Left Top Skin

Yet another major step in the wing assembly, riveting the top sin to the left wing.
Although the 500+ rivets sound like a lot of work, once both the riveter and bucker have the routine down, it’s actually going very fast.

There are about 4 different lengths of flush rivets used, depending on the number and thickness of the Aluminum sheets. So we decided to rivet per length and skip those (by inserting cleco’s) in the holes that require longer rivets.

After about two hours we got the top skin attached to the main spar and ribs. This makes the wing quite rigid. We take it from the wing stand and lay it on the table for attaching the aileron hinges and fairing and flap brace.

The outboard aileron hinge is pretty straight forward.

On the inboard aileron hinge, there is the Service Bulletin to place doublers on the inside of the rear spar. Luckily our bottom skin is still off. I can imagine the frustration of receiving the Service Bulletin after you attached also the bottom skin.

No we can finish the bottom row of the skin with the squeezer, OH NO!! With the right wing we did this routine for the first time and I checked every step twice. Now I thought I could do it fast. But you cannot reach the rear spar once the aileron fairing is attached.

I hesitated to drill out all the rivets of the aileron fairing, but that are so many of them, I would probably screw that up and make it worse (hey after almost half a century even I start to recognize minor attitude issues). The space between the fairing and the top skin is too small for the yoke of he squeezer. Even the 4″ flat mouth does NOT fit, however my bucking bar does fit between these two pieces of Aluminum.

There goes efficiency of preserving work for the squeezer. Oh well, at least I can fix it without a huge amount of extra work and frustration or fubarring my wing.
The flap brace is NOT attached to the top skin, so the problem only exists at the outboard side of the aileron.

I’ve just received the “crating date” of the Fuselage kit I ordered. Van’s doesn’t report a shipping date, but a crating date (shipping is probably a few days later). My fuselage will be crated February 18th 2019. So with shipping and handling, it will probably take until mid March before I receive it. I’m not sure if I have enough work, since I only need to do the Aileron and Flaps and the bottom skin.
Maybe I can do the composite work on the Empennage and Wings, which I deferred. However specifically for the Wings the manual states that you should do the wing tips later after finishing the Fuselage, Engine and Finish kit, because they can be damaged easily.
We’ll see, but I’m not going to sit idle in my workshop twiddling my thumbs.

Time: 5 Hours, Rivets: 559/1


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