Main Spars – Complete

9/30/2011
Hours: 27.9
Main Spars: 31.8

Zachary and I made a trip to the Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.  There we saw the SR-71 Blackbird prominently displayed with the sign telling that on its last flight from LA to Dulles on its way to the Air and Space Museum, it made the trip in 1 hour and 4 minutes.  That’s just amazing.  But what does Zachary wonder?  He wonders how long it would take to build that airplane in our garage.  At least a few months we both agreed.

Although a ton of stuff has been done in completing the work on the main spars, it isn’t really the photogenic sort of work.  Mostly, it involved drilling out holes, then drilling out some holes and then drilling out some more holes followed by deburring said holes followed by countersinking said holes followed by more countersinking followed by installing nutplates which will hold the fuel tanks later.  Then after that (there were over 1400 holes) each one had to be drilled and debured on one side and countersunk on the other.  There was also some priming and did I mention the drilling?  Yes there was match drilling some J-Channel pieces which will be used later on when we attach the skins.  Also I fabricated (cut to size) the tie down anchors which were then primed and riveted and bolted to the spars.

The highlight of the work done this past few weeks has been the trip to the Air and Space Museum.  For those who may not know, the original Air and Space Museum is on the mall in downtown DC.  The bigger and better Air and Space Museum (also a part of the Smithsonian) is known as the Udvar-Hazy center and is in Chantilly, VA immediately south of the Dulles Airport.  Many of the pictures for this installment are from the museum since the spar pictures are so boring.

Take note of probably the smallest home-built airplane.  It was called, “La Cucaracha” or “The CrosleyFlea”  Maybe we should have opted to build this one.  Given we could probably build a Blackbird in just a few months, we could probably build one of these in just a few weeks.

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Main Spars

9/5/2011

Main Spars: 3.9

Hours: 3.9

We’re back in the saddle.  The wings are here and we’ve begun.  The first steps are to add an extension to the main wing spars.  The spars are the main supports for the wings that stick out from the fuselage where all the wing structure gets built around.  It’s the thing that makes the wing strong.  The spars come partially assembled and gold anodized to prevent corrosion (ouch, Expen$ive).

After several months without driving a single rivet, I was surprised to have no serious riveting issues at all.  What a relief that was.  ….  Also threw in a few more pictures of the pile of stuff that came in the crates.