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(Still) Finishing the Wings and Some Fuselage Work

We got a bunch of work done on the wingtips last weekend.  We aligned the flaps and ailerons, then test fit the wingtips to make sure the trailing edges all aligned.  Final result, they’re “close enough”–one or two 16ths off.  We figure we’d do more harm than good trying to fix it.  After they’re all aligned, we drilled through the pre-punched holes in the aluminum, into the fiberglass wingtips.  After the holes are drilled, they’re enlarged to fit a #6 screw.  Then it’s nutplate time.

Each wingtip has 44 nutplates for attachment to the wings, and each one has to be drilled and countersunk–3 holes per nutplate.  This took a while.  We got the right wingtip done, pictured below.

We also cut out the area for the landing light.  Note this cutout shape is much simpler than the one in the plans.  It turns out that there’s plenty of room for the light with this simpler shape, it’s easier to cut, and it leaves a little more fiberglass.

I was hoping to do the left one as well, but we ran out of time.  That’s next.

While the wings were on hiatus, we started some of the “self-contained” tasks on the fuselage.  I build the flap control rods, seat supports, and got the rudder pedals ready for paint.

I also cut, primed, and installed the ends on the three elevator pushrods (pictured here in the fuselage for storage).

I cleaned and primed the rear passenger floorboards, in preparation for installation.  Nothing goes under these floorboards, so they can be riveted into place now.

I also finally cleaned the outside of the fuselage.  Van’s ships it with WD-40 or a similar oil on the exterior for protection.  After cleaning, we have a shiny shiny firewall.

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