Wing Construction

A temporary hinge is attached to the leading edge between the upper and lower wing panels. The allows the wing to be opened and closed, many many times, and still maintain the correct alignment. wing_open.jpg (34174 bytes)
During the installation of the rear spar the trailing edge of the lower wing panel was held true by clamping an aluminum angle along it's length. rear_spar.jpg (44261 bytes)
Wing is installed into the jig. The rear spar has been completed at this point. wing_in_jig.jpg (88953 bytes)
Seat pan holes cut into the upper wing skin. The seat pans are temporarily resting in place to check the fit. seat_pan.jpg (27123 bytes)
The seat pan hole has been cut in the upper wing skin. Through the cutout rib "B" can be seen. Foam ribs are sanded to the contour of the upper and lower wing panel surfaces. rib_fab.jpg (66941 bytes)
The leading edge of the upper wing skin is hinged to the lower panel to allow the repeated checks of the ribs fit. rib_fab_2.jpg (63865 bytes)
The first rib is fitted! Rib "A" in the center of the wing is installed into the wing. The darker color foam where one of the clamps is located is made of a higher density material. This is for the attachment of aircraft systems to a later time. rib_a.jpg (36437 bytes)
Aft ribs installed.  Hinging the top skin is a big time saver, as the skin is positioned many times checking the fit of the ribs. aftribs.jpg (40947 bytes)
The ribs forward of the main spar are formed like those aft. The bite shape cutouts in the ribs are to allow the transfer of fuel. The main fuel tank is the area between the main spar and the leading edge for the full span of the wing. It took much more time to shape the forward ribs as the hinged panel didn't work as well for the forward ribs. fwd_rids.jpg (30513 bytes)
All ribs are now installed. Fiberglas laminates will be applied to each side of the foam ribs as the ribs at this point have little strength. allribsinstalled.jpg (28344 bytes)
The linkage tube between the control sticks requires that a threaded insert be riveted to the end of the tube. To get the five rivets at the correct distance from the end, and equally space around the tube I made a paper pattern on CAD and wrapped it onto the tube as a drill guide. aileron_linkage.jpg (26712 bytes)
Installing the forward attachment points. Aluminum angle and level are used to find the correct alignment before drilling the fittings in place. attach_mounts.jpg (31942 bytes)
Trap doors at the inboard most left and right nose ribs allow fuel to flow easily one way, towards the engine. Also seen is the forward attachment point between the wing and the fuselage. fuel_check_door.jpg (37043 bytes)
A look at the open end of the capacitance fuel probe. As the level of fuel changes, the ratio of air and fuel between the inner and outer plate of the capacitor also will change.  Fuel and air having different dielectric characteristics results in a change the in capacitance, this is displayed as fuel level in the cockpit. fuel_probe_end.jpg (28326 bytes)
Photo of the full length of the fuel probe. The probe is within the right wing, and reaches from the centerline to the last rib at the tip, 11 feet. full_fuel__probe.jpg (35465 bytes)
Bushings are installed at the penetration of each of the ribs. This will hold the probe in place but still allow the probe to be removed if needed after the wing is closed. rib_g_probe.jpg (31592 bytes)
Cutout in rib D complete for the aileron bell crank assembly. The different color round shape of the lower wing skin is the access hole for this mechanism. cont_link_assy.jpg (74154 bytes)
Rib D with aileron bell crank installed. cont_link.jpg (73167 bytes)
The nuts for the bell crack are riveted to a plate that is in turn attached to the rib. There is no access to the back side of this rib. cont_link_nut.jpg (76534 bytes)
The control sticks installed. The green colored rods make up the aileron control system. The black tube in the foreground is the torque tube for the flaps. cont_sticks.jpg (86048 bytes)
This was a big step. The hole for the landing gear is cut in the lower skin. Additional the C rib has a fiberglass cap built on top of it, and the landing gear box has been bonded into place. gearbox.jpg (78457 bytes)
Landing gear door flange being made. The piece that was cutout out of the lower wing skin was used to maintain the correct contour of the flange. Duct tape was applied to the support as a release as well as to maintain the correct height. Gear_door_flange.jpg (36938 bytes)
Main landing gear construction started. The door is made from the cutout that was made in the lower skin for the gear opening. main_gear_door.jpg (36882 bytes)
Wiring conduit installed. This runs from wind tip to wing tip, and will have the wiring for the nav. lights, strobes as well as the heater for the pitot and autopilot. wiring_conduit.jpg (34513 bytes)
Here is the start of the landing gear installation. This has been a very time consuming step. Each of the three points that the gear attaches to the wing at can be adjusted in three axis. Each axis having a different effect on the position and alignment of the gear. Gear_mockup.jpg (43115 bytes)
After hours and hours of adjustments it is finial in. Everything seams to be correct. When the gear is down the tire is pointed straight ahead and the strut in straight up and down. During the cycling of the gear it fits though the hole in the wing, this is a good thing. And when the gear is fully retracted, the complete assembly fits below the upper wing panel surface, also a good thing. left_gear_above.jpg (95706 bytes)
Looking from below at the left gear. I am not going to install the gear door at this time, as the manual instructs. I am going to build a jig to flip the wing over later, and at that time will install the main gear doors. left_gear_below.jpg (70089 bytes)
Starting the mockup and adjustment of the right gear. Lots of c-clamps and of every size and shape are used. right_gear_jigged.jpg (99370 bytes)
Routing of the hydraulic lines within the landing gear box Hydlines.jpg (37339 bytes)
I changed the way the hydraulic lines are routed. Instead of aft of the rear spar, between the spar and flaps, I moved them forward of the spar. I doing so I believe the installation is cleaner, easier, and has less joints.

