The Wings begin by assembling the slat brackets and flaperon brackets to the ribs. There are four of these on each side (left/right). There are also three additional ribs in each wing without brackets.
Next the two piece rear spars are assembled and riveted.
The pink twine is there to make sure the spar is straight when assembled.
Ugh. More wood working! The next step is to set up the main wing spar square (at a 90 degree angle) to the work bench. That means more fixturing.
This is Station 7 on the right wing. There will be a total of 14 stations like this one...seven on each wing.
Here's the right wing's skeleton. A long way still to go...brackets, fuel tanks, skins, wiring for nav and strobe lights, etc., etc.
Here the bottom wing skin is in place and the nose skin is ready to be wrapped and clecoed.
Wrapped and clecos in place.
Now it's riveted (except the spar line).
Top skin is in place but not yet riveted. Still have to install fuel system and wiring. Starting to look like a wing, ain't it?
These are the fuel tanks. They hold about 15 gallons each. The standard kit comes with two tanks but I bought the long-range tanks so I have an inboard and an outboard tank in each wing. The fist step (seen here) is to cut a hole in the tank for the fuel level sending unit (the big hole on the middle right side). Next step is to glue cork to the tanks to pad them and make them fit snugly in the wing .
The tank is pictured upside-down here. The angle fitting is where the fuel line will attach. The other item is a fuel drain that will stick out of the wing bottom.
Brackets are installed inside the wing and lined with cork in preparation for the tank installation.
This was a scary hole to drill. It's the one for the fuel tank drain through the bottom wing skin. The drain is 1/2 inch diameter and this hole is 3/4 inch diameter. That might sound like plenty of clearance, but if you miss the spot....
This is how the tank fits between wing ribs (although in this picture the tank is not shown in it's actual position). You can see the VDO fuel level sending unit installed in the tank. I'll install an inspection panel in the wing top skin right above it in case I ever need to replace it or do maintenance.
In case the fuel tank fittings ever leak, I'm building inspection panels that will allow access to the back side of the tank. This is not in the kit or the instructions...you have to come up with your own design. I used 0.032" 6061 T6 aluminum for the backing and 0.025" for the cover itself to match the wing skin. I can't imagine trying to do this after the airplane is built and you spring a leak. What a pain.
Kind of a neat effect with the setting sun.
This is what the finished panel looks like on the back side. The nut plates are installed with 3/32" flush rivets using a dimple die so that the cover sits flat and flush with the wing skin.
This is the view from the bottom of the wing. It fits nicely and has 10 screws that hold it in place.
Installed the slats (at least with clecos) while the wing is still on the bench so that I could assure proper positioning.
Used wooden blocks taped into place to set the gap on the topside.
Working on the wingtip Nav/Strobe lights now. The AeroLED lights (optional from Zenith) are awesome. This is the mounting bracket.
I don't trust rivets through fiberglass. They might work fine, but I decided to use a piece of aluminum on the backside for peace of mind.
Here is the installed light. I hooked a 9v transistor battery to it and it is BLINDING! Can't wait to see it with the aircraft's 12v electrical system hooked up.
I decided to install a landing light in both leading edge slats near the wingtip. Zenith has an optional setup, but I wanted more light than the little Microsun lights produce. I decided to design my own installation to use the Aerosun 1600 lights. If you look at the AeroLED website you'll see that the Microsun lights are 1,800 lumens and the Aerosun 1600 lights are 1,600 lumens. I called their technical guy and learned the difference between candela and lumens and the 1600s put out more light. The Microsun lights are brighter but have a narrow beam. The 1600 lights have a much wider coverage..
The AeroLED mounting bracket is very convenient and simple to install.
View looking in from the outboard end of the slat with the tip removed.
Mount installed and the opening for the polycarbonate window rough cut.
Bending a flat polycarbonate sheet into a shape to fit the slat was an interesting experience. I scrapped 3 pieces before I got a good one. It has to be heated to make it pliable to bend it. I tried a heat gun...too uneven and the bending isn't consistent. I tried putting it in the oven...the material "boils" internally and becomes foamy looking. I learned that if you heat it to 200 degrees in the oven and leave it for a couple hours and then increase 25 degrees at a time leaving it for 15 minutes at each setting, it's ready to bend when it gets to about 350 degrees (and doesn't foam). In this case I used the slat as a form to bend around and the radius was not right when it cooled (needed a tighter radius). On the fourth try I used a 3 inch diameter piece of PVC as a form and the window is a perfect fit.
Polycarbonate window and slat fiberglass tip clecoed in place. I won't rivet the tip until the airplane is done and I aim the landing lights (I'll Loctite them when I get them in the perfect position).
The landing light wires exit the wing leading edge 2 inches outboard of the outer most slat bracket through a rubber grommet. There is an entrance hole on the back of the slat matching this location. I used the knife style "handshake" connectors so that they can be disconnected. When connected I'll cover them with shrink sleeve.
I'm running the wires through the spar using a snap bushing near the outboard lightening holes.
I'm using a piece of conduit from the electrical supply store to protect the wires from chaffing.
I needed four wires for the landing light so I bought this "snake skin" from Stein Air to keep my four individual wires neatly together. It's like a Chinese finger puzzle and expands when you push it shorter, then pops tightly around the wires when you let go...great stuff. It also offers the wires protection against chaffing.
Fuel system is now plumbed and the VDO fuel level sending units are wired. It's almost ready to button up!
I don't know yet how/where all these wires and hoses will go through the root rib. I guess I'll find out when it's time to install the wing on the fuselage.
I bought "aircraft grade" hose clamps from Aircraft Spruce. Hope they don't leak :-) but if they do I can remove the inspection panels to get in to tighten them.
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