Matt Throckmorton's ("DocThrock") Team Rocket F1 EVO Kit Plane Construction Pages
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Team Rocket F1 EVO Wings Page       Last Modified: Monday, 25-Nov-2019 15:02:38 UTC
evo1a1.gifThe Team Rocket quickbuild kit comes with factory jigged and skinned wings. The bulk of the tricky building, especially with the EVO taper wing, is done for you. Those EVO wings are compound curved and tapered. And the type of airfoil it is makes it more critical to get the dimensions just right.

I wanted a quick build. I didn't want to do all the complex jigging that accompanies the wing and fuselage. I was happy to spend the money to let the factory complete this difficult chore.

When my kit finally arrived, the EVO wings were supplied with the kit. The flaps and ailerons are part of the kit, but were still in development. They arrived about a year after my kit. That was over a year ago, so don't worry, the parts are readily available now.

The wings are a work of art. Regardless of whether you think the EVO tapered wing is right for your plane or not, you have to admire their beauty. And the construction work is excellent. Those Czechs know how to build airplanes!

The EVO wing has a laminated spar, similar to an RV kit. That gives you lots of strength and safety. One lamination fails, well, there's lots of others still to support you.

Each wing has a 26 gallon removable tank that should be able to be removed without TOO much fuss. It looks like you can unscrew them and pull them out from the front of the wing. But they do come pre-assembled and sealed with the caps and fuel level sensors installed.

IHere's an EVO wings sitting in my cheap ass rack. I was undecided whether to work with them standing up on the LE (Leading Edge) or work with them on their backs (top skin facing down). So I'm going to start with one oriented each way and see how it goes. Certainly leaving the wings upright in the racks takes up a lot less room.

I finally sold my Super Decathlon to make room in the hangar for my Rocket. Before moving the fuselage out of my basement, I decided to go ahead and work on the EVO wings.  I figured that during the week, I'd try to work in my basement, then on weekends try to work in my hangar. The only trouble is going to be having tools in both places. Guess I'll be carting some of them back and forth ( a little tough by motorcycle), or buying duplicate tools.


My EVO wings are the second set made by the factory in Prague. They already had the entire leading edges screwed down as well as the inpection hole doublers installed with nutplates. That probably saves me about and entire month of weekends of drilling, prepping and riveting in nutplates. 

The manual tells you to start the wing project by reaming the spar holes first, then do the leading edge skins. I get to skip all the way to the flaps! Sweet. 

Flaps and Flap Gap Seal Fairing

Evently Tom Martin got Mark to include a device in the plans to help you set the position of the flap trailing edges. The top skin of the wing has to be bent to the proper position based on the flaps being neutral in flight. So the goal is to have flush skins with neutral flaps with a flap faring closing the gap between the flaps and the spars. First thing I did was go ahead and bolt up a flap accoring to the manual.  There's a really cool technical drawing in the manual that shows you how the washers and bolts go in the flaps. Here's how they set up:

EvoFlapHardware.JPG          EvoFlapHardware1.jpg     

After setting up those 3 sets of 7/16 bolts (with 7 washers each), time to bend the skin and try to get it close to the proper position against the flap.


That's what you have to close. Now here's how far I got doing one flap skin by hand until my fingers hurt (I am a wussie):

That's better, but the flap is actually in positive diflection. It's over rotated upward (the wing is upside down as I am working on it). So the TE (trailing edge) actually needs to go up a little, and that makes the gap a little bigger. Doesn't look like much, but it is NOT easy to bend the skin.

Mark has a technical drawing of Tom Martin's flap TE jig (actually a measuring/positioning device) in the manual. I made mine out of some .025 that I had laying around. .032 or thicker would be better, the .025 is flimsy and makes getting a steady position on the gizmo to the TE a little tough. But it was less wastefull to use the .025, and I only have to use in on two flaps in one place each.  I have no idea how we would have otherwise determined where the TE goes and where to set the flaps at neutral. The jig gizmo make it Easy. Thanks Tom!



Tom recommends that you shoot for exactly this setting for the flap TE. Then, in service actually set the flap up against the top wing skin just a little more. IOW, if anything err to the postive side, but you really want it neutral to begin with. You have to get the flaps right to get the ailerons right, too!

The flap gap seal (fairing) goes in next. I think this thing is going to be a bitch. You have to work through the rear spar and make the ribs hold the fairing in place as well as pull the top skin down. Like rubbing your stomach, patting your head, and dancing a jig all at once.  Even Tom Martin seemed to have a tough time with this part. I think he was the first one outside the factory to do it, though.  Glad I wasn't breaking any ground here. I'd probably still be waiting for replacement parts.

I gathered up the 8 ribs and the side specific flap gap fairing and laid it all out. This is how it goes.. I think....


Some of the locations in the wing spar are pre-drilled, as are some of the rib locations in the fairing. Not enough to spoil it, mind you, but enough to get at least SOME of these parts properly located... although I think some serious "massaging" will be in order on this one.



Looks like the top of the ribs will have to be cut down a bit. Dunno yet if the top (really the bottom) of the ribs (as shown) go under the wing skin or just cut it off to clear.  My motto is ASK TWICE, CUT ONCE.  Where's Mark on a Sunday afternoon when you need him. Not answering emails, that's for sure! Well, time
to gather more info and get my hand held. I'm rusty from taking about 2 months off from building.  It's going to be slow going with the wings for a while.

Those EVO flap gap seal ribs have to be cut down A LOT! The part under the lip on all SEVEN of them had to be cut anywhere from 1/4 inch to over 1/2 an inch!  And on the 5 outboard ribs (not in front of the spar doubler) I cut about 1/4 inch off each of them at the base where it steps over the spar flange and rivets (under the top wing skin).

EvoGapSealRibsFitted.JPGIt wasn't all that hard to trim them. And when you get the ribs to the correct length, they just set right in under the spar flange lip. I started to measure them and trim them scientifially. I rapidly decided to set the ribs down against the top skin and just mark where the top skin intersected the rib. Then I cut short of the line to make the rib slightly smaller. Even then, on a couple of them I went back and cut another 1/8 off after that.

One the right wing, I just put the ribs back to back agains the left ribs and cut them to match per Mark's recommendation. That worked well. The first set of ribs took about an hour and the second set took 20 minutes. And that's because I was using a dremel. If I had a band saw out there, I'd have been done with the whole mess in about an hour.

In the pic, the ribs are roughly wehere they belong. My wings are more complete than yours, so I have rivets to drill out, etc., where the wings coming out after the first batch are missing some doubler rivets and whatnot. Not that big a deal, really.
This was actually kind of fun!

EvoFlapGapSealTestFit.JPGAfter setting the ribs in place, I started to trim the gap seal. You just cut the slots out to the edge and also trim the outboard end at the edge of the top skin that splits at the aileron. The gap seal is too long, and you have to cut  about 1/2 inch off of it. I rough cut it and set it to place.

It sits in there pretty cool!  Nice piece of work!

Now to see what happens when you raise the flaps (well, flip it down in this case....):

EvoFlapTestOverGapSeal.JPGThe flap is at rest. It actually sits against the gap seal in the pic. As it sits, it is actually in POSITIVE deflection. Now, my top wing skin is NOT pulled down to meet the flap in neutral position yet. Mark Frederick is lending me a special flange tool to bend my skin. I tried to do it by hand and was afraid I would kink it. Plus I didn't have the hand strength or deep enough clamps to get onto the skin and spar flange. I asked Mark how I should proceed. He said he had a tool for it. OHKAY! I like the sound of that!

