Aileron Stiffeners

Last week I primed all the Aileron parts (on the inside) and wasn’t able to spend more time on them. Now I can start assembling the Ailerons. First step is riveting the stiffeners to the skins. This needs to be done before bending, or else there is no room for back riveting.

Instead of de-blueing the entire skin I do (as many others) only remove the blue vinyl from the rivet holes I need to rivet. The forward side (here the top) requires additional margin, because the leading edge skin overlaps. I use a soldering iron to (gently) melt small tracks into the vinyl and then remove the parts that need riveting.

Then the back riveting can start. Notice the steel plate beneath the Aileron skin and the “special” back-rivet set on the rivet gun. Riveting the aft most rivets, requires the skin to be bend a little. Not so much the bend is deformed.

Here you can see the steel plate better. Inserting all the AN4263-3.5 rivets in the dimpled skins.

Then applying the tape to keep them in place when turning the skins for riveting.
Although freezing cold outside, the sun was pouring through the window, overexposing my pictures.

After all the stiffeners are riveted to the skin we can start bending the skins to the final angle. I hesitated to be smarter than the plans of Van’s and rivet the spar and leading edge first to the top side of the skin. This would sincerely easy the rivet job. Fortunately I decided to stick to the plans, because if you see the amount of bending required, it would never have worked with a riveted spar.

Looks scary bending the skin to a pancake, but notice the spacing on the aft side. I don’t compress the original radius aft. However I do need to bend the skin all the way (until the stiffeners touch the other side).

The skins feathers back to the height of the spar. So now we can check if they are bend enough.

It looks great already (now another few hours of riveting). I clecoed the skin to the spar and added the leading edge skin. I riveted the first few rivets, but decided to stop.

It takes too much time and I’m afraid I don’t produce enough quality. I decided to cleco the right Aileron also and defer the riveting to a day my dad is visiting. With an extra pair of hands it is much easier and the quality will be on par.

Time: 5 Hours, Rivets: 244/1


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