Building the wings

These are a pile of forward wing ribs. Once I got my act together they took me about 45 mins to form each one. The basic step was to cut out the blank, drill the alignment holes, clamp it between the form blocks, bend the flanges over and crimp in the right spots. At this point the blank is removed and the flanges are worked to straighten the rib out, then I used a fly cutter to cut the holes and then finished off with the flanging dies to bend the edges of the holes up.

After many hours of drilling, deburring, counter sinking and dimpling the thin inner web I spent another few hours riveting it all together. In this photo I am doing the solid rivets which are used on the main spar. The rest of the aircraft uses pulled rivets which are much easier and faster to install.

These are the wing rib gussets. These were the very first things that I riveted. They were a good practice run. I have spent far too much time worrying about how I would accomplish each task. Every time it hasn't been as bad as I thought that it would be. Building an aircraft is more about will power and persistence than 'rocket science'.

These are the two 0.032" thou spar centre webs. I ended up making four of the bloody things when I realized I'd miss read the plans on one vital measurement. I had to close the shed door and walk inside. I couldn't face it until the next night and started all over again.

This is the forward wing skin. Marking out the few hundred holes and the finished outer shape of the skin takes a good couple of hours. Don't get it wrong as I have a spare due to getting my maths wrong and starting to cut before double checking. This entailed another trip inside to cool off.

When I got to this stage I really felt that I was getting somewhere. Up until this stage I had spent many hours making a pile of parts. Once you see it assembled up on the bench it is a bloody good feeling.

This bit really requires an extra couple of arms. I ended up using a mirror, a couple of clamps and a straight edge and set square to keep it all straight. The part that sucks is that you go to all that effort clecoeing it all together and then you have to take it all apart again to deburr all of the holes before putting it all together again to finally rivet it all up.

One finished wing panel,....well sort of! Flaps, ailerons, control rods, electrical and wing tips still to go, but it looks great sitting on the bench.

Happiness is dreaming dreams, then putting in the hard yards to make it a reality.

This is my overview of the last 4 years following my dream which had been at the back of my mind for 40 years.

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