Man, it's just cool to stand back and look at this wing... even if it isn't finished, it's dirty from being in my T hangar for a year, and I don't know what the hell I'm doing. But Looking at this wing with the flap over the gap seal is really gratifying.  I feel like I'm getting somewhere.

Now I AM doing the right wing at the same time. You can see it sitting vertically behind the left wing. I didn't put the flaps on that one yet. I'm waiting for the skin bending tool. In the mean time, though, I fitted the ribs, trimmed the gap seal and tried to keep pressing on while waiting for the UPS man.

These wings are SWEET!

FlapSkinTool.JPGMark has the right answer for everything. Well, maybe not everything, but he certainly was helpfull when it came to getting the "flap skin" to lay better against the flap.  "Mr. Brown" just brought a neat home made (looks to be, anyway) steel tool to aid in bending the flap skin and the spar flange it is attached to. Just hook this thing under the skin and tweak the flange/skin the direction you need it to go. Nice!  Easy does it!

This tool was NOT the cat's ass that I thought it would be. In fact on the first skin, I got tired and frustrated trying to get the thing to work. I ended up kinking the skin. Oh, I can fix the skin all right, but I was VERY disheartened that I lipped it. And I also dented the middle area over the middle flap bracket. In order to bend the skin down enough (it evidently bowed up quite a lot when the wing was skinned), you have to bend the skin and spar flange down A LOT. And when I did, I got off the flange and bend the skin, and pulled the skin down and dented it over the flap bracket. Now I'll have to tap the dents from the bracket back down, and I'll have to fill the crease in the skin on the left wing. SUCKS to be me. I was able to roll some of the kink back out, but not all of it. Once the wing is painted, it will stand out like a sore thumb if it's not filled. Dammit.

So after hammering the kinks out of the wing skin as much as I can, I went back to more spar flange bending. It ain't gonna be pretty. And actually, after cutting the ribs and drilling them to place, I think I was trying to bend the skin and flange WAY too much.

Making Mountains out of mole hills...  yep. I was pretty worried about this flap fairing (gap seal) and all the ribs and what not. After working on it another 7 hours today, it's actually coming along fairly well. And simply. It's not going to be pretty, but it will be effective. I thought I was going to have to shim this and that and rework all the ribs. NOT SO!  Just trim the tops so that the ribs drop in under the spar flanges (skin lip) and cut the bottom flange away from the spar flange rivets. Then line em up with the predrilled holes in the fairing skin and drill 'em to the spar. That's what I did today. Now I feel like I'm getting somewhere!

My EVO wings came completey riveted from the factory. The plans say to rivet the flap fairing ribs that sit over the inboard spar doubler using the existing holes. Well, I had no holes. I had to drill out the rivets just to get the ribs to sit flush on the surface of the doubler. Then, especially with the first rib inboard, I had to reposition it and drill extra holes.

FirstFlapRibDoublerReDrilled1.JPG  FirstFlapRibClekoed.jpg

You can see in the first pic the line drawn up the doubler. That's the edge of the rib flange. The existing hole is the one with the hash marks drawn next to it right on the edge. I scooted the rib as far inboard as I could (actually right up against the next rivet head) and drilled new holes. I then cut back the rib flange, and I'll put the rivet that I drilled out back in the holes. Same situation on both wings.

Note the mark that I made around the rib flange that sits on the top wing skin (yes, Margaret, the wing IS upside down). Rather than jump through hoops and make a bunch of complicated measurements, I just traced a box around the rib, and sooner or later, I'll drill 3 holes for NAS rivets.

Before getting too far along, I decided to fit the flap fairing a little better, and then go ahead and drill the fairing up and match drill it to the bottom skin flange. The flap fairing was predrilled, but the wing skin flange was not. Fun little project with clekoes and drill bits.
FlapFairingClekoed.jpg                                 FlapFairingClekoed1.jpg

I'm still working with the right wing on edge, and the left wing upside down.

FlapSkinMarkings1.jpgTo the left you can see the underside of the top wing skin marked for drilling and subsequent riveting of the wing skin to the flap faing ribs.

Once the ribs are trimmed and set into place, and the skin bent to "neutral", the bottom of the rib flange (actually the top that sits against the top wing skin bottom... did that make sense?), the wing skin sits VERY nicely against the rib flange. I hope that means I have the wing skin in about the right place.

Now I have to find the courage to drill the top wing skin. It's going to be tough. The flap fairing ribs are a funky shape, and the rivets have to be pneumatically riveted. Getting a bar against those rivets is going to be a little tough in the tapered TE of the ribs. I think I'll try to keep the rivets forward and closer to the spar where there's more room to buck them.


If you see how far off the rear spar flange causes the wing skin over the flaps WAY up in the air (at least on my EVO wings), you have to understand that the flange must have been puckered when the skin was riveted. You HAVE to bring the skin and the flange down. Having said that, you CAN trust that if you seat the ribs back agains the spar web, you WILL get the skin to come down to the ribs and end up in a nice "tension" against the flaps.  IOW, the ribs are made very well and do make the parts fit together beautifully. Although the flap skin takes considerable man handling to get it to sit in place properly.


I did the right wing first. After mangling the wing skin down to position, I set the ribs in place and drilled them to the spar. No problem, they sit in there very nicely. Next, I outlined the rib flange on the underside of the top wing skin. The bucking bar for seating the hard rivets can't get too close to the tip end of the rib, nor should the rivets be placed too close to the joggle in the rib next to the spar flange. Therefore, I moved the outer rivets of the rib that go into the rib 1/2 inch toward the middle of the rib, marked the skin accordingly and drilled the skin with a #40 bit.


Next I set the ribs. The two inboard ribs get bucked with hard rivets agains the spar doubler, and the rest get AVEX pull rivets. I set the whole row of ribs to the wing spar. After the ribs were set to the spar, I machine countersunk each of the 3 skin holes into the ribs. Then I bucked them. Even so, I had a hard time bucking these 3-3.5 rivets, and actualy mauled the skin on the right wing in two places. Out of practice, I thought I was being careful. Now I'll have to do some putty work later... Bummer.

LeftFlapFairingRiveting.JPGThe flap fairing has to really be rolled a lot, and mostly in the tight turn of the ribs. It's not imparative to get it to sit perfect, but if you have already made your wing skin sit near where the flaps are at neutral position, you have to make the fairing sit passively. On the right wing, I had the fairing bent beautifully, so I started match drilling it, prepping it and then pop riveting it starting along the lower edge. You can't use clekoed in the fairing when you check the fit of the skin against the flaps, so it takes some faith to trust that you have everything shaped correctly. Which is why I went ahead and riveted everything together except the TE of the wing skin to the flap fairing ribs. That trailing edge is supposed to be dimpled, as is the flap fairing. I did NOT do this per plans, and I am going to countersink  the skin instead.

