Quickbuild wing verification

With the quickbuild wings, I'm still required to go through every single step in the manual and verify that it has been completed. That is a long, tedious process (though not nearly as long as actually executing the steps, of course), and the not-done steps are scattered around - in some cases, it's a hole that wasn't countersunk, a bolt that wasn't torqued or the tiedown bracket hole that wasn't tapped. In other cases, an entire section needs doing - that's the case for the Stall Warning System, Bottom Wing Skins, Aileron Actuation and Wing tip.
Lots of steps already done with the Quickbuild, and little details that need to be completed
I carefully walked through every step of every section in the new part of the manual, ticked off the completed ones and put a mark calling for the remaining steps to be done. Most of these steps can be completed in a day, and the full sections will probably take a lot longer.

I also still need to figure out a few of the mod installations (previous post talked about this, and I'll have one more later)

Time lapse:

Total verification time: 2.7h

Wing stand

We decided to build the wing stand following the plans posted by someone else:
(can't find the original source of this to give credit - if you know, please point me to it in the comments!)

The only minor change is that I think the middle section could be a bit stronger, so I plan to join the two sides with a couple of extra 2x4x28"s across.

To build this, I need:
  • 2x6x10' (2) - along wing
  • 2x4x28" (4) - across (front, back, back top)
  • 2x4x22" (2) - reinforcements along the bottom structure
  • 2x4x23 3/4" (3) - vertical back
  • 2x4x24" (6) - vertical front
  • 2x4x10 1/4" (6) - holding the vertical parts across at the bottom
  • 2x4x16" (3) - holding the vertical parts on top
The wing crates came with a few that I can reuse:
  • 2x4x8' (2)
  • 2x4x40" (2)
From the remains of building the work benches and compressor box, I also found:
  • 2x4x52" (1)
  • 2x4x46" (1)
  • 2x4x40" (1)
  • 2x4x17" (1)
  • 2x4x9" (2)
which was more than enough for all the above cuts.

We started by building the frame:
Building the wing stand frames
then the vertical and center sections:
Building vertical sections of wing stand
We attached the carpet on one end, transferred the wing, and attached it in the center - to my surprise, it held perfectly!
Wing transferred to stand
Right wing in stand
e attached casters to it - the type that locks not only the wheel rotation, but also the swiveling - this allows for a very firm position for riveting and such:
Caster which lock in swiveling
We attached the "cheap" casters to the cut-down box the wings came in - I'll use that to be able to work on both. Once they're completed I'll keep only the wing stand.

Last but not least, we had to open up enough room in the garage to actually be able to work on the wings:
Before - barely room to walk
During - wow, there's a floor underneath!
After - now with room to work

Time lapse:

Total wing stand/organization time: 5.9h

Wings are here!

I finally received my QB wings - two crates weighing a mere 780lb total (one ~520, one ~250).
I anticipated that getting them out of the truck and into the garage would be a challenge, so I got a few people to help:
The first crate - it's huge!
Unboxing! (take this, iPhone unboxing video authors!)
Ingredients: sheet metal wings
How do we get this inside?
More unboxing
The garage got pretty crowded after this
The contents of the smaller crate
Skins and center section were at the bottom
The whole thing certainly came well padded
Unwrapping of the ailerons
Lots of hardware to inventory
Counting/inventorying screws
Counting washers
Overall, the inventory went well, with just one missing nut and one missing washer.

Special thanks to Marko, Marcel, Guido and my wife for the help!

Time lapse:

Total wing unboxing/inventory time: 3.8h

Tailcone riveting done!

