Wings     178.25 Hours
Timeline sort: Forward Reverse
4.0 hrs
Kim and I finished the right wing bottom skin. So that marks the wings complete until they get attached to the airplane for wiring. Now it's on to the canopy.

5.0 hrs
Kim and I got most of the wing skin riveted on today.

7.0 hrs
Today Kim was out of town so my friend Ken came over and tried out his hand at the rivet gun. The learning curve was steep, but he did a good job. As usual I had my arm shoved up into the wing. He agrees that the squeezer is always the best option.

I also made sure to make a hole in the conduit for the future auto pilot servo that will go in the wing. Other than that, there was little to do on this wing.

6.0 hrs
Today Kim and I swapped the left wing for the right one. I had to finish deburring the skin and install the nut plates. At which point it was ready to be final attached.

6.0 hrs
Tonight Kim and I finished riveting on the left wing bottom skin. Next time I'm inviting my friend with long skinny arms to reach up in the wing to hold the bucking bar.

I also tapped the hole for the tie downs. I installed a 3/8" pipe plug with some blue locktite at the correct depth so that the ring will have something to tighten against, but not crush the skin.

Still have a couple items to finish up, but should be working on the right wing soon.

9.0 hrs
More riveting on the left wing skin. We got most of it done and riveted the pitot mast in place as well. Just a couple more bays to close it up.

8.0 hrs
Worked on the wing panels and final fit, drilled and tapped the pitot tube to the mast.

2.25 hrs
Today was drilling the attach holes in the pitot tube. I forgot to get a picture of that since trying to hold the rig in on the drill press was a challenge. But the result seems to have come out ok. Didn't have time to tap the holes, but as soon as that's done I'm ready to close this wing panel up.

4.0 hrs
Trying to get back into the swing of things. Today was finishing up the pitot tube set up. Also had to dimple some remaining items on the wing skin. Should be ready to close the left wing up soon.

4.0 hrs
Today Kim helped me finish the bracket mounting for the pitot tube and we drilled a hole into the conduit for the eventual power wiring to the pitot heater control. The final fit looks good and now I just have to drill and tap the actual pitot tube.

3.0 hrs
Tonight I final mounted the Dynon heated pitot tube control. One screw didn't quite line up so I turned one of the mounting holes into a slot, but that should be more than fine to keep it there.

I fabricated the bracket that's going to hold the fittings for the transition from 3/16" aluminum tube to the SafeAir1 plastic tubing. Turns out that I'll likely not be using the AOA tube, but the weight is nothing so I'm running the tube and will cap it in the fuselage.

1.75 hrs
Received my Dynon AOA pitot tube this week so I started fitting the tube. The main goal was to locate the heater control and plan on what parts I need to finish attach the pitot tube. Hopefully I'll pick up all those parts at Sun 'n Fun next week.

2.75 hrs
Ran the pitot tube and AOA tubes through the wing. I didn't like how they came to intersect with the alieron bell crank so I made a couple of new holes in the wing rib and re-routed them towards the top of the wing. I also fabricated a small bracket from some scrap rudder stiffener. I give all credit to the idea to Roee Kalinsky. I made mine a bit different, but blantantly stole the idea.

0.25 hrs
Wow, two nights in a row, let's see if we can keep up the pace. Not much done tonight, just finished up some remaining edge work on the skins.

4.0 hrs
Tonight my friend Ken French came over and mainly helped kick me in the butt to get started on the project again. I've been working on the left wing bottom skin. He and I finished the edges of the skin and discussed how I'm going to feed the pitot and AOA tubes around the alieron bell crank.

6.5 hrs
Today I finally fitted the SafeAir1 pitot tube stand. It was pretty straight forward, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.

2.5 hrs
Tonight it seemed like we were going backwards in the project. We removed the wings from the fuselage now that we had most of the critical parts drilled and planned. So they are back in storage and I'm now back to working on just the fuselage.

Building process is going slow because of the holidays. Hope to be back on task after the new year.

5.75 hrs
Today was a rather big day. It was time to measure and drill for the angle of incidence on the wings. This was a combination of a couple sets of directions. The ones included with the plans were good, but the one from the Van's site was bit better if you needed to adjust anything. Thankfully we didn't have to make any major adjustments.

