Switchblade Update: 7 January, 2016

January 8, 2016

We placed the bottom spar bracket into position (above), and using several clamps to ensure the lower skin was held in place in the the wing jig (metal fixture for wing construction), we then put the upper spar bracket into place (below). With both upper and lower spar brackets having good positioning, we temporarily glued the lower spar bracket to the spar (main wing beam), and pre-drilled holes horizontally through the side of the spar.

This allowed us to locate the hinge beam, which was also held by the jig, and we found a better alignment than we had with the left wing. I guess we improved with practice! An image of the hinge beam held in the fixture is shown below. The hinge beam is the stretched triangular metal piece in middle right of image.

The next step was to put the lower wing skin back into the mold to hold it in correct shape, and bond in the two inner wing ribs. Ribs are the pieces that help the wing keep it’s shape, and run from the spar to the back side of the wing. The image immediately below shows Ron Burch cleaning up the excess glue from the second of the two ribs visible. The second image below shows the completed ribs.


Next up is to attach the control mechanism for the aileron (movable part of the wing that banks the aircraft left or right). We are also reviewing different lights for the vehicle, and have spent some nights checking out the different lighting patterns and visibility distances with different lighting units. The search for the best lighting combo continues!

Temporary wing swing pins were completed for the wing swing test. Final pins are still in the machine shop, but that isn’t stopping us from marching toward completion of the test we have been working towards for many months. The center piece of the wing swing mechanism is due to be finished Monday, so we are anxiously awaiting that critical final piece.

Thanks for staying tuned!

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