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Sat 11 December 2004

First thing today was to de-rig the wings so that we can continue with the various sub-system independently.
Getting the wings off was not simple. The lower bolts in particular did not want to come out of the spar. I know VANs says the spar bolt may need to be 'tapped' in, but it was significantly harder than that.
However once we managed to separate the wings the additional space and access was welcomed.
I then started with the left wing and removed the QB rivets where the wing / fuselage covers go.
The pre-punched parts here are a bit of a mixed blessing. The best solution we came up with was to use the underside screw and then wrap round to the upper tank screw. Then everything can be adjusted to get an even distance from the edges of the cover / wing. Then it is the normal cleco, drill, debur, dimple routine.
Whilst the wing was on the bench I re-clecoed the under-skin back on. Hopefully I'll get a chance to look at the AOA system soon and we need to look at the positioning of the sensors.
Meanwhile, Dad was looking at the gear weldment. The first set of bolts to be drilled were the lower 5 directly in front of the spar.
As per usual the VANs design works well, although the gear weldments are a little 'imprecise' , the basic configuration works well and the edge distance looks fine.
The next problem was the forward weldment brace. Access to the forward location is prevented by the vertIcal J structure.
Therefore rather than trimming it (which we did consider) Dad marked out the outside skin and drilled into the fuse. This was a 'calculated risk' which panned out fine, but working out the location was tricky. We basically used the distance plus a horizontal line from the first bolt / cleco location. Then the holes could be opened up slowly.
I continued with the wings and started the nutplate mounting for the upper skins.
The rest of the undercarriage work was fairly simple, just opening up the locations to the correct sizes. The multi-skinned AL + steel did cause the drill to grab quite a bit.
Nutplate mounting was the normal dimple / riveting process. The nutplates were a mixture of countersunk, normal and one legged.
The lower wing skin has several locations that have to be drilled out for the lower fuselage skin. Again the QB boys got keen and filled lots of rivet locations.
Dad finished the day with removing the gear weldment from the spar. Lots of cursing and muttering about knuckles and skin being lost...... We need to get a long reach 7/16" spanner....
Success - de-rigged spar. The next steps are to tidy everything up and start thinking about the fuel and brake systems
For the final couple of hours I did the other wing. As per usual the second time round was significantly faster - about 60% of the original.
Carl Morgan