Time: 5 Hours
Today’s task was to get both flaps drilled to the wings. If you remember that I left the wing side of the flap hinge undrilled so that I could make any adjustments so the trailing edges of the ailerons/flaps aligned. This was the time for me to get everything aligned so I could drill the hinges. There are several areas that I had to work with. One was to keep a 1/4″ gap between the flap and aileron. Another was to keep the trailing edges of the flap and aileron straight with each other as they run from inboard to outboard. The other was to make sure I didn’t run out of edge distance on the hinge flange as I made these adjustments. I have read many builders websites where they come close to the edge distance problem. Van’s calls for a 3/16″ edge distance minimum. Edge distance is measure from the center of the rivet hole to the edge of the hole. So I drew a line on the hinge to represent my line I can’t cross for reference.
I then spent an hour fine tuning all the angles and edges until I was perfectly happy with all the alignments and drilled one hole at the outboard end and clecko’d it in place. I then rechecked all the alignments and when I was happy I drilled the inboard hole and clecko’d it as well. I rechecked all the alignments once again and when I was happy I worked my way down the line drilling a hole and cleckoing it until I had all the holes complete.
I removed the flap and the hinge and was happy to see that I was good on all my edge distances! As with all the steps on this plane the second time goes a little faster. I had lefts side done in about half the time as the right. On the right flap the inboard edge, closest to the aileron was the side that needed to be lifted or moved aft in order to get the alignment just right. To opposite was true of the left wing. I’m guessing this is normal and this is why they use this process to remove any inconsistencies in the trailing edges. This hinge is on the bottom of the wing and no one will see it so symmetry between the wings is not necessary. All in all it was a fun day in the Hangar and had a little head scratching at times.