CHAPTER 26 - Building the Controls

Construction started with cleaning up the stiffeners for the aileron skin and drilling them to the skin itself. This proceeds exactly like the elevators. Once done, I moved to the skeleton. Fabricating the parts was no problem, but I made a gross error during assembly. I attached the end ribs with two rivets. What I should have done was locate the rivet holes where the hinge brackets' holes would be, so that they could be drilled out and replaced with the bolts for mounting the brackets and, perhaps, another one in the center to hold things together before the bolts were added. Instead, during assembly later, I had to locate the bolt holes and then drill out the rivets, which were interfering with the washers and nuts. The extra holes on the flange are not a structural problem, but are annoying. Anyway, the skeleton was added to the skins and drilled while the entire surface was on a flat building area. The entire assembly was clecoed together except for clecoes that would interfere with hanging the aileron on the wing.

Next, the flap spar was fabricated and the spar and ribs drilled to the bottom skin, but not to each other. This was to allow the ribs some side adjustment when the top skin was added. The flap hinge was also added to the assembly.

This was as far as I could go before hanging the control surfaces, so the top skins of the wing were removed and the jack and center brace under the wing's rear spar were also removed. This was done with the fuel tank in place to lend stiffness to the wing, preventing sag at the center. The wing was checked for plumb in the jig and many deep breaths were taken.

My apologies, but every picture I took of building the controls came out badly. My auto focus camera will apparently not do close-ups, so I ended up with blurry photos. I thought at first it was the aluminum surfaces causing problems, but it turned out that primed parts had the same problem; I just can't get a good focus at close range. I'm going to see about getting a standard 35mm camera so that I can get better pictures but it is too late for the control surfaces. No, I won't build another set just to get pictures! *grin*