Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wing? What wing??

I'm being disingenuous. I knew this step was coming, although in my defense I didn't find out about it until it was too late.

But before we get to that, there's the little matter of twelve nutplates to install. At least it turned out to be twelve; I had another of those cases where I just think too hard about the situation at hand.

It sounds easy enough: "Dimple the nutplates depicted in Figure 2." The drawing points directly at them. Well, half of them anyway, but it's a symmetrical job and it's easy enough to understand. For some reason, though, I thought that the holes for nutplates on the outer edges of the baggage floors were included in this step, but no nutplate size(s) or arrows pointing at them were in evidence on the page. It was the further instruction to "then rivet them to F-1221-L & -R Baggage Ribs and F-1224-L & -R Baggage Floors" that made me think those were included. When I run into questions like this, I just read ahead a few more pages to see if the parts in question get installed in a later step. I didn't need to go far - it's on the next page.

Yes, I know: you're supposed to read ahead anyway. I do, but not to the level of every single rivet and nutplate.

So, that was solved and it was a simple matter to cleco the nutplates in.

Easy, except....

I couldn't help noticing the uncomfortably close proximity of two of the nutplates to the bulkhead.

See that rivet hole between the cleco and the bulkhead? Pop quiz: how fun is that going to be to get at with the rivet squeezer? You know those things that give you a sinking feeling of dread in your stomach because you just know they're going to be a real ordeal but then they unexpectedly turn out to be pretty easy? You do?


This was one of them. It turned out to be just as easy to squeeze as all of the other rivets.

The center section gets set aside for a little while in order to prep a couple of parts. These are going to be part of the semi-circular receptacle that a tab on each aft spar of the wings slots into, presumably to provide alignment and a little more stability.

Those parts are really too flimsy to do much good on their own; they only provide a flange for a couple of far more robust parts. Those heftier parts were tricky to find. A few passes through the inventory sheet showed no sign of them. I finally found them in the inventory sheets that list the contents of the brown paper bags. Those bags are mostly for rivets, nuts, bolts, and other small-ish pieces-parts, so I didn't think to look there until all other options were expended.

And here's where the wing comes in, so to speak. (Did anyone get the joke there? These are receptacles for part of the wing, so by definition they are where the wing comes it. Get it? No? Oh well.) Anyway, the next step is to carry those little guys over to your wings and file the inner semi-circle to a nice, tight fit with the tabs on the aft spars.

Except, I have no wings.

Back when I was trying to decide which kit to get next, I had no idea that there was a dependency on having the wings when building the fuselage. Fortunately, it seems that the parts on the wing are pretty standardized and I should be able to get away with using someone else's wings. And I just happen to know at least two people withing an hour's drive that have RV-12 wings. It should be just a quick road trip to get this step done.

Looking ahead in the plans, it seems that I can fill a day or two with stuff that isn't dependent on having this part done.

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