Aileron stiffener priming, wing skin riveting

Finally got some skin riveting done! But first some good news – I flew again with Joy in the Citabria this morning and after the flight, she flipped to the back of my logbook and endorsed me as a competent tailwheel pilot. I’ll still be flying with her though – she requires 15 hours dual before I can solo her plane. So I’m thinking that in addition to doing the usual pattern work, I’ll ask about some spin training and maybe even aerobatics. Anything’s better than just buzzing endlessly in circles around the airport…

Anyway, back at home, I again decided to take advantage of the nice weather, so instead of jumping right into skin riveting, I went ahead and cleaned, scuffed, and primed all those aileron stiffeners:

IMG 5309

Then we went to work on the skin rivets. We started off using the back rivet set, and I was able to set acceptable rivets, but only just so. Even the ones I set had the shop heads smearing a little off-center, despite me attempts to be really careful. We also had one rivet sitting pretty proud on the skin side; I dunno of Josie let off the big bucking bar for a second or what. In any case, I decided to ditch the whole back riveting thing. I felt that while it worked OK, it wasn’t conducive to getting consistently good results; if the best I could do while being careful was to end up with rivets where I said, “I guess that’s OK,” that doesn’t bode well for the rivets I’ll shoot after a couple hours of work.

So we switched to just using the usual mushroom set. I shot from the skin side while Josie bucked on the other side. It didn’t take long to get into a pretty good rhythm, though we had to take frequent breaks for her sake. She had a harder job than me contorting her arm to hold the bucking bar, especially inboard with the closely-spaced wing walk ribs. But we didn’t have any bad rivets that needed to be drilled out, which is a much better record than we had with the back riveting.

We got all the rivets on the left inboard skin done, and about half on the outboard skin, before deciding to call it a night:

IMG 5311

I think we should have no trouble getting the rest of these things set tomorrow. Hopefully if we get an early start I’ll have time to go get the materials for the wing cart and at least do the work that requires daylight. The fun part about the wing cart is that I’m going to reuse the lumber from the wing stand bases – which means I’ll have to take the wings off the stands and set them aside somewhere while I build the cart. We’ll see how that works out…

Posted in Ailerons, Wings. Bookmark the permalink. Hours Logged: 4.5