Sunday, July 14, 2019

Wing Fabric Work

This weekend we got a lot of work done on wing fabric.  We located and glued the plastic strengthening rings down to the bottom wing surface.  a few of these will be opened immediately to help in the final constructions.  And the remaining ones will only be cut open if needed after the airplane is flying.  We also added fabric over the four wing strut attachment areas.  Two main attachments and two for the jury struts.

Next we added the rib tapes on the top wing surface.  Like the other tapes, this involved adding three coats of adhesive on the area, then applying the fabric and finally brushing a thinned mixture of adhesive on top and through the tape securing them in place.

Finally, we marked out the remaining areas on the wing that will need to have tapes added.  Hours: 5

Ed applying adhesive to Inspection Ring

Ed admiring our work on the bottom wing surface

Fabric tapes on the top wing surface

Monday, July 8, 2019

Fabric Work

Fabric reinforcement needed to be added to the top fabric plate where the aileron cable exits and around the fuel filler port.  "Doilies" were cut from pre-shrunk fabric.  Three coats of adhesive were added to the areas around the attach points.  Once the adhesive dried, the fabric cutouts were added and attached with thinned adhesive.

The wing was flipped over and the same thing needs to be done for the bottom aileron and flap cable exits fabric plates.  Also, around the strut attach brackets needed fabric reinforcement.  The fabric was cut and the area needing adhesive was marked in pencil.  Hours: 1.5

Fabric "Doilies" on the bottom of the wing

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Right wing, top fabric

It's finally starting to look like a real wing, as the top fabric sheet has now been installed on the right wing.  For this process, we first glued it to the perimeter of the wing and used irons to remove wrinkles. We then shrank the large fabric surface at the lower setting (250 degrees), which helped pull it tight across the leading edge, tank, and ribs.  We again used small irons to remove wrinkles around the tank and the leading edge.  Next, we glued any remaining fabric contact areas that were not yet attached (portions of ribs, leading edge, and trailing edge).  At the ends of the wing, we cut the fabric with pinking shears, leaving enough to wrap around the edge of the wing.  Then we glued these edges down after applying 3 layers of glue to the edge.

After the edges were glued down, we cleaned out the fabric rivet holes with a drill, then applied some reinforcement tape across the holes, and used a rivet gun to install all the rivets along the ribs.  Lastly, we finished shrinking the top fabric surface in two stages at 300 & 350 degrees.   Hours: 5

Top fabric surface installed

Fabric wrapping around end of wing

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Top wing Surface

After completing the bottom wing surface we marked where we wanted access plate rings to be installed.  We'll install the rings once the top surface is done and we start working on fabric plates and tapes.  We added three good coats of adhesive to the top of the wing on all the ribs, the top of the fuel tank and the aluminum leading edge.  We cut fabric to a rough size of the wing surface and starting at the leading edge we applied adhesive around the perimeter of the wing.  We had a few wrinkles to get out with a low 250F iron.  Hours: 2.5

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Wing fabric

We finished installing the bottom fabric sheet on the right wing.  We shrunk it at just 250 degrees first, then installed the fabric rivets on the ribs, and finally shrunk the fabric at the higher settings (300 and 350 degrees).  We also trimmed and glued the fabric at both ends.  Hours: 3


Monday, June 10, 2019

Rt wing fabric

We finished gluing the perimeter of the fabric to the bottom of the right wing.  We ended up with quite a few bubbles and bulges along the glued edge, but we were able to resolve these with judicious use of the irons.  Hours: 2

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Wings, Adhesive and Fabric

We started the task of attaching fabric to the bottom of the wings.  First we had to determine what surfaces needed adhesive.  We then applied three coats of glue to those surfaces.  Boy did it take a lot longer to add the glue to these areas.  We were used to "small" parts, but now that we've moved to the wings it surprised us how long it took to add the adhesive.

Once the adhesive was dry it was time to attach the fabric.  In order to get a good straight line on the leading edge glue line, we snapped a chalk line on one edge of the fabric and then cut to that line.  We started attaching the fabric to the leading edge, working from the middle outward.  Once we were happy with that attachment, we added the thinned adhesive to the rest of the leading edge, wrapping around to the bottom surface of the wing.  We used irons at 250F to get any bubbles/wrinkles out of the glued fabric.  We had to cut holes for the strut attach bracket and jury struck bracket.  We also had to do some custom cutting around the leading edge cuff.  Finally we started working our way down the rib caps.  Hours: 5

