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Main rib rivetting … again

I got back into the shed this morning to get some more work on the wing skeletons. I also wanted to make some changes on my wing stand as I wasn’t 100% happy with how the wings were mounted on the outboard ends. My concern was that as the wing was built (and got heavier) the screw or the wood block is was driven into, would fail. So I cleaned off my benches and removed both wing skeletons off the stand.

I then removed the wood blocks and replaced them with some metal angle. I had to match drill a couple of the holes to allow these to be bolten on.

I used 3/16″ bolts to fix the new angle to the lintel. I’ll also use 3/16″ bolts to attach the wing skeleton to the angle (as per Van’s instructions). These are a larger diameter than the wood screws I was using previously so they should take more load.

Whilst I had the wings on the benches I thought I may as well set the main rib to rear spar rivets. It should be easier doing these on the bench rather than on the wing stands. If you haven’t already noticed this, most of these ribs only have 3 of the 4 rivets set at this point. The open hole is for the aerolon or flap fairing which is installed later. This was pretty uneventful even thought I was using the offset bit again. I double checked the rivets I could set now in the middle double plate and which holes i had to leave open for now. Here is a shot of the rivets I could set at this stage. The picture is a bit blurry unfortunately. The rivets are in a vertical line to the right of the control rod hole.

Unfortunately, I had to drill out one of these rivets as the factory head split when I set it. I must not have held the bit square enough. It was a really awkard position to get to on the bench. The result? I drilled a second hole…

I managed to get the rivet out but the hole was pretty ugly. It looked like a figure 8 on its side. I cleaned the hole up a bit to remove any sharp corners, trying hard to to make the hole any bigger. At this stage I have no idea on how to fix this. I’m thinking of just putting a bigger rivet in, but I’ll do a bit of research first. Oh well – “build on” as the saying goes.

I managed to get all the rest of the main rib to rear spar rivets done on both wings.

I then went to set the rivets on the outer ribs that I didn’t set the other day. The outer most rib isn’t rivetted to the main spar yet, but the 2 inboard of it can be. Unfortunately, I completely stuffed these up. I stopped after 5 rivets and had to drill 4 of these out. I was getting frustrated so it was time to down tools and come back another day. I put the wing skeletons back on the stand, leveled everything up, then drilled out the 4 offending rivets. I then pulled out the top wing skins and put them on my bench ready for the next build session. Soooo close to put the wing skins on for the first time.

Build time 2 hours (not including the time I spent playing with the wing stand).


About gstrack

Husband and father of 2. Control & Instrumentation Engineer. Flying nut. Gadget geek.


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