LeftWingSkinRivetedToFlapFairingFinal.JPGTeam Rocket makes the flap gap seal fairing pre-punched along the TE. After I riveted the ribs to place, I clamped a long piece of 1 inch angle along the edge of the fairing and the skin. That would keep it all flat and straight when I match drilled the skin to the flap fairing. I used very high speed and very light pressure on the drill bit  on all these holes. Since I have already riveted everything together, getting in there to clean up bits of shavings is nearly impossible, so I clekoed every hole and tried to not displace the skin from the fairing while drilling. After that, I jumped in and machine coutersunk the skin and prepped for riveting. I tried to clamp the skin, but I couldn't get the squeezer around the angle, so I just started riveting from the middle out. The left wing skin stayed nice and straight... relatively. The right won't be so easy. It's not straight even after clamping and riveting to the flap fairing ribs. But at least the left side turned out OK.

WingSkinTERight.JPGThe flap fairing for the right wing wasn't quite so simple. Since I had wanged the skin pretty badly trying to bend the skin and spar flange into submission, the wing skin had a noticeable wave in it. Clamping on the angles again when drilling the skin to the flap fairing definitely helped straighten out the wave. In fact, I kind of over did it on this side, and the skin is fairly straight but I would not call the skin's relationship to the flap as "tension", it is TIGHT. I can barely get the flap to neutral. I'll take it, though. I thought it might end up with a nasty gap, but it turned out fine. And pretty straight.


Aileron Push Tube Slot

While waiting for the flap skin tool to arrive from Texas, I went ahead and pressed on to do other stuff. I have to cut the bottom skin for the aileron push tube. It's a pretty squirelly job. The plans aren't really bountiful for this one. Just a diagram. Ok, here's how I did it.  

EvoAileronSlotMarked.JPGI drew centerlines along the rivet lines in the area specified on the bottom of the skin at the inboard end of the aileron. Oddly enough, the slot is going to be nearly perfectly centered aft of that big square inspection panel. That will certainly make putting in the mechansim a bit easier.

From the trailing edge rivet line (along the spar) I measured up  27/32 and marked a parallel line. I used a right angle "square" ruler and laid it along the  vertical rivet line (rib) and measured to a point from that line and marked a spot perpendicular to that rivet line that intersects the 27/32 parallel line at 6 31/32 from the vertical rivet line.  That corner is the basis of a rectangle that you mark out, then drill and slot.  Next I made another mark that was 7 1/32 from the vertical rivet row. That line goes SMACK DAB between the #5 and #6 rivet. That was a guess based on the diagram in the manual. It doesn't tell you how long the lines are, it just shows you where it goes. Fine. I can interpret drawings MUCH better than I used to. Building this Rocket has been quite a learning experience.

The diagram in the plans tell you that the slot will be 25/32 wide. Ok. Of course I don't have ANY rulers marked in 32nds, so this is exactly approximate. Heck, I'm drawing a straight line using a steel square on a curved surface with one hand. And I can proudly say I got it perfect. Almost.  Anyway, you draw a line parallel to the one you make between the 6 31/32 and 7 1/32 marks, mark the cross lines and VIOLA! You have a nice rectangle almost perfectly centered aft of the inspection cover.

I forgot to take my BIG step drill bit to the airport, so I came home to update my website. Note that the aileron push tube slot is ready to drill and dremel.

EvoAileronPushTubeSlot.JPGOh, that was fun. A hand file and a dollar's worth of fiberglass reinforced dremel cut off wheels. I did learn one thing: the cut off wheels last longer if you don't drop the Dremel on the floor.  DOH!

Ready for reinforcements, SIR!        

(as in... I need Mark to send me the doubler for these push tube slots.

Mark finally sent me the slot doublers and I put them to use. They are side specific, one left and one right. The only forming you have to do is to ben the flange. There isn't much instruction for locating these. I guessed. I bent the flanges on the doublers parallel to the wing spar, and made them actually clear the wing spar a bit. I suppose if I was really anal, I could have made the flanges on the doublers sit flush against the spar, then riveted them to the spar. I don't think that is what is intended, and in fact I may end up trimming the flanges so that they clear the rivets for the flap gap seal fairing ribs.

The parts are mirror images of each other, so I decided to measure one, mark it for drilling and then match drill both doublers together face to face. That way I could use the right doubler as a template (face down) to match drill the left wing skin, and the left doubler for the right wing. It worked beautifully.




Now all that's left to do is countersink the skin and drive in the NAS rivets. I'll leave that until later. I don't think these doublers will get in the way too much, but I think I'll put in the flap gap seal ribs first, not that it makes THAT much difference.

Before I started riveting the wing skin over the flap gap seal fairing and ribs, I practiced on riveting the aileron push tube doubler. Good thing these are on the bottom, because I mangled the skin on the first one pretty badly. I haven't bucked rivets for about a year, and it showed. Literally. Fortunately, the second doubler went much better and ended up quite nice.


Inspection Holes & Covers

WingInspPanel.JPGWow, now this was a fun little project. For those of you new EVO owners, you probably have to put the doublers down and rivet those puppies in. Not me. Mine were already there. Now I hope that doesn't confict with the 51% rule, but I'm glad they are done. All I had to do was drill up, dress and dimple the cover plates. Easy? Well, yes... but... I screwed two of them up.

I aligned all the prepunched holes AND the outer edges (they actually come packaged that way ) in the six cover plates. I took them to my scotchbrite wheel and cleaned up the edges. You can actually do this with them all clekoed together if you want. That's how I did it. And I drilled them cleckoed together as well.

Next,  I dressed them and dimpled the cover plates one plate at a time. I dimpled the first one upside down. The holes ended up NOT matching the doubler in the wing without a bunch of overlap around the perimeter of the hole. IOW, the plate didn't sit in the recess, it overlapped on one end. Scratch one. The second mistake plate is serviceable,  I'll use it as a spare. But I let the plate slip on the dimple die and the male die bit a hole offcenter. I was able to dimple it and make it look right. The screw will probably hide the defect. Just the same, I bought a couple replacement cover plates from Mark to do it right. Now, hopefully, I'll have one spare cover plate.

***So to reiterate -  these plates are all drilled the same, but they are NOT univeral. They DO NOT orient the same way in every inspection hole and may need to be reversed or inverted or both BEFOR DIMPLING to fit a specific hole. On my ship it seems the inboard holes are NOT oriented the same as the two outboard holes.

EVO Aileron Push Tube Mechanism

The EVO wing has a pretty cool little mechanism that operates the ailerons. When I got my wings, they still hadn't completely figured it out. I'm pretty impressed with the simple and elegant way that the mechanism goes in the wing.

First step: gather up the parts. My NEW work bench in my hangar (thanks BRUCE!) is now covered with parts. Almost no room to work. Which means I have a lot of parts yet to install.  Man, the pivot brackets that hold the bearings for the push tubes are SERIOUSLY beefy.

There is a pivot bracket/bearing that intercepts a short aluminum push tube, and that bracket goes inside the first inspection bay. The aileron bellcrank bracket goes in the third inspection bay. Both brackets bolt right into the spar... and the nuts are already built into the wing. COOL!  Less work. They are behind the gas tank, so it would be a MAJOR to get to them. Thanks to the CZECHS for putting those in. So. I just follow the drawings and instructions in the manual, and off we go!