We've finished all the tailcone riveting that's prescribed in the manual! Just in time for the arrival of the wings (tomorrow).
Completed tailcone!
I riveted the aft deck to the longerons and bulkhead, then the F-1009 frame and the F-1011B stop/doubler to the aft deck:
Aft deck riveted in place
then bolted the attachment bar support angle and match-drilled the required holes into it:
Attachment bar support angle with hole match-drilled from the back
I installed and torqued all the aft deck bolts/nuts:
All bolts bolted - I mean, torqued
Next I dimpled the top aft skin, put the stiffeners back in place, and clecoed the skin back in place:
Stiffeners back in place
Skin back in place
Riveting the top skin is probably the most challenging portion of the tailcone, as it requires someone to get inside it:
Our airplane is now large enough to climb inside! (Wife holding the bucking bar inside the tailcone)
It's especially bad for the aftmost portion (close to the aft frame):
Wife inside the tailcone to buck the aft top skin rivets
I also installed the second avionics rail, which required me to fabricate some spacers from .125 aluminum in order to use the pop rivet tool:
Spacers for riveting avionics rail
Second avionics rail riveted in place
I installed the APU port:
APU port installed
APU port at the bottom (outside)
We riveted the avionics shelves and I bolted down the bellcrank/battery mount and the bellcrank itself:
Avionics shelves, battery/bellcrank mount and bellcrank installed
I also inserted the machined tiedown ring I got from Cleaveland:
Tail tie-down ring
The only things left now are the non-standard mods - I'm waiting for tank sealant to arrive so I can attach the static ports and NACA vents (there'll be some riveting there), then run the static tubes up front. The actual avionics wiring for the tailcone will be done much later, when I actually have the avionics, but I'll run the conduit soon. There's also the riveting of the forward top skin and forward frame, which is only done much later when the fuselage is attached.

Time lapse:

Total tailcone time: 218.8h
Total tailcone rivets: 1826

Research: wing mods

As I'm about to receive the wing kit, I started researching about all the non-standard/not-in-plans things I wanted to have there.

A short list is:
  • Aveo Ziptip wingtips/lights (both wings)
  • Archer NAV antenna (left wing)
  • Delta Pop COM antenna (right wing)
  • Garmin heated pitot tube (left wing)
  • Garmin magnetometer (right wing)
  • Garmin roll autopilot servo (right wing)
  • Ray Allen aileron trim servo (right wing)
  • Speed brakes (both wings)
  • Wires and cables for all the above
  • Locking fuel caps
  • Static wicks on the ailerons (with the respective bonding straps)
I also discarded a few other components, like the Ice Meister - I'm simply going to get ice lights instead, for much cheaper. If I change my mind later, it's always possible to install that at the bottom of the fuselage, where OAT probes are commonly installed.

Wing tips

I had previously posted about the Aveo Ziptips. I still plan to use them, and thus have to run wires to those lights on both sides. These are some of the most important wires, because they're long and "high" current - thus the thickest and most prone to causing interference with other equipment. The interference is the reason why they don't use the wing skins as the ground return path, and instead need dedicated ground wires, the whole thing shielded.

I considered running a single pair of high-current wires and have relays close to the wing tip to operate each light, but from a reliability standpoint that would mean that losing that circuit would cause me to lose all the exterior lights - not good.

Wires to each wing:
  • Position power (.5A)
  • Strobe power (4.5A)
  • Taxi power (1.5A)
  • Landing power (4.5A)
  • Return A (5A)
  • Return B (6A)
  • Wig-wag enable signal
  • Wig-wag synchronization between wings
  • Strobe synchronization between wings

NAV antenna

I'm using the Bob Archer wingtip antenna for VOR/LOC/GS reception (and hoping the interference from the lights won't be too bad). I already have the antenna and now need to figure out how it gets combined with the Aveo wingtips.

Cable to left wing only: RG-400 coax

COM antenna

As mentioned in a previous post, while one of my COM antennas is going on top of the tailcone, the other will go under the wing in order to keep the belly clear for a Motopod.

Cable to right wing only: RG-400 coax

Garmin Pitot Tube

I'm leaving avionics purchases for as late as possible, but so far I'm planning on using a G3X touch with the GAP26-20 heated pitot, so I'm using that as a reference. The heating is another high-current connection to the wing (in fact higher current than the lights), so I'll be mounting the pitot tube on the opposite side of the COM antenna to minimize interference - it does also use a dedicated ground return wire.

To attach the pitot tube, I got the Gretz PBK-12 mount - these should be trivial to install, and my only concern is finding the right location so that they don't get in the way of the speed brakes.

