Delta Wing

Wings Arrive

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Finally – after waiting 14 months, my wings (kit) finally arrived. I just need to finish of some metalwork I am doing on the horizontal stab and elevator, then they will be put aside for the wings. This will be fun

 

Two boxes of fun and excitement

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Progress so far

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I have had a go at working with aluminium for the first time. Working out quite well.. Right now I have three ribs mostly completed. Two inner ribs with a relief in the corners and one without the relief which will be on the of the ends for the tank. The relief is not cut in the ends as the corners will get welded.

Last thing to do is final sand the edges and then drill/cut the lightening holes with a  flanging to finish. Then it will be onto the tank skin.

 

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Buttoning Up

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Well, all the pieces exist, just now got to get them all assembled. These pics show the spar attach brackets all fitted, the four ribs located and in place and the trailing and nose ribs. Soooo close. The metal rods between the spars are 4130 tubular compression ribs.

 

You will notice the front spar has the bushings installed (in gray) with the half inch bolts already placed. The front spar is missing the sway wire attach brackets, but otherwise complete. The rear spar has the bushings inserted with bolts and landing wire attach brackets. I will still need to cut the holes in the ribs to fit them, but otherwise its complete.

Some time in the next month or so I will cut and form the grab rail at the back and fit.

Would have to say the Steen CAD plans for this component are pretty good. There is an error on the way the rebates are cut out on the front spar nail strips – they are shown in reverse, otherwise, perfect.

You can never have too many clamps

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I have found through this phase of the build you can never have too many clamps. This pic is the clamps used to attach and glue the front spar nail strip (it is only ever glued) used to hold the leading edge on.

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Once the front nail strips are on, then its time to get to nose ribs glued into place. I tried to get the centre section of the ribs themselves routed out. Got one done and it took forever….gave up and will put up with the incremental weight. Wont be much though.

Up Next – Trailing Ribs

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Ok, due to lack of forward planning I am waiting for my metal brackets to be welded and media blasted. They are currently off getting done so work has slowed. All the pieces other than ply are cut and ready for final fitment. I can glue the trailing ribs in, so here they are. You can never have too many clamps in the shop.

Nervous Times

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With the spars front and back complete, its now time to glue them together. The way that I thought would be best to approach it is to glue the widest two ribs together. This hopefully will ensure once set that I can maintain straightness and squareness.

Using a spirit level, laser level, trammel points and a tape measure I got the spars within .5mm comparing opposite corners to opposite corners, whilst keeping everything vertical where required. Pics show the clamps, laser level lines and centre lines of spars. Good to get this job done. No going back if I got it wrong!!

 

Rear Spar and Ribs

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Work has begun on the rear spar. It is profiled, doublers trimmed and I have started on glueing them on. On the front spar I had dramas getting the doublers staying in position even when clamped. This time I am doing the front and will glue the back separately. This has made it much more stable. Takes longer, but they are staying in place nicely whilst drying.

While I have been doing this in between times I have completed the outside shape of the front nose ribs. There are seven of them but the outboard two are a different size (same profile) as they mount from on the attach bracket.

Below – I used a jig and trimmer bit on the router to form the outside shape of the nose rib. Picture is part way through trimming. Needs a sand too.

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Above – 5 of the best. Nose ribs for the front of the centre section. Blessed to be able to pick up a set of upper wing ribs from an Australian builder. Came in handy as I was able to use a rib as a guide to ensure the profile is the same as the outer sections of the upper wing.

 

Left is how I have profiled the spars. Aluminium straight edge and trimmer. RHS doublers ready to go