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I Want My Baby Back, Baby Back, Baby Back…

August 19, 2011

RIBS!  While spare ribs are yummy, those are not the kind of ribs I’m referring to here.  These are wing ribs, and there are alot of them.  27 per wing, to be exact.  I did the math already, and that comes out to (…carry the one…) 54 ribs altogether.  54 is a lot of anything.

Unsorted. Still in the wrappings from Vans, for the most part.

Sorted into what will be needed on each wing. This isn't all of them, just wings. The tank ribs aren't in the picture.

Just getting them sorted and arranged took an effort.  There are 6 different types of ribs in each wing.  While some can be mixed and matched others cannot.

The next task is orientation.  I need to label them in such a way that I understand where the part goes in the whole mix.  First thing I do is create my own numbering system so that I can know immediately where a particular rib goes.

Now comes the orientation part.  There are several things I need to know when I glance at a part.

  • Which way is up?
  • Which way is forward or aft?
  • Which way is inboard or outboard?
  • What is the part number and what is the rib number.

So I begin the labeling process and label each of the ribs.

Main wing ribs

Neatly labeled

As I label them I get to know the parts better, like what are the differences since they all look alike at first.  I also start thinking about where I’m going to run my conduit.  My wing tip lights will require electrical wires be run from the wing root to the wing tip.  The easiest way to do this is to order Vans wing conduit.  It’s a simple and inexpensive way to run things to the wing tips.  Also running to the wing tips will likely be two tubes that will be used for my Angle of Attack (AOA) system.  More on that at a later date.

In order to accomodate the conduit you need to drill holes in the ribs.  Don’t waste a bunch of time creating a fancy jig or anything.  There are directions that tell you that you can drill a hole in the lower 1/3rd of the rib between the most forward and next aft lightening hole.  The conduit doesn’t have to go in a perfect straight lined, just be in the ball park.  I used a scrap piece of metal from my last mistake a few days ago.  I marked few lines so that I can duplicate the location, then I just put a dot in the center of the hole.

Just line it up in the same place each time and mark where the hole should go.


Then apply the appropriate step drill bit, or uni bit and viola!

Purdy hole. All my holes were pretty close, and thats all thats required for this task.

From → Wings

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