Attaching the Wings

For a variety of reasons, the first time you attach the wings is not the last on the RV-10. Given our tenet of doing everything in the garage that we can before moving to the airport, we decided to do the first attachment of the wings there (or as close to the garage as we could get). The wingspan is just short of 32 feet. Here’s the fuselage rolled out and ready to go. Thanks to Jeremy for coming over on Saturday to help out. Here I’m putting in 4 temporary bolts (from the hardware store). We used only 4 of the 8 main spar bolts to temporarily hold the wing. First step after attaching the wings is drilling the rear spar bolt hole. On other RVs, the builder has to make sure the wings are set exactly right before drilling the hole. On the RV-10, the holes in the spar and spar attach point on the fuselage are pre-drilled with a 1/8″ hole (i.e. the tolerances on the predrilled parts are so close, it just works out). At least that’s the idea–ask me in a few months whether our plane flies straight. Anyway, because of this, all that’s necessary is to drill the hole out to 3/8″. To do this, I first drilled to #17 (what was already on the drill), #10, 1/4″, 5/16″, 11/32, then finally 3/8″ with the reamer. I’m always nervous drilling big holes in hard-to-replace parts, but both holes ended up fine. Here’s Kelly match-drilling another attachment point (in this case, the fuel tank attach angle) Next we attached the flaps. Unfortunately, the inboard side of the flaps, when raised, interfered with the fuselage (whereas a 1/16″ gap is called out). Therefore, I had the tedious task of trimming aluminum off the flaps until we got the right amount of clearance. With that done, we could attach the pushrods. We were then finally ready to test the flap actuation. Here are the flaps at 0 degrees, which is the takeoff setting, but not full-up. The RV-10 has a “reflex” setting of about -2 degrees which is used in cruise. Halfway down: Full down: Next up was drilling the gap seals (which covers the gap between the fuselage and wing). They were pre-drilled on the wing side, but the point where they attach to the fuselage was not pre-drilled. While we had the wings attached, I wanted to test the electrical systems in the wings. Here’s a picture of us with the nav lights (red and green) lit up after we got them working. The right one didn’t work initially, due to a bad ground crimp. Kelly made me give the thumbs up. Tired at the end of the day. We didn’t get to do everything we wanted today, especially installing and rigging the ailerons. Because we can do that once the wings are permanently attached, that was secondary, and we ran out of time. I also messed up when testing the strobe lights–I forgot the tail strobe wire was attached, and unfortunately the wire was shorted, so when I fired up the lights, the tail strobe capacitor popped. I’ll need to get that repaired. All in all, though, it was a successful day.