Day 9 - Swaging, and stretching!      Hours today: 8      Hours so far: 67


My swaging tool arrived from Light Aero - about 20 delivered. My inspector offered to lend me his, but I decided to buy one. It was worth it, if only for the entertainment value. I looked at the Nicopress sleeves which were supposed to fit into the tool and could not see how the thing worked. The sleeves are shaped like a figure 8, the tool is circular!

Click on the pictures to enlarge.

When in doubt, phone Terry at Reality. Oh, how he laughed at the stupid plane builder! They're supposed to be like that, because when you've finished compressing them, they become circular... It just shows what an idiot you can be, and still contemplate building a plane...

I was feeling unfit, so decided to fit the main landing gear bungees. First, make up a safety cable with the swaging tool... this restricts the main gear travel to 4 inches (see the cable on the left). Then wrap the bungee round the lugs, tucking the safety cable underneath. Cor! What a palaver! You have to keep the tension in the bungee the whole time, otherwise it won't fit. Make sure you get 8 full wraps, as per the manual.

I thought I'd spend 5 minutes putting the flap lever together. I put all the relevant pieces on my work bench, read the manual again, looked at the bits, then started building. I didn't follow the manual, but instead assembled the lever on the bench, and only then fitted it to the fuselage. I realised afterwards that this is the best way... putting it together after you have fitted the plates would be really tricky. Two hours later it was finished. When you drill out the plates, make sure that they are far enough forward so that the pulleys are not fouled by the fuselage - mine are tight! I also had to trim the flap spring slightly - it was too long to allow proper action of the button.

The rest of the day was spent preparing, then gluing the main spar brackets. The I beams need positioning inside the spars - Terry emphasises that the inside of the spars need to be clean, the I beams smooth and lightly oiled. I put some sandpaper onto a long stick so I could clean up the inside of the spar tubes, then a duster then slowly pushed the I beams in. The third 'tool' was a length of box section with a slot cut into it - I pushed the I beam in with it, then rotated it according to the manual instructions.

This is a tricky job. There's a lot involved, especially lots of preparation. The bracket on the front spar uses three different types of rivet, which adds to possible confusion. Here, the 30-odd holes have been drilled and deburred. The clecos are holding the I beam in place. Next comes abrading and cleaning, followed by gluing.

Gluing the main brackets on was the culmination of about 6 hours preparation. I'll have to go through it again with the other wing now... Next page