First, let's make a pivot bracket/bearing. Simple. Hold a bearing on the outside of the bracket, match drill a hole, cleko it, then match drill the every others. I actually drilled them 1/8, then went #30 after I put the bearing on the inside of the bracket where it belongs. I arranged the bearing rivet holes so that they were as easy to squeeze as possible.  The bearing is held by a double wall of heavy aluminum, so it took #8 rivets to hold the parts together.



Then I put the aileron bell crank bracket together:


 This was more or less like the pivot bracket, except easier to drill, rivet, dress and assemble. Nice that the bearings stay on the outside.

Here they are riveted and trial bolted:

And of course you need a pair for each wing:  ( I'm still playing with my new camera...)


The manual sez that you are supposed to use THREE washers on each side of the aileron bellcrank to hold it in the bearing. There is NO WAY IN HELL that the parts supplied are going to fit like that. I think they were saying 6 total washers way back when the were using BARE billet parts, not seriously thick primered parts. I could only install FIVE washers total between the bearings as provided. I only had room for the tip of my dental explorer to go in there.... much thinner than a washer... by HALF.  On the pivot bracket/bearing it says to use 1 on 1 side and 2 on the other. Now THAT gap is a lot bigger than on the bell crank.  

I have some "stock" AN washers that are thinner than the ones provided, so I used a combination of different sized washers to take up the slop in the hardware on the aileron bell crank. I wanted to mate this stuff as flat against the bearings as possible. YouI definitely want to close that slop, which is why the pic above shows the pivot unbolted.  If you just tighten the bolts to take up the slop, you'd bend the brackets slightly and the bracket would not sit flush on the bearing. That could cause the bearing to fail. Not good.

The Evo Aileron push tubes are simple to assemble. They are relatively thin walled aluminum tubes that you cut to length, then grind end caps to rivet and JBWeld into the ends. The caps are threaded and you put rod end bearings in there. Nice.  I had to use a dremel drum on the inside of the tubing and on the outside of the caps to get them to fit. That will also help Mr. JB hold them better. They are still tight, even without gluing.

Mark F. recommends not  trimming the tubes and final assembling at least one end on each tube until you are ready to finalize the wings. The measurements in the plans seem rather exact, but as we know, the real world ain't always as planned.

I laid the brackets and all the tubes on the wings roughly where they are supposed to go. It looked so cool, I quit for the day, and forgot to take a picture of it. Hard to believe, I know. Maybe tomorrow....

Here's the orientation of the left wing aileron push tube and push rod bell crank brackets:


Note that inboard is to your left and outboard is to your right. Both brackets are bolted to the rear wing spar in approximately their present positions. Also note that when you install these, it makes good sense to put the nylock nut on the bottom of the AN bolt. Which means when you install them (from the bottom through the inspection holes), you will actually want the nut facing you. Not only will that help keep the bolt from falling out of the bracket, but it makes inspecting the nut easier.

I left my ratchet and the proper socket at home, so I didn't get to install the mechanism in the wing now that the flap fairing and aileron slot doubler are installed. I might be moving right along if I wasn't in transition with half the tools and plane still in my basement and half in the hangar....

AileronPivotBracketAssyRight.JPGThe aileron push tube mechanism was not all that tough to install, but it cost me some skin and bruises. It's just tough to get a socket or wrench in there. This is where having a wide variety of tools comes in really handy.

The spars are already prepared for the brackets to be bolted with the provided AN4 hardware. On this particular bracket, "the CZ Boys" did a pretty crappy job of welding the two base plates together and the predrilled holes were quite offset. I had to ream them with a dremel stone just to get the bolts through the base.

AileronBellCrankBracketAssyLeft.JPGThis is the left wing aileron bell crank bolted to the aft side of the forward spar. Note that outboard is to your right. The long arm is for the long outer push tube, and the short arm (pointed right) goes closer to the skin and points outboard. That short arm is for the aileron push rod.

Note that I made sure that the nut on the assy  bolt faces downward (you're looking at the bottom of the wing). Not that the bolt could come all the way out. You HAVE to install the bolt and nut before bolting the bracket assy to the spar.

AileronPushTubeOuter1.JPGThe long push tube is really NOT supposed to be cut to length until you install the entire mechanism and perhaps the wing on the plane. Mark told me this AFTER I had already cut the tubes per plans to length. Oh well, no since crying over spilled milk.

I didn't rivet the bearing end caps into the tubes until I test fit the tube with the aileron mechanism set to the neutral position.

The middle inspection hole is empty for the most part. The pivot is in the inboard hole and the bell crank is in the outboard hole (to your right).

You can see how the outer (long) tube will go between the aileron mechanism assys. Yes, you have to put this tube into the wing from the inboard end with the wing off the ship.

The end cap with the threaded bearing is drilled and riveted to the tube with AVEX structural pull type rivets. Of course I used some JB Weld on the mating parts before riveting them together.

The inner aileron push tube is also cut to length already, but it won't be used until the wing is ready to go on the ship.

Here's some pics of the aileron bell crank and pivot in approximate various positions:

Full downNeutral:

NOTE:  The bolt that you use on the bell crank to attach the aileron push rod HAS TO BE INSTALLED UPSIDE DOWN!  In my installation, I didn't even use a washer on the head of the bolt for fear of interference of the bolt with the bracket body as the aileron swings through. Sorry, I should have taken a close up picture of that potential interference.

Although the outer aileron push tube construction is complete, I'm not ready to finalize the installation at this point. Some of the bolts are torqued and will stay uin place, but I will probably have to unthread the tube from the bearings (from the inboard, pivot end) and adjust the travel and final neutral position. For now, the aileron mechanism is as complete as I can get it until the wing is installed.

Aileron Attachment

Nothing earth shattering here. Except a couple notes from Mark that aren't presently in the plans. First major point is to only pin in the two outer hinges on the ailern. Leave the center hing unhooked. Don't know why, but that's the word from The Boss. The other question I had was about the large amount of space between the aileron bracket and the wing bracket. Mark sez just use washers on the bolts as spacers. 

In the factory assembled Evo aileron, there are nutplates already fabbed behind the aileron brackets. So all you have to do is figure out how many washers you need and bolt them up. Simple.

There are only two brackets used on the aileron even though there are accommodations for three... don't use the middle brackets.

 The outboard bracket gets two washers on the inboard side and four on the outboard side:


The inner bracket gets three washers inboard and 5 washers outboard:


The difference in one or two washers in the wrong order can make a difference in how much travel the  aileron gets. The ailerons don't move nearly as much as you might thing. I'm used to seeing the big barn door ailerons on my Decathlon swinging massively. In comparison, these ailerons appear to move half as much.

Here's a couple pics showing how far the ailerons move stop to stop (without any push tube mechanism to restrict operation):

Max Aileron UP deflection:

Aileron Max Down deflection:

AileronPushRodBoltWashers.JPGThe aileron push rod comes as a kit. You get a steel tube and two threaded rod ends. Since I don't weld, I was able to coax one of my patients to weld them for me. Thanks!

Mark said the tube should be cut to EXACTLY 12 inches long. Well, I think the tubing should have been more like 11 5/8 long (or maybe even a little less). As it is, the push rod is at the very minumum length when the aileron is full down. The rod end bearing contacts the bracket base inside the wing. So I have NO room for adjustment on the aileron pus rod.

Moment of truth. Did I cut the push tube slot correctly??? Yep. Put the proper amount of washers on the AN3 bolt and the rod goes full travel without contacting the skin. SWEET!

