Lots of progress on the wings

Mar 22, 2015 0.5 Wings

Aileron and Flap Gap Fairings, Aileron pushrods - touch up priming

Mar 23, 2015 1.25 Wings

Aileron Hinge Bracket - Drilled out left inboard bracket. I’d used -6 rivets and they were ugly. Will replace with -7 rivets when they arrive late this week. Hopefully I didn’t mess the holes up too much to fill with a rivet.

Flap Gap Fairing - riveted left fairing to top skin.

Mar 24, 2015 2.25h Wings

Aileron Hinge Bracket - Received Aircraft spruce order today. Riveted left inboard bracket to rear spar - turned out nicely.

Aileron and Flap Gap Fairings - Riveted fairing to top skin on both wings. Used blind rivets as well as cherry max rivets to attach flap gap fairing to rear spar for the section that has the installed bottom skin in the way. I squeezed the conventional rivets to finish the left fairings to rear spar.

Starting on wings

Mar 15, 2015 3.5h Wings

Aileron Hinge Brackets - Spent the day on these complex brackets. Fabricated aileron control stops (A-914) from 1x1 angle stock. Cut A-913 and A-912 spacers from aluminum tube. Deburred, assembled, drilled, dis-assembled, deburred, countersunk, cleaned and primed all pieces in the W-913 and W-914 assemblies. Toughest part of the day was figuring out how things went together - the drawings were more confusing than helpful, that is until I found a picture that someone had posted of their brackets, after that the drawings made sense.

Mar 16, 2015 1.5h Wings

Aileron Hinge Brackets - Final assembly of these brackets and partial riveting. Had some trouble with the bucked rivets along one of the angle brackets, had to drill it out twice, third time worked though. I was able to squeeze the flush rivets on the brackets, all except the aileron control stops which calls for a AN426AD4-9 rivet - which I don’t have.

Mar 17, 2015 1.25h Wings

Aileron Hinge Brackets - Squeezed 11 remaining rivets, including the 5 matching rivets on the other bracket as the ones I had trouble bucking yesterday. I guess I should have tried harder to get the squeezer to work. Clecoed all 4 completed (save the aileron control stops) brackets to their positions on the wings.

Fuel Tanks - had a closer look at plans and current state of the fuel tanks. I need to mount the fuel pickup and the fuel sender in each tank and close them up via the access plate. everything else is done.

Mar 19, 2015 1.5h Wings

Aileron and Flap Gap Fairings - removed vinyl and deburred edges

Aileron Hinge Brackets - Match drilled to wings, deburred, and riveted 1 bracket. Riveting not going well.

Built jig for large pushrod that I’ll use to cut it to hold it while I cut it to length

Mar 20, 2015 1.75h Wings

Aileron Hinge Bracket - riveted ½ of one bracket. I was able to squeeze these 5 rivets.

Aileron and Flap Gap Fairings - left wing - clecoed, match drilled, deburred and started dimpling on the wing skin. Very glad I bought a pneumatic cleco tool and a pneumatic squeezer. 153 holes, I’m sore.

Aircraft Spruce order shipped today - pneumatic pop rivet tool, an extra bucking bar, an extra countersink cage and 460AD4-7 and 426AD4-7 rivets.

Mar 21, 2015 4.0 Wings

Aileron Hinge Bracket - Finished riveting brackets (except 1 rivet, I ran out), used rivet gun on all of them and they turned out well.

Aileron and Flap Gap Fairings - finished dimpling left wing skin and fairings. Match drilled, deburred and dimpled right wing fairings. Primed all fairings

Aileron pushrods - cut W-917 (stick to aileron bellcrank) and W-918 (aileron bellcrank to aileron) pushrods to length. Primed pushrods

First week on the wings saw 13.5 hours of work.

Finished empennage

Mar 10, 2015 1.25h Empennage

Left Elevator - rough assemble - clecoed together. Clean, measure, drill, dimple and prime electric servo trim mount brackets.

Mar 11, 2015 0.5h Empennage

Left Elevator - went to rivet electric servo trim mount brackets and found that the priming didn’t work - came out chunky. Sanded of the chunks and found not enough primer left, so I re-primed. I also worked the end of the trim tab a bit to get them flatter - I dimpled the holes that the blind rivets go in on those end so the heads won’t protrude.

Mar 12, 2015 0.25h Empennage

Left Elevator - riveted electric servo trim mount brackets

Mar 13, 2015 0.75h Empennage

Right Elevator - Ok, so it wasn’t quite ready for inspection. I riveted the top skin to the root and tip ribs as well as the 2 rivets that joined the counterbalance skin to the elevator skin to the tip rib. Hung both elevators on the wall to get them out of the way

Wings - Had a closer look at the wings. The tool hole by the large lightening hole has been enlarged and filled with the snap in bushing, ready for electrics all the way out to the tip. The tank is fully secured to all of the z brackets. Didn’t get down to look at the end of the tank, but it’s clearly not done - the fuel pickup needs to be attached with the anti-rotation bracket, and the fuel senders need to be installed. The aileron connections need to be done, pushrods and bellcrank. The bottom outboard skin remains to be done as well.

