Left Wing Topskin Complete!

Build Crew:



Before Sam arrived, I decided to get going on the Ailerons. There are about a gazillioin stiffeners that need to be fabricated from long angle aluminum. They already provide the pre punched rivet holes, and the demarcations for cut lines, but one needs to do all the cutting, and shaping of the final pieces. I made a bit of progress before Sam arrived. About 3/4 way through using the bandsaw, I realized that using the offset snips were way easier and the cuts ended up much cleaner. I’ll remember that for future cuts.

With almost perfect timing, Sam arrived as I was done with the rough cuts for the aileron stiffeners. We got right in the groove and cranked out the rest of the rivets. It was primarily the span wise rivets both top and bottom as well as a few rivets that needed repair. I am constantly reminded of the risk of drilling out an “ok” rivet. It is very possible the next go around will be even worse, so I think expanding my “acceptable” rivets envelope is becoming a real need. All’s well that ends well, and in this case we were able to get through the left top skin with very few issues. One interesting challenge was the spanwise rivets behind the aileron hinge brackets. We bucked a rivet so hard it actually smashed itself into the spar to the point we weren’t able to get it out. It was so flat that we were able to just drill a new hole and run a different rivet through it. Be careful when riveting that area.

I’ll leave you with two last photos. One is of the finalized left wing top skin. With this session, the wing is ready to come off the stand whenever we are ready to. I’m going to do a bit of plumbing while it’s still on, but Paul and Kacy have already generously donated their old wing cradle for me to store my wings. It will be a huge space saver, and I’ll be able to dis-assemble the stand for future purposes (fuselage table anyone?). Second photo is of ANOTHER broken rivet set! I can’t believe it, but when starting on the right top skin, I broke the rivet set again! When I talked to Aircraft Tool Supply, they admitted that there might have been a batch issue with the part, and they are going to send me a different type all together. I’m looking forward to having a tool that doesn’t break every session. While I wait for the replacement tool (again!), I’ll continue on the aileron work, and start plumbing out the left wings pitot, aoa, and wiring conduit. Until then, Go Warriors and Happy Building!!

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