I finally got my wings! Or rather a pile of parts that will (one day)
become wings. You basically get 2 crates in the mail. One of them
is about 8 feet long by 4 feet wide, and it contains things like the
fiberglass wingtips, wing skins, etc. The other box is a whopping
16 feet long by 1 foot wide and it contains lots of things such as
a huge bag of parts (rivets, etc). The hardware in this kit
is easily 3 or 4 times as much as stuff that what came in the emp
The coolest thing in that 16' long crate are the beautiful wing spars!
The pic above is of the right wing spar. It is very well made and
comes with corrosion protection already done (yellow color). Each
spar is 10 feet long.
is another shot of the right spar. These rivets along the edges are
much larger than the rivets in other parts of the kit. Good thing
since this is the main load bearing member of the wing!
first thing you do once you inspect the spars is label them for orientation
(top, bottom, outboard, inboard), etc. Next you cleco the tank attach
nutplates to the spar. Be careful! There are other nutplates on the
spar as well but they are for the bottom inspection plates. Those
you cleco the nutplates on you need to drill them to #40 because they
will accept a AN426-3-4 rivet later on. After that I countersunk the
nutplate attach holes that will accept the rivets. Notice that because
of the countersinking I have exposed raw aluminum (took off the gold
color). You need to spot-prime these exposed parts so that no corrosion
occurs over time. I just sprayed some primer on scrap cardboard and
used a small paintbrush to swab the material.
I riveted the nutplate onto the spar. No sweat.
I have riveted a nutplate onto the spar. The green stuff is primer
that I swirlled around the countersunk holes. Also, the blue tape
is to prevent metal shavings from getting into the cracks between
pieces of the spar that have been riveted together. After I riveted
the nutplate on, I followed Vans instructions and used a #30 countersink
but to countersink the screw hole. This is needed because the fuel
tank skin will lay over this hole (with a dimple), and the dimple
will nestle into this countersunk area.
Anyway, many builders tackle these countersunk holes in different
ways....I think Vans method works just fine. As the countersink cutter
descends into the hole, it will chatter. But as you go deeper the
nutplate guides it into place and the hole comes out nice. Note that
the nutplate itself didn't get 'cut' by the countersink cutter.
here are all of my tank-attach platenuts installed and the screw hole
countersunk. Done with the tank attach platenuts (for the right wing,