Back to the Ailerons…

2/6 and 2/7 – Hours spent 5

So with the new ribs in stock, its time to get back to the ailerons.  Speaking of the ailerons, here is the structure of the trim tab after removing the skin.

Now its time to begin the other aileron.  The only thing that KW has done on this aileron is riveting the stiffeners onto the skin.

KW didn’t drill the optional lightening holes on the aileron spar, so that is a beginning point.  I’m drilling the 15 holes – 2 inches diameter each – in the aileron spar.

Here is the fly cutter in the drill press.  The holes are going in nicely.

I was curious how much I weight I saved, so I weighed the 15 circles.  2.8 ounces.  Not a lot of savings, but between the two ailerons, that should be almost 5 ounces.

Clamping the ribs in place on the spar.

Going back over the other aileron, and cutting the lightening holes in.  I had to use the small fly cutter and the hand drill instead of the drill press, because the structure was already riveted together.

I could not get the last three holes cut in do to the additional structure of the trim tab area.  That’s why I figured 5 ounces instead of a little more than 6!

The ends of the spars have 2 3/4″ by 2 1/2″ plates made from 0.040 aluminum.  These took quite a bit of planning, as the holes have to fit a variety of different parts.

Clamping the pieces in place before drilling.

And all the parts that go on the outboard end of the aileron.

My 13 year old son Jason looking over our evening’s work.  We drilled and clecoed the skin over the top part of the aileron.


Ordering from Vans – Wow!

So I just got my first parts order in the mail from Vans.  As detailed in my aileron post, I had to get a couple of aileron nose ribs.  I was pleasantly surprised to note that Vans had them in stock, and wanted only $13.25 each for them.  Now I see folks who complain about the prices of Vans parts, and I probably will later on, too.  However, let me say that this is a totally amazing price compared to Ce$$na.  $certified airplane parts are made of pure unobtainium and expensivium, so it is nice to order 2024 aluminum.

Here are the parts – received less than a week after my order.  I was nervous about the shipping price, which they would not quote on the web site – but I bit the bullet and ordered.  How bad could shipping be, right?  Right!

As it was, they charged $3.01 to ship my ribs.  I think I’m in love!  I got a full aileron worth of nose ribs shipped to me for about what a rack of baby back ribs would cost at Chili’s.

Now let me talk about *other* sources of parts.  eBay.  Right now (2/1/2018), I can find several Vans RV6 parts on eBay.   Its hard to read the pic, so I’ll copy and paste.

  • Vans RV-6 Rudder Spar (NEW) P/N R802PP – Asking $110.
  • Vans RV-6 Rudder Skin C’Bal 016 (NEW) P/N R-601-1 – Asking $240.

Granted, both of these do come with free shipping, but this guy thinks these are Ce$$na parts.  What does Van’s ask for these parts?

  • Rudder Spar:  Not $110, but $21.75.  You save $88.25, but do pay for shipping.
  • Rudder Skin:  Not $240, but $118.10.  You save $121.90, but do have to pay for shipping.

Of course you also get technical support and can return the part if it is defective if you order from Vans.

Moral of the story – find out what a part costs from Vans.

Finishing the Flap Actuator. One Flap Drilled, One to Go

2/1 – 2.5 hours.

So last time I was pondering what material to use for the final piece of the flap actuator – and I had persuaded myself to use a scrap of 1/8″ 6061 angle instead of the 1/16″ called for in the plans.  It would add an ounce.

This morning, I remembered an entire drawer of surplus aircraft mounting brackets.  I couldn’t bring myself to recycle these a few years ago when I was cleaning out the shop, and I forgot them in a cabinet I seldom open.  They are all shapes and sizes, and a huge quantity.  This pair is 2024-T4 and 1/16th inch thick!

Brackets before shaping into the part shown below on the plans.  Just a few minutes with the band saw and sander, and I have a left and right set – ready to go to work – and better than the plans call for.

All the actuator parts set in position on the flap.  I extended the angle about 3/4 inch past what is called for in the plans in order to catch the next rivet.  The entire actuator assembly is built in 3 pieces so that it can be EXACTLY fitted to the flap – but order is very important.

Here is another view of the 3 parts.  Thus far the only joint is clecoed between the angle and the plate.

Clamping the angle and plate in position against the spar.  The plate now is held in position, not touching any parts.  The angle is carefully drilled and clecoed to the spar, as the 3 outermost holes also go through the front of the inboard rib.

Here is the angle set in position as well.  It transfers the movement of the flap handle to the spar and the inboard flap rib.  Notice how the three layers (skin, rib, and angle) tend to separate when there are no clecos in position.

I clamped the angle against the plate to ensure a firm fit.  Now, the bottom skin/rib flange holes can be extended onto the bottom of the angle.  I loosened the clamp and reclamped between adding clecos to ensure that alignment is true as the aforementioned gap is closed.

Now with the angle clecoed in place along the rib bottom, I can draw in and drill the holes that mount the angle to the plate.  The fit is perfect because it was match drilled in position.

Here is the right flap, completely drilled and clecoed.  All that remains is to dissemble, debur, dimple, prime, and rivet.  And now I get to start over again on the left flap.  I expect it to go quicker, however.  THis is because I have already grappled with the order and because I already built the actuator bracket.

This brings me almost to the place I would be if I had bought a modern pre-drilled kit.  If you count your time as worth anything, don’t buy an old kit that wasn’t pre-drilled.  I am about 10 hours into the flap.  If I charged myself the $50 per hour for A&P work that I charge other people, I’d have another $500 in just this flap.  And don’t forget – KW did the flap spars!  However, I am not upset.  I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this job – and I am actually having A blast.  Right now, I can’t wait to get at it each day.  I am sure that will wear off, however.

Here we go again!  Spar, ribs, and bottom skin drilled and clecoed before the end of today’s work.  I probably will not be adding many more photos until I come to something new.