CHAPTER 59 - Attaching the Wings
Finally it's time for the wings to go on. Since I need to take them off, at least partially, for plumbing tasks, I got a couple of supports for them at Home Depot. These are the work supports for feeding long material into a saw or planer. Rather than get the kind with a roller on top, I got ones with a swiveling flat pad, to spread out the contact area a bit. They work like a charm and suppor the wing well enough that I'm not worried about the plane falling off the supports anymore. That's one under the left wing in the first photo.
The next photo shows the rear spar drilled and temporarily bolted. I used a long bit to do the drilling after carefully levelling the wing and checking the sweep per the plans. This actually went very well. The following two photos show the tank bracket fabricated and in place, though not yet attached to the tank. I'll do that after plumbing and final attachment. It was a lot of work to attach the bracket to the fuselage; there's a complicated set of shims and plates on the inside to hold it on.
Next, I rechecked the measurements for where the plumbing passed through the fuselage. Removing the wing, I was finally able to remove the last of the blue plastic and install the bushings and fittings. You can see the result in the next to last picture.
One wing done; repeat with the other. The last photo shows the second wing in place. I have not yet installed the tank bracket on the right side; school intervened and I have had no time since the semester started. Nor has either wing been permanently bolted into place yet, so the main gear is still loose. But that shouldn't take long to correct once the semester is done and then I can turn my attention to the controls. More progress soon, I hope.
Sure enough, over the Winter break one of my schoolmates, Myron James, showed up to help me bolt the wings on. It took a few days as we could only stand on our heads in freezing temperatures for short periods, but the plane was finally together and on the ground. I used bags of cement to simulate the weight of an engine in the nose. You should have seen Myron's expression when I told him we'd have to take the wings off and bolt them in one more time...