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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Right Wing Work

Beautiful weather in Wichita today, afternoon high was nearly 55 F!  Leah and I got to work on the right wing and in a few minutes the fabric was gone.  Initial inspection was good.  Then a quick trip to Lowe's.  I needed to lay the wing horizontally to start sanding.  I decided to just use the workbenches I already have to support it but I wanted to make some sort of support on the root so the wing was stable.  So with a 2x4 and a dowel i rigged up something that will work.  Picture was taken before I added another piece of 2x4.  Now I can pretty easily rotate the wing right side up, upside down, or vertically.

Now it was time to get to work, so I started sanding. And sanding. And more sanding.  I knocked off most of the residue left over from the fabric and cleaned up a lot of damaged wood.  I did find a few dings and dents that will need to be filled in but that should be pretty easy.

So I did a first hack at a good sanding job on the top of the wing and it is looking good.  I probably have a few more places to clean up a little more but in general the top of the wing is looking good. 

I gave Dave Schuur a call to visit about some repairs he did to this wing before I owned the glider.  He had told me about a soft spot in the wing.  I couldn't remember where he thought it was.  While on the phone and the two of us were trying to remember the location of the soft spot, I  noticed some of the plywood on the bottom of the wing near the tip was a little off color. I pressed on it with my thumb and my thumb went through. Found it!!


So I spent the rest of the afternoon carefully peeling up the rotten plywood.  It's nice to have nice sharp chisels (thanks Harry).  In the end I got most of the area from the skid outboard cleaned out.  I'll probably remove the wood on the other side of the skid up to the next rib.  
Next is sanding the bottom of the wing, cleaning up anything else I find, and then moving on to the next wing.  It was really cool to get to take a look at the entire wing structure.  Probably about the best preflight you can do!  This wood hasn't seen the light of day since the early 70's.  The area under the rotten wood in the tip hasn't seen daylight since the early 60's when the glider was built!  It's all in really good shape considering.

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