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67. Exhibition

09/08/2013

Since rolling the aircraft out on its own wheels for the first time on Monday, we’ve kept our noses to the grindstone pretty solidly for Tuesday and Wednesday; Theo, needless to say, was at his bench splicing cables, and I was sorting out a number of odds and ends; much of Wednesday was spent titivating the wings, but there was nothing very dramatic to show for it.

And the reason was that Thursday was slated for a visit by my family and we wanted to be able to rig up the aircraft outside with all the various bits attached.

And by working ourselves to the bone, by about 2300 on Wednesday night we reached that stage, with a minimum number of cables spliced, tested and whipped, the wings assembled and checked, the fuselage rubbing strakes installed (on the rear fuselage, at any rate) and a lick of Danish oil over pretty much everything.

Thursday dawned bright and sunny, and we set about reattaching the undercarriage, rolling the fuselage outside again, and then… attaching the wings.

Assembly. Cabane first, then the lower wings...

Assembly. Cabane first, then the lower wings…

There’s something of a knack to this, we’ve discovered. The lower wings are relatively straightforward. You lay one wing under the fuselage and attach the landing wires, then lift it upwards and away from the fuselage until you can slot the spar ends into the sockets on the sides of the fuselage. The landing wires take the weight, and Bob’s your uncle.

The top wings are a bit trickier, and are certainly better done with three or four people, since they are eight feet (2.4m) off the ground! There were only two of us, but with me on a pair of steps at the inboard end, and Theo supporting the outboard end on one of the wing struts, we found we could manage it just about. By the time we’d attached the tail feathers as well, it had taken about an hour, and it was time for a cup of tea.

Shortly after that my uncle and his daughter arrived. Uncle Chris was particularly interested – this was the aircraft his father flew, after all – and it was a privilege to be able to show it to him. By the time we’d gone out for lunch, and then Rick, the third builder blew in, much of the day had passed, but we managed to get everything done that needed the wings assembled.

Chris Bremner surveying his father's aircraft

Chris Bremner surveying his father’s aircraft

One check we were able to make was on the drift wires. Drift was the original name for what’s today called drag, and the drift cables stop the wings blowing backwards at high speed. Shortly after the scout hey changed the way these were done, but here they use the old fashioned method, with wires coming from the bottom of the engine mounting plate to top and bottom of the rear strut. We have been unable to get the eyebolt originally specified, and were worried that our alternative solution – a rigging tang under the head of a normal bolt – would result in the shackle contacting the fabric and wearing it out. In practice we think we can put a small spacer under the rigging tang to give sufficient clearance and be strong enough.

 

The seat on the Scout is a long way up. Getting in is going to be like mounting a horse...

The seat on the Scout is a long way up. Getting in is going to be like mounting a horse…

One other thing became clear, as you can see from the photograph. Getting in and out of the cockpit will be something of a challenge – more like mounting a horse than getting into a car.

All in all, it’s been a wonderful day, and it’s hard to describe the feeling when you see pretty much the whole thing assembled on the back lawn!

Three happy builders

Three happy builders!

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