Recurrent Training

It’s that time for my 6 month recurrent training at Flight Safety in Tucson, AZ. It’s a love hate relationship I have with Tucson. This is the hate part:

and this is the love:

Day 1 done and a little poolside time is a good way to decompress. My girl is coming down on Wednesday to spend the second half of the week with me up in Scottsdale for a little fun getaway, and I can’t wait to see her!

Leading Edge Skins

Time: 4 Hours

This morning started with a fun breakfast visiting with my good friend Glen and talking RV’s. He was hosting a project review at his home at noon today, this is a chance for our EAA chapter members to come visit as a group and learn about his project and it’s progress. I wasn’t going to see anything new as I visit him on a regular basis for his knowledge and help but I would never miss a chance to hear him talk shop! When I got home this afternoon I was pumped up as I always am after visiting with him. I finished up the priming of the right leading edge ribs last night when I got home from our meeting. Today I started by cleaning and priming the left side ribs, minus the inboard rib that I’m waiting to be delivered from Van’s (you can see there is only 5 out of 6 here).

I decided that I wanted to get the leading edge skins done today so that when I get home from training next weekend I can get right to riveting. So out came the die grinder and the 1″ 3M wheels to treat all the edges. I then set up the DRDT dimpling tool to get all the holes dimpled.

I marked all the outboard holes that don’t get dimpled now as they will be needed to align the fiberglass ends. I also marked the inboard holes on the left skin as I will need these holes undimpled so that I can match drill the rib that’s on it’s way.

I used the DRDT tool to get all the holes except the outboard and inboard lines as I could get them with the pneumatic squeezer and reduce the risk of bending the skins while working the DRDT tool by myself.

While I had the squeezer out I grabbed two flush dies and riveted the stall warning access plate support to the left skin and attached the plate with some #6 screws.

So the leading edge skins are now ready to be riveted once I get the replacement rib from Van’s next week.

Right Leading Edge

Time: 4 Hours

After running around all morning finishing up errands that I needed to take care of before my training I got out to the Hangar for some work. First up was to finish the stall warning access plate nutplates since the primer had overnight to set up.

That went pretty fast with the pneumatic squeezer. You may notice that I chose to dimple the nutplate attachment holes which required me to dimple the wings of the nutplates. I have read many different opinions regarding dimpling the nutplate vs countersinking the skin so that the nutplate wouldn’t require a dimple. Personally I have great success with the method I chose and it makes the job pretty easy so I stuck with it. Next I grabbed the soldering iron so that I could remove the blue protective tape from the skins so I can debur, dimple and prime them. Such an easy task but it takes patience and time as you need to let the heat melt the tape. Go to fast and you are wasting your time and go to slow and you are wasting your time!

Next up was the ribs which needed to be deburred and dimpled. I cleaned all the surfaces of the ribs one more time in perpetration for priming.

I had to cut off the night early as it is our local EAA Chapter 95 monthly meeting tonight.

Fuel Tanks Leak Free!!!

I forgot to mention in tonight’s post that I have had 100LL fuel in my wing tanks for 2 weeks and I am incredibly happy to announce that they are 100% leak free!!! I had the tanks in all positions over this time but mostly in the vertical position so that the rear baffles, the biggest problem area, had the most exposure to the leak testing. What a great feeling to be able to say “leak free”!

Left Leading Edge Work

Time: 5 Hours

Today I decided to start work on the leading edges since I will need to have them riveted on the main spars before I can rivet the wing top skins. On the left wing Vans’s gives you an access plate on the bottom of the leading edge skin for a stall warner. I’m not going to us it instead I will have a AOA (Angle of Attack) gauge for much better indication of a stall approach. So I needed to fabricate a plate that will fill in this area. I decided to make it removable since it’s there and you never know what you may need to access in the future.

I dimpled the plate for the #6 screws that will hold it in place. I also riveted the matching holes on the trim that it will be screwed to. I also dimpled all the holes for the nutplates as well as the rivet holes for the trim to skin.

I then turned to the rivet holes in the skin while the primer was drying.

I then took the leading edge apart to debur the ribs and dimple them. I started with the outboard rib and worked my to the inboard. If you remember a while back I had to make the splice plate that will attach the inboard of the leading edge to the outboard of the fuel tank by match drilling the skin to splice plate and the underlying rib. The splice plate and rib had no holes so that they could be created in line with the skin. I guess during the drilling I allowed the rib to slide into the skin of the leading edge allowing the holes on the rib flange to be closer to the rib web vs in the center of the flange! So this rib was toast as it really violated the edge distance rules.

So I cleaned up the shop so that I could pull the truck for the night and jumped on the computer to order a new rib after I checked that the right side didn’t have the same problem. I have my recurrent flight training in Tucson next week and will get to work on the new rib when I get home. As always there is plenty of other stuff to do in the mean time!