Monday, 19 November 2007

Dismantling IH - The Wings

A week after IHs last flight I started to dismantle her and get her ready to transport over to my workshop. Like most mechanical things, the taking apart bit is fairly easy if you are prepared, so the first task was to arrange:
  1. A gang of helpers on call to help lift the wings.
  2. A hoist so that we could pull the engine off.
  3. Basic tools (spanners, screwdrivers, hammer etc).
  4. AN3, AN4 & AN5 bolts which are used to drive out the existing wing and strut attachment bolts.
  5. Jerry can for draining fuel out of the wing tanks.
  6. Wing supports.

With this in place, the fuel was drained from the wing tanks so that they could be disconnected. I had to cut the fabric above the doors a dig out a lot of foam from inside the cockpit to expose the fuel lines. At some point in the past, the wing roots and interior around the baggage area had been filled with foam, possibly as sound insulation or to prevent drafts. One thing I will have to inspect for is moisture trapped by the foam causing the tubes underneath to corrode.

The aileron cables were then disconnected inside the cockpit and the static and dynamic pitot tubes cut so that there was nothing connecting the wings to the fuselage.

I removed the ailerons to make the wing lighter and to prevent them from being damaged during wing removal and transport. and the jury struts, which is required before the lift struts are removed.

The wing bands and fairings around the top of the undercarriage were then removed to expose the wing and strut attachment bolts. These bolts were then replaced with quick release pins which would make the job of removing the wings quick and easy. The pins are just mild steel rod, bent through 90 degrees at one end making them easy to pull out when required.

Actually removing the wings requires 5 people (4 at a push). A good trick is to remember to keep the engine on the airframe while removing the wings. It looks odd, but you can take a wing off leaving the other wing unsupported AS LONG AS THE ENGINE IS ON.

Removing the Wings
One person should support the wing at the tip while two people remove and support the lift struts at the wing attachment points. A forth person can then remove the pin at the fuselage/strut attachment point and the struts can be put to one side.

Two people can now take the weight of the wing near it's root on the front and trailing edge while the two quick release pins that hold the wing to the fuselage are pulled. The wing can now be laid on the ground. This is then repeated on the other wing.

The removal of the two wings took less than 10 minutes with minimum fuss and effort.

The wings were then placed in a cradle ready for transport and I continued the dismantling process with the engine and tail feathers.

Thanks to the team, John (my Dad), Rob (Mr Taylorcraft UK) Lees, Mick Medland and Martin Hickin.

No comments: