing. You can see how this rod will move the aileron by pushing up and down. Remember, the wing is sitting nose down in the storage cradle. This will all be oriented horizontally on the airplane.

Here's the other end of the pushrod, attached to the bellcrank inside the wing. The bellcrank has been bolted in place in its brackets. Vans supplies you with this aluminum bellcrank jig to help you get the ailerons aligned and fitted properly. It holds the bellcrank in the neutral position while you make sure the aileron is also in the neutral position. You can adjust it as necessary by turning the rod end bearings any number of threads in either direction to lengthen or shorten the pushrod by slight amounts until you get it just right.

This was my first attempt to line up the aileron in the neutral position. You can't do this by eye. There are some tooling holes in the end wing rib, and you have to extend a line through these holes to the end of the aileron. In these shots, you can see a length of aluminum angle that I clamped on the end rib in order to try and do this. The problem is, even an angle piece will bend to some extent. I need something more solid.

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