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  #1  
Old 04-19-2013, 02:44 AM
mcattell mcattell is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Posts: 239
Default RV-14 Landing Light Lens Install Tip

The final step to the outboard leading edge prior to riveting it to the main wing is the leading edge landing light lens installation. It's been reported that getting the lens up tight to the front on the wing to pilot drill the screw holes requires two men and a boy. I think that's probably a true statement after I held it in place and tried to push. It seems like the lens is about twice the thickness as the ones supplied in the previous landing light kits by Duckworks. Since I was missing a couple of the key players mentioned above I set out to find another way to push the lens into place by myself. By the way, regardless of the order of the manual instructions, don't rivet the lamp holder bracket in place before this step. It'll just be in the way.

So this is what I came up with. I made this high tech lens installation tool from a couple pieces of 1" round wood dowel and some duct tape. I notched the end of one piece of the dowel to interlock them in a tee and held them together with a duct tape.


By cutting the leg of the tee to the right length, I could then stick a 2x2 through the small hole in the end rib and use it as a fulcrum on the bottom of the tee. The top of the tee pushed against the lens. I could now put a tremendous amount of force on the lens to push it into place. This worked great. I could even hold it in place with my armpit while leaving the hands free for the drill and pushing the edge of the plexi tight. Wouldn't that have been a photo! The only thing I'd do different would be to round the bottom side of the 2x2 to the contour of the rib hole to put equal pressure onto the rib. Otherwise the square edges of the 2x2 may slightly bend the edge of the rib hole.

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  #2  
Old 04-19-2013, 07:06 AM
LAMPSguy's Avatar
LAMPSguy LAMPSguy is offline
 
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Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 374
Default Useful

I'm no where close to this, but that looks helpful. Just from constructing this section, do you think it would be practical to make one side into a gopro window? Fab a bracket that holds a go pro rather than a light for day missions?
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2013, 08:22 AM
Daniel S. Daniel S. is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Lawrenceville, Georgia
Posts: 315
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Awesome tip.... thanks!!! I'm about to install my -7 LE lighting and was struggling with the DW lenses. I was gonna have the wife help but no need now.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2013, 02:03 PM
mcattell mcattell is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Posts: 239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAMPSguy View Post
I'm no where close to this, but that looks helpful. Just from constructing this section, do you think it would be practical to make one side into a gopro window? Fab a bracket that holds a go pro rather than a light for day missions?
I suppose that might work to put a GoPro behind the lens if you didn't get reflection that interfered with the quality. With the wide angle view of the GoPro I suspect that it may not work very well. The big issue would be operating, charging and swapping memory cards without an access opening that's easy to open. You're not ever going to want to take that lens out again if it's not necessary.
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2013, 12:39 AM
Stoo Stoo is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: LL10, Naperville, IL.
Posts: 60
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Too bad these lenses are not a better fit. What mostly distorts when you pull (or push) the lens into place is the aluminum.... check with a straightedge laid span-wise across the area after installation. Hopefully this corrects itself after the completed plane has spent some sitting in the sun on a hot ramp!

Stewart Willoughby
6, finishing.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2013, 04:45 AM
Ron B. Ron B. is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,288
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Stoo, agreed.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2013, 11:34 AM
mcattell mcattell is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Posts: 239
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I know the guy that makes these for Van's at his shop about 5 miles from me. He lurks on this site some times. He's already asked to come take a look at my install so I'll invite him over to check it out. Maybe he could improve it for future builders.
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