Wings Back On

Time: 6 Hours

We have been busy getting all the things done in the new home to make it ours. Like ripping up old ceramic tile to make way for new hardwood. That was not a fun project but it’s all ripped up and ready for the installers. In-between that work I have been doing little projects in the hangar to get it organized. I also got my hands on the RV to start building again. One of the items I was unhappy with when I put the wings on the first time was the length of the wire bundles coming out of the wings. I found them to be a little short to work on with the tight space you end up with when the wings are on. So since I had the wings off again I decided to add 12″ to each of the bundles to give me plenty of length. I also figured that I would finish up the little bit of fiberglass tasks to the control surfaces, the rudder and elevators. I just needed to fill some pin holes and smooth the transitions out a little. A composite pro I am not and hope to get some help when it comes painting time to make these perfect. I used some filler primer to identify the holes and used Super-Fil to make the corrections. With the rudder pin holes taken care of and a coat of primer on I put the rudder on the vertical stabilizer and bolted it in place. I also put the AeroLED tail light in as well.I then spent two hours putting in the new close tolerance bolts in to secure the wings…again. The process was just the same as before, I froze the bolts and used LPS lubricant. The rivet gun at low pressure worked to drive them into position. The hardest part of the whole ordeal, as before, was to torque the bolts. I worked one bolt and then took a little break as leaning over the side wall of the fuselage even with padding was not very comfortable. So that’s a good start to being in my very own hangar that’s ten feet from my back door! I can not wait to be able to just walk out and go for a flight or a trip.

Wings On!

Time: 6 Hours

This morning I had breakfast with my buddy Glenn in preparation for helping me put my wings on. Now that the RV is at an airport I can put the wings on permanently so that I can continue to work on stuff while I wait to save up for my propellor. Since we have had my wings on and off two times before the process was pretty easy for us. We used the temporary bolts initially to hold the wings in place while I prepped for the final close tolerance NAS bolts. I had put all the bolts in the hangar freezer in hopes that they would shrink ever so slightly. I also picked up a can of LPS-2 lubricant that Vans recommends. Then I laid out several different tools, hammers and my rivet gun with the flush set in place. I started with the hard to get bottom bolts with the larger ones first. I pulled a bolt from the freezer and sprayed the shank with the LPS. Then I inserted it by hand as far as they would go followed by a few hits with a mallet. Then to drive them all the way I used my rivet gun and flush set with some duct tape on the face to drive the bolt thru. I just used a low PSI setting and it worked really well. I drove the two lower large bolts then the top followed by the two smaller bottom bolts then the top two. This process worked pretty slick and only took an hour.

Now the fun job of putting a washer and nut on all these bolts and torquing them. The large bolts get torqued to 520-630 in/lbs and the smaller ones to 80-100 in/lbs. not much to show on that process other than is was very time consuming and a pain to do. It didn’t help that it was 91° today and a little humid. After I finished I put some orange torque seal on to show that they were torqued.

There are also two AN-4 bolts that screw into nutplates from the aft side of the center section, I torqued those as well.

Fun day and felt good to sweat and swear a little while working on the RV! It’s been a while and I’m glad to be back at it. I have so many projects and tasks to do now that the wings are on and I’m excited to get at it!

Wing/Fuselage Flashing

Time: 8 Hours

With the wings removed I can finish up the work on the holes drilled for the flashing that closes up the wing/fuselage gap. The holes were drilled with the wings in place but you don’t have enough access to finish the work that is required. All these holes will eventually have a acres in them to hold the flashing in place but allow easy removal for work. All of the holes will get a nutplate for a #8 screw. The flashing holes will be dimpled for flush screws so all the underlying skins on the wing will either be dimpled or countersunk depending on the area. The fuel tank edge can be dimpled as well as the bottom wing skin. The top has to be countersunk since it has three layers due to the extra wing walk material that beefs up the area to walk on. I started with the fuel tanks working on both wings. 

I used one winged nutplates for the two spots where the fuel tanks reach the wing spar. You could remove the fuel tank and have access to rivet a normal two winged nutplates. With the one winged nutplates I could rivet them without removing the tanks. Thanks again to Glenn for having his wings here so that I could eyeball them when I was scratching my head on how to rivet the normal ones. Once I had all the tank ones done I moved to the single nutplate that falls on the wing spar flange. I countersunk the rivet holes for the nutplate and grabbed my rivet gun and bucking bar and set those rivets. With the nutplate in position I countersunk the screw hole with a #30 bit. This bit head will fit inside the nutplate screw hole and keep it aligned. 

From here I worked my way up the bottom skins which just needed nutplate rivet holes drilled and dimpled as well as the #8 holes dimpled. 

All the holes on the top skin will be treated like the wing spar flange and had the nutplate riveted in place and the. The screw hole countersunk. 

With all these holes done I can put the wingtips back on and store the wings for later work, landing/taxi light wiring and install, and out of the way. 

During a break I ordered and ran to pick up a couple boxes of screws from McMaster Carr. I wanted to get some black 8-32 torx screws 1/2″ long for my instrument panel. I thought these would look cool vs the gold colored ones that I already had. 

I though these looked so cool I ordered a box of black 8-32 phillips flush screws for my armrests and side panels from as they carry 100° head screws in black and stainless. 
 My girl and the kids got me a Aircraft Spruce gift card for Father’s Day so I used that yesterday and ordered the Dynon autopilot control head that sits next to the intercom on my panel. I wanted this now so that I could test my trim buttons on the grips as well as the trim motors like the one I just installed for the roll trim. That should be here by the weekend for me to install. Thanks T, Drake, Chandler, Ellie and Cody.