Tue Nov 20 2007

Left and right aileron assembly

I had been trying to figure out how to make sure my ailerons don't have any twist in them. My brother, Chris, spurred an idea that I could just use my precision level to level two boards (one at each end of the aileron) and those two would essentially make for a flat surface. So that's exactly what I did.

Here are the two 2x4's that I've leveled up. It took some tweaking, but I got the aileron pretty straight.

You can see that it's not perfectly straight, though...I'm holding the other end of the aileron down to the other 2x4 and I've got about .020 gap at this end. I'm gonna call it good enough.

Here's the 1/2" x 2" steel bar with the special bucking block that slides on it. Many thanks to my buddy, Shane, at work for making the block for me. He cut the rectangular hole in the middle with the wire EDM machine.

The little bucking block ended up working great. I really like the look of having solid rivets on both the top and bottom surfaces of the aileron.

I started working on the right aileron around 11:00am today (I'm on vacation today and tomorrow). By about 3:00pm the right one was done.

Here I am with the top of the left aileron riveted up...

...and the bottom, too! If anyone wants to use this bucking block so they can have solid rivets both top and bottom, I'll loan it to you. You just have to promise to send it back.

Gah! I was having trouble getting the holes in the bottom flange of this nose rib to line up with the skin, so I tried tapping it sideways with a wood block and my little hammer, but the dang pop rivet pulled through the tab.

I decided to just grind off the head of that pop rivet and pound the shank out. That tab's a ghastly mess, but that's the way it's gonna stay. The other 14 or 15 rivets will just have to do the job of holding the counterbalance pipe in position.

By 9:00pm I had the left aileron completely done.

I put the two ailerons back-to-back to verify they were indeed straight and discovered something odd. Although there's no twist, both of the trailing edges have about 1/16 inch of bow along their length. Really strange. Well, on to the flaps!