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24. Catching up


After our concentrated week of work, we needed a little time to regroup and make sure we’d not missed anything crucial!

As a result of that, a couple of parts we had thought were finished will need some extra work. Those metal ends to the spars should have extra washers welded on them; it’s not a major problem, but they are now so individually matched to their particular ends we need to make sure they are all VERY carefully marked and won’t get muddled. We are also a bit unwilling to commit them to the vagaries of any postal system, but the distances involved are such that bringing them by car is not really feasible. If only the weather were flyable!

I’ve also noticed that the very top plate in this picture should have washers welded to it…

Very keen on welding washers to things, they were. I’ve counted 240 of this type that need to be made specially – right thickness, right diameter – and either welded or brazed to the structure. That’s apart from the many hundreds used normally with bolts of course…

So I’ve spent the last day in a very glamorous occupation – counting washers and making sure we’ve got the right ones with the right fittings, cleaning up the edges of every one from the waterjet cutting process, and labelling them clearly so they don’t get muddled!

We are getting within sight of the completion of all the metal parts, which will be a major step forwards. Actually, of course, that’s not true. We’re looking at completion of all the metal parts we have control of! There are a whole host of things – cowls, tanks and so on that require specialist skills and we’ll be asking specialists to do those. But to be within sight of the end of even this bit is pretty exciting.

Last week we tested the big wing spar joint as you saw; this week I’ve proposed a modification and we’re waiting for the experts to consider this before taking any further action.

I’ve also been giving consideration to another modification requested by the LAA.

This is at the point where the top planes (wings) attach to the centre  cellule – the little bit of wing about the fuselage.

It’s not difficult to imagine coming in for a slightly rough landing, and the wings are jerked downwards. That will tend to pull both top planes away from the centre cellule, and there’s currently not much strength in there to resist, so we’re proposing an aluminium strap inside the centre cellule to keep things a bit safer! It will be out of sight, and should be subject to significant corrosion – and shouldn’t significatly weaken any of the other structure around.

But I can’t sit here writing all day – I must get on with more metal bits!


From → Building, Technical

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