Aileron Gap Seal

Some of the EVO parts weren't in full production when I got my kit. Those parts took a year to get to me. Had I not been SCREWED by an engine builder, this may have been a big issue, but since I wasn't finishing really fast, the wait was not a big deal. And when I was missing the parts once I got around to assembling the Evo wings, Mark sent me the parts, no hassle, no questions, no worries. Fast and easy. Very nice. 

I was missing the aileron gap seals. I wasn't even sure there WERE any gap seals (nothing in the manual about them), but the wing skins are predrilled and dimpled along the wing trailing edge where the ailerons attach.  Mark is good about that. If it's something really simple, it's not usually in the manual.  Guess I'm flying by the seat of my pants on that one. At any rate, the parts should be here by the end of the week (takes UPS about 5 days to get here from Texas).

AileronBracketWashersInner.JPGThe aileron gap seals are just strips of what appears to be .032 aluminum about 1 inch wide. There is a little joggle in the wing skins from the factory on the EVO wings. I thought I was supposed to use all those predrilled, predimpled holes. Nyet. Evidently there has been so much change along the way that only two of the factory holes are used to attach the aileron gap seals. And you don't need to use every hole anyway.

The plan from Mark is to match drill the end holes, then space a new hole inbetween every other predrilled hole on the ship. Then you just countersink the new holes on the gap seal and squeeze hard rivets. Oh, and since the TE of the wing skin is not only pre-drilled and dimpled, but also folded with about a 240 degree bend, squeezing rivets requires a special offset squeezer set.  Or I suppose I could just take a dremel and cut the bend off the skin.

Mark sends the gaps seal for the EVO in precut strips. They are just a scoshe longer than the ailerons. One each for top and bottom. I just happen to still be working on the bottom of the wings, so I started with the hard part. 

AileronBottomGapSeal.JPGI set the gap seal strips in place. First thing you notice is that the armature for the aileron push rod is in the way. So I lined up the strip with the inboard edge of the aileron, marked and cut the strip. You have to cut back into the gap seal strip about 3/4 of the way. I wanted to be sure that I had full travel of the aileron without the gap seal interfering. Next I set the strip into the skin joggle and tried carefully not to put the strip up on the slope of the joggle. I marked the bottom edge of the joggle at the ends and in the middle. Next I marked the location of the inboard prepunched hole and match drilled that in the strip. For the outboard edge, I ended up makeing a new hole about half way between the prepunched hole and the edge of the skin. 

With a cleko only in the end hole, I marked all the interference locations and then rotated the strip down and marked the existing holes. Mark Frederick wants us to re-drill inbetween the existing prepunched holes and use the new holes (without dimples). I measured the existing holes and thought they were a bit too much on the curve of the edge of the skin, so I located the new holes 1/2 inch from the edge of the strip. This puts the new holes on a slightly more flat footing, and still with enough edge distance. I clekoed the other end and marked the rest of the hole locations and x'd out the places where you can't put in a rivet. I also skipped the rivet under the aileron arm. Mark and I talked about only using every other hole (my idea), but I since decided to use EVERY hole except where something would prevent you from squeezing a rivet.


At the same time, I marked the holes in the ailerons where the hinge bolts are located. You have to open the slot enough to be able to remove the ailerons for service. By the time I'm done, I may end up cutting the gap strip way back and the gap seal slots may not look quite so big. Keep in mind that whenever I need to remove the aileron in the future, I'll have to rotate the aileron  full up to get to the hing bolt slot.

After marking all the existing stuff, I went back and drew a line on the strip at 1/2 inch and then measured 1/2 the distance between the holes. That came out to 1 3/16. Then I just drilled and clekoed, trying to keep the strip flat against the skin. Easy peasy.

The other bottom gap seal can just be match drilled to the first one! No sense in going to all that marking trouble if you don't have to!



The tricky part with the gap seal is figuring out how far back to cut it. If you leave it long, when you go full aileron IN toward the gap seal the gap seal at the very least rides up the skin. At the very worst, it could block the aileron's full travel.  I think if I just put some teflon or UHMW tape under the edge, I could leave these strips as is and then just rivet them on. However, I think it would be best to trim them back to the minumum TE necessary.

At the other end of the spectrum, if you cut them too short, air would get through and it defeats the purpose of the gap seal. Also I suppose if wind forces were not in your favor, the gap seal could bind against the radius of the LE of the aileron (the curved part at the front  that rotates).

Mark said that on Ol' 84 they cut the gap seal short and then used a plastic tape to ride against the aileron.

My idea is just to cut the gap seal strip just aft of the aileron radius tangent.  In the pic to the left you can sort of see the rounded radius of the hinge slot ion the aileron. Then the blue covered gap seal sticks out aft of that tangent as the aileron turns downward. If I push the gap seal slightly downward, I woud leave a little extra material ("cut it proud") and then use tape on the bottom side of the seal against the aileron.

So the plan is to leave the gap seal slightly long, then use UHMW tape along the TE. Hopefully as the aileron is in service, the extra 1/16 or so of the gap seal won't bind the aileron when it deflects against it.

Mark F. and Tom Martin suggest that the gap seal is NOT supposed to touch anything. So I cut it back some more. Turns out that the taper is about 1 1/8 inch at the inboard end and just under 1 inch (about 7/8) at the other. Yes, the gap seal tapers as does everything else on these wings!


BottomAileronGapSealFinalSize.JPG Note that there is a gap  between the gap seal and the  aileron until the aileron is in full deflection toward the seal. At that point it barely touches the  aileron surface. I may have to trim it back even a little more to add some mylar or other flexible seal materia.

Mark suggests that the airlow should be sealed between the wing and the aileron on the bottom. The top gap seal should just be a nice metal edge. On the bottom, away from UV rays and most of the elements,, it's desirable to stick something to the gap seal and have it ride on the surface of the aileron. That way it stops the airlflow from top to bottom.

The gap seal gap (without flex material) can be seen in a pic down in the aileron tip portion of this page.

At the inboard (thick) end of the aileron, the surface of the round LE of the aileron actually protrudes beyond the skin of the wing. It was necessary to not only trim the aileron gap seal to size, but I had to bend the skin upwards away from the aileron to compensate. The aileron is a beautiful piece of work, but there is a slight discrepancy at both ends. No biggy, aluminum bends pretty easily!


Off with the blue protective film!


After a little fun with the ol' countersink bit gizmo in the drill, I was ready to rviet the gap seal to place. 3-3.5 rivets is all you need, but it takes a special rivet set. The wing skins have about a 1/2 inch bend in them at the trailing edge. This evidently was supposed to get something special as a gap seal, but that never materialized. So you get to work around not only the predrilled and dimpled holes, but you have to rivet BEHIND the bend in the skin. Good reason to drill those gap seal holes as far forward on the aluminum strip as possible.  

I intended to take a picture of the offset set that Mark provided, but I broke it after about 30 rivets. Sucks to be me. Now I have a half riveted bottom gap seal and no way to finish it. I sent an email to Mark begging him to send me another set. I'll try not to screw this one up. In fact, to make it easier to work on this part of the project, I may just take a dremel and cut off the "flange" bent in the TE of the wing skins at the ailerons.  Would rather leave the bends as is, but  at this rate if I break a set every 30 rivets, it'll take me three months to finish the gap seals.!