Wires to left wing:
  • 1 power wire (12A)
  • 1 ground return (12A)
  • 1 discrete signal


Again, using the Garmin units as a reference, as mentioned in a previous post, this will be mounted in the wingtip. This will require some testing to see if the servos (autopilot and trim) on the right wing cause any significant interference - they're far enough that it may not be an issue (others have mounted it in the tailcone close to those servos without issues), but it's less than the 3m that Garmin recommends.

Wires to right wing:
  • 1 power wire (<0.2A)
  • 1 ground return (<0.2A)
  • 2 RS-485 signals
  • 2 RS-485 ground returns

Garmin roll autopilot servo

Garmin makes the mounting kit for its GSA28 servos to go into the right wing near the aileron trim servo, so that's what I'm planning for.

Wires to right wing:
  • 1 power wire (2.8A)
  • 1 ground return (2.8A)
  • 2 trim inputs (1A)
  • CAN bus pair
  • Autopilot disconnect signal
  • 2 RS-232 signals (TX/RX)

Aileron trim servo

The aileron trim servos go in the right wing per Van's instructions. They're driven by the autopilot servo (for auto-trim), such that no dedicated wires are needed for its control, just signal wires for the servo position sensor.

Wires to right wing:
  • Position signal power
  • Position signal ground
  • Position signal reading

Precise Flight speed brakes

Yes, I'm installing speed brakes. Why? I could give you technical reasons with questionable data about engine shock cooling on descents, but I'll just say that they're cool, I got them cheap and they make for great short-field landings :)

Precise Flight doesn't provide installation instructions for their brakes for the RV, but they did send me their Mooney instructions as a reference for both the physical and electrical installations.

The electrical wiring is pretty simple, with 8 wires that connect from each wing to the controller and include all the motor, clutch, sensors, etc.

The physical installation will be trickier - it requires cutting a hole on the top skin of the wing, mounting the backing plate they provide beneath it, possibly with a doubler, plus a bottom support bracket. I'll figure out the details once the wings are here.

Wires to each wing:
  • 4 motor/clutch power wires (1.5A?)
  • 4 signal wires

Left wing summary

The items going on the left wing are:
  • Wingtip lights
  • NAV antenna
  • Heated pitot
  • Speed brake
  • Fuel senders
  • Stall warning
which require these connections:
  • Position power (.5A)
    • Strobe power (4.5A)
    • Taxi power (1.5A)
    • Landing power (4.5A)
    • Return A (5A)
    • Return B (6A)
    • 2 pitot tube wires (12A)
    • 4 speed brake wires (1.5A?)
    • 13 low-current/signal wires
    • 1 RG-400 coax
    Total: 12 high-current wires, 13 low-current wires, 1 coax

    I could use a single connector at the wing root, but I'd rather separate signal and power connections. Assuming that I can do about 50% of the rated current (due to contact loading), I'll likely get TE CPC series 4 or series 6 for power like the 207486-1, 796466-1 or even 208479-1 (so I have 4 pins for higher-current lines like the pitot heat) and a series 2 for signal.

    Right wing summary

    Being symmetrical would be too easy, so the right wing has different equipment:
    • Wingtip lights
    • COM antenna
    • Autopilot servo
    • Trim servo
    • Speed brake
    • Magnetometer
    • Fuel sender
    which require a lot more wires:
    • Position power (.5A)
    • Strobe power (4.5A)
    • Taxi power (1.5A)
    • Landing power (4.5A)
    • Return A (5A)
    • Return B (6A)
    • 4 speed brake wires (1.5A?)
    • 2 autopilot wires (2.8A)
    • 2 trim inputs (1A)
    • 24 low-current/signal wires
    • 1 RG-400 coax
    Total: 14 high-current wires, 24 low-current wires, 1 coax

    For this one, I can also use a TE CPC series 2 for signals and a series 1 for power (since there's nothing higher than 6A and that's rated for 13A).

    This is all obviously subject to change as newer avionics come out, or as I need to move things around for the magnetometer to be happy.