Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vans Aircraft RV-12 Build, Section 17: Wing Skins (part 4)

Reference: page 17-03, 40-02; 6.5 hours

This entry is for both July 9th and 10th. The 9th was spent deburring and preping the wing skins to install on the RV-12's wing frames (not very exciting and no real pictures to share. But the next day was much more interesting! Started skinning the RV's wings and installing the Lighting Kit. Ran into a small GOTHCA while riveting. Also, just as a reminder, I'm build an RV-12 kit made by Van's Aircraft, both wings are being built at the same time. If you are interested in a specific page in the instructions check out the index on the right side of this blog. It contains entries by page number for quick reference.

Reference: page 17-03

Step 4 page: Position the W-1201B-L Inbd Upper Wing Skin on the wing skeleton. The stiffening flange along the leading edge of the inbd upper wing skin should drop into the cut-outs in the nose Ribs when you lift the trailing edge of the Inbd upper wing skin. Cleco then rivet the inbd upper wing skin to the skeleton leaving holes open as shown in plans.

Builder's Notes: DON'T rivet the leading edge of the upper skin at this time!!! I missed this on the plans and had to drill some of the rivets out to get the middle upper skin in place. Installing the skin kept the wing from flexing so it is now time to start on the lighting kit cutouts.

Reference: page 40-02

Started by cutting a part and fluting the rib flanges to remove the bumps from the Landing Light Ribs. My plan is to use these as the template for drilling their rivet holes from the inside the wing.

Step 1: Align the lines on the top half of the template supplied on page 40-15 with the corresponding top leading edge rib rivet. Use a tool with a sharp point to mark the center of all six rivet holes and the four screw holes that will be added to the top of the Outbd Wing Skin. Mark the perimeter of the upper half of the landing light cutout. Align the bottom half of the template with the corresponding bottom leading edge rivets, then mark the four bottom rivet holes, the four bottom screw holes and the bottom half of the landing light cutout.

Step 2: Drilled only the top two rivet holes.

Builder's note: I did some of these step out of sequence from the plans but am happy with the results. Below is listed the actual steps I followed.

Step 3: Removed the material inside the landing light cutout. Deburr the edge on the landing light cutout and the rivet holes.

Picture below is a pair of aircraft nibblers they don't distort the aluminum sheeting like aviation snips.

Here are the two grinding bits I used to finish off the cutout.

Clecoed the Landing Light Ribs using the two top rivet holes drilled previously. These were tempararly installed transposed (right for left and left for right) to allow for easier access. After aligning these ribs with the wing ribs, I drilled the remaining rivet holes from inside using a small angle drill.

Aligned the Landing Light Back Strips over the screw hole makes and use these as a guide for drilling the four screw holes.

Hopefully the above instructions are helpful. If you have questions please email me at aviationstop at