Right aileron match drilling

Finally back to work. It’s been a hectic week, between getting a flat on my car and dealing with various other annoyances. The good news is that we have no plans over the weekend – I’m not sen flying tomorrow – so I should be able to get in some good work.

Anyway, tonight I moved ahead to aileron match drilling tasks. First the nose ribs are fluted to straighten them, then they’re clecoed to the spars and those attach holes match drilled. Next the ribs are clecoed to the aft side of the spar and match drilled as well. I did all of these tasks on both ailerons together, since they were simple and didn’t take up a lot of work space. Next, though, the whole aileron gets clecoed together, so I put the left side parts away and focused only on the right aileron.

First the trailing edge skin is clecoed to the skeleton, and then the counterweight goes in place under the nose skin. Here’s the counterweight sitting in place just before I clecoed the nose skin on (it’s just steel water pipe):

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And then with the nose skin in place:

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Then there’s a lot of match-drilling of stuff, with a few extra tasks. Most notably, the holes between the two skins and the bottom of the spar are drilled out to #30; these will get flush blind rivets as the last step to closing out the aileron. The real fun, though, is drilling the nose skin to the counterweight. There are holes all along the nose that are used as a guide to drill to the counterweight; these holes will get blind rivets as well. The prepunched holes in the skin are #40 but the final holes need to be #30. In order to make things easier – drilling through steel is a good bit tougher than aluminum – I first drilled all the holes to #40, clecoing as I went, then went back and enlarged all the holes to #30. Finally, the trailing edge skin is removed and a long #30 bit is used to drill a hole through each nose rib into the back of the counterweight.

Finally, it all comes back apart. Time to set this stuff aside and get going on the left aileron:

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Unfortunately, it looks rainy this weekend, so I don’t think I’ll be able to get any priming done. Maybe I can at least tinker with the spray gun a bit to get the hang of setting it up. Even if it’s rainy, I could probably set up just inside the garage door to shoot some thinned latex paint as a test run. I guess maybe I could prime in the garage like that too if I had to. If not, priming might end up being a roadblock here. At least daylight saving time will be back soon, which will give me some more flexibility to prime after work if need be.

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