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Sun 08 February 2004

With the aileron rigged we could then move onto the flap. With the QB wings (which includes constructed flaps) the only variable we have is where the flap piano hinge goes.
Dad had multiple attempts at getting the first hole aligned correctly (Hint: if you don't cut the hinge to length until after you have drilled it all it is less wasteful of materials!).
We found the second hole aligned with the edge of a hinge tab worked well and we needed to use the minimum 3/16" edge distance.
Then it is lots of cleco clamps for try and get the (soft flexible) hinge to stay near the support bracket.
The drill & cleco as we go.
And volia! We are really pleased with the way this has turned out, the gap is 9/32" (which needs to be 1/4" minimum) and the trailing edge is perfect (if that is possible). Now we need to try the same on the other wing.
The finished product.
Dad then finished the brace by countersinking for the skin dimples. The third layer of material (the hinge) is left untouched.
Meanwhile I continued with the elevators. The first thing that became obvious was the fluting on the counterbalance ribs needed redoing. This took a fair bit of time but came out OK and most of the holes matched cleanly.
I then cleco'd the whole elevator structure together for match drilling.
Match drill both elevators. Got about 70% done.
By mid afternoon the wind had started to drop significantly therefore we decided to do a batch of spraying. Priming is something we have been holding off since the beginning of the project for a number of reasons, the primary one being we just weren't (aren't) convinced of the 'best' method / way forward.

One of the options that we have been considering seriously was to use a local paint shop for ALL spraying (including the priming phases) however over the weekend we finally came to the conclusion the shear number of parts and complexity of shipping fragile parts to and from the painters was too difficult. This lead to the decision to use rattle can self-etch primer for the spars & ribs etc. The HS & VS skins I'm still a little unsure of the 'best' way forward, current options include rattle can, ALCLAD, spray gun onsite or professional, we will see.

So we scuffed, cleaned and acid etched the right hand parts of the empennage (this meant we didn't need to worry about labelling as most parts are then identifiable) and set everything up. The problem was just before we were ready to start the actual spraying the wind changed direction and the temperature started to drop. At this point I suspect experienced builders know what to do. I didn't! Therefore we ploughed on trying to get just the basic bits primed - BIG mistake, first the paint started to run and then it went 'NUTS'! We think the problem was either dew point / water on the parts or just the temperature dropped to low. The results were a disaster, we cleaned up best we could with acetone and packed up deflated.

It was a good day overall with the wings and elevators progressing well and the alignment of the flap being spot on. The spraying problems rather took the shine of it all though. However nothing was damaged beyond repair and tomorrow we will start fixing the priming. Another lesson learnt - Don't start the spraying process after 5pm!

Carl Morgan