<May 12, 2007>

Drilled Right Flap Hinge, Installed Flaps... Wings Complete!!!

Today was a great day in the shop… I finished the wings!!! I started them in October of 2005, and since then we have moved and had our first child. When I began (the wings), I had no idea either of these events was going to occur, and in the case of the move, the wings went into storage for 6 months while the house was finished and the new shop built. Needless to say, being able to say they are finished is a big deal for me.

I know these are 100% complete as I still have the fiberglass tips to install and wiring and plumbing work to complete, but I am going to wait and do all my fiberglass work at once at which time the lights will go into the tips and the necessary wiring work completed.

Ok, enough blabbering. I started the day today by drilling the flap hinge on the right wing; I then riveted the hinges to the wings, and finished by constructing the hinge pins. Overall it was a pretty easy day, with no problems or headaches encountered.

Before drilling the hinge to the wing I took one more set of measurements to make sure nothing had shifted overnight. I put my digital level on both the trailing edges of both the aileron and flaps, and both measured 0.3 degrees. I don't care about the angle, just that they are both equal.

I took one more measurement before starting to drill. I measured from the trailing edge of the flap down (or forward) to the tank skin seam at both the inboard and outboard edge of the flaps. The measurement was the same in both places so I feel pretty confident that the flap is clamped into the correct position relative to the wing.

Here is the little c-clamp I used to hold the ends of the flap hinge in place for drilling. I used some duct-tape on the clamp to keep it from scratching the skins. You can really see how far aft the hinge had to be placed to get the proper alignment with the aileron, but I understand this is a fairly common issue.

The drilling was done with very light pressure inserting a cleco in each drilled hole as I went along. I am not sure how I had done this, but a few weeks ago when I drilled the hinge to the flap, I positioned the hinge (laterally) on the right flap differently than the hinge on the left flap. This is odd because I try my best to keep thing uniform. The hinge position on the left flap and wing is better, but it doesn't really matter (I hope), and I wasn't going to drill out the hinge on the right flap and risk creating issues. To solve the position issue somewhat, once the drilling was complete and the hinge was off the wing, I removed about half of the far outboard hinge section so that it was lined up with the edge of the flap (picture above shows the area).

I trimmed the hinges to length and deburred the holes, then I masked off the hinge thingy part and sprayed a light coat of primer on the hinge where it mates to the wing. Necessary? I don't know, but I did it anyway. A few minutes later, they were riveted to the wings.

6- Per the instructions, I chose to remove a few sections of hinge to allow for the installation and removal of the hinge pins. I cut and bent the pins in this fashion after seeing this on Matt Burch's site. If I had thought ahead, I probably would have made it so that the hinge pins could be secured to the flap brace in between the lightening holes, but no, I had to remove the hinge section right in the center of one of the holes. No matter, I will probably just rivet in a small piece of scrap aluminum spanning the lightening hole, which will give me something to secure the pins to, or maybe I will just drill two small holes for the safety wire towards the bottom of the flap brace. For now, I am leaving the pins at this length as the flaps will probably come off the wings when the wings get mounted the fuse, and I will worry about how to secure the pins when the flaps get installed for the last time.

I used some Boelube on the pins to make them easier to insert, and there you have it, two wings! Sonoma is just thrilled, can't you tell.

Whooohooo! I just stared at these things for a while. I can't believe they are done.

I ran into the house and told my wife to bring our daughter out for a look. We all admired them for a few minutes and took a few family photos in front of them. Corny? Yes, but I bet I am not the first one to do it. View a larger version of this picture.

Even baby M is happy her daddy finished the wings!