With August behind me, and a new plan to get moving, September has started well with steady progress on the wing bottom skin. After prepping the wing skins and a short priming session, the main event started in earnest yesterday afternoon. With the 49ers game on (2-0 baby!!), we had a whole crew helping out with dimpling, nut plate attachment, and riveting. Nico and Jack are getting quite self sufficient. I was able to hand off the bottom skin dimpling to them, and they successfully got it done with very little intervention. Jack brought a church mentor, Will, over and he learned how to attach nutplates. With his military background flying Cobra AH-1 helicopters, he felt right at home in a hangar. Thanks Will!
With the game over, and the rest of the crew gone, Sam and I started the task of skin riveting. We moved the workbenches around and laid the right wing on it’s top. That was some of the hardest riveting we’ve done to date. The plans suggest starting at the inboard ribs and because they are closely spaced (for wing doubler reinforcement) the room to get your hands in is brutal. After a certain rib, you can no longer reach from the inboard side and so we devised a mechanism to hold the skin off using mason string anchored to the wall. We got through about 2.5 rows before we called it a night. It was a good start and I think the other skins will go on smoother.
Next session I’m hoping to get through the rest of the right wing inboard skin, then it’ll be on to the left wing. After that I’ll need to wire things up before getting to the outboard wing. Until then, Happy building!