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Wing skeleton riveting complete and first skins on

I managed to twist Mitchell’s arm to come down to give me a hand with the wing skeleton riveting again. Thanks Mitch! In quick order, we set the outboard rivets that I have having great difficulty doing myself.

We then went to the two most inboard wibs that I had left until last to rivet (for ease of access) and set them in place. The left wing was completed without any dramas. When I went to the right wing, the inner most rivet seemed to clash with the wing spar rivet. I didn’t want these to rub together as I reckon it would abraid a notch out of the rivet head. Unfortunately, I didnt notice this until I had set the other four rivets on this rib. Faced with the dilemma of drilling out 4 rivets from my main spar, or trying to fix this in situ, I decided to try and fix this in situ with a micro file.

Using my tapered punch as a wedge (which Mitch has named “Spike”) I carefully spread the rib flange away from the spar and the rivet. As the surface of the tapered punch is smooth, it didn’t scratch the spar.

I then used a D microfile and put some tape over the curved side, and also placed tape over the rivet.

I then carefully filed the edge of the rib flange so that it cleared the rivet. This was tedious and awkward, but I got their eventually. Unfortunately I did scratch a bit of the main spar next to the rivet. In hindsite I probably should have put some tape on the spar next to the rivet. Nevermind, I’ll give the scratch a light rub with some Scotchbrite to make sure it is smooth and shoot some primer on it.

We then finished off setting the rivets on the inboard ribs (main spar and rear spar). Here is a shot of the left main spar rivets, followed by the rear spar rivets

With the main wing skeleton rivets doen for now, we went to work on the wing skins. I started with the wing walk doubler which had to be match drilled to the inner top skin. The doubler has to be aligned with the inboard edge of the main skin, and set back 9/16″ from the forward edge. Once I had the dbouler into positio, held it in place with some cleco clamps. I then drilled the corner holes and put a cleco in the new holes as I went.

Whilst I was working on the wing walk doubler, Mitch went to work on de-vinyling the skins.

Once the doublers had been match drilled, the aft edge had to be trimmed so that is overhangs the rear spar by about an inch. I measured this to be about 1.75″ from the rear spar rivet holes. I trimmed these with my hand cutters.

Once we had 1 set of skins ready, it was time to fix them to the wing skeleton. Placing the wing walk doubler underneath the inner top wing skin, I clecoed the inner top wing skin onto the skeleton. The out top skin and inner top skin overlap each other. The outer wing skin goes on top. When I went to grab the out top skin, I found it clashed with my wing frame.

We resolved this by getting 2 pieces of ply wood, drilling a hole in each piece, and inserting these between the outboard rivet and the wing frame angle. Naturally, I had to use some longer bolts. The ply wood pieces were small enough to fit inside the top and bottom skins. Once this issue was resolved, we continued with fixing the wing top skins to the skeletons. Here is a couple of shot with the skins fitted.

With that it was time to head off to bed. Time kinda got away from me and it was after midnight all of a sudden. Many thanks for the assistance Mitch!

As usual, I double the time spent when 2 people are working, so build time tonight = 10 hours.


About gstrack

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


2 thoughts on “Wing skeleton riveting complete and first skins on

  1. Hope the yak we had on the ‘phone helped !
    Mark Bolton


    Posted by Mark Bolton | April 15, 2012, 11:18 am

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