|Upper Wing X Done!|
|Cradle for the upper. Inset shows center bay detail...|
Well, the moment finally arrived. The upper wing is now complete*. The fabric will show most potential highs and lows in the leading edge, especially if using darker paint and a gloss finish, so I had decided 'to go to town' on sanding the ply leading edges on all wings as flat and smooth as I could. I couldn't remove too much ply with sanding [4ft angle iron with sandpaper adhered], so Superfil [lightweight epoxy filler, the blue stuff in the pics] eventually came into play for the lows. At approx 3.6 pounds a gallon, this stuff is light and very stable. While laying flat, the wing was difficult to sand at the tip of the leading edge, so I built an upright cradle to house it vertically. This cradle also came in handy when transporting to the airport.
*Complete as far as I can go: there is still the center bow , cabane brackets, and gas tank installation to do, but I cannot do them until the wing is actually on the plane.
The inset pics shows the supplementary gussetts in the center section which I had decided to add. Gussetts/spacers were also added where the center ply passed over the spars.
I knew that when I reached this juncture, I would have to start looking at moving: I am now at the point where I need to rig the upper wing to the fuselage so I can locate an exact fix for the center cabane brackets, for this I need space.
Hangar space in central Texas is as rare as rocking horse crap. I had been on numerous waiting lists. It is not uncommon for people to wait 3-4 years to get a hangar. Last time I checked in July, I was #64 at Taylor T74, then I got a call out of the blue in October! Of course, I snapped it up.
I had put out an email to local chapter members asking for help with trailers etc. Amazingly, I got 7 reply with offers to help. One guy even had a 33ft flat bed, which solved the major problem of transporting the upper wing, these guys gave me half a day of their time and vehicles for gas money! - the annual chapter Dues seem a bargain right now ;-)
My build is now a 30 minute drive away, it was so convenient when working in the shop at the house: I could work a little at a time whenever the urge came upon me, now I have to plan it better. My plan is to divert to the hangar on my way home from work occasionally, and to work at least one day at the weekends. Hopefully I can sustain a similar momentum...
To conclude. The upper wing takes forever to build, but I feel good that a significant chunk of the project is actually done - a major milestone, since all wings and ailerons are now complete.
Where's that beer...
33ft flatbed! How fortunate...
Ready to go...