Added three coats of adhesive to the wing

Fabric glued to the leading edge

Fabric Glued to the bottom of the ribs

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Wing Rotisserie

We finally started working on the Wing covering.  We have the wings temporarily stored in our shed, mounted up in the rafters.  We brought one of the wings into the garage and started making plans for mounting the wing in our rotisserie stands.  We went to our local Home Depot Aviation Supply headquarters and bought some metal tubing to make the wing mounts.  While Mike did the cutting of the tubes, Ed did the TIG welding.  We used 1" square  metal tubing.  Once the welding was done we drill holes to match the rotisserie and mounted with AN3 bolts.  We also bought foam pipe insulation and placed it on ends that go into the wing spars.  We mounted the wings into the rotisserie so that we can begin the covering.  The wings were wiped down with Acetone and Isopropyl Alcohol Hours: 5

One end of the Welded Rotisserie Wing Mount

Wings mounted in Rotisserie

Ed wiping the wings down with IPA

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Aileron covering finished!

We completed the fabric work on both ailerons (finishing up with the leading edge tapes).  Next up, we plan to start covering one of the wings.  We did some clean up work in the garage in preparation.  We will need to make a couple little jigs so that we can mount the wings on our rotisserie.  This will allow us to rotate the wings to make it much easier to cover the wings.  Hours: 5
Aileron covering completed!

Monday, May 13, 2019

Aileron tapes

We continued fabric work on the ailerons by applying adhesive and then installing the short chord-wise tapes (on both sides). We also installed the trailing edge tape, and then used the irons to make sure everything was smooth and all bubbles were ironed out. Lastly, we cut some long strips of fabric with pinking shears which will used to cover the leading edges of the ailerons.  We also drew a few pencil marks on the leading edge as a location guide for applying the glue.  Hours: 4

Aileron with chord-wise tapes and trailing edge tape installed

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Aileron Fabric Covering

Work continues on the covering of the two ailerons.  We installed fabric rivets on both the top and bottom surfaces.  But before installing the rivets, with put reinforcing tape on the aileron rib caps and then burned the holes with a hot soldering iron.  Once the holes were cleared with installed the rivets.

As we did on the flaps we installed the reinforcing fabric "dollies" on the fabric plates.  There were a total of three on the bottom surface and one on the top top surface.  The same procedure was used on the aileron as was used on the flaps.

Finally, we added three coats of adhesive on the top and bottom surfaces where we plan to install fabric tapes over the the ribs/rivets.    Hours: 4

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Aileron fabric covering

Continued work on covering the ailerons with fabric.  Applied adhesive and then attached fabric to cover the top and bottom sides of the ailerons, then shrunk the fabric with irons as usual.  Also, similar to the flaps, we used extra material at the ends of the ailerons to cover the ends of the ailerons.  We also cut out some doily shapes using lightweight pre-shrunk fabric which will provide extra protection around the hinges and control horn.  Hours: 5

Fabric glued and shrunk on one of the ailerons

Michael cutting out some protective doilies

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Prep for aileron covering

We are prepping the ailerons for covering.  We learned a few things from covering the flaps, and are taking advantage of that knowledge.  We drilled a few new holes for fabric rivets because we knew (based on experience with the flaps), that a few of the holes were going to cause rivets on opposite sides to interfere with each other.  We smoothed the edges around the new holes, and applied a little extra varnish to seal the wood in those spots. 

While doing this work, we discovered something interesting.  There was a tiny little flying creature embedded in the cured fiberglass on one of the ailerons.  Looks like a small wasp.  He will forever be a part of our flying machine.  Hours: 1.0
Wasp embedded in fiberglass

Monday, April 8, 2019

Complete Flap Fabric

The leading edge tapes on the flaps were shrunk to give a nice tight fit.  Then a coat of the thinned adhesive was put on the tape to securely attach it to the flap.  The ends were dressed around the curved surfaces, cutting a few slits to keep it from bunching.  Irons were used to smooth any bubbles and/or wrinkles.

Completed Flaps on Display
Having completed the flaps, it was a good time to clean the work space.  Ed workbench also need to be lengthened and now was a good time to complete this task.

The Just Highlander manual gives some advice on how to maximize fabric usage to minimize waste.  We took measurements of the ailerons and wings and cut the fabric for the aileron to adhere to this advice.  Hours: 5 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Final Flap Tapes

The leading edge tape is the final tape to be applied on the flaps.  The tapes needed to be 5" in width.  Since this is an uncommon width we used pinking shears to cut two tapes from left-over scrap fabric.  Three coats of adhesive were added to the leading edge and finally the two edges of the tapes were glued down and the fabric tapes were shrunk with heat for a nice tight fit. Next we will apply additional glue on the leading edge to affix the fabric tape.  Hours: 4

Leading Edge Tape Being Applied