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Constructing the Wing Ribs



The wing ribs are pretty straight forward. Relatively small, and they look easy to build. They are not. I had spent 4 hours on them before I made a single rib.
The first step is to build a rib jig, which is a board with the plans on it, with blocks on the plans, so all the ribs will come out the same. This is very important, as the wing has to be a long, uniform shape. There are twenty-four ribs in all, made of many little parts of 1/4 inch square wood covered by plywood gussets. I used a pice of 1x12 shelving board for the jig. Team reccomends particle board, as planks tend to curl or bow after a while. I solved that problem by placing to pieces of 1x2 inch aluminum square tubing under the jig down the long side, and placed 1 inch aluminum angle down both ends. All bolted together, the metal assures the plank will not curl up or bow either way.



I am cutting most parts out before I begin to make the ribs. I have most of the gussets cut and numbered, and a piece of each 1/4 inch square wood cut and numbered. Once I fit each "master piece" to the plans, I will use it to cut the other parts without having to fit each one. I cut everything just a little oversized and then sand to fit.

I have put thirteen of the ribs together so far, and pulled the staples on some of them. Once I had most of the gussets cut I started building. The ribs are not as hard to make as I thought, only time consuming.

I have also cut out all of the nose ribs and the plywood end pieces. The brackets and aileron attachment pieces I had TEAM pre-make because I am not as skilled at metal working as I thought. I found the easiest way to make a lot of parts exactly the same was trace one on wood very carefully from the paper plans, cut the wood close to the lines, and then finish shaping with sandpaper and my rotary tool. then I would use this "master piece" to draw all the others. It has worked very well so far.

I finally finished the blasted ribs! They were not really as hard as I first thought, but involved a lot of repetitive work. I made all twenty-four ribs, and one spare because I thought one rib looked a little funny. I still have about fifteen pieces of quarter-inch square rib wood left, and TEAM said "that's just because you are good at making ribs. We include extra pieces on purpose ". I put all the aileron nose ribs together too, and installed the metal brackets on the end ribs. Ready to build my spars now!