Friday, June 26, 2015

WING-X Part 1

As I mentioned in the last post, I have been pulled out of the engine shop to help add WING-X wing extensions to a Cessna 182 for a mission in South America. The original goal was to complete the work today, but the project supervisor (Jim Newman) ended up being out of town yesterday and today. This left me to work on the project alone, as the interim supervisor (Mike Dunkley) finished up his own projects. Needless to say, this change (and the fact that the airplane arrived later than expected due to weather on Tuesday) set the project back a couple days.

Despite working solo, I was able to make reasonable progress on fitting the wing extensions. The purpose of the wing extensions is to improve performance by adding wing area and increasing lift (you can read more on the WING-X web site). I also prepared to install wing spar reinforcements that strengthen the wing and increase the max gross weight of the airplane. Here are a few photos from this week. If you're interested in the technical aspects of the project, make sure you read the captions.

The Cessna 182 we're working on has several other modifications, including a composite propeller, larger tires, a Sportsman STOL (short takeoff and landing) kit, and vortex generators.
Wiring modifications and rivet replacement, in preparation for wing extensions.
Fitting the wing tip (darker gray) to the wing extension (lighter gray). The wing extension has to be custom-fit for this installation. I'm not sure where the horoscope cushion came from, but it worked well to prevent scuffing the wing tip!
Using a straightedge to get the wing extension aligned with the rest of the wing.
Several flush rivets had to be drilled out so the spar reinforcements can be installed. The rivet centers can be challenging to locate due to being covered with paint. They are easier to see if a light is placed at the correct angle.
A variety of Clecos (temporary fasteners) holds everything in place after the rivets are drilled out for the spar reinforcement. The gray reinforcements (behind the clecos) will be drilled to match the existing hole pattern, then riveted to the spar cap inside the wing.
To install the spar reinforcements, we have to work through two inspection holes on the bottom of the wing. It's always fun to try to reach and see into the same five-inch inspection hole (especially when you have your arm in the wing past your elbow).
To make clearance for the spar reinforcements, I had to grind away part of the wing rib, while ensuring that I didn't damage the spar. The small cutout in the center of the photo was made using a Dremel tool with a rotary file, and then finishing with a hand file. It may look easy, but working in close quarters, through an inspection hole, makes things interesting!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my work. I appreciate your prayers as Jim and I try to get this job finished up early next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment