Kitfox IV
Speedster
N4JU
 

 

 

Building the Wings

Lining up the ribsJoan is puting in the rivetsAssembling the wings was not too big a deal except that the dimensions became bigger and accuracy of alignment became more critical. No garage floor is completely level  without  some warps. The leg length of the saw horses had to be adjusted and finally nailed to the floor so that they wouldn't accidentally move about while working.

Joan got her share of hands on experience with the riveting gun  glue guns.

Preparing the fuel tank for mounting in the wingPuting on the false ribsThe Kitfox offers various size tanks. I did not want to limit myself so I ordered the largest 13 US gal fiberglass tanks - one for each wing. Before the tanks could be installed we had to flush it vigorously on the inside as it was coated with a lacquer that tended to detach itself in flakes later when coming in contact with automotive gasoline. Naturally this is easier to do before installation.

To give the wing a natural appearance, false riblets were glued onto the tank. All this work was a two person job, as it involves frequent flipping of the wing.

Then the flapperon fasteners and the electrical wires for the landing and position lights had to be added.

Adjusting the geometry of the wings when attachedCovering the wingsBefore covering the wings with fabric, the attachment holes and mounting geometry had to be established by mounting the wings and struts to the fuselage.

Only then could the covering of the wings take place. Fortunately the wing ribs are designed with a glue strip which does not require the time consuming stitching on of the fabric.

 

Small iron for fabric edges and cornersAs all who have covered aircraft with fabric know, there is that critical element of stretching the fabric with a hot iron. I had to learn to be precise with the temperature, since I was not especially  skilled with the handling of the iron.Exact temperatures are required

At 225F (152C) only the Poly-tack is melted, no shrinking is taking place .

First shrinking at  275F (135C)

Second shrinking at 325F (163C)

Third shrinking at 350F  (177C)

 

Use Poly-tack with small iron at 325F to smooth the fringes of the zig-zag cut edges. Never stop -  it will burn holes into the fabric!

 

 

Joan is gluing the stabilizer ribsInserting the trim servoThe horizontal stabilizer is usually an easy job with one  exception. I wanted an electrical trim servo installed. After some designing on the computer, I had a design which could be incorporated.

 

 

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This page was last maintained 2.9.2008