Aluminium support strips

Started cutting 1/2″ strips of aluminium to support the fabric on the bottom side of the wing, as the fabric will be trying to pull away there.

Robert advised me to do this when I rang him a few days ago, for the last bit of advice on the fabric for the wings. This little detail as many others was not on the drawings.
The strips on the full ribs will be about 5″ longer, so yes in the end it will be nice 🙂
Just more work to do the preparations before starting with the fabric…….
Just in case you missed this earlier on while building the wings. This short bit of rib is my “invention”. The drawings only have a bottom rib tube on every second rib.
But this way the fabric will be better supported.

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Perfect shape

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Then when the glue is really dry, next morning in my case, by ironing the edge of the tape against the flat fabric, it nicely forms into the perfect shape, see left

Then all that’s left is put sealer on the bits that are left un-glue-ed, wipe it let dry and iron.

Yes whole elevator done !!!

The edges might look a bit messy, buts that just the reflection of the light !! Really happy 🙂

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More elevator

More work on the elevator today, the front fixed part. Did the rivets into the ribs, the finishing tape over the rivets and finally the fishing tape around the whole panel for this. With this finishing tape around the panel I was thinking…

With previous curves, I had problems “ironing” the tape nicely, as you can probably see in photos from Mon 22 Dec.
This time I am pulling the tape around the edges, and by doing that, the edge of the tape automatically drops down towards the flat surface.

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At the same time you put sealer only on the middle of the tape, wipe it off and let dry. Also notice the marks I put in the centre on the tape. This is really helpful positioning the tape once the sealer in on.

Rudder finished

I spoke with Robert again this morning. Thought I will get some more advice on the fabric with the wings. The Bleriot wings are so wide that the fabric doesn’t fit length wise, so I have to do strips of fabric across. Wrapping over one rib on one side and gluing on top of the previous strip on the other side.

Plus he also he told me, in stead of using washers at the bottom of the wing, at the hollow side on the front, to use a aluminium strip of 1/2″ wide to better support the fabric. I can see it will be better as the fabric will want to pull away from the ribs there…. Hmmmm that means more work, but ah well. I have some aluminium here I can cut them from.

Apart from some work as preparation for tomorrows Christmas day family lunch here at home, I managed to finish the rudder and finish the fabric on both sides of the front side of the elevator.

PLUS yesterday I got a piece of carpet to put on the work bench to make the perfect fabric work bench, big enough for the wings 🙂

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Finishing tape

A long day ahead…. I have the day off.
Not that I am complaining, I am not.
Hopefully I get lots done.

I did in a way, did lots, but I have decided that as with everything on the plane, it takes time. You want to do the job as best as you can without making mistakes.
So I make a few (little mistakes) and fixed and learned:

When you put the finishing tape on I find it the easiest to wet the surface the tape goes on with the sealer first, especially with the finishing tape along the outside. Then wetting the tape so it stick nicely.
BUT remember to wipe of the excess sealer before it dries, as it makes a bit of a mess later on when ironing it.

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The sharper curves take a bit more time and its a bit harder to get it done without a few “dents” in the fabric…

Putting the panel into a vice or similar makes life very easy !

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At the end of the day I had the above panel completely finished. THE FIRST finished panel !!!!!!!

About an hour left on the rudder for tomorrow 🙂

And I started putting fabric on the front panel of the elevator. The bottom side is done. Other side probably goes on Wednesday when my Xmas holiday starts (won’t be a holiday… hoping to spend a lot of time on the fabric jobs).

With these glue jobs, you really want to have some drying time between things you do on a panel. So it really speeds up if you can work on a number of panels at the “same” time. Multitasking !!!