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Flap Taking Shape

April 1, 2012

I got a whole day in the shop yesterday.  The weather was warm, but there was a good breeze.  I think it was 85, today is supposed to be the same.  No April Fools joke, either, this has been a fantastic Spring.

Friday night I had gotten all my parts primed and hung up to dry.  Saturday morning I was a little dissapointed the the parts were still kind of tacky.  It might have been because the can I shot them from only had a small amount left.  I’m not sure.  I took everything out in the driveway to bake in the sun for an hour or two.  While I was doing that I had to make a bracket that will connect to the flap spar.

There are all sorts of places where Vans  has you make something from extruded aluminum angle, or from sheet aluminum.  This isn’t to turn you into a machinist, but its part of the FAA master plan of make sure you “make” part of your plane and that it is “educational”.  This piece is easier than most.

It starts with a length of 2×2 extruded aluminum angle.  You cut off a chunck…sorry, dont remember the exact length.  For this I used my band saw.  Its a great tool for cutting these sorts of things.  After that you take one of the 2″ sides and cut it down to 3/4″ and you’re done.  You then spend time at the deburring wheel.  smoothing everything out.

The left is the raw stock, the right is the finished product.

I’ll still have to drill some holes, but the plans have all that information on them.

I collected all my sun baked parts and started the assembly.

The assembly process begins

You start by putting it all together and making sure you have all the parts and that they are fitting right.  At this point everything is dimpled, de-burred and primed.  I inserted rivets into all the exposed holes and used painters tape to cover the rivets so they dont fall out.  The directions said to use a stand to help with the rivet process.  I found it to be more of a hindrance, so I just put the flap on the table and worked with it there.

The instructions said that the jig I made earlier would help with riveting. I found this not to be the case.

Next it was time to size up the flap control plate and that bracket I made.

I have to match drill all these holes

This plate is a thick piece of aluminum that sits flush on the end of the most inboard rib.  Ultimately this is where the control of the flap will connect to the flap.  It is hard to see, but if you look on the left side, just to the right of the 4 vertical holes, you’ll see a vertical blue line.  This line is 23/32″ from the left edge; it is a bend line.  I locked the plate in my bench vice and had to whack it with a dead blow hammer a bunch of times to make this bend.  6.3-degrees is the measurement.  I have a digital level, so it makes the measurement pretty easy.  I wish I could take a shot to show you why the bend has to be there.

I had to measure out all those holes, based on the plans, and then match drill them to the spar behind it.

My fabbed bracket fits very nicely.  There is a very slight (maybe 1/32″) gap where this bracket and the plate meet, but its a tractor not the space shuttle.

The bracket I fabbed is on the left in this picture.

This is pretty much how I left things.  I re-primed both of these since I had chipped off a bunch in the drilling and bending processes.

Today I’ll get the flap buttoned up and then I have to flip my wing over so that I can get the aileron and flap installed and adjusted.  I also have to get the hinge squared away.

From → Build Log, Flaps, Wings

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