Monday, 24 December 2007

Uncovering the Port Wing

It's almost Christmas and I've stripped the fuselage to the point that I can give it an initial inspection and satisfy myself that there are no major problems, or at least nothing that wasn't expected. so I thought it was time to check the wings out. Once I've stripped the fabric from all the major components I can put my orders in for the hardware, fabric, paints and tools that I still require knowing that I should have 90+% of all the items I require for the rebuild.

Starting with the wing leading edge, I cut the fabric so that it could be peeled back over the wing. Within two minutes I remembered that the first job should have been removing the tapes and Martin Wire clips that hold the fabric on.

Note that while removing fabric I use a mask and gloves to protect against the fiber glass and dust.

The tapes were easy to remove by cutting at one end using a craft knife (single edge razor blades are also good for this) then prizing the tape away from the main fabric with a screw driver to the point that I could just pull the tape off. This reveals the wire clips.

The quality of the wire clips varied from rusted or brittle to reasonably good condition although I didn't spend too much time trying to save all the wires as I have 300 feet of new stock that will
be used on the wings when they are recovered.

The first look inside the wing reveals that it is in very good condition with just a little surface rust on the compression tubes and drag wires but nothing to worry about.

The spars look fantastic with no apparent splitting along the scarfed and lamination joints. Luckily my Farther was a carpenter and joiner so he had a quick look and declared the spars OK although the final say will go to Carl, my inspector.

With all the clips removed, the fabric was rolled back over the wing. The wing was turned and the process repeated on the underside.

Before starting on the next wing I will photograph each bay in turn and all the fittings. The second wing will then be stripped and photographed before I turn my attention to the ailerons and undercarriage.

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