 After breaking the rivet set, another builder posted his elaborately constructed bucking bar. I decided to follow in his footsteps. Being simple minded, I just took a 4 inch grinder to my #670 bucking bar and made the foot fit in the wing sking bend, and gound out the back of the bar to allow me to get on the rivet at the correct angle.



Flap Bracket Fairings

Tom Martin gave me some great direction with the flap bracket fairings. He recommended to get the positioning right for installation, cut only one of them right on the scribed line molded into the fiberglass. He said to then just tape that fairing pair to the flap and wing to determine the positioning of the fairing to ensure good clean, close separation of the parts in operation. He also stated that the Goop adhesive was plenty strong and that he only used a couple pop rivets to help hold the fairings in place.

When you shine a light through the fairing, you can see the bolt through the bracket/bearings pretty well. I was hoping that Mark or someone else would just be able to give a dimension from the cut line to position that bolt. Well, it's not that tough, but perhaps not that easy, either.  Mark did say that the fairings only had about 1/8 inch variation in position to get the proper operation in service.

Here's where the fairings "want to sit". We'll see how close that position is after I cut the first fairing. Before I do that, I'm going to add some micro or some flox to the bottom of these fairings to level them out. Of course I don't know where they are supposed to locate, so it's just a guess. They do sit fairly flat on the flap and skin when the flaps are in the neutral position. But it's a good idea to beef them up and fill in the gap. I'll probably be liberal with adhesive when I install them too. That depends on how far off my positioning guesstimate is and how "flexible" positioning the fairings is going to be.


I took the end cap to my dental office and fired up the compressor. I was going to try using a coping saw, but I decided to stick to what I know. A nice turbine turning about 100K rpm and a tapered diamond bur (drill bit) made relatively easy work of cutting the fiberglass.  Once cut, I used a hand file and a dremel drum to smooth the edges. These babies are going to need some delicate positioning and then some refinishing to get them smooth, functional and looking good. I need to get these done, at least ready to rivet, before flipping the wings over and getting ready to install them on the ship.  Got to do as much on the bottom before installation as I can. I hate working on my back.


The pic above shows the approximate position of the fairing halves. When there is a bright light behind the fairing, you can see the locations of the bolts. If you cut the fairings closely along the scribe line, theoretically you should be able to position ALL 6 of the fairings based on the first one. Mark doesn't provide that information.  I have this feeling that it's going to take a while to position and shape wash one of these.

I have the front of the faring clamped down. On the others, I'll have to tape down the front, then position and tape the rear part of the fairing. At that point, my plan is to drill at least 4 holes in each fairing half. These fairings are supposed to be glued AND pop riveted. I may not do the final attach until after I'm flying. Even then, I may just add a pair at a time to make sure that the fairings don't induce some sort of turing tendency. Even so, it's going to be a little tough to get them oriented with each other AND the airflow over the wings.

Wow, that's pretty cool! And it only took me about 2 hours to get them to that point.

Turns out that measureing the radius of the bolt doesn't work. All three fairings on each wing are different. However, I CAN say that there is some uniformity on where they position. On my ship, the tip of the LE of each of the two OUTBOARD fairings comes right to the tip end of the hinge bracket. You can actually see that on the middle bracket in the right picture above. The INBOARD fairing actually sits off the front of the bracket a little bit. But the place to START placing these fairings is to put the nose of the fairing (not the forward edge of the frlange) at the LE of the hinge brackets.

FlapFairingAlignment.JPGI used a straight edge to draw two lines from the sides of the flap hinge. Then I drew a centerline mark on each of the flap bracket fairings. That at least allowed me to locate the tip of the fairings with the airflow.

The bolts holding the flap to the hinge are barely narrower than the bracket fairing. You have very little room to wiggle the fairing from side to side. Depending on which side you put the nut on, the nut side is wider, so you would want the fairing nearly in contact with the nut side of the bolt. That will make aligning the fairing with the airflow a little simpler.  To verify the positioning of the fairings, I used one of the uncut aileron gap seals laid along side of the fairings aligned with the wing rivets (NOT the flap rivets). That was a visual confirmation of the positioning. You could even measure from this if you were really anal.

After I broke my offset rivet set, I put the squeezer aside and gathered up a couple of these fairings. For the next couple hours I listened to NPR and filed and sanded and filed and sanded. Getting the cut contours of these farings to look good and sit right is tedious. Not hard, just time consuming. Good work to do while chatting. One of my hangar neighbors stopped by and said hello. He described his F-16 flight from a week or so ago. Nice to be chairman of the airport board and an ex jet jock. Cool to hear about it from someone who walks the walk and talks the talk.

Pretty soon I'm going to #40 drill these babies to position. I'll do the forward half first, then re-align (double check) the aft half and drill those to positing. Then I'm going to retrim the flanges and probably level out the micro on the bottoms. More tweaking will come down the road, and final gluing and riveting probably will happen after first flight.

Wing Tips

I tried to talk Mark into swapping my aluminum hand hammered wing tips for a nice light pair of newer model fiberglass tips. Well initially he said he would, but later on, he talked me out of it. Something about  possibly having to use pan head screws instead of countersinking the heads. No thanks.


The aluminum tips are actually quite nice. But they are hammered WAY out of dimension along the edge. Since I was working on the aileron gap seals, I just used the gap seal strip as a guide and marked a nice straight line along the bottom of each tip. 6 dremel discs later, I had some nice trimmed tips (on one side anyway). I used a hand file to fine tune them a little, but I won't do a whole lot more until I flip the wing over and do the gap seal on the top side.

WingTipTrimmedToGapSeal.JPGOnce the aileron gap seals were ready to rivet, I went ahead and trimmed the TE of the wing tip. The aileron tips (end caps) actually have to sit inside the wing tip and be free to move. Since I'm only working on the bottom of the wing right now, I only cut the bottom side of the wing tips.

WingTipNutplateSpacing.JPGI finally got a bunch of other stuff done on the bottom of the wings. Finally, I flipped the wings over and started working on the TOP side of the wing tips (and the rest of the stuff on the top). I used a dremel and many cut off wheels to cut down the wing tips untip they sat very nicely on the wing tip end flanges.

Mark said that the K1100 countersunk nutplates on the aluminum tips are spaced at 4 inches. That allows for exactly 7 nutplates on top and bottom. The first and second nutplates from the LE are not quite 4 inches apart, but otherwise the other 6 nutplates can be positined precisely at 4 inches.

A little marking and drilling and the wingtips are ready to get some permanent hardware!


I left the TE of the wingtip as is. I have to fabricate the top aileron gap seal and have it sized to fit before final trimming the TE of the wing tip. So I think I'll remove the tips and work on the gap seals, and perhaps go ahead and install the nav lights.

The 4 inch spread pattern for the screws and nutplates works very well. This was a fun little project. 14 nutplates in each wing.  It had been a while since I had gone through the simple Zen process of match drilling and positioning nutplates, drilling, dimpling, and riveting on a series of nutplates. It was a fun way to kill an hour or two.

