The Wing(s)

8/18/04 4 hours - I rolled out the wing plan and all the cut wing parts onto the workbench and spent four hours going over it all , trying to figure out what I've got and what I need. I found that the plywood ribs R-1 to R6 had the wing tubes holes drilled by the kit cutter as shown on the plans and all had different spacing's, R2 was especially bad, the holes being 5/16" too high. I called Doug at All American and told him he shouldn't drill the holes.
I spent too much time measuring and checking alignments before I read the instructions and learned that the holes should not have been drilled as per plans but stacked and then drilled anyway. Of Course! I wished I would have read the instructions sooner. It would have been nice if the holes were drawn correctly but stacking and drilling will be much more accurate. It also actually made things easier because now all I need to do is start over and make my own (again). I called Doug at All American Kit Cutters to let him know not to drill the wing tube holes but will cut my own. Before I started this project a friend, Ken Safer, who is a master builder, told me I should cut my own kit and now I understand why.

8/19/04 - 2 hours - Not much got done today. I Marked the centerlines on all four firewall's and labeled the nacelle parts for right and left. That's important! I really don't want two right wings! Also cut out the ply landing gear mounts for the Century Jet retracts.

8/26/04 - 2 hours - Copied and pasted the Ribs WR1-WR6 to some 1/8 aircraft ply, stacked that on another sheet and cut out the new set of ribs.

8/29/04 - 3 hours- Marked all the ribs with the chord line and wing reference line so I could stack them and drill the alignment rod holes and the wing tube holes. This took a while. The Chord lines are all over the place and the wing reference line is about a 1/2" off on W.R.5 & 6. After getting the ribs so they would line up (as best they could), I stacked all the ribs, tack gluing each rib to the rib below, with the alignment block WB 1 on the bottom and WB 26 on top. When I had it all stacked I realized that the alignment rod holes weren't going to work as planned. You just can't drill an angled hole in a stack of ribs 4" tall and have it work after the ribs are spread out to 55". Aligning the stack of ply ribs W.R. 1 - 6 was even worse. It was difficult to get them aligned since I needed to account for the dihedral. That meant more measuring and marking. When I drilled the holes it didn't come out as good as I would like (I screwed it up) so I would need to cut more ribs!. A good set of plans has more value to me now. I wish I had some!.

9/2/04 - That mess depressed me a bit. I just saw more headache getting it all to work right and it would need more wood and some re-working of the drawings too. Besides that, the alignment jig rods I special ordered from Small parts inc came with a slight curve. That's when I decided to go with what i am comfortable with - Foam wings! They are strong, straight and easy. I'm breaking with the plan of building this thing fairly by the plans but sometimes you have to cut your losses and run. I spent 11 hours and have nothing to show for it except the firewall's have lines on them.
I got on the web and found a few foam cutting services and made some enquires about cost. I turns out to be pretty reasonable. I settled on not the cheapest nor the most expensive but the one that impressed me the most, www.FlyingFoam.com . All I needed to do now is prepare the plans for the foam cutter. I taped some tracing paper over the plan and drew a new wing tube location and size and the spar locations -1 hour.

9/3/04 - I mailed my wing plan to foamwings.com today. Using W.R. 1 as the root and W.R. 26 as the tip, they will cut the wings with the correct dihedral and 1 degree washout, cut the leading edge off so I can add a balsa leading edge, cut the spar slots and cut the wing tube hole! I will be using one 7/8" aluminum wing tube placed at the CG, instead of the two 3/8" brass tubes. So much easier so far. It will cost me around $100 shipped and in a couple weeks I will have them. Then all I need to do is re-engineer the nacelle and gear mountings but that shouldn't be too hard. I might even be able to use the nacelle ribs that I already cut. But at least I'm not angry at it anymore. One nice thing about using foam is I will have the aileron too. It will get cut out of the wing and a leading edge glued on and it's done.

9/7/04 - The wing plan has been delivered to flyingfoam.com

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Updated July 14, 2009