Less joints means less leaks.

HydLineRouting.jpg (30229 bytes)
This is where the line pass though the rear spar, at the mid point of the spar within the copilot seating area. HydLinesConnection.jpg (29415 bytes)
Overall of the S-Tec roll servo installation. The servo can fit though the aileron bell-crank inspection hole after some slight disassemble. Roll_servo_overall.jpg (37662 bytes)
On the left aileron bell-crank an addition tab was riveted to allow the servo to connect to the control system. Roll_servo_drive_tab.jpg (37296 bytes)
For the connector of the servo a fiberglass bracket was made. This was done by building laminates within an aluminum angle. The angle is used as the mold. Much lighter and very easy.

Note red pitot line. The end of the line was heated and then sealed to prevent FOD.

roll_servo_wire_bracket.jpg (30453 bytes)
Roll servo side brackets Roll_servo_overall_2.jpg (40611 bytes)
Roll servo installed Roll_servo_overall_3.jpg (39397 bytes)
The flap attachment points have been started. FlapHingeJig.jpg (22687 bytes)
A straight piece of aluminum angle is used to insure that the three flap pivots are in alignment. FlapHingeJig2.jpg (35070 bytes)
Inboard right jigged and ready to be drilled in place. FlapHingePlate.jpg (33609 bytes)
AOA ports installed in the right wing. The pressure at the upper skin surface, the lower skin surface and the pitot and static ports allows a onboard computer determine the angle of attack. AOAPorts.jpg (71263 bytes)
Right fuel vent float valve (FVFV). As the fuel probe was placed where the FVFV assembly was to be placed, the FVFV was moved forward requiring some shaping of the housing. The fuel probe was place under the main spare cap to prevent damage while fueling. LeftFuelVent.jpg (68421 bytes)
Left fuel vent. Located in the normal position, close to the main spare. RightFuelVent.jpg (69930 bytes)
Nut plate installation for flap hinge plate. FlapHingeNutPlate.jpg (71988 bytes)
Finished flap hinge plate. CenRightFlapMount.jpg (48701 bytes)

I thought this would never happen! On a Saturday morning the team arrived. Dad, and my two brothers, Andrew and Peter, as well as myself made up the team. After one last, finial, for sure, are you really sure, check, the process of closing the wing started.

