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Steve & Nancy Riffe
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Date:  10-23-2015
Number of Hours:  2.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Wing alignment

October 23, 2015—I’ve spent a good deal of time leveling, measuring, measuring, adjusting etc. I’m getting close to being ready to drill the all important bolt holes in the rear spar. This is a critical part in the build—a screw up here could be very expensive and possibly in my case “unrecoverable”. So, I’ve measured and checked alignment for several days. I began by leveling the fuselage both laterally and longitudinally. Since my fuse was on the gear, I had to slightly adjust tire pressure to get leveled laterally—then, I just kept raising the tail until I was level front to back. Next, I started with squaring the wings to the fuselage—measuring from an open rivet hole on the wing tip to a hole in the center of the bulkhead where the VS will eventually be mounted. There is ¼” difference between the two sides. Van’s says ½” is acceptable. I also hung 2 plumb bobs off of the leading edge of each wing which I lined up on a chalk line. Both wings show maybe 1/8” forward sweep—again within Van’s specs. Since the sweep is equal, I’m not sure if I can adjust the difference in the wingtip to rear bulkhead measurement, without mismatching the sweep. I’ll think on this a few more days. I checked the incidence using a level and 2 51/64” gauge which I placed over the forward and rear spar webs. You must pay very close attention to the placement of the level to achieve the correct incidence. The spars are hidden, but I found the forward spar web exactly 1” forward of the wing skin joint, and the rear spar web 2 28/32” forward of the rear skin. I used 3 different points on each wing—each incidence angle read 0 degrees, so apparently I lucked out and have no twist in the wings. I clamped the rear spar forks to the rear spar stub, so that nothing should change. Before I began drilling, I’ll probably recheck everything several more times.
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Measuring from r. wing tip

Measuring from r. wing tip

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Measuring r. wing tip to tail

Measuring r. wing tip to tail

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Left wing outer plumb bob

Left wing outer plumb bob

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