Friday, March 1, 2013

W-1201-L Skin Riveted Onto Left Wing Skeleton

Unlike the snow flurries falling all day outside which resulted in no significant accumulation, inside the DOG Aviation shop there was a significant accumulation of completed RV-12 left wing rivets.

The W-1201-L wing skin riveting began by working from the left wing's leading edge back to the rear spar and using flush rivets in the place of the standard LP4-3 rivets. Two locations do not get riveted at this time … the row of holes on the outboard edge of the W-1201-L skin because the center skin will overlap this row and the inboard leading edge rivet holes in the region where the extra ribs are for the wing walk area because a wing walk doubler skin will overlap at this location.
W-1202-L skin Clecoed onto the left wing skeleton and ready for riveting with the trusty pneumatic rivet puller.
                             Setting the first leading edge rivet in the W-1201-L skin with the pneumatic rivet puller.
                              First row of completed leading edge rivets on the W-1201-L skin ... lots more to go.

Because it was a cold day outside and I was planning on spending an extended period of time in the shop, though it would be prudent to fire up one of the heaters my friends loaned me. The temperatures were in the upper 20’s so did not use the two burner unit and settled on the smaller single burner unit. Placing a box fan (with most of the air intake blocked with cardboard) behind the heater helped prevent the heat from just going straight up and allowed it to circulate better in the shop.

Dave, a fellow RV-12 builder at Schmetterling Aviation, calls his propane heater with a built in fan his “cone of comfort”.  I won’t go so far as to say my heating system creates a cone of comfort …  it creates more or less a “region of bearability”.
Single burner propane heater with a box fan running on low behind it creates a “region of bearability” in the shop.

Riveting the W-1201-L skin progressed smoothly and there were no hitches. All the holes aligned perfectly … a testament to the precision Van’s accomplishes in producing the CNC components for the RV-12.
                                            Riveting of W-1201-L skin to forward nose ribs almost completed.
                                                             Setting the last row of rivets into the aft spar.
                                 Finished W-1201-L skin – the flush rivets look awesome if  I must say so myself!
                                      One skin down and two more to go before all the ribs are covered by a skin.

Once the W-1201-L skin was riveted in place, the W-1203-L bottom outboard skin is next in line for riveting onto the left wing skeleton. This is the skin that was cut to accommodate the landing light. After the W-1203-L skin was set in place, a soldering iron was used to remove the blue protective film along the rivet lines. Once the blue film was removed from the rivet lines, the skin was then Clecoed into position for riveting.
                                         Clecoing the W-1203-L outboard bottom skin into position for riveting.
                                  W-1203-L outboard bottom skin Clecoed into position and ready for riveting.