Monday, February 21, 2011

Another way to skin a wing

The left wing took me almost two weeks to get skinned, mostly because I could only squeeze in one panel every couple of days or so. Each panel took something longer than an hour. The right wing, on the other hand, has gone much quicker as a result of having help. I've mentioned before that having two people working on a riveting job is more than the twice as fast as one working alone. That's counter-intuitive, but you have to factor in the time lost to tool changes. With two people working, each focused in a specific task, there is far less time spent putting down one tool in order to use a different tool.

The math for three people working on the job is a little different. With three working, there's only a little performance bump over two working, although it's still a measurable improvement. Enough of an improvement, it seems, that we were able to get all three of the top skins on in one session. Co-pilot Egg invited her newest Friend-That-Is-A-Boy (as opposed to the highly connotative word 'boyfriend' - I don't want to be the cause of any arguments between them) to help. I've found that it's best when enlisting help of this nature to catch it in the early days when they're still trying to impress her Dad. Within just a few visits they lose some of the awe for some reason, and feel perfectly comfortable in declining such a generous offer to assist in building an airplane.



That having been said, Case (not his real name, but for trivial reasons I think it will make a good blog-name) seemed to have a good time. He picked up the rhythm of the riveting with ease and withing minutes was pushing the rivet placer to speed up her pace.

We had the three panels on in less than an hour and a half. Once I was comfortable that Egg was supervising competently, I went on to the next step: prepping and priming the wing walk doubler.

Here's the team photo:


Torsten said...

God knows I envy you! Having the chance to divide some of the workload onto so many hands sounds great. Uh, um, I mean having the chance to let others participate in the great experience of building an airplane is giving you back so much, of course.
As I only get to enjoy this all by myself it seems so selfish what I am doing... ;-)

KLewis said...

You have the same pose in all the team photos. haha. appears there was a fourth member?? The photographer??

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