Towards the end of last year we took the fuselage down to our metal artist, Paul Baisden, to get some welding jobs done such as extra brackets and tabs that we can use instead of using p-clips everywhere. This was all done and our plan was to then get the fuselage painted, however after much discussion we opted to not paint the fuselage just yet.
This was because the wings were still a bit of an unknown, and given that there are mistakes in the wing attachment drawings (1.31" instead of 1.13" for example) we could have been left in a situation whereby the wings don't fit in the fuselage we've just painted!
So, after a slight change of plan we asked Rob at Raven Aircraft if there was any chance we could receive our wing kit earlier than planned, allowing us to crack on with the wings instead of working on the fuselage. We received our kit towards the end of January, and we were surprised that it fits into just 5 relatively small boxes & tubes!
In those 5 boxes is the start of a whole new project for us, a project very different to the fuselage we've been working on.
Thankfully our dad loves wood work so this is right up his street, though the build is complicated as we're working from 3 different sources of information. Firstly we have the stock S-1-11B drawings, then those drawings need modifications to satisfy the UK LAA, and then we have to build the wing in the Raven Aircraft style of which we only have S-1SS drawings for ... argh!
We opted to build the lower wings first, as we believed they would be the easiest to construct. Plus we're still not sure yet how we're going to construct the top wing in our small garage as it takes up most of it. After 3-4 months of hard work and a steep learning curve, this is where we are at:
Yes, the wings fit! They slotted perfectly into position with no changes required to the wing or fuselage. Not bad for 3 different groups of people in different parts of the world building the components separately. There is still a lot of work to do on these wings such as the ailerons, fitting all of the hardware, the leading edge and other ply areas.
We recently drilled the two scary holes, which were the flying wire attachment hole (3/4") and the I-Strut attachment hole which sits an uncomfortably small distance away from the flying wire attachment hole. A friend of ours had previously built a set of Raven S-1SS wings and kindly allowed us to use the jigs he had previously made, allowing us to get these holes perfectly straight. Thanks Neil!
As our wing has an additional center aileron hinge (due to the increase in aileron length), Raven position this hinge so that the aileron slave strut is inline with the I-Strut, however the exact position of this hinge is not known to anybody. Therefore we'll soon be starting on the upper wing so that we can find the true position of the I-Strut and aileron slave, allowing us to then drill the holes for the center hinge attachment, which then allows us to work out where the center aileron torque brace goes. It's all one big puzzle that's slotting together!
Due to space limitations in our garage we can only have the wings or the fuselage in there, not both, which means there has been no progress on the fuselage this year really. However, a kind neighbour has allowed us access to some space that they have going spare, meaning that we can now work on the wings and fuselage at the same time.
We're very excited to get back working on the fuselage, with fuel system fittings and engine controls arriving in the next few weeks. EWOK is coming together nicely, thank you everyone.