Category Archives: Flaps

Iterate and Repeat

It’s important to keep making progress and not get bogged down on any one thing – like wingtips. Oh those wingtips! Will they ever be done?

Parachute, flaps, ailerons, seats, control sticks were all calling for attention. It was well worth spending time on to those things. Circle back to composite work later.

Much of the work is pretty straightforward. Other items require a bit of faith and commitment – like finalizing the riveting of ailerons and flaps closed, for example. Getting the control surfaces locked down with rivets and while maintaining alignment with the wing, is both science and art. I think maybe there’s a good bit of luck involved too.

Chopping off the control sticks is somewhat a leap of faith. The KAI doesn’t say to do that, but the Tosten CS-8 grips need to be in the right spot. They’re different than the push-on type that is typical for Sling 2s. You just gotta do what you gotta do.

Figuring out what to do with the parachute cables has been an exercise. There is almost no guidance from the factory. I asked them directly and they admitted that the factory rarely installs parachutes in Sling 2s they build there, and haven’t for a long time. There’s an old video. I’ve watched it repeatedly.

The one actual attempted in-flight deployment of a parachute-equipped Sling 2, ended in failure – loss of the aircraft. Fortunately, that was during factory testing and the pilots had their own parachutes – which they needed. That sad outcome reportedly resulted in consultation with the Stratos 07 parachute company. Changes were made and presumably incorporated in my kit. It is, nevertheless, clear to me that a builder could easily insure a complete tangle of the parachute and cables during a deployment. I’ve studied photos of several other Sling 2 parachute installations and identified things I thought could be problematic. I’ve tried dress and secure the cables to allow the best fighting chance for the parachute canopy, shrouds and airframe-cables to deploy without hindrance or entanglement. My guess is probably as good as anybody’s. Maybe better.

The weather is getting rather nice. Competing interests punctuate my days.

RH Flap – Ribs and Skin Assembly

With a now ample supply of 4,8mm rivets in both 15 and 10 mm lengths, finishing the lefthand flap could proceed. I did, however, have to make a decision about how to address hole misalignment involving the short ribs of the hing-rib subassemblies. The solution I chose was hole enlargement and larger 4mm rivets.

I’ve learned that perfect factory bends are required in order to get relaxed fit and freedom from structure twists and wags on the trailing edges of control surface skins. Knowing what to look for during inspection is essential. It had been months since I’d received the quick-build wing kit components and done my inspections. I was reasonably confident the skins were good, yet there was a huge sense of relief to see them actually fitting very nicely.

For the flaps and ailerons, it is common practice to initially rivet only the bottom surface of the skins to the ribs and brackets. The top surface and the row of rivets at the leading edge of the control surface remain free until they are fitted to and the trailing edges are perfectly aligned with the each other and the wing.

LH Flap – Prep and Assembly

As I near the end of dealing with fitting skins to structure, my confidence was pretty high that this would go well for the flaps (and eventually the ailerons). I’ve learned important lessons about how to inspect skins for proper fabrication – especially bends.

As I discovered from the building the empennage, lengthwise bends (folds) of the skins must be very close to perfect or else entire structure will be pulled out of true alignment when preparing or attempting to close up the final assembly.

There has proven to be considerable lead time in the process of securing replacement parts and the earlier a problem is discovered, the better. Almost immediately after the main QB kit was delivered in February, I looked over the flap and aileron skins – very carefully – and determined that they’d likely be acceptable.

Outdoors metal preparation with Alumiprep 33, Alodine 1201 and then rattle-can primer is much more convenient and pleasant with the warm summer weather. I opted to use NAPA 7220 gray self-etching primer, as none of the surfaces would be exposed. I had the stuff on-hand, but find that I don’t like it as well as the Rust-Oleum product, if for no other reason than the performance of the spray can. The any-angle can from Rust-Oleum is superior, even though I paid considerably more for the 7220 primer. (As I’ve mentioned before, if I do another build, I may well forgo alodine and primer altogether. With my budget and facilities it has been a huge time sink and perhaps not worth the effort. Even at my tender young age, I’ll be pushing up daisies before corrosion would be an issue with an untreated airframe.)

Due to a shortcoming with the listed shipping quantity in the wing kit packing list (KPL), I received only enough 4.8 x 15mm rivets to assemble one flap. I also found that one-size-fits-all — didn’t. It turns out that the overall thickness of one parts stack-up was very slightly less than the recommended grip length of the 15mm rivets. Even though there was no mention of this issue in the assembly instructions, it became obvious that a 10mm length would be better.

I ordered more rivets – both 15mm and 10mm lengths – twice. Once from TAF USA and then from a supplier of Gesipa rivets in UK. TAF sent a big batch of 10 and 15mm rivets to me overnight. Bravo! Great support effort! Thank you!! But, the rivets were not to my liking. They are some alternate brand, different design, slightly larger diameter (didn’t fit) and not nearly as well finished as the Gesipa product. I ordered the real deal, but it took 2 weeks to get them in-hand.