Wing Tip Lens

Time: 4 Hours

Now that I had the landing/taxi, NAV and strobe lights installed I broke out the lens that cover this area. Vans sends these as on piece that needs to separated for the left and right side. The material feels flexible and not like plastic so I did some tests using snips to cut based on other builders experience. They worked perfect and I separated the two halfs easily. They are way to big and need to be cut down to fit your opening. I started with the right wingtip and positioned the lens over the opening until I had a good shape and the curve matched the wingtip. I taped in place and use masking tape to mark the edge of the cutout. 

Are use the snips to cut along this line for the bottom cut.  With that edge nested after being cut I then worked on the other edge. 

After I had both edges cut are used sandpaper to fine-tune and get the lens to nest all the way around the opening. Once I was happy with that I drilled two holes to hold them in place as I continue to work the shape.

I cleaned up the edges so they sat within the lip all the way around. I was pretty happy with most of the fit except a few areas that had a very slight gap under the lens where it didn’t sit flat on the wingtip. What I decided would be the easiest fix for this was to sand all the fiberglass on the lip, wax the inside of the lens, apply a thin layer of epoxy/fairing filler to the tip and put the lens back in place. I applied tape to the edge to edge and buttered the lip with the epoxy and put the lens in place. 

This should match the inside edge of the lens to the fiberglass and make a solid fit.  I let them cure overnight and started the process of removing the lenses. I used a pop sickle stick to slide under the lens and work my around the lens. The left side released without any issues and looked great however when I worked the right side it was a different story. When I got to the lower side I heard a pop and noticed that the lens cracked at the drilled hole followed by another right next to it, that lens was finished. So rather than fretting this I just jumped on the laptop and ordered another set of lenses from Vans. I then sanded all the edges of the wingtip to remove the epoxy I just put on so I can start over with the new ones. I’m thinking this time I’ll live with the little amount of play I have rather than risk cracking another lens. I takes Vans about a week to ship things to my house so I decided to do some serious shop space cleaning and removed a lot of stock/supplies that I just no longer need. It’s amazing how much dust is created with composite materials! It took 8 days for the lens to come so I’ll be back at it soon. I also ordered a axle nut wrench that Vans cuts and you rivet together. I will keep this in my aircraft tool bag so I can change a tire on the road. 

It’s Easter break with my kids this week and taking a much needed break the following week to join my girl in Kona, HI after her weeklong program is over at the end of this week. It’s been kinda nice having only a few little tasks left to do on the RV which forces me to enjoy other things around me! I’ll be back to being supper busy building after I order and receive my engine from AeroSport power. The goal is to order it around the end of June and attend their build school sometime September/October timeframe. 

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