With the internal skeleton riveted and the wing jigs mounted in the garage it’s time to install skins and drill them to size.
Let’s get started building some wings! First up is inventory, then it’s quickly on to fluting ribs and deburing edges. Simply laying the ribs out on the table and using my fluting pliers was an easy way to get all the ribs straight. You can easily see as they start to flatten out. Of course there are a lot of ribs to do, but it’s easy work. More tedious is the counting of hardware and kit parts. The amazing thing is that once you go through everything, it’s all there. Van’s crew does a great job in building and packaging these kits. It would be easy to imagine stuff getting lost in the shuffle, but nope, it’s all in there somewhere.
Time to pickup the wing kit. I took my 8′ utility trailer down to Vans Aircraft to get the kit. the smaller box just fit in the bed of the trailer and the long spar box (14 foot!) was strapped to the top of the trailer using cargo straps and some wood blocks. It was easy to do and worked just fine transporting the kit home. With the long 14′ crate hanging over the front of the trailer it was about 3′ over the rear. I imagine the Vans crew have seen all sorts of sketchy transport arrangements arrive outside their doors…
Just wrapping up the mounting of the VS and Rudder to check alignment of the hinge points. Everything swings nice and freely.
With that the tail is all wrapped up and headed to the hangar for storage. Just a quick picture to prove that it’s really me building these parts!
Time to finish out the HS and Elevator tips with some fiberglass parts. It’s fairly easy to close them in by using a section of aluminum and some packing tape to make a form to lay the glass against. I used hot glue to attach the aluminum dam to the open end, then layered glass on the inside to close it out. This closes out the part nicely and then you can fill and sand it to final shape. I also secured the elevator fairing to the lead counterweight using some flox and epoxy. It’s not removable at this point and very secure in place.
I found it helpful to make these little hold down blocks out of some oak to assist in rolling the leading edges of the tail surfaces. I just used the 1″ pipe as suggested in the plans and lots of duct tape to hold the skins to the pipe. Then did a little hand bending afterwards to shape everything properly. Came out just fine.