The basic process was level the fuselage left to right, fore and aft. As you can see we used several levels. The digital level was useful, but was always about 0.5 degrees off what the bubble levels showed. Just goes to show that you need to verify your measuring devices. We mainly used the bubble levels to establish level, then we would use the digital level and make sure it was the same value on each side.

We did have a bit of difference between the upper longerons and the spar. Per instructions we split the difference between them. The bubble was still within the lines, but one was just on the left line, the other on the right. The digital level showed we were within 0.5 degree's total. Then we hung the plumb bobs and found we were very close. We had to adjust the right wing trailing edge in a bit. We verified that the tips to centerline on the tail were the same distance (188.25" in my case).

After that we left everything alone and went to lunch. When we came back we reverified it all. The plumb bobs were within a 1/16" of the line, mainly due to a function of the hole the string went through not being able to be perfectly centered. The tips to aft were within 1/32" to each other, the fuselage was as level as we could get it. Next we set the incidence using the required block under the level. A bit of a minor adjustment there and then we clamped it and rechecked everything. (We rechecked a lot!)

You can't see it, but my buddy Jon gave me a perfectly milled 1" thick block of aluminum, it just happened to be exactly the area of the fuselage "hand" and the rear spar tab. That was nice, so Kim made a dead center point on it and I drilled it out on the drill press. I used that to make the 1/8" pilot hole.

We then verified that the pilot hole was, indeed, 5/8" minimum from all edges. You don't have a lot of margin for error here, I had roughly 2/32" - 3/32" more than the required 5/8". With the pilot holes drilled, I removed the block and used some wingnut cleco's to force the hole to be centered (just to be sure). Then clamped the spar very tightly, removed the cleco and did the process of going from 1/8" - 5/16" hole size. I did this by using every other drill bit until I got to the final size. The hole came out very, very good, I was able to use just the slightest pressure to push the bolt in and it has probably a tad less than 1/64" slop in the hole.

Afterwards we (you guessed it) reverified all the levels again and nothing had moved. Over all I'm very pleased with how well this part went. Just remember to measure many, many times.

8.0 hrs
Today was flap day. First I made the flap push rods, which was really just find and screw in some fittings. After that I had to make yet another big hole in the side of the plane for the rods to go through.

These holes are quite a bit bigger than one would expect. In my case, the part on the side was pretty small, but the bottom portion was very large. The rod moves fore, aft, inboard and outboard more than you would think. I made the mistake of not shortening the threaded tubes which resulted in a slightly larger hole on the left side. I measured the angle of travel on the flaps and I can only seem to get the bare minimum of 32 degrees. I don't see how I can get any more because I'm limited on the travel on the flap motor.

I'm going to steal an idea from the VAF list and use a foam brush glued into place with a slot in it. This should keep the cold air out and still let the rod move.

Also in the morning I fitted the stick linkages to the alierons. I can now successfully wiggle the alierons. I did find that my alieron rod holes are too small, so I'll have to grind away some there to get unrestricted travel. I'm getting pretty comfortable with taking metal these days.

I had one issue where I ground away too much material on the right stick weldments. This was because I was setting it up to fit into the left side yoke. I decided I would try a fix before I committed to ordering a new one, so I took a grade 8 washer and drilled the hole out to 3/8" which would allow the brass bushing to go inside of it. (The bushing was not shortened, it was the correct length.) So this was just a spacer to give the stick tube a surface to ride against. It's a fine line, I don't want any control surface drag, but I don't want a lot of slop either. This solution worked out great.

4.0 hrs
Tonight Kim and I hung the alierons and flaps. I also started working on the control sticks. Mainly I reamed the holes to final size and drilled out the brass bushings.

Everything seems to fit well, but there is some concern on the right flap, it doesn't seem to want to nest up against the fuselage. The left one is near perfect. I'm hoping once I set the angle of incidence it will be better.

1.5 hrs
Big day today! Time to mate all the big parts together. First a big thank you to my neighbors Mark and Erin for letting us store the Cobra in their garage for awhile. So we jockied cars around and then tore down the partition wall. After that some general clean up and moving parts around to make room.

