Back in the shop again Monday. I got some more repair work done on the 701, but like home renovations one thing leads to another.
Talked over the latest issues with Ron. We decided we didn't like the original builders efforts on the rear wing attach point either. Damage to the rear root channel is also too much to accept as is, so we'll replace it too.
Drilled out the rivets holding the root rib and the first outboard rib, then started removing the rivets to separate the channel from the wing attach bracket:
With the rivets removed, it becomes easier to see the damage done by whomever drilled the wing root skins. The wing root skin is one of the last things to be fitted during a build and one might understand the desire to "hurry up" and get done, but this is done terribly, even if they weren't in a hurry. None of the holes are measured right and at least one critically damaged the wing attach bracket:
The hole for the wing attach bolt has a few issues too. According to the plans, it should be drilled directly centered in the channel. A random second hole on this attach bracket shouldn't even be there and look how close it is to the main bolt hole. This is a fatigue crack waiting to happen. Corrosion protection certainly wasn't considered either. Regular old white paint ain't going to cut it!:
I spent some time cleaning up the skin edges around the fuel tank bay. This will go a long way to making the skins sit flat. We are also putting L brackets over the top of the ribs and spar web in this area. This has the dual benefit or strengthening the ribs and providing a better place to rivet the tank skin on later - with the proper rivet spacing! These look like Swiss cheese.
The overriding goal of this repair is to learn the fine skills required for my build. I definitely learned one when preparing the new rear channel. I measured very carefully, and made sure to drill the corner relief holes in the correct position. This material is 0.032 thick, something I really haven't cut before with hand tools.
Reminder to self.... when cutting with hand shears, the tool will jump ahead when reaching the relief hole. A cut past the hole is the inevitable and regrettable result, ruining a well measured part:
I originally circled the excess cut and was pretty angry for making this simple mistake. Then I reminded myself the goal is learning. As long as I don't forget next time when cutting towards a hole, making a 2nd replacement rear channel isn't a big deal.
I added the rest of the word "OOPS" as a humorous reminder that life is good as long as I'm learning. I'm going to salvage the majority for other small parts and leave this part propped up on the bench as a reminder.
Back into the shop in a few days. Thanks for reading.
Time until takeoff
Husband, father and 911 dispatcher. Long time pilot with a licence that burns a hole in my pocket where my student loan money used to be. First time aircraft builder. Looking to fly my own airplane.