WingTipNutplatesClekoed.JPGThe aluminum wing tips were different to work with. Dimpling them is easy. Drilling them sorta sucks because the metal is so soft that it peels and leave a lot of flash. Clean up is a bear. And when I was trying to file them to shape the fit edges, it also peeled. Not safe to handle with bare hands due to the sharp edges. But all in all, a pretty good experience. Once the tips were ready to screw down, I needed to get the aileron caps on there, get those shaped and fitted and then trim the wing tip TEs to accommodate the aileron cap movement.

Picking a location for the GA-AIR Nav/Strobe assemblies was a little tricky. I wanted originally to put them on the top edge. In the end, I chose to locate the LE tip of the assy to the foward most point on the LE of the wing/wing tip. Also, I chose to put the lights slighlty back so that the entire Nav/Strobe would sit on flat surface. I merely  drew a chord line through the tooling holes, assuming that was the chord, then offset another parallel  line to the tip of the LE. The GS-Air instructions don't come with a template, but the measurements are provided and straight forward. Requires 4 holes to mount them. One of the holes is 1 1/8 in diameter. I should have used a spade bit instead of a step drill. I left myself with a hole that needed wallering out to match the rubber socket of the strobe that has to insert through the wing tip.

Aileron End Caps (Tips)

Note: I didn't use the aluminum end caps. By the time I trimmed the trailing edges,  I cut through the welded end and it left the ends open.

The wing tips also require you to set aileron tips in place. The ailerons are pre punched and dimpled so I'm going to have to work around that. And the aluminum aileron tips are going to have to have flanges added, too. But first, I decided to grind off the welds along the trailing edge.

The EVO wing (well, mine anyway) has several pre-drilled and dimpled holes. That unfortunately includes the outboard ends of the ailerons. Now adays, hopefully the "CZ Boys" are leaving the ends of the ailerons virgin and Mark is supplying fiberglass tips. I get to deal with predrilled and predimpled holes already in the ailerons for the caps. Evidently something really nice was supposed to be supplied for the ends of the ailerons. I just get to "make due" with the aluminum end caps that I got.  No biggy, just more work.

I decided to test fab a strip of metal to make a bracket that mates the aileron to the aluminum caps. There's only  5 holes on the aileron on eac side that I'll probably use. If I was diligent and anal, I'd probably make ONE strip go around the inside of the aileron and make it so that I can rivet the end caps to just ONE strip using ALL the holes. I'm just going to get by with  10 holes and 2 strips in each cap (so far).

AileronCapBracketStart.JPGThe ends of the ailerons are sort of compartmentalized into 3 separate areas and they are closed.  The trailing edge is too narrow to utilize and the leading edge is very rounded (of course).  The aileron LE is protected and the airflow doesn't really load the round part of the aileron or cap. But the flatter portions might take a LOT of load. Unfortunately the ends of the ailerons are not only closed, but they are rather shallow, too, so you can only use what you already got.  I'm somewhat "factory limited". So I think the metal attach brackets are going to have to be pretty beefy. And it's going to require a spacer because there are three layers of metal in some places at the ends of the ailerons. Ok, now I know what I have to deal with. On to the fabbing.

I used a strip of .025 and bent it to shape on the bottom of the aileron. I marked the new piece to slot it to go around where two internal ribs close out the aileron. The strip is about 1.5 inches wide. It butts all the way inside the aileron end and nearly goes to the outer edge of the end cap.   Once I had the slot the way I wanted it, I started match drilling and clekoing from the trailing edge, forward.

AileronCapBracketStart1.JPGOne thing worth noting on this pic is that one cleko is missing. Another is that you can see the amount of gap there is between the aileron and the aileron gap seal.

I might just have enough room on the strip I made to add another rivet or two when I get to installing the end cap.

The contours of the end cap are side specific and match the aileron quite nicely.

Of course once you close the aileron end cap with pull rivets, there's no going back. My plan is to squeeze hard rivets on the brackets and caps and then use counter sunk pull rivets in the aileron.

The depth of metal that I have to make up for to level the aileron skin with the cap is about .060.  

After getting the first strip roughed in, time to do the other side (the upper side in this case). Or maybe I'll just wait until the wing is flipped over. I hate working on my back.

I didn't get very far with this project. I removed the ailerons in order to install the bottom gap seals. While I had them off, I thought I'd snap another pic of the parts. This is sort of a proof of concept and may not be the actual parts.

The ailerons are deeply dimpled, but the bracket I fashioned is not. So I'm hoping that I can get by with some .040 instead of that wafer of .063 that sits on there now. But hopefully you get a better idea of where I'm going with the end caps.

AileronCapFitted.JPGOnce I got the end caps to sit properly against the aileron body, I marked and trimmed the T E of the aluminum end cap. That ended up cutting completely though the welds on the ends. There's a little spacer set in between the top and bottom side of the cap. It fell out. So I epoxied it in to place and set the aluminum caps aside. ITMT, I grabbed up the fiberglass end caps that Mark sent me and dressed them down to fit. Shimming is definitely still required. But I think in the  long run, the fiberglass caps are going to work out nicer than the aluminum caps.

The plan now is to put the brackets and shims into position on the ailerons, then set the fiberglass tips in place, then drill for NAS rivets. Then I will hard rivet the brackets and shims to the tips and finally blind rivet the bracket/cap assy to the aileron.

The fiberglass tips weren't too bad, although on the right wing tip I didn't cut the wign tip cap deep enough. Therefore is was necessary to add about 3/8 inch of micro and contour it to match. There's definitely a bunch of finish work to do on these things. Even then they don't exactly match the  thickness of the wing tip. Screw it, I'm smoothing the aileron caps up and riveting them on.

Cutting the wing tip to match the rotating LE of the aileron cap was fun. I didn't do it scientifically, I just cut the looked, cut then looked. Not the most efficient method of working, but it got the job done. I thought about boxing in the end of the ailon caps. In the end, I like the circular cut out and the end cap exposed.

All that's left is some countersunk pull rivets and some putty/primer work, not necessarily in that order.

Heated Pitot

One of my Rocket bretheren was kind enough to sell me his Dynon heated pitot tube. He ordered the pitot before they were produced and got a substantial discount on the unit. It is not only heated, but if you use the Dynon unit (I don't), it has the ability to compensate for AOA.

The heated pitot comes with nice basic instructions, but no mounting hardware.  I could have fabricated my own mast, but for $118 plus shipping, I decided to buy a Gretz CBK12 mounting kit. It comes with a mounting plate, doubler and a chrome mast. That will make my job a little easier.  Time out called on the play while I wait for Aircraft Spruce to ship me the Gretz kit.

Mark sent me an email with three pics of his pitot install on the EVO wings. He said "put it here, this works best". So there you go.


WingRibOpening.JPG So here we go. Looks like Mark cut open the end rib foward of the wing spar, then made a plate to cover it. Fine. First order of business after locating the pitot is to cut out an opening large enough to ge a doubler, shim ("washer") and the pitot base inside the wing.

Note that I'm trying to use only part of the rib, not cutting out the entire thing (except for enough border to put some nutlpates on). I can get my "popeye" forarm in there pretty easy, and a doubler should go in there at an angle through the square opening ( you know, that "hypotenuse thing").

Also note the vertical channel just behind the leading edge of the wing. Lots of room for wires and tubing to run along that baby. That rather large channel goes all the way through the wing. Nice!

