Ailerons 2


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Last Update:

May 12, 2011



This is Carmen Miranda, a Havanna Brown. She is my QC manager. Also comes down to the shop when it is getting late to remind me that I need sleep before going to work in the morning.

Here I finished drilling the skin to the nose ribs with a #40 drill. The holes will be opened up with a #30 after all the holes are drilled. You can see that I left the skin a little long overlapping the end nose ribs so I can fine tune the edges after the final position is established by the drilling and cleco step.

Next I began skip drilling the spar rivet locations with the spar and back ribs firmly weighted to the flat table. The gussets were incorporated with the drilling of the spar flanges. This eats up a lot of clecoes to keep everything nice and tight/flat.

After all the drilling was finished for the nose skin and all the gussets, I removed enough of the clecoes to release the top of the nose skin. This gave me room to work on the balance tube. I removed the clecoes that interfered with inserting the balance tube and inserted it so I could mark the final length and the hole locations for riveting it to the nose ribs. To hold it steady I match drilled one hole in the tube at one end through the nose rib and clecoed the tube in place. All the other holes in the tube were ‘marked’ by just drilling a dimple in the tube at each rivet location as seen in the picture to the left. The tube still has to be filled with lead and I didn’t want holes for the molten lead to run out of into my boot!

The nose skins were still pretty much an L-shaped piece during assembly so far. Before cutting out the hinge openings, I wanted to bend the skin more into the final shape so I would be less prone to crease the narrow skin sections left after cutting out the holes.

Low tech all the way, I carefully bent the skins using a couple of clamps, various thickness boards and various diameter PVC pipes. The bottom of the skin was clamped between the board and the table. A second keeper board was clamped as well to hold the PVC pipe of choice next to the top of the skin so I could put the pressure to the skin without the pipe moving around.

I varied the thickness of the board and diameter of the pipe to keep moving the bending action ‘up’ the skin toward the back end toward the spar flange.  IMPORTANT! Use a stiff board or something similar to spread the bending pressure evenly across the skin! Here I’m using my aluminum door frame I-beam to apply pressure to the bend.

It is amazing how much bending 2024 T3 can take before you get a bend to set.

Here is a closer shot of the operation in progress.

And here is the final product.

I reinstalled the skin onto the skeleton and marked the hinge cutout locations and removed it again.

I’m beginning to understand why it takes so much time to build a plane: you actually have to assemble and disassemble it about 4 times before it stays together.

Next I deburred and dimpled all of the holes in the skin and  cut out the hinge locations. I then disassembled the skeleton and deburred all of those holes too.

All the parts are now ready for cleaning and priming.


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