My Wooden Airplane
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8/30/2010 - 9/7/2010

Finished up the Aileron

Lots of pictures today! (I apologize in advance to those with slow internet connections.)

I finished assembling and sanding the aileron. There are a couple of things I'd like to point out. First, in order to curve the upper leading edge skin, rather than soaking it in water like with the wing, I glued the plywood to the leading edge only, then let it dry overnight. Once dry, I used a heat gun and applied pressure so that the plywood conformed to the rest of the aileron rib. Once the plywood was cool, it basically stayed in place. I don't know if this would have worked with the wing, but maybe I'll give it a shot next time.

Once installed, I had to notch the upper trailing edge of the wing in order to allow the aileron horn its full travel. This wasn't shown in the plans. (Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, this is not the actual cable and connectors that I will be using. This is just cheap hardware store stuff in order to rig the aileron pulleys.)

And speaking of those pulleys, here they are. These, I guess, are the "main" pulleys. They are attached to the front spar, and lead directly to the aileron. Everything seems to fit fine. The top aileron cable just clears the top of the rear spar.

These, I guess, are the intermediate pulleys. They are attached to the rear spar, and are situated between the "main" pulleys and the wing root. I did have some issues with these. The first problem was with the holes in the flanges. I didn't want to drill any holes in the main spar caps, only the block that goes between them. The plans say to use a 1-inch spacer between the pulleys, but show a 5/8-inch spacer. If I had used the 1-inch spacer, the holes would have ended up in the spar cap, so I initially tried the 5/8-inch spacer. This lead to the second problem, which was with the cables themselves. The bottom cable was rubbing on one of the ribs. The solution (for me, anyway) was to actually use a 1-3/8 inch spacer, and then turn the brackets upside-down so that the holes in the flanges would not be in the spar caps. I will obviously have to fill in these old holes.

Here is the underside of the aileron. It is kind of interesting in that the hinges are flush-mounted. They almost seem more like flaps than ailerons.

And here is the top. Normally, this wouldn't be visible because the trailing edge of the wing overlaps the leading edge of the aileron during its normal amount of travel. I had to let the aileron droop almost 90 degrees to get this shot.

Just a tiny bit more detail work left, and this wing will be ready to hang from the rafters!

Total Time: 21.0 hrs.