Wing Installation

Yeah, well this section will be a long time in coming but some thoughts beforehand.  

I am for the most part building this project alone and trying to use as little help from others as possible.  This brings about some interesting problems about HOW? to accomplish tasks that would normally require several eager and hopefully willing assistants.  The mounting of the wings is one such task.  

I have given this part of the project some thought and have come up with a possible solution which I will detail with photos as I progress, or hopefully progress.  The biggest problem as I see it is trying to slide the wing down at the correct angle to the main spar without doing any damage to the inside of the wing in the process.  This would normally require several people to hold and guide the wing into position while someone lays underneath to guide and position the bolts once in place.  A task that definitely requires some careful maneuvering and patience and more than one person.  A single slip during this process and you could easily damage the fuel bays or the inside surfaces of the wing.  Alternate methods of mounting would be to use some jigs to position the wing and then allow it to slide into place.  These would have to be carefully positioned and the wing slid along them into position.  Again, a somewhat daunting task to get two or more jigs positioned correctly.

My idea is to basically position the fuselage on some blocks so that the main spar protruding from the fuselage is basically level.  Then place the wing on the rolling stands which I built for turning the fuselage around and position it at the same height as the spar.  Once done, the wing can easily be rolled into place without risk of dropping or damage.  Any misalignment can be handled by shims under the wing or adjusting the blocks under the fuselage.  After the first wing is in place the fuselage and wing would have to be positioned for the second wing with an extra stand placed under the first wing for support.

Doing it this way should be a one man job.  The main advantage I see is that at no time will the wing or fuselage have to be manually held in position.   I will document this process and update this section during the initial wing attachment.  (Oh yes, wish me luck.)

09/30/2002 - Update:

It worked almost as planned.  The actual mounting and dismounting of the wings using the above method worked quite well.  The only major problem encountered during the whole process was in the jacking process.  You can't jack the plane at any point outside of the main gear of the fuselage.  It was very difficult to keep everything stable during the jacking process.  I had to weight down the nose and later the tail to keep everything from moving during the process.  I would use it again and recommend it as being easier overall.

The details of the wing assembly is continued in the Pre-Assembly section.