ClosingAndrew.jpg (94415 bytes)
The top of all the required ribs where V cut. Wax paper tapped into each bay to catch the drippings. The fuel bays were cleaned. Then the resin was mixed and the closing started. ClosingAndDad.jpg (91171 bytes)
We used everything we had as a weight on top of the wing. About 35 ten pound bags of sand, 35 bricks, 20 pounds of lead, a bag of grass seed, a bag of bird seed, a bag of fertilizer, and anything else that had weight to it. CloseWeights.jpg (90459 bytes)
Aft shear web tie completes the rear shear web. AftShearWebTie.jpg (83418 bytes)
Peter safety wiring the cover plate above the fuel sump. PeterSafteyWiring.jpg (78020 bytes)
Forward wing attach brackets. fwd_attach.jpg (27010 bytes)
Inside look at the short tips. short_tip_inside.jpg (33613 bytes)
Short tip before the Nav. and strobe lights. short_tip_outside.jpg (29853 bytes)
The extended tip had a problem. When the tip where made they came from a mold that was taken from the Glasair I wing. This wing had a cusp on the lower aft surface. To remove this cusp and have it match the ailerons slits where cut into the inside surface and the form core. Then the tip was clamped on a flat surface and two layers of laminate was applied to restore the inside surface. These removed the majority of the curve.  long_tip_curve.jpg (30315 bytes)
The jigging of the extended tips. jig_tips.jpg (45947 bytes)
New fuel fittings. The part on the left is the standard fitting. I didn't like the fitting as the hose is attached via a slip on fit and hose clamp. So I made a new fitting. On the right. This will allow an AN hose to be installed between the tip tank and the fuel vent float value New_fuel_fittings.jpg (60963 bytes)
Fuel fittings installed on the partial inboard rib of the extended wing tip. TipFuelFittings.jpg (67899 bytes)
The closeout for the navigation light and strobe is seen here. The tube is the conduit for the wires. TipConduit.jpg (66331 bytes)
The aileron hinge was riveted to the lower wing surface. AileronHinge.jpg (61880 bytes)
Just before closing the aileron. Not much to them. A light weight spar an a rib at each end. AileronBeforeClose.jpg (77752 bytes)
Outboard aileron rib and the metal backing for the hinge. AileronOBRib.jpg (72269 bytes)
I closed the aileron on a flat work table. aileronClosing.jpg (63039 bytes)
Aileron installed on the wing. AileronInstalled.jpg (72760 bytes)
Electrical actuator for the flaps is installed. Great fun to hook it up to power and watch it run back and forth. FlapMotor.jpg (88833 bytes)
  WingTipClose1.jpg (45465 bytes)
The spar cap is treated the same as the spar in the rest of the wing, an addition layer of roving weave cloth is laid on top before closing. WingTipClose2.jpg (71967 bytes)
Last check before closing the tip. WingTipClose4.jpg (75430 bytes)
The extended tip was closed in place attached to the wing.  WingTipClose3.jpg (64969 bytes)
A straight piece of aluminum angle is position and held in space by any means available. It Doesn't need to be pretty, as nobody will every see it and the aileron will soon be closed. This magical spot in space is found from referencing the wing tip. As the aileron will align with the trailing edge of the tip and this was set very carefully using the ordinates of the airfoil. As for the trailing edge of the inboard end it will can also be found the same way.  AileronJig.jpg (75573 bytes)
Control rod in installed and connected to the aileron. aileronControlRod.jpg (62494 bytes)
Just before closing the flap FlapBeforeClose.jpg (84361 bytes)
The jig for the aileron in the same as the aileron.  FlapTrailingEdge.jpg (84335 bytes)
Inboard flap hinge installed. The hinges of the flap where install with the flap jigged in place with the wing. FlapInboardHinge.jpg (66418 bytes)
Completed aileron on wing. The counter weight can been seen at the end on the wing.  AileronInstalled.jpg (72760 bytes)
Wing with extended tip and aileron CompleteWing.jpg (77727 bytes)
Flap motor movie Warning 1 meg. Sorry only works with I.E. FlapMotorMovie.jpg (20592 bytes)

Last updated on 04/28/03

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