Installing the wings, even with a helper, is a pain. While I can do it alone and it’s not that time consuming it can be frustrating and it’s really easy to damage the wings moving them around. I’ve been wanting to make this process easier since I built my wing carriers long ago and I finally came up with an idea that works!
I’ve basically built a set of sawhorses, on wheels, that transforms into a wing rack while the wing is resting on the sawhorses. Watch the video to see it in action:
Now, time to start building this, your gonna need some materials:
|2||2″ PVC pipe||62-1/2″||Main horizontal support|
|2||2″ PVC Pipe||12″||Main vertical support|
|2||2″ PVC pipe||1-3/4″||Reducer connector|
|2||2″ PVC pipe||3-1/2″||Rotator for base|
|2||1.5″ PVC pipe||25″||Vertical slider|
|2||1.5″ PVC pipe||6″||Arm rotator|
|2||1.5″ PVC pipe||20″||Lower arm|
|2||1.5″ PVC pipe||28″||Upper Arm|
|6||1.5″ PVC pipe||1-3/4″||45° connectors|
|2||1.5″ PVC pipe||3-3/4″||Bungee holder|
|2||3/4″ PVC pipe||3-1/2″||Bungee hook|
|2||3/4″ PVC cap||N/A||Bungee hook|
|2||2″ PVC 4-way||N/A|
|2||2″ PVC Tee||N/A|
|2||2″ to 1-1/2″ PVC reducer||N/A|
|2||3″ sch 30 cap||N/A||Mount to base|
|2||3″ to 2″ sch 30 bushing||N/A||Mount to base rotator|
|8||1-1/2″ PVC 45° elbow||N/A|
|4||1-1/2″ PVC cap||N/A|
|4||1-1/2″ PVC Tee||N/A||Arm rotator assembly|
|6||Wing Nuts||N/A||Replacement wing nuts for lawnmower handles|
|8||3″ casters||N/A||All must be casters, preferably locking too.|
|32||5/16-18X1″ carriage bolts and nuts||N/A||Attach casters|
|??||Various small screws||N/A|
|6||1×4 common board||44″||Base|
|4||1×4 common board||18″||Attach casters|
|2||1×4 common board||56″||Attach casters|
|2||bungee cord||4′||Flat cord bungee|
Note: Do not use “sanitary” fittings, they will not work.
Many of the PVC parts will need modified, a lathe would make most of the modifications easier. A mill would be nice too. I used a Dremel and a drill press.
Let’s start at the bottom and work out way up.
The ends of two 44″ boards need notched to accept the 18″ boards. The notch in the 18″ boards starts 4″ from the end. I glued the there pieces together.
The rear two 44″ boards have a small notch cut in them to clear the 18″ boards. This board was glued and screwed to the back side of the platform.
The front 44″ board also needs notched but it needs to be lower. This board was added as a modification so some pictures might be missing it.
Before gluing this board I pre-tensioned it with some twist to counteract the off-center weight when the wing is in the storage position.
If your wondering why the board is pre-tensioned look at the picture below.
The casters are bolted to corners and the 3″ PVC cap is bolted in the middle.
Grab the two 2″ tees and cut a notch for the wing bolt that goes 90°. It is ok to go more than 90 but if you can make it exactly 90 you will be happier with the end result. Remember to make a right and left version, the tees should be mirrors if one another.
Now grind out the inside of the notched part of the tee until a 2″ pipe can easily rotate within the tee. Now glue the 3-1/2″ long 2″ pipe into the 3″ to 2″ reducer. Once the glue is dry insert it into the tee, ensure it freely rotates when fully inserted. Now mark the center of the notch onto the pipe. Drill a hole, use a small chisel to make the hole square for the carriage bolt.
The carriage bolts for the wing nuts need modified a little bit to better match the contour of the pipe. A vice and a file made this pretty easy.
Grab the 12″ long 2″ pipes. Cut a slot in them, this will be the height adjustment. I used my drill press to drill a line of holes then used a file to produce what you see here.
Grind out the inside of the two 2″ to 1-1/2″ reducers until a 1-1/2″ pipe easily slides through the adapter.
You can now assemble the main part of the base.
Set the PVC base into the caps. Now adjust the base rotation wing nuts. The vertical boards on each caster platform should be facing each other.
Once adjusted to your liking use some small screws to attach the reducer and cap.
Now get two of the 1-1/2″ tees and notch them for the wing nut. Again remember to make a right and left. The length of the slot is not too important, I made mine much more than 90° but depending on how much rotation you need you might want to do something different.