Next step, fashion a cover plate for the big hole I dremelled out, and remake a doubler plate for the pitot base. I might just use the Gretz plate that came with the kit. It has a joggle in it made to locate on a flange. There isn't one in the EVO wing, so that joggle will just act as a stiffener.  My cover plate will be at least 6 x4 3/4 inches. I think I'm going to add an inch and run it around the dimpled lightning hole at the forward end of the rib.

PitotChord.JPGThere's not much choice on where you locate the pitot base, really. It pretty much has to be forward of the spar, but very close to the spar to keep the pitot aligned with the wind. I guess practically the center of the pitot mast should be at the lowest point on the curvature of the wing in order to put the tube straight into the wind.

This pic shows the location of the mast and base. Once the thing is tightened down, the position will probably change slightly. But for the most part, this shows how the pitot tube will stick out under the wing, into the wind. If anything, I think the mast could go aft a tad.  Once it's installed, if I think there's an alignment problem,  I'll shim the base if necessary, but it shouldn't be.

PitotSkinMarked.JPGThe markings for the pitot mast/base/doubler is a judggement call. No instructions provided on locating the thing from Team Rocket, other than the pics above.  So I'm aligning it with the rivet row to keep the pitot tube aligned with the centerline of the ship. The rear portion of the pitot base has to be moved forward, not only to get the pitot tube aligned with the wind, but also to keep the doubler and mounting plates away from the spar.

The back end of the plate is 7/8 from the rivet line to clear the spar. BTW, there are NO flanges to clear in this mounting area. All the flanges are on the other side of the ribs and spar.  I had to choose how to locate the base, and it turns out that symmetry just happens to work here. The inboard line is also 7/8 from the center of the rivet row.

Next step is to drill some holes and  cut out for the pitot mast. After that, back drill the doubler and get it ready to rivet into place!


DynonPitotHeaterMountedToCoverPlate.JPGI decided to mount the Dynon AOA and heated pitot controller directly onto the outside of the end rib cover plate. I'll put a couple holes with bushings in the plate in order to run the wires into the wing.

I'll use #6 screws and nutplates behind the wing ribe to mount the plate.

The nice thing about this set up is that there is enough length on the stock Dynon harnessed to reach the pitot tube wires.

WingSkinDrilledForPiotMast.JPGA step drill got me started on drilling the bottom skin for the pitot mast. A dremel with a cut off wheel then a large and small sanding drum finished the job.

I went ahead and used the Gretz doubler that you see sitting around the pitot mast in the picture to the left. Note the joggle in the plate. Since there was no spar flange to lap that step in the doubler onto, I just cut a shim to go under that part. In that area I used 3-4 rivets,

I drilled #40 holes in the skin around the perimeter of the dounbler. The holes were 7/16 in from the edge. Then I ended up putting additional mounting holes at 1 inch intervals.

I wasn't able to effectively dimple the wing skin, so I machine counter sunk it. I would have preferred to dimple the skin for increased rigidity and resistance, but alas, I've never been able to master the "pop rivet dimpler".

During the match drilling process I was doing my best to keep the pitot/mast aligned with the chord and centerline.

/PitotTubeMounted.JPGPitotTubeMounted1.JPGI think that orientation of the pitot tube should be OK. Now to finish the wiring and get some #6 nutplates for that controller and cover!

WingEndRibCoverFinished.jpgI found a couple #6 nuplates and went to work. I decided to use two of the crews holding the pitot heat controller to also hold the cover plate in position.  The two screws on the forward end of the controller (near the lightning hole) only hold the contoller to the plate.

The pic shows 6 of the 8 screws in place that hold the  cover.

Next to drill a couple holes and run the wires to the pitot. I'll do that later "in final assembly", probably after the wings are on the fuselage.

Note that the wing is upside down in the pic to the left....  :-) Or you are just standing on your head.

Ok, now you can see that at least I got the pitot in alignment with the centerline of the wing. (Note the rivet line to the left of the pitot.) That puts it straight into the airflow.  The tough part is whether or not  the pitot tube is offset with the direction of flight. It's hard to tell by the camber of the bottom of the wing, but I think I have it really close. You can get a better idea of the wing camber and pitot alignment in the picuture above.

Note the rivet pattern around the doubler and the 4 screws holding the pitot mast are machine countersunk.

Time to take the pitot back out and flip the wing over and get ready to install them on the plane! YIPPEE!!!!

Once the pitot was wired up, I tested it with the batteries. Baby, this thing gets hot right now. Nice! Looks pretty cool, too.

Nav/Strobe/Tail Lights

GS-Air Wintip SystemGS-Air makes a nice LED Nav/Strobe system that you can buy direct, or from other vendors. For about $400 it come with two complete wingtips modules with strobes, white tail lights and FAR compliant LED position lights. There's even nice teardrop shaped lenses for the lights and a strobe power unit with all the power cables for your wings. Nice. Whelen makes the same thing for over a grand. Well, I guess that's what you pay to have FAA/PMA stuff.

The F1 EVO wing has a nice "corridor" that runs the length of the wing just behind the leading edge skins. Good place to run wires and tubing. 

My plan is to place this little gems at the very front of my wing tips. The control module will probably end up under the floor someplace where there is a little dead space. I hope I don't have to be too concerned about electrical noise and interference.

Since these little units have overkill with the rear facing white lights and strobes, you really don't need an actual tail light.  I have an actual tail light. Now I think I'll just buy another strobe and run it from the XPAK604, which can handle up to 4 strobes. Nice.


GSAirNavStrobeWingTipHoles.JPGI wasn't sure where to put the nav lights. So I put them as far forward as possible. They are lined up with the forward most point on the LE (not the "chord line" of the tooling holes), and hopefully aligned with the chord. Maybe I should have put them between 1/3 and half way back. Oh well, for now they are at the front. Looks a little dorky to me, but these wing tips would probably look dorky with ANYTHING on them. They look nice flat and plain. Just doesn't look right to add anything at all to them. But I need nav lights and strobes.

I think I'll leave the tooling holes alone, and fly the plane before plugging them, just in case I decide to plug the present holes for the Nav/Strobes and move them aft.

The two small holes are bolt holes. The large hole is for the strobe "stopper". The medium sized hole is for the nav light wires. These rigs have two sets of wires and three sets of lights. There are not only superbright LEDs for colored nav lights, but superbright LED white lights facing rearward. Of course the strobes and LED lights conform to the FAA lighting standards, although they are not FAA/PMA'd.

One consideration for the light position is the amount of nuisance flash the pilot will get from the strobe. Hopefully the light is low enough on the tip that I won't get blinded by the flash, but hopefully I'll be able to tell that they are operating. Moving the lights aft would make the strobe a little less visible to me, but would also make the nav lights less visible up front. I have the strobe/nav rule covered either way you slice it, so it's just a matter of ergonimics (the wires go directly into the spar channel) and cosmetics (lights look dorky). They will be effective where they are on the wing tips.

RudderCapWithTailLight.JPGNote that the GS-Air wing tip lights also have rear facing white lights. I'm not sure how visible they are with the wing tips being completely flat. I had always intended to install a tail light, and now I'm even more sure I want one. Although there aren't may piston planes that can catch me from behind, it's still a good idea to be visible from aft.   :-)

The Grimes tail light installs with two long #4 screws. I lost one of the supplied nuts, so I bought new