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Constructed Wing Cradle

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Well, I needed something exciting to do on the airplane, so, instead of starting in on the right flap, I decided to work on the wing cradle.

Even though the right wing is the only one complete (well, kind of complete), flipping it over into a cradle will free up some room.

Let’s take a look at the intended final product.

Leading edge traces.

First up, I need two 3′ by 2′ end pieces.

Below, you can see I have one of the end pieces on my workbench with a couple leading edge traces. Since the spars are about 8″ wide, I used simple math (well, simple if you aren’t an engineer; I made it complicated) and left five inches from the edge, 8 inches for each spar, then 10 inches in the middle.

Leading edge traces.

After some master woodworking...

Then, I laid my other endpiece underneath that one, and marked the edges of the cutout so my spar reinforcement bars would fit well.

Done.

Per the plan, we need a little reinforcing at the top, and a 2×4 for the bottom.

Done and done.

Then, with a little more woodworking, I used my aileron bending brake and cut six two-foot-long angled support pieces, assembled pretty obviously per the plans and picture.

Whoa, this thing looks serious now.

With a little carpeting...

Then, I spent about an hour getting the right wing into the cradle all by my lonesome. I was extrememly methodical, and thought through long and hard about how I was going to do this.

Yes, I could have had a buddy over to do it in 5 minutes, but no, I had to make it difficult for myself.

Anyway, if you remember, my wings were supported by two pieces of angle supported by a 3/8″ bolt through the actual stand, and a threaded rod supporting the other end of the angle. The outboard side of the wing was bolted to the angle, so all I had to do was unattach the threaded rod portion, stand at the wing root, and rotate the wing. The outboard side pivoted around the wing stand bolt, and I was able to gently set the inboard side of the wing in the cradle as shown below.

Then, I moved to the outboard side to undo the last two bolts, and gently lower that side.

Easy peasy. (Next time, I’m getting a buddy to help.)

Before moving the stand back onto the MDF piece on the floor, I took the other spar off the stands, tipped each side of my stands up and took off the right wing stands.

Now both wings are a little closer to the center of the stall, giving me more room by the workbench, and the girlfriend a little more room with her car door. (That’s always a good thing.)

I know the garage is messy, but here's the right wing in the cradle.

One last shot.

Nice.

Time to get working on the lower skins. Well, let’s do the aileron gap fairing and flap brace first.

2.5 hours with all the construction and moving around.

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