Category Archives: Ailerons

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.

LH Aileron – Finishing Up

The LH aileron had been languishing under the bed in my guest bedroom with the skin cleco’ed in place. It just needed the outboard rib with the reworked hinge brackets.

Riveting the skin on the bottom went well. Now it’s back under the bed again, with and in the same state as its buddies. Final riveting of ailerons and flaps will wait until I’m in the mood to fit them on the wing assemblies. That might even wait until I have the wings joined to the fuselage. We’ll see. I think that decision depends on what I decide to do about painting. Fly first or paint first? Yes – another excellent opportunity for inspirational procrastination.

Ailerons – Fab, Rework and Pre-Assembly

Aileron assembly has been delayed by ignorance and procrastination. It’s amazing how long it took me to decide to lever $20 out of my pocket for a tool. There’s an anchor nut that gets attached to a rib with a couple of stainless steel rivets that have a 120 degree countersink. I was reluctant to spring for a 120 degree, #40 pilot cutter. This left me pondering various alternative ways I might proceed to attach the anchor nuts. The door was left open because the construction manual doesn’t say anything about it. But, I did have reference examples – other builder’s and identical anchor nuts mounted in my quick-build fuselage. I finally ended up getting the stupid pilot cutter and then mounted the anchor nuts as I knew they should be from the very beginning.

Another self-inflicted setback has been in play. Sometime earlier, I’d riveted one of the aileron hinge bracket and rib sub-assemblies together. Unfortunately, something I’d noticed, but dismissed during initial fitting, had to be corrected. The bolt holes on the inner and outer aileron hinge brackets were not in alignment. To compound the problem, I reasoned that it would probably be ok to ream the bolt holes a little – make them oblong – and somehow that work out ok. Wrong! The result was better alignment, but at the cost of precision (proper) fit.

Sloppy fit for the outer aileron hinge just isn’t going to cut it. What could I do? Eventually, I did what I I should have done in the first place – ask the factory for guidance. I sent an email and got an overnight response directly from Mike Blyth – designer of all Sling Aircraft models. The outer bracket just needs to be bent a bit more. So simple! That absolutely did not occur to me. Sadly, I’d ruined (by reaming) the inner and outer brackets for one aileron and needed new ones. TAF USA rushed me replacements. Fantastic service!

With new brackets in hand, I slightly increased the bends on the outer brackets for both ailerons, removed the old brackets from one of the ribs and riveted all of the sub-assemblies together. Beautiful! I can sleep again. No more worries thinking about how I would try to rationalize wobbly ailerons to myself, the DAR, my technical counselors and everyone else.