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[January 22, 2007]


Big night tonight - I finished riveting both of the leading edge skins to the ribs. I did all of this solo. Not hard, but you have to twist your body in all ways to get deep into the skins. My back is killing me now. With the leading edge in the cradle laying horizontal, I was able to get all of the rivets on the top except for the very front. The rivet gun just wanted to walk right off the leading edge, leaving smiles the whole way. So I was going to leave these for another time when I could find someone to help out.


Being hard headed and wanting these things behind me ASAP, I started to fool around with a way to get those nose rivets. I layed the leading edge vertical with the cradle clamped to the table. Then I taped each rivet into the hole and was able to hold the bucking bar inside, while I looked at the rivet gun and kept it in place. I started with pulling the trigger of the rivet gun softly to see if it was moving, then worked myself up to fully drive the rivet.


This really sucks getting the rivets deep into the skin, You have to set the rivet gun over the rivet, then line up the bucking bar, bent over the whole time. I then look at the rivet gun while pulling the trigger to keep it from walking. Not hard, but the repetitions really fatique you after a while.


Both leading edges done and in temporary storage on the wing spars. I am pretty much done with everything north of the spars. Time to hammer out these skins.


I am not going with leading edge landing lights (DuckWorks). If I was, this would be the time to install them. Instead I am going with homegrown HID landing lights in the wingtips with LED NAV and LED Strobe lights. I can't justify spending $750 for nav and anticollision (strobe) light setup, especially when the technology for this is so antiquated. Also, I am not going to give anyone a bunch of money for their HID solution. I am guessing that my NAV light setup will cost me around $150 for both sides, Fully redundant strobes (no single power supply) will be another $150 and HID's under $200. Mind you, there will be a lot of hours to R&D and test this stuff, but I need something to do between 9 and 5 on the weekdays!

I figure that if the wingtip lights don't provide me with enough lighting, I will then put in the duckworks lights. While easier to install before the leading edge is attached to the wing (and the wing attached to the plane), it is not impossible.
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