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    Kevin Horton's RV-8 Project One Rivet At A Time    
 Welcome to Kevin Horton's RV-8 Project
 Friday, September 19 2014 @ 09:48 AM EDT

Mounting the wings

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Wings

I was on the road for four of the last five weeks, but I finally got the last bit of scheduled flight testing done on Thursday. I got home about 2:30 AM on Friday. I was too bagged to do any work on Friday, Saturday I spent 6 hours fighting a plumbing leak (it was a classic fiasco with three trips to the hardware store - at least I didn't have to call a plumber), and Sunday was spent trying to figure out how the squirrels are getting above the soffits at the edge of the roof in my house (no success).

Today I had a couple of friends come by to help me fit the wings. I had a near brush with disaster though as one of the jack posts that help up the wings came loose and fell over. Fortunately Jim (one of my helpers) sacrificed his body to save the wing. A bit of blood was shed but bodies heal. Bent aluminum is dead for good. Thanks Jim!

It only took 45 minutes including the time to haul the wings up from the basement. It took a bit of messing about to get the bolt holes at the front spar lined up, but the fit was perfect in the end. I was worried about the distance between the front and rear spars, but the fuselage and wings mated up exactly.


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Aileron Pushrods, etc

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Wings

I was on the road for much of the last two weeks, so I didn't make a lot of progress. I did measure the width of my garage and discovered that I have more than enough room to temporarily attach the wings. I had forgotten how much shorter the wings are when the fibreglas wingtips aren't attached. I had expected that I would have to fit the wings after moving the aircraft to a hangar.

So, this weekend I fabricated, riveted and primed the various aileron pushrods. I've got a few more odds and ends to do, then I'll fit the wings, adjust the aileron and flap pushrods, fabricate the fuel lines from tank to fuselage, fit the intersection fairings between wing and fuselage, etc. I'll start the engine installation after I remove the wings.


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Finished riveting the wing skins!

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Wings

I finished riveting the lower wing skins tonight! I've still got a few small odds and ends to do on the wings, but they are basically done except for installing the wing tips. I'll do those at the end of the project, because I want to do all the fibreglas work at the same time.

Tomorrow I'll rivet on the right flap hinge (I did the left one tonight) and install the anchor nuts for the access covers on the lower wing skin. I've also got to install the anchor nuts where the outboard end of the fuel tanks attach to the outboard leading edge. Riveting the RH lower wing skins.


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Starting to rivet the lower wing skins

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Wings

Progress was slow for awhile due too much time on the road, but I finally am making headway again. In Canada, we have to get an official inspection done prior to closing any major components. These inspections cost a fair bit of money, so I elected to get the tail and wings done at the same time. I finally finished all the details and had the big inspection done on 24 November 1999. The inspector, Dale Lamport, was quite thorough, but he gave it all a clean bill of health at the end, except for one rivet that he wanted me to redo.

So, I can now rivet the lower wing skins on. I started the right wing today. The most inboard part was a real pain to do because there are four ribs in nine inches to support the area where the wing walk is. You have to get one arm in through the lightening holes and between the ribs to get a bucking bar on each rivet. My right arm will be sore for days, but I managed to get all the rivets OK.

Here you see me working in the middle of the right wing, with my left arm stuck into the wing through an access cover, holding a bucking bar. The rivet gun has a paper towel "diaper" duct taped to it to keep it from spitting oil onto my work. It sure is nice to be getting to the end of these wings :-)


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Wing progress update

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Wings

I just got back Friday night from two weeks on the road. Since the last update, I finished fitting the left aileron, fitted the left flap, and fitted both aileron gap seals. The first attempt at fitting the left aileron gap seal didn't go very well. I was concerned about getting the aft edge of the upper wing skin nice and straight, so I clamped a 4 foot long level to it, to force it straight. Well, with the level clamped in place, I could no longer check that the part of the skin that extended aft of the rear spar was still nicely aligned with the rest of the skin. After I drilled all the holes I removed the level, and has horrified to find that the weight of the level had put a curve in the aft edge of the skin, and it no longer was properly aligned with the rest of the wing skin. So, I had to drill some more holes in the gap seal, get it all lined up, and redrill it to the rear spar. The second go came out OK. I've got a bunch of extra holes in the rear spar now, but they are near the centre, where the stresses are at a minimum, so it will be OK.

I've got to deburr the aileron gap seals, countersink the flap braces, prime them (and the aileron push rods), rivet the flap braces in place, rivet the aileron push rods, do a final inspection myself, and then I am ready for the official inspection I need before I can put the lower wing skins on. Almost there :-)


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Fitted the left aileron

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Wings

I did the initial fitting of the left aileron tonight, and drilled pilot holes where the bolts will go between the aileron hinge brackets and the aileron spar. Tomorrow I will do a final check of the alignment of the aileron to the wing, and then drill out the holes to the final size.


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Upper skins on left wing riveted

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Wings

Terry and I riveted the upper skins on the left wing today.


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Drilling flap to wing

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Wings

I drilled and clecoed the flap hinge to the right wing tonight. Turned out pretty much perfect, at least as far as I can tell right now.

The inboard end of the flap (bottom left part of picture) is sticking out because the fuselage is tapered where the wing mounts. It gets narrower the further you go aft. The space between the wing and fuselage is of variable width, but it is covered by a fairing, so you never see it. The flap doesn't get covered by the fairing, so it has to be longer to come right up against the side of the fuselage.


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Drilling the flap brace

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Wings

When I started fitting the flap, I ran into a gotcha that has been reported by many other RV-8 builders. On earlier models, you can adjust where the flap brace mounts on the rear spar to get the flap in the correct vertical position. On the RV-8, you can't make that adjustment because the flap brace and rear spar come predrilled. The flap brace is a bit too big as delivered, so it tends to push the flap too low with respect to the rest of the airfoil. I had to trim about 0.050 inches off the trailing edge of the flap brace to make things work out right. That didn't' leave quite enough room for the flap hinge, so I had to chamfer the forward edge of the flap hinge so it wouldn't hit the bend in the flap brace.

Here you see the drilling jig I made to help drill the holes where the flap hinge mounts on the aft edge of the lower wing skin. I wasn't brave enough to drill the holes freehand.


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Fitting right aileron

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Wings

The ailerons and flaps must be mounted to the rear spar so that they are properly aligned with the rest of the wing. They must form a nice smooth continuation of the wing surface. Van suggests to make some two piece wing wing profile templates from plywood, and to use these to help get the ailerons and flaps in the right place. Here you see the right aileron in position.

Once you get the aileron in the right location, you are supposed to clamp the hinge brackets to the aileron and drill the holes the hold them in place. I clamped things in place, but then couldn't get a good shot at them to drill the holes. So, I made a million measurements that basically confirmed that they should be located exactly as per the plans, then drilled everything on the bench. I held my breath when I put it all back in the templates, but everything worked out fine.

After mounting the right aileron, I went on the road to Brazil for two weeks to fly the EMBRAER EMB-145 Regional Jet. It was a fascinating trip, beautiful country, and great people.

After I got back, I made the various spacers that fix the aileron in position laterally, made the pushrod that goes from the aileron bellcrank to the aileron, and pinned the aileron in the neutral position.


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