In the afternoon Jon and Dave came over to help us put the wings on. The first one took about 20 minutes to get figure out where to line up the holes and deal with the lower fuselage skin. After that, the second wing took about 10 minutes. That's always the case with building anything on the airplane, the first one takes forever, the second one is a breeze.

I've taken the next 2 days off from work, so I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the garage working on the plane.

3.25 hrs
Today Gerald came over to help with the project. We finished drilling the inside ribs that make up the walking area. These were a real pain, and the hardest to line up. The left wing wasn't very good, but the right one turned out ok.

Next we ran the conduit into the snap bushings which was rough going on the left since there was a bit of a jog it had to make. There is no way that this stuff is backing out of these holes, good solid fit.

5.5 hrs
Today I located and drilled almost all of the holes in the wing ribs for the counduit that I'm going to run. Basically it's just trunk line for drip irrigation, but it's very light weight and thin walled.

Overall it was pretty straight forward, I estimated the location per the . It's just a general location. I ended up making a 7/8" hole to allow for snap bushings to fit. There is plenty of material left, so I expect any issues.

Getting the inner 3 ribs that make up the wing walk doubler presents a bit of a challenge. Getting a pilot hole isn't too bad, but there are several bit changes so that you can step up to each unibit size and get it through the proceeding hole. I need a different drill extension to finish things up. I expect to get it done tomorrow and get the conduit installed.

6.25 hrs
Today went really well. I fitted the flaps to the wings, and started working on aligning the alieron to their neutral position. Most of the day was spent working on the left bell crank (labeled right). I had to ream out all the holes and also final attach the brackets to the alierons.

I also had to finish the alieron push tubes. I made one end and waited until now to try and figure out the best possible length. The drawing length of 27-1/8" is a bit on the short side if you ask me. I seemed to end up with a little less than half the threads in the heim joint. All in all, everything worked out. Now I need to fit the right side and then final attach the bell cranks. The right side should go faster now that I know what I'm doing.

3.5 hrs
Tonight I finally riveted the flap and alieron gap farings on. I did have to make and executive decision, I used AN426 3-3.5 rivets for the skin to faring holes. The reason is that I set the called for 3-3 rivets and they just did not look correct, and by the guage, they didn't pass.

So I looked through the manifest and I didn't receive any 3-3 rivets with the wings. I certainly didn't have enough left from the empennage section. I did get a giant pile of 3-3.5. So I fitted some and temporarily attached the flap and alieron to make sure they wouldn't hit. The alieron does slightly on full up, but I think the "full up" position I had is well past the designed limit.

2.5 hrs
Kim and I riveted the alieron brackets to the rear spar. We went slow because I was nearly out of the 4-7 rivets and didn't want to have to drill one out.

Later we were looking at how to install the flap gap faring. Because I got a quickbuild wing, it looks like I have to use pop-rivets for half of the faring. I could probably wedge my arm up there, but I wouldn't be able to tell if I got them correctly, so I guess that's just the way it has to be.

The newly air conditioned garage space is really working out well.

3.0 hrs
Drilled out and re-riveted the alieron brackets together, correctly, this time. Later Kim came out and we partially attached the outboard brackets to the ribs.

1.75 hrs
This morning I pop riveted the aileron tubes together. While I was waiting on something else I made the cardinal mistake of rushing another job. I tried to rivet the alieron brackets together and didn't plan some things correctly and ended up putting the wrong L bracket on one. Stupid mistake, so now I have to drill them out and do it over.

DO NOT RUSH! You WILL make mistakes that way.

13.25 hrs
This morning I cut the stick to alieron push tubes to length. Later Kim came out and helped me finish dimpling the other skin and start drilling the holes for the cone connectors in the end. Spacing the holes was a bit of a challenge, but Kim laid it out on paper then transfered it to the tube.

Kim and I spent the afternoon preping all the parts to be primed. She helped me dump the primer into the tubes and roll them around. Otherwise I sprayed all the remaining bits, so later this weekend we can final attach them.

3.25 hrs
Kim is finally feeling better so we dimpled one of the bottom skins.

1.75 hrs
Finally some rain so it wasn't so bad in the garage. I'll be walling off one bay soon so I can air condition it for the summer.

Tonight Kim and I deburred the holes in the bottom skins.

