Wing Cradle

Time: 7 Hours (2 on Wings)

Today’s task was to build the cradle the will hold the wings from this point on in the build. Before I made the run to Home Depot for the required supplies I had to attend to a few items on the wings. I had both tanks off and needed to rivet the 17 missing rivets, 7 on each wing. After those were done I returned the tanks to their rightful place and put in all the bolts to the z-brackets and torqued them to the 20-25 in/lb (which seems way light for AN3 bolts but I double checked and made a call to verify) and will put my orange torque seal on once the wings are flipped over in their cradle. I also replaced the screws along the skin edges. I only did half since I’m still thinking I will replace these with stainless steal ones and leave them unpainted. On our Lears the painted screws look fine until you need to remove them and then they never look the same after touch up paint. Then I grabbed the squeezer to finish off all the perimeter rivets. So what is this in the next photo? That’s right no more clecko’s in the wings!!! After spending a little time at Home Depot I got home with all the needed supplies. I decided to use 3/4″ MDF instead of plywood for the cost. I followed the plans from Van’s and used their dimensions. The cradle supports the outboard end with cutouts the shape of the leading edge. The other end had some notches cut out to support the main spar end. These ends are separated by a 8′ 2×4 and several angled supports to give the ends rigidity. I also added 4 castering wheels to allow me to move the wings around the Hangar.

I then added a strip of carpet to each of the cutouts as well as some pipe insulation to the nose area of the wing cutouts to give some added padding.

That took me most of the day so when I finished I took the time to clean up the hangar and put all the tools away from this weekends fun. I had a truck load of trash and items that I needed to take to the dumpster at work so I loaded up and made the trip. Before I left I removed all the blue film off the wing skins. I have read that the adhesive that is used for this film gets stronger over time and some builders have a real hard time removing it down the road. I also grabbed a rag and some alcohol and cleaned the wings of any adhesive and markings. Wow they sure look cool all cleaned up!

I solicited the help of my buddy for tomorrow to remove the wings from the stands and put them in the cradle, after a good breakfast of course!

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