Build Log RV-10 #1

Blog for a Vans RV-10 Airplane Build

Wingtip Installation

 Decided to get the wings wrapped up as much as possible so they can be stored away until it is time to do prep and paint work.  Was not really looking to do fiberglass work. Mostly because I have not had any experience with this type of work, and because it is very messy.  Oh well, had to start sometime.

Started by trimming the edge of the wingtips lip that attaches to the wing skin to 1/2 inch.  Also trimmed the after portions, the top is trimmed in enough so that there is a small gap between the tip and the aileron an on the bottom the same plus a bit for the aileron hinge.  Used a cutoff wheel to make all the cuts and it worked great.  Finished the edges with a hand block sander.

I then installed the wingtips to the end of the wing and match drilled the attach holes, starting in the front going from top to bottom and working back, installing clecos in each hole as I progressed.  Once screw holes were match drill, I match drilled the holes for rivets to attach the nutplates.  The holes were the countersunk for heads of the rivets.  Installed all the nutplates.

Once the nutplates were attached, I used a countersink with the end cut off. As long as you go slow and are carefull, this seems to work quite well.  Also dimpled the wing skins to accept a #6 screw.

When I first attached the wingtip with clecos, everything worked and looked perfect.  Then when I went to re-attach with screws, I ended up with a bulge issue towards the aft end. Can see pictures here.  After working the holes, redimpling, cutting the rear of the tip apart (needed to be done anyway as the tip was about 3/4" to long) and installed the tip rib, glassed the end back together, it all worked out pretty good.  The bulge is now gone.  I did the same installation process with the other tip and had no issues.  Am wondering if I had a bad constructed wing tip.  Took a bit of work and time but happy with how it fits now.

Match drilled the tip for the rib and attached.  Filled in the gap between with West Systems and fill so that it is flush with the end of the wingtip.

Now that the tips are screwed on and fit good, there is a small gap where the lip of the wingtip attaches to the wing.  This creates no problem, but do not like the cosmetic look.  So I decided to tape off the end of the wing and fill this gap in using West Systems resin mixed with some filler.  Let this dry  overnight and sanded to match the height of the skin.  Now the tip is a perfect match to the skin.  Looks much better and worth the extra time.

Next was to install the wingtip lenses.  I purchased a different set of lenses from Vans Aircraft Tires that are precut and the ones I received fit right out of the box with very little fitting.  Once fit and nutplates installed for attaching, I did the same method to fill the gap between the wingtip lip and the lens as I did on the wingtip and skin edges.  This worked very well, and again made the lenses look like a perfect match.

I then measured and drilled the holes for the Nav Strobe lights.  I chose to use the Pulsar EXP from AeroLED.  They are a tight fit as they need to be completed back as far as possible or they will hit the lens in the front.  Got the mounts installed but they will have to be removed and once the tips are painted will be reinstalled for good.  Will not be putting the landing lights in the tips as I chose to utilize the Duckworks mounts for the leading edges of the wing.

The wingtips are now done until prep and paint so will be installed temporarily to the wings and stored until needed later.

Click on images for a view of full gallery.