Saturday, December 4, 2010

Building a Carbon Fiber Wing with Aluminum Ribs - Part 2

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This is the second part on our online tutorial of how to build a carbon fiber wing.

Our objective is to have a truly great ultralight aircraft - our FAR Part 103 Belite Aircraft.

The first part of this assembly document may be found by going to this link. 

I have completed my online updates to this wing assembly manual.  Further updates may be obtained by purchasing a kit, and receiving the printed wing assembly manual.
Building a Carbon Fiber Wing with Aluminum Ribs - Part 2

Last Updated December 13
Updated December 7
Updated December 4
Updated December 2

16.  Installing the Sail / Anti-sail tubes

The photos in this section show the sail / anti-sail tubes without Zinc Phosphate primer.  The primer will be
applied later.  (When the photos were taken, none of the bolts holding the tubes down are tight -- we  eventually just removed them to coat them with primer, then reinstalled and tightened the bolts.  You are welcome to prime them before your installation.)

In order to do mount the sail / anti-sail tubes, we will install some attachment 'hard points' to the aluminum ribs.  The hard points are simply 0.625 square aluminum tube, glued using 3M 2216 adhesive and rivets to the appropriate spots on each rib.  The sail / anti-sail tubes are 0.500 aluminum tubing, gently flattened in a vise using wooden plates as soft jaws in the vise.  After the hard points are mounted on the ribs, it is an easy task to measure, flatten, drill and attach the tubes. 

The following photo shows a sail/anti-sail tubing hard point, mounted to a rib.  It also clearly shows the sail / anti-sail tubes in place, ready to be tightened down with the AN3 bolt and locking nut. (Some of the best photos are in the last section of this manual, showing section by section photographs of a completed wing.)

Sail / Anti-Sail hard point with tubes loosely attached.
Looking down on the wing at the root and first aluminum rib

The above picture clearly shows the hard point and the tubes.  The tube going to the wooden root rib has not yet been attached to the wooden rib.  To do that, we drill a 'socket' into the wooden rib and epoxy the sail tube into place.  (This root sail tube's function is to prevent the root rib from bending when the wing is covered with fabric.)

Here's a picture of the wooden root rib.  You can see the pencil mark for the upcoming 'socket' hole:

Root rib with mark on it for sail tube
 Just drill a 1/2 inch hole halfway through the rib at the same angle as the tube.  Do not penetrate through the rib!

The center hard point is simply a hole drilled through one of the rib stiffeners we previously mounted.  Here's a picture:

Sail / Anti-sail tubes connecting to rib stiffener in center location of wing.
The Sail / Anti-sail tubes should be painted with primer and then bolted to hard points and glued to the root / tip wooden ribs.



17.  Attaching the Flaperon Attachment Hard Points.

Each wing receives three Flaperon Attachment Hard Points.  (These are NOT the Flaperon Droppers!)  These are simply angle aluminum, notched and cut to length in order to fit flush to the ribs.  They are used to attach the wing to the flaperons.  They are glued and bolted to the ribs.


Here's a pic of a standard fitted Flaperon Attachment Hard Point.  The  bottom is flush to rib bottom and the end has been notched (as has the trailing edge material:



Rear of Flaperon Attachment Hard Point, notched into trailing edge.


Left Wing special case - note how it's fitted to match with dropper bracket

Left wing special case showing flaperon clamped in place to check fit

Another view of Left Wing special case

Right Wing special case -- accommodating the bolts from the dropper on the other side

Right Wing Special Case -- matching pre-existing bolts


Here's another pic showing how the flaperon has been temporarily clamped in place to check placement.




Glue (using 2216) and bolt each bracket in place using 2 or more AN3 bolts.


Flaperon Dropper on Bottom, also Flaperon Hard Point; also Trim Plate


Another view:  Flaperon Dropper, Hard Point, Trim Plate

18.  Install Trim Plates.

Using .016 aluminum, fabricate trim plates around flaperon hard points; flaperon droppers, flaperon cable exit point, and pitot tube.  Rivet to ribs.





19.  Finish Installing the Trailing Edge


Now it's time finish riveting the trailing edge to the ribs.  Use some 2216 and a rivet on each attach point.


Trailing Edge Riveted to Rib.


Trim Plate around Flaperon Hard Point.


Looking down the trailing edge of the wing.




20.  Detail Pictures of the Wing.

Here's a series of detail photos of each section of the wing:

Right Wing, First Section
The First Section, shown above, has the following features:

*  Wooden root rib.
*  Spars have doubler/tripler installed.
*  Sail / Anti-sail tube glued into 'socket' in wooden rib.
*  Sail / Anti-sail tube then is bolted to hard point at front of rib.
*  Flaperon dropper.
*  Flaperon attachment angle aluminum.
*  Note trim plates around flaperon dropper, flaperon attachment angle aluminum, flaperon cable.


Right Wing, Second Section

Right Wing, Third Section

Right Wing, Fourth Section

Right Wing, Fifth Section

Right Wing, Sixth Section, with spar tip extensions

The sixth section shows the wingtip wooden rib, and two sections of spar extensions.

The wings are ready to be covered.  That's a nice feeling, isn't it?

A current copy of this manual is included with each wing assembly kit.


Once again, please subscribe to Belite's news updates here.  You'll receive our customer mailings and news announcements. 


Please follow James' tweets here.  You'll receive advance peeks as to what James and Belite are doing.

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