Monday, December 16, 2013

Section 20 -- Ailerons

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 31.0

The natural progression after the flaps is to move onto the ailerons.  I decided not to deviate from this and I started the ailerons about two weeks ago.  While they took some time to complete because most of the time is invested in preparation, I think the most stressful part of the ailerons was the same as the flaps--namely, riveting the trailing edges.  The flaps seems to turn out pretty good, if you ask me.  Working off of that confidence, I tried my hand at the aileron trailing edges.  The results were not quite as good as the flaps, but overall, I'm happy with the results.

It all started with "dry" fitting the leading edges and match drilling the counterweights.

A significant amount of time was spent on the skin stiffeners.  Here, they are shown riveted to the skins.  The stiffeners come in sticks of four and required an inordinate amount of time to trim, shape, debur, and prime.

Then it's on to riveting the top skins to the leading edge and spar assembly.

Without ribs that run perpendicular to the spar, the skins have a tendency to flex more than the flaps.  Here, I cleco clamped a piece of wood to keep them straight while riveting the skins to the leading edge / spar assembly.

After the bottom skins were riveted to the spar assembly, it was time to rivet the main ribs together using blind rivets (pop rivets) and the trailing edges using the back-riveting method.

In order to keep them as safe as possible, I mounted the ailerons as soon as they were done.  Whew!

With Section 20 completed, it was time for a well-earned beer to reflect on the build so far.

BUT, I can't get too comfortable yet, the tail kit just arrived!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Flaps! -- Section 19 Completed

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 28.0

Section 19 is now complete.  It took, what seemed like, a long time.  It's a great feeling to watch the mountain of parts form the wing kit slowly deplete to just a few remainders now.  At this point, the pieces for the ailerons are the bulk of the remaining parts.  If a lack of parts were my concern, the good news is that the empennage and tailcone are coming my way.

Dimpling the flap skins
Parts are all primed and the left flap is ready for rivets
Add caption

The left flap is affixed to the wing

Both flaps are mounted

A well-deserved beer after a long day of plane building
Next up, the ailerons!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Flaps! Section 19

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:  16.75

With the bottom wing skins affixed and the main structures of the wings effectively completed, it's time to move onto the control surfaces.  Section 19 (which has now been changed to Section 21 in the revised plans) sets forth the construction of the flaps.  There's nothing particularly interesting to say about the build process of the flaps, but it's vitally important that they be built straight and true.  This effectively means that the trailing edges of the flaps and ailerons be as linear as possible with little to no warping.  In my practice kit (whereby the kit is essentially a segment of the flaps), I was able to rivet a straight and true trailing edge.  Hopefully, that wasn't simply beginner's luck and I'll be able to replicate it here without much trouble.

Prep, prep, prep...

Here are the bones of the flaps all clecoed together.

Yet another run to the tool shop.  A couple more tools acquired.

Here's what the flaps will look like when they're all finished.  But for the time being, it's all temporary.

Next up, I need to dimple the components and skins, countersink the brackets, and prime all of the internal parts.  After that, I'll be that much closer to getting the flaps finished and it will be onto the ailerons.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Section 18 -- the Bottom Wing Skins -- Completed!

Build Hours Added Since Last Post:12.0

After what seemed like an eternity, the bottom wing skins on the left AND right wings are fixed in place and Section 18 is done!  This means that the main wings are effectively finished.  Now, I know what you're saying.  But what about the flaps, ailerons, wingtips, and actuation controls.  Ok, those things have yet to be done, but the main wing structures are done.

It's important to sign your work.

Whew!  Onto the flaps!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Section 18 Continues -- The Bottom Wing Skins

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 11.0

Work continues on the bottom wing skins.  After finishing up the dimpling and priming of the skins, they were ready for installation. 

I started by placing the shorter inboard skin and riveting it to the rear spar.  The tricky part about affixing the bottom skins is that there is no easy access to the inside.  So it's a bit of contortion-ism to get the bucking bar on the backside of each rivet.  So in order to make my life a little easier, I invested in a tungsten bucking bar.  And let me tell you, its worth every penny.  It's dimensions are roughly 1" by 5/8" by 4" and it weights 1.65 pounds.  For reference, that same size bar made from gold would weigh roughly the same amount. 

After the skin is riveted to the rear spar, I worked my way forward--stopping just after the J-channel support that runs the span of the wing.

Once the skins are riveted to the mid-point, I then continued working forward (or down from this perspective).

Before I knew it, the skins were riveted to the left wing!

Then I mounted the pitot tube and the three inspection plates.

Now I get to do it all over again on the right side.  With any luck, it will go a bit quicker since there's no pitot tube or ADHRS to mount on that side.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Section 18 -- The Bottom Wing Skins

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 14.0

In my last post I finished installation of the pitot tube, which was the final item to piece together prior to complete closure of the wings.  Since that time I have focused on preparing the bottom skins for installation.  Just as with the top skins, there were several steps to the process--final drill, debur, file down the leading edge of where the skins meet at the lap joint, dimple, prime, etc.

Dimpling the skins

Visitors are a common experience these days.
Here's the ADHRS mount.

After the skins and ADHRS were primed and ready to rivet onto the wings, I started with the short skin on the left wing.  As you might imagine, it can be tough going when the inside of the wings are slowly closed.  It's akin to not painting yourself into a corner.  In this case, I'll need to be careful not to close up the wings in the wrong order.

Let the closing begin!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pitot Tube

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 15.0

Ignore the fact that it's been the better part of two months since my last post.  After a hiccup in production, I'm back on track.  If you're not building an RV, you probably don't know that the RV-14 plans instruct the builder to fabricate a pitot tube from supplied aluminum tubing and a plastic tube.  I decided to deviate from the plans here and purchase a Dynon heated pitot tube with angle of attack built into it.

The kit includes the pitot tube and control module.  I also needed to acquire a pitot mount, which you can see next to the control module above.
I started by determining the best place to mount the pitot.  Naturally, the best place seemed to be where the plans called for the Van's version.

Next, the control module needs to be mounted.  I chose to mount it near where the pitot tube will live.

The Dynon uses two lines, one for the airspeed and one for the AOA.

Above, you'll see the lines all plumbed and the wiring secured.

Here it is!  Next on the agenda are the bottom skins.  Yippee