Left Aileron Complete

Time: 6 Hours

Today’s task was to get the left aileron buttoned up and riveted while watching game #2 of the Blackhawks vs Wild. I had prime red all the parts last night before heading out to dinner so they would be ready for today.

First thing to do is rivet the spar reinforcement plates on both ends of the spar. There are only a couple holes you can do, the 3 inner one on both ends, as the rest will be done in sequence with the forward and main ribs. You also can rivet the nutplate on the inboard end. This is needed as the 3 bolt for the inboard aileron bracket will be inboard of the main rib and you have no access to put a nut on it.

The leading edge ribs are then blind riveted to the counterbalance.

I then put the counterweight/ribs into the leading edge skin. I then slid the aileron spar into the main skin and the attached it to the leading edge assembly. I only clecko’d the top side of the skins to the spar as I need the bottom skins open to rivet the top skins. I set this aileron on the shelf for a while so I could work on the right aileron. I did this because I need the 2×4’s I used for the counterweight drilling to make the next jig for the riveting process. The right side is done with the same process as the left. All parts were assembled to match drill including the counterweight. The countersinking was done by sight again.

The riveting process for the aft skins is to lift up the bottom skin enough to get a bucking bar inside the skin to access the spar. To aid this I have seen other builders some 2×4’s to make brackets for you to screw down the aileron and hold it securely so you can rivet.

I bought a new bucking bar that was 1″x1″x6″ with a angled end and a squared end. The angled end was too steep so I ground the squared end to a good angle. I then wrapped it in tape to protect all the parts from getting scratched. Here you can see how it fits and how you rivet the top skin.

It took me about 30 minutes to rivet the total line of rivets and they turned out real nice.

You then rivet the top of the leading edge ribs and slide in the 2 main ribs and rivet their top holes along with all the rib to spar holes. You can then bolt on the aileron brackets and torque them.

So you then flip the aileron onto the top so the bottom is available to work on. The first task is to rivet the counterweight with the blind CS4-4 blind rivets.

The plans say that you need to weight down the bottom skin to keep it flat as you rivet the skin. I decided to use a couple of flat shelve boards and clamps to keep the skins flat. Then you can rivet the bottom skin to leading edge and main ribs.

I then riveted every other hole of the leading edge skin, main skin and spar holes with the same CS4-4 blind rivets and then the remaining holes.

That’s the left aileron all done! Now I need to finish up the right one tomorrow. Most of the prep is done on it except the edges of the leading edge skin and priming. I couldn’t resist and had to put the aileron in the wing to see I what it looks like! Fun weekend in the Hangar.

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