This morning, Dave and Peg picked me up from home and we met Derek at the airport to fly up to OXR in his 177RG Cardinal. It took a while to get out of SMO because somebody’s bizjet blew a tire and was stuck on the runway for half an hour, but we finally got off the ground and got to Oxnard. There, we put the wings on the RV, which involved a lot of shuffling things around in the hangar space and trying not to bash the other occupants, the structure, or each other, with ungainly airplane parts.
The wings did go on, after a fashion. Our time here was abbreviated because of earlier runway delays, so the wings are currently held on with the sacrificial hardware store 5/16 bolts I used during the initial alignment and the proper AN5 aft spar bolts. My hangar mate Ron and a friend of his helped us get the overlap sorted out on the right wing, and all totaled it didn’t really take more than an hour once we arranged everything in the shop and actually began putting the wings on.
It truly was a 4-person job. Derek, Dave and I wiggled the wing into place, Peg kept the wires from getting fouled, and then I bashed the 5/16 bolts through with the rest of the crew doing precision wiggling where needed.
One thing I should have done is left the flaps off. We tried getting the left wing on with the flap on and that didn’t go so well, especially when it came time to line up the aft spar holes. I wound up taking the flap off the left wing, then took the flap off the right wing before we tried to put that on. So what you see here is the current state, which is the big flat bits that make the plane stay up in the air, stuck to the bit that holds the meatbags off the ground.
As an aside, I’m hoping that when I connect the control push tubes, the sticks are a little more limited in their side to side travel, because currently, my hand just barely grazes the quadrant.
Finished the platenuts in the left wing. Other than a slightly messy install of the trailing edge platenut, the process went OK. However, for the first time, I regret not getting the platenut jig for the 8-series K1000 and K1100’s. I still have to figure out what to do about the wiring that’ll eventually go through the fuselage to the panel, but I there is no longer any interference with the control tubes (yeah, that was a big one, glad I caught it now). The wings are now back in the little garage for storage until they go to the airport.
So what next? The engine is supposed to be next, but I need the space and tech to fix a busted motor mount on my Buell, which is my daily transportation. However, I am dying to find out just how bad my motor is inside. Here’s hoping the guy who stored it for 10 years stored it properly and I don’t have a rusted camshaft.
I’d say that only 7 hours was actual, tools-to-metal building. The rest of it was cleaning the shop, looking at plans, arranging parts, and various distractions. I’m also including Wednesday night, when David came over and helped me with the final wings-on/wings-off activities. We drilled the wing root fairings and the bottom skin, then pulled the wings off and moved the plane back into the guest house. Then I slacked off for two days while I took a break and watched bad movies.
Today, I got back on it and tried to get the wings into shape for more cold storage. Because I’m an idiot and didn’t attach the pitot and static fittings, the AN connectors slid up (down?) the tubing of the pitot and AOA into the pitot mast and got stuck there, with no way to wiggle them loose. I had to take the pitot tube off and shove the fittings down to the point where I could grab them and hook them up to the plastic tubing running down the wing. Of course, this demanded that I unclamp the plastic tubing from the Adel clamps attached to the bellcrank bracket to give it some slack. Finally, I got all that back together, ran my wires back down the conduit, and moved on.
I deburred and dimpled the wing root fairings, and deburred/dimpled/countersunk the wing roots. I also drilled all the holes for platenuts. I got all the platenuts done on the right wing, which was slow going on the forward edges because they went family style on the pro-seal. It also didn’t help that I drilled the fairing root holes a little too close to the root rib. I had to grind down some of the platenuts so they’d lay flat on the skin. But it’s all good, they’re all installed. I’ll do the left wing tomorrow, then they go back into the garage to await the trip to the airport. And some wiring. And some other stuff.