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Wing framing or ailerons/flaps first?

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  • Wing framing or ailerons/flaps first?

    For those who are past these steps, I'm curious: is there any reason I shouldn't assemble the flaps and ailerons before starting on the main wing framing?

    I'm leaning toward doing the control surfaces first, primarily because by the time I'm done with the metalwork on the control surfaces the weather will be warm enough to prime, and secondarily because perhaps working on a small assembly will provide some practical pointers for assembling the wings. A third consideration is that the smaller control surfaces may be easier to store in the short term.

    I'm wide open to advice on which to start first.
    Mark
    Scratch building Patrol #275
    Hood River, OR

  • #2
    I found doing the control surfaces first was a big help in figuring out how I was going to build the rest of the wings. The construction techniques and the issues you face in building the control surfaces prepare you to tackle the much bigger challenges in the wings. I did leave the trailing edges unattached until I mounted the control surfaces and the wing tip to the wing.

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    • #3
      I have been wanting to ask this same question!

      I have completed router cutting all my ribs and have started bending flanges, starting from the smallest parts and then moving up in size from there. The thought is, if you make a mistake while leaning on the smallest parts, the lesson is less expensive.

      For example: The bad news is I made the mistake of not read my plans carefully enough, and flanged all three of the lightening holes on every one of my aileron ribs with a 3/8 flange (this wont work because the lightening hole flanges intersect the edge flanges), so I had to make new router templates and cut new aileron ribs. The good news is that it stopped me from almost making the same mistake with the flap ribs!

      ...so I'm thinking I will also go the route of aileron and flap construction before building the main wing spars...

      Using this strategy would also suggest that the rear spar should be built before the front/main spar...

      I'm interested in hearing other opinions!

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      • #4
        I also left installing the trailing edges until fitting to the wing. Another good tip, I don't remember from whom, was to hold off on riveting (but do fit and clecoe) the top and/or bottom aileron and flap panels at the hinge locations to give you room to work the final fitting of the hinges.

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        • #5
          Thanks guys! Flaps it is.

          On the topic of the trailing edge, were you able to get sufficient overlap for two rivets on the ribs using the given dimensions for the trailing edge, or did you have to make the trailing edge a bit deeper?
          Mark
          Scratch building Patrol #275
          Hood River, OR

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Chewie View Post
            Thanks guys! Flaps it is.

            On the topic of the trailing edge, were you able to get sufficient overlap for two rivets on the ribs using the given dimensions for the trailing edge, or did you have to make the trailing edge a bit deeper?
            I had no troubles on the four place, can't say if the Patrol is the same.

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            • #7
              Are wrinkles are showing up in the fabric just forward of the trailing edge on the flaps and ailerons on flying airplanes? This was common on wood/fabric wings. Not sure I've seen it on metal wings. If so, add a small ball of thickened epoxy on the aft end of the flap/aileron rib common to the inside radius of the trailing edge. This will keep the trailing edge from shifting fwd because of fabric tension and vibration. Keep it small though, because it will have to be balanced out on the ailerons.
              Gerry
              Patrol #30 wings

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              • #8
                Seems like a good tip Gerry. Personally I would hope that 4 rivets per rib would keep the trailing edge from creeping.
                Mark
                Scratch building Patrol #275
                Hood River, OR

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by marcusofcotton View Post

                  I had no troubles on the four place, can't say if the Patrol is the same.
                  Actually I fit six rivets rivets at each rib with proper spacing (three on each side).

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                  • #10
                    I notice in some old threads some folks were debating on whether or not to use single-piece nose skins or section them. Eric's manual shows a single piece. A single piece nose skin on the Patrol flap would be 105 inches long and would be bent along the grain rather than across it. (I have access to a 10' brake for the trailing edge so that's not the issue.) The only advantage I see with single-piece is initial rigidity when assembling, which I think can be accomplished other ways. The factory video shows the guys doing multi-piece nose skins on the aileron and Mark G commented once that the flap skins on the 4-place are also in sections.

                    With all that considered, my plan is to split the nose skins into sections between the hinges for both flaps and ailerons. Then a 12' sheet is not required, and the small gap on the spar flange between the skins could be shimmed with a short piece of .020 to provide a flush surface for riveting on the gussets.

                    Any comment to the contrary?
                    Thanks!
                    Mark
                    Scratch building Patrol #275
                    Hood River, OR

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                    • #11
                      Mark, good plan except skip the shims, just center the rivets and don't go to close to the nose skin. No different than what happens at the ends where the gussets come off the nose skins and spars (actually less of a factor due to spar being thicker).

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