This week had me complete the empennage to the point of pre-cover inspection. 2.75 hours this week, 12.75 hours total on the empennage.

Solo crosswinds

This was a very solo flight. Marshall was supervising, but he was teaching ground school at the time so he barely left the room. I went out for some solo practice with the winds crossing a bit above the field, but not much at ground level. Made for great practice conditions and I got the hang of slipping the approach quite well. 1.0 solo in C-GJSK.

  • Time this flight: 1.0h solo
  • Time to Date: 26.5 dual, 4.3 solo
  • Cost this flight: $173.25
  • Cost to date: $7,425.91

Progress on empennage

Mar 2, 2015 2.5h Empennage

Trim Tab - Completed folds and bends. Modified horns for electric trim. Cleco, drill, deburr, dimple/countersink all holes, ready to rivet spar to bottom skin.

Mar 3, 2015 1.5h Empennage

Trim Tab - riveted horns and spar to bottom skin. I was able to squeeze the forward rivets on the horns, but had to buck the rest because of tight access. Drilled and deburred hinge, cut to length.

Mar 5, 2015 1.5h Empennage

Trim Tab - Used low pressure mushroom head rivet set to flatten the trim tab ends. Test fit trim tab to Left Elevator, marked hinge for drilling. Drilled outside holes on hinge using trim spar to guide, moved to right elevator top skin now that I could attach via cleco. Finished match drilling hinge. Primed hinge

Left Elevator - match drilled E-921 gusset. Primed gusset.

Mar 6, 2015 1.25h Empennage

Left Elevator - Riveted elevator gusset to root rib and trim spar. Riveted trim spar/hinge to top skin. Riveted root rib to trim spar - these holes weren’t dimpled and impossible to do after assembly. I used the deburring bit to put a slight countersink in to get it close to flush.

6.75 hours on the Empennage this week.


Went up for a lesson on crosswind takeoffs and landings. Definitely a bit strange lining up crooked for approach, but I caught on fairly well. 1.0h in C-GWVR.

  • Time this flight: 1.0h dual
  • Time to date: 26.5 dual, 3.3 solo
  • Cost this flight: $222.60
  • Cost to Date: $7,252,66

Bit the bullet

With Van's planning a kit price increase this month, I bit the bullet and placed my order for my fuselage kit. Listed lead time is 8 weeks, so I expect it in early May. I'll probably be done most everything I can do on the wings by then.

Some build progress at last

On February 23rd and 25th, I did a detailed inspection of the empennage pieces I received, for the purpose of determining what build steps were still required before pre-cover inspection.

  • Vertical Stabilizer - ready for inspection
  • Rudder - ready for inspection
  • Horizontal Stabilizer - 6 blind rivets remain, the main rib - spar - nose rib joint.
  • Right Elevator - needs top skin rivet to spar, one stiffener riveted and 2 rivets on another stiffener
  • Left Elevator - ready for inspection
  • Trim Tab - not started

On Feb 26-27 I finished the riveting on the right elevator. The skin to spar rivets were not the best place for me to do my first rivets. The squeezed one went fine, but I had a lot of fuss with the rest. I elected to back rivet while holding the bottom skin back under my left arm, leaning the spar back with my left hand and riveting with my right hand. It didn't make for very clean rivets. This one part of the kit was probably the worst preparation of all of it - there was a wide variety in dimple and hole sizes. I had to substitute AN426AD4-4 rivets in for the AN426AD3-3.5 rivets that were called for in a few places. Good thing I had some of those left over from the toolbox kit. I did have to drill out 3 rivets on the 26th and another 4 the next day. The second day I replaced the rivets by bucking them - this did work better. I attached the missing stiffener and did the 2 missing rivets on the other stiffener. Those went well, simple back rivet with easy access.On Feb 28 I started on the trim tab. Sanded and cleaned the location of the ribs and then taped over that and primed the rest of the inside of the skin along with the spar. I checked with MD-RA and confirmed that I won't be able to finish the trim tab before inspection either. This means all I can do is the bends on the end, finish the folding of the skin and rivet in the spar on one side. This won't take long so I started looking at the wings.I built a wing cradle on Feb 28 and Mar 1. It is the same as described here. On Mar 1, I unpacked the wings and loaded them in the cradle. The net result was a small loss of floor space, but I'll still be able to work with the van in the garage for a little while.Time spent:

  • Empennage: 3.25 hours (2.5h Right Elevator, 0.75h Trim Tab)