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Right Leading Edge Landing Light

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Whew. Tonight was a good night. While I’m waiting for a Van’s shipment to show up, I decided to knock something out that I had been sitting on for a little. The next step on the wing (once the right tank is finished) is to get the leading edge riveted to the wing.

It turns out that I would have been fine to do the leading edge landing light stuff later, but I decided to tackle it now.

Previously, I had gotten a lot of the prep work done, so tonight, I wanted to focus on getting the lens in there.

Repeat after me.

“When seeing ‘bandsaw’ in the instructions. Do not think that means ‘jigsaw.'”

I got about two inches around my first lens’ trace line and <CRACK>.

Nice big crack, all the way through the lens. I broke out the dremel on the next one, and pretty much held my breath all the way through it.

Here’s a picture after getting the second lens cut out, then smoothed on the scotchbrite wheel (which worked suprisingly well).

I set it on the other lens so you can see what I had to remove.

Since I didn’t take any pictures before, here’s the finished cut. I basically traced between 5/8″ and 3/4″ all the way around the hole, then used the dremel.

I'm glad that part is done.

Now, for the infamous “tape handle.” It’s funny, the instructions make very clear that this is the BEST way to drill the holes. Some people get cute and try to push the lens in from behind, and they end up getting the lens too tight in the leading edge, then the resulting holes are spaced such that they can never get the screws in.

A little finesse goes a long way.

Here, I've drilled the bottom three holes.

After drilling the top three (now all six are drilled to #40), I enlarged them all to #30. Then, I removed the lens, drilled the skin to 9/32″ (I think that was it. It was whatever the #6 die fits into), and tested with a #6 screw.

Looking good.

Then, I used a #30 countersink bit to countersink the lens to accept a #6 dimple, and put the lens up next to the dimple so you could compare.

The countersink in the lens should accept the dimple on the skin.

Finally, I fished out the two nutplate strips and put some of the provided double sided tape on them.

Double Double sided tape.

Fast forward a few minutes, and I had it screwed in.

This picture is actually upside down.

Nice.

I'm very happy with how this turned out.

My only issue is that there is a little gap right at the leading edge. The lens is not quite the same contour of the leading edge, but after looking at some old pictures I have of some other leading edge landing light installations, this is pretty much how everyone’s looks.

Now I need to clean that lens.

Big picture view.

Again, I’m very happy with how this turned out, and now when the tank is finished, I can move forward with getting the leading edge riveted on and start on those wing skins.

1.5 hours today. Glad this is behind me.

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