2.0 hrs
Finished up all the drilling and deburring on the alieron brackets, then quit since it's bloddy hot here!

6.25 hrs
Lots of progress, but not much to show. In the morning I finished the prep of the alieron brackets, fited drill, deburred and such. There was a lot of grinding to be done to smooth out the edges. The little parts always seem to take much longer than the big pieces. Kim's back is still hurting so she kept me company and reviewed all the steps of building the wings to make sure we didn't miss anything.

In the evening, we pulled the bottom skins off and drilled the remaining holes that the pre-built side were already done. I then dimpled the wing ribs and rear spar holes on the right wing.

1.0 hrs
This morning I finished dimpling and deburring the flap farings. They are ready to be primed now.

2.0 hrs
Continued working on dimpling and deburring the alieron and flap gap farings. I also dimpled the top wing skin where the farrings will attach.

2.0 hrs
Tonight I cleco'ed and drilled the right wing bottom skin. I also drilled out the aileron brackets. Now I just have a lot of deburring ahead.

2.25 hrs
This morning I drilled out the left wing skin, and all the gap farings. I also deburred a lot of the holes, but there are still plenty more to do.

2.75 hrs
I finished up removing the blue plastic over the rivet holes. Takes longer than you would think. After that I hung the skins on the wings and began the cleco process. There are a lot of them, even for just this one panel.

2.0 hrs
Finally moved on to the wings! Tonight was some basic reorg of the garage to get the wings where they are more accessable. The nice thing about the wing stand for the QB, is that I can do almost everything remaining with them in the stand.

Once situated, I started with removing the blue plastic around the rivet holes. My plan is to get the alieron hinges, wing and alieron gap faring and the bottom skin drilled, deburred, dimpled and primed at once. Then I'll install the hinges and gap farings, which will pretty much finish my work on the wings until I get all my avionics decided on.

4.25 hrs
Spent a lot of the day finishing up the review of the plans for the wings. I've gone through all the instructions and I'm caught up to where I would be if doing slow build. My main issue now is that I have to start deciding on some items that will make me commit to what equipment I use. For example, I want to close up the wings, but I need to run the pitot tube, static tube (if I use an all in one) and possibly angle of attack tubes.

So I'm sort of holding off right now while I explore conduit options that may let me defer some equipment decisions until after Sun n' Fun.

4.25 hrs
Took the day off to recover from the weekend and decided to get working on the plane. Most of the day was spent going over the wing instructions to make sure that everything was assembled and what steps I need to do to complete the wings.

Mainly I need to sort out what I'm going to do with my pitot tube and wiring. I also mocked up the brackets for the aileron that still need to be built. Lastly I went over the construction of the ailerons. They are basically complete except that I have to drill out the brackets to final size and bolt them on. As soon as I can dig out the bolts I'm going to do that and they are done.

3.25 hrs
Today we started going through the plans for the wings. Van's doesn't supply a different manual when you get the QB, so you basically have to read all the steps and make sure they are completed. One would think they are, but for example the wing tie down holes haven't been tapped yet.

In a way this is good because it forces you to actually look over the entire wing and learn what all the parts are. We started to run out of heat in the garage. We were moving into the coldest days of the year so far, and Kim's temperature tollerance is not as low as mine.

1.5 hrs
More inventorying, Kim did the box of fasteners. I'm splitting the time between the wings and fuselage. After the box o' bits we found that we were missing one small sheet of aluminum.

That evening we began the ugly search through all the paper. As you can see from the pictures, we started running out of space during the unpacking. Also, there is a new hunk of the Amazon rainforest that is gone for all the paper that was used for packing.

1.0 hrs
Today was the big day, got the quick build kit delivered by Michael with Partain Transport. The unload would have been faster but we had to move a Legend Cub kit out of the way first. The craftsmanship on that kit was amazing, but so is the price.

The picture of the friends helping didn't turn out at all, but I want to say a big thanks to Ken French, Dave Hintenlang, Steve Ulmer, Joe Lisanke, David Courtney, Jon Simonds and Kim. Having so many made for quick work to get the truck unloaded and safely in the garage.

4.5 hrs
Spent this weekend building the suggested wing storage rack. Took longer than expected, but it looks good and will be an easy way to store the wings once they are here.