Now grind out the inside of the tee until a 1-1/2″ pipe easily rotate inside the tee. Go ahead and glue the 25″ 1-1/2″ pipes to the tees. You might be tempted to cut square hole for the adjuster, but wait till later when you can better align everything first.
Now take the remaining PVC parts and build two candy canes, again be sure to make a right and left.
The 1-1/2″ long PVC pipe needs a notch cut in it so the bungee cord can exit the pipe. The “cap” will slide over the end and is secured with two small screws.
A board was cut to create a flat platform for the bottom of the wing. I used a 2.5″ hike saw to notch the end and a 45° bevel wad added with the router.
The board was drilled and counter sunk then attached with some drywall screws I had laying around. Then it was covered with some self adhesive pipe insulation.
To adjust the tension on the bungee, wrap the cord around the hook before inserting it into the pipe. I did need to bend the hook a little too make it narrow enough to fit into the pipe.
Now you can assemble everything and mark the locations for the adjusting bolts.
The manual for my Hirth F-33 engine says that if it is mounted inverted the spark plug wires need to be secured so they cannot fall off from vibration and gravity. After inquiring on the lonesomebuzzards.com forums George and Dick gave me what I thought was the best idea.
Purchased two s-clips and a 1/4″ diameter by 6″ long spring from the hardware store. Added a scrap piece of fuel tubing to prevent the spring from chafing the ignition wires. Drilled a couple of holes in the cylinder head fins and voila, problem solved.
A few weeks ago I ran across an article taking about aircraft bolts that answered lots of questions I had. One thing that concerned me on my airplane is that some of the bolts appeared to be too short. Turns out I was right, some of the bolt sizes on the plans are wrong according to general aviation practices. I suspect this was done to save weight.
The article mentioned above suggested that there should be at most one thread inside the hole, the bolt must go all the way through the nut but if there are more than three threads through the nut the bolt might be too long. I also looked up what the FAA says which is in AC 43.13-1B chapter 7.
7-37. GRIP LENGTH. In general, bolt grip lengths of a fastener is the thickness of the material the fastener is designed to hold when two or more parts are being assembled.
All bolt installations which involve self-locking or plain nuts should have at least one thread of the bolt protruding through the nut.
Armed with proper knowledge I looked at the bolts holding the aileron brackets. As you can see the AN3-6 the plans call for are too short.
Not only is the overall length of the bolt too short it’s grip length is too short. More than one thread is in the hole, this could allow the bolt too be overtightened crushing the wood.
I also would feel much safer with those bolts safety wired so I ordered up some AN3-7 with drilled heads. With the AN3-7 one thread protrudes through the nut.
With drilled heads I can safety wire the bolts ensuring my aileron will remain attached.
I decided awhile back that if I ended up overweight for part 103 rules that I would register it as an experimental amateur built aircraft. Not only am I overweight but also a bit tail heavy so last week I paid the FAA $10 to reserve my custom N number, N349LE aka Eagle.
Registering as EAB allows me to carry more fuel so I ordered up two wing tanks and plan to ditch the fuselage tank. The fuselage tank and my toes don’t get along and I never liked the idea of 5 gallons of gas above my legs ready to turn my bird into a crematorium.
Once the wing tanks are installed I can start putting the fabric and paint on the wings. Won’t be too much longer and the airplane will be completed.
Winter has slowed down progress on the painting. I’ve been trying different paint methods and plan to post an article detailing what I think works best. The paint scheme will be revealed when it’s completed but here are a couple of pics showing that it is possible to get a showroom finish with latex paint.
Before covering the tail section of the fuselage I thought it would be a good idea to build some static ports and run the tubing. The flight manual says to put the static ports in the center of the diagonal between stations six and seven.
I cut a 3/4″ cube from some scrap wood and drilled a 19/64″ hole through the center. Then used a 11/32 to drill nearly all the way through leaving about 1/8″ of the 19/64″ hole.
I then put some CA ( super glue ) on the 19/64″ portion of the hole. Once dry I run a 1/8-27 NPT tap through the hole. As the tap cut I would remove it, add more CA, let it dry and then tap a little deeper. The end result is some nice strong threads in the block.
Next I cut a 1 1/2″ square piece of 1/8″ plywood and drilled a 19/64″ hole in the center.
Next I used the 19/64″ drill bit to line up the block and plywood to glue them together.
Now the hose adapter can be installed so you can get an idea of the final result.
The plug on the outside is some fastener I found at the local hardware store. To make them useful I drilled a 1/16″ hole in the center.
