Wing Top Skins

Time: 5 Hours

9 am came early today as I stayed up pretty late last night to finish up the work in prep for riveting today and to watch a disappointing triple overtime loss to my Chicago Blackhawks in game #1. My friend Glen showed up all ready to go, his enthusiasm is very contagious! We got started by going over my completed work and his close eye inspection. I passed with his approval and some undeserved accolades, but coming from him I’m very appreciative. After the inspection and some hangar talk we got to it. The process started with a little learning curve for me working with a partner but I was a quick learner. The process was for me to handle the rivet gun and he would do the bucking. I would place a rivet in the hole and get the gun into position and say “ready”. He would then get the bucking bar ready and say “go”. I would give a burst of the gun and he would evaluate and say “good”. This pattern got pretty fast and we got in a groove real fast. We started on the inboard skin on the left wing followed by the outboard. We started in the middle of the skin at the forward edge and riveted left and right 4 rivets. Then down 4 rivets followed by 4 in each direction. This created a fan pattern and grew the farther we want. This pattern kept the skin from getting “oil canning” the effect you get when the skin isn’t tight and you can push on it and it kinda pops in and out like an old oil can. We did all the holes except the 2 rows where the skins overlap. Next was the outboard skin following the same pattern. With all those holes done we did the 2 rows of overlap. The only holes we didn’t do were the bottom edge along the rear spar and the very inboard edge as I can do them with the squeezer later. It tool us right 2 hours to do each wing for a total of 4 hours which I think was pretty good. We only had to drill one rivet out just because the bucking bar slipped and caused the rivet to topple a little. What a day in the Hangar! I finished up a couple other tasks like adding the rivets I missed on the main spar flange to aft rib flange. There is 1 rivet that is just those two pieces and gets covered by the tank skin. I was thinking they got riveted along with the skin but are actually covered. Glen caught my mistake and pointed it out so I could go back and get them. This required me to remove the tanks to get at them but not a big deal. I then closed up shop to go have dinner with Glen and a couple other builders. I will finish up the other tasks in the morning and then set out to build the wing cradle that will store the wings from now on. Time Lapse Video






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