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Old 04-07-2012, 02:53 PM
jiminy jiminy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 45
Default Tank and Leading edge question

Hi All!
I am starting to look at finishing some wings that were started some time ago. The previous builder left the leading edges and tanks in various states of assembly.. he drilled, dimpled and clecoed most of the riblets to the skins. Looking at the way the ribs fit into the skins (there is a bubble of about 1/16 of an inch on one side of the ribs between the rib and skin when the other side of the rib is fully clecoed).. I can understand perhaps why he ventured no further.
To salvage the situation I have a few options (perhaps some of you can suggest something better)
1) buy new ribs and new skins and start over on all 4 assemblies (2 LE and 2 tanks)
2) buy new skins and back drill /dimple the skins to fit the new skins..

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Also, in order to get the best LE to tank transition/joint, any tips on how to get this done?

Lots of questions I know.. but the weather is getting warmer and I am tired of looking at the parts...
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:26 PM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 10,271
Default How about......

3) Purchase new ribs, install them to the spar. Place the "old" skins in place and drill into the new ribs.

I can't see how you could back drill new skins. With everything in place, you can't get inside to back drill.
Mel Asberry..DAR since last century
A&P/EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor/Nat'l Test Pilot School
Specializing in Amateur-Built and Light-Sport Aircraft
North Texas (8TA5)
RV-6 Flying since 1993, 172hp O-320, 3-Blade Catto (since 2003)Sold
Legend Cub purchased 12/2017
FRIEND of the RV-1
Eagle's Nest Mentor
Recipient of Wright Brothers "Master Pilot" Award
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:12 PM
jimgreen jimgreen is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vancouver island, BC Canada
Posts: 381

Would be worthwhile posting some photos so the pros can give you some useful advice. Always hard to visualize a problem without pictures.
You might find you can fix what you have.
If you haven't done it before there are instructions for posting pics in the top left of the forum pages.
Jim Green
RV7 tip up
IO360 Whirlwind 200RV
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:19 PM
Rick RV-4 Rick RV-4 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 230
Default Agree with Mel

Mel's idea is exactly what I would do. In fact, I had to the same thing on my wing. I had predrilled skins (but not ribs) and I wasn't happy with where my holes were lining up on one of my ribs (they were too close to the edges for my comfort level). It sounds like your problem is the vertical (up/down) location of the rib when it is in a flying attitude (whereas mine was too far left or right).

While this is a different problem than what you have the solution is the same. I found this to be an easy and (relatively) inexpensive fix.

Best of luck!

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