I glued the assembly in the center of the diagonal between stations six and seven.
Once the glue was set I vanished the exposed wood then started running the tubing. I put a tee between the two ports.
Drilled a hole in the elevator cable bracket on station six to hold the tubing.
Did the same at station five and a hole was drilled in station four directly under the left rudder cable.
Another hole was drilled in the seat support directly above the elevator trim cable.
The tube follows the same path as the trim cable up behind the instruments. I did not connect it to the instruments yet because I have not decided on the exact routing behind the dash so no pictures of that. The plan is to add tee so it can be connected to the air speed indicator and altimeter.
Working in a single car garage is less than ideal but so far I’ve made sure. When I got both wings completed I ended up with one hanging on the wall and the other one occupying my workbench making it difficult to work on anything.
So I decided to build some wing carriers to make it easier to move and store the wings. They need to be light, capable of spring the wing and allow the wings to be hung up side by side without strut brackets poking holes in the other wing.
The basic idea is three J shaped verticals connected with with three horizontal bars, two on back and one on the front. This is the bottom of the J.
Here is the completed assembly.
Both wings safely hanging on the wall.
The nice thing about these is I can pick a wing up by myself, lay wing onto saw horses and remove the carrier with no trouble. Putting the carrier back on is also really easy. Might be helpful for anyone who trailers their bird too.
To attach, place the carrier on the leading edge.
Hook the bungee cords.
Materials needed to make one carrier:
3 pieces 6′ X 1/2″ electrical conduit
Some self taping sheet metal screws
1/2″ and 3/4″ pipe insulation, enough to cover all the pipes
3 pieces 8″ X 3/4″ schedule 40 pvc pipe
5 pieces 12″ X 3/4″ schedule 40 pvc pipe
1 piece 11″ X 3/4″ schedule 40 pvc pipe
2 pieces 43″ X 3/4″ schedule 40 pvc pipe
1 piece 42″ X 3/4″ schedule 40 pvc pipe
6 pieces 3/4″ 90° slip elbow
2 pieces 3/4″ slip to 1/2″ Male threaded
2 pieces 1/2″ threaded tee
1 piece four way slip
2 3/4″ slip plug with 1/2″ female threads
4 pieces 3/4″ slip to 1/2″ female threads 90° elbow
2 pieces 3/4″ slip tee with center 1/2″ threaded
3 pieces 4′ bungee cord
The 1/2″ threaded is for the electrical conduit, you need to grind the threads a little for the pipe to slide in. The screws prevent the pipes from sliding out.
When I first fit the wings I messed up when I drilled the 1/4″ holes to 3/8″ and glued the RS-401 aluminum bushing in place. It seems difficult to keep the drill perfectly straight. The grain of the wood will push the bit toward the softer areas. So I ended up drillng the holes out to 1/2″ and gluing a dowel in the hole so I can start over.
This time I have a plan to ensure the hole is straight. I took a scrap piece of 2×4 and drilled a 3/8″ hole through it on the drill press. As you can see the aluminum tube fits perfect inside the 3/8″ hole.
After installing the wings and drilling the 1/4″ hole I put the 1/4″ pin in the hole and slid the aluminum tube/2×4 over the pin.
Next the 2×4 was clamped to the rear spar carry through.
The tube and pin were removed and then the 3/8″ hole drilled through the 2×4 into the carry through. The 2×4 held the 3/8″ drill bit perfectly straight. I am much happier with the results now.
The aileron horns are cut from the same piece as the aileron yoke and rudder horn. I figured that I might as well cut them all out. Then I started making other metal parts related to the other items. The result is now the control stick assembly is completed.
Really no need to go into much detail as all these parts are pretty easy to make. One issue I had was cutting the 1″ hole in the yoke and torque tube bearings. Using a 3/4″ hole saw, a dremel and most importantly my rounded file. If this file was shaped like a rod, it would be 1″ diameter. Without that file it would have been more difficult to get a nearly perfect hole.
You can see how perfect this file fit this hole.
Here are the aileron, ruder and elevator horns.
Ran into some issues bending the fuselage sides against the mirror mount base. One joint broke and a piece of wood split a little bit.
Mailed TEAM Mini-Max for advice on what to do.
To correct this I added a corner block.
Covered the area with a gusset.
Both fuselage sides were prepared in the same way. After mixing up some epoxy I went to work gluing and clamping ending up with my fuselage corner looking like a porcupine.
It was a little extra work but I am happy with the results and this part of the fuselage is much stronger now. Since I am using the nose wheel option this added reinforcement might even be helpful.