Holding short

Holding short

The project is on hold for now, and all the airframe parts are stored in the shed. This past summer we had a new son (our first!), and I left my job to start my own business. Free time was pretty scarce early on, and we’re trying to be more careful with finances now that our income is down quite a bit until business ramps up.

On top of this it was proving impossible to build the wing in our house. We just don’t have a long enough space. I’d like to get back to it soon, now that things are calming down, but first I’ll need to find a hangar, or we need to move.

In the meantime I’ve started a balsa model of the CH 750 STOL, because, why not?

Flaperons completed

Flaperons completed

I’ve finished up the last of the flaperon halves.  Like the slats, I’ve wrapped them up in a moving blanket and set aside for eventual storage in the “hangar” shed once it warms up a bit and I have the patience to rearrange it.

I was out there pulling out wing materials the other day, and should have thought done it all at once. Anyhow, On to the wings!

Final flaperon skeleton

Final flaperon skeleton

The skeleton for the outboard pilot side flaperon is started, and this time I tried positioning and drilling out the hinge bracket before deburring, priming, and assembling the skeleton.  This was a lesson learned too late (4th of 4 halves), but I think it’ll save a good deal of hassle by prepping and priming only once.

On the other 3 halves, I riveted the spars and ribs before fitting, drilling, cutting, and attaching the hinge brackets.  This meant more time waiting for primer to dry (usually an extra over-night) and for lacquer thinner fumes to dissipate.

Inboard half of pilot-side flaperon finished

Inboard half of pilot-side flaperon finished

One lesson I forgot to mention in earlier posts about the flaperons: I believe both the HomeBuiltHelp video and the photo assembly guide indicate that you should use A4 rivets to attach the full rib to the rib angle, and the rib angle to the spar.  The drawings, however, show A5 rivets.

To be safe I went with A5.

The flaperons are now 3/4s done! All that’s left is the outboard half of the pilot side.

Flaperon progress

Flaperon progress

Over the past month or so I’ve made slow progress on the flaperons, a few hours here and there, and finishing both halves of the passenger side.

Today I nearly finished the inboard pilot side: skeleton assembled and riveted, everything drilled to size, deburred, and primed. All that is left is final assembly and riveting.

Inboard half of passenger flaperon

Inboard half of passenger flaperon

A couple of pieces of extrusion are now hinge brackets (2 down, 6 more to go).  I don’t have a band saw, and snips are a bit too weak, but I had success with a hack saw.  The corner was simply rounded with files.

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The skeleton for this half has been completely assembled: drilled out, deburred, primed, riveted. I’ve also attached the bottom skin to it and enlarged the holes to A4.

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Progress on pilot side slat

Progress on pilot side slat

  • The bottom of the inboard pilot side is done and riveted
  • the top is drilled and ready to be deburred, primed, and riveted
  • the bottom of the outboard pilot side is drilled out, and ready to be deburred, primed, and riveted.

I’ve been using the hand riveter since the pneumatic/hydraulic one is leaving paper thin gaps between the rivet and the surface of the skin.  I’ve contacted Zenith to see if they’ll make and sell me a new A4 head, to see if that gets it back to normal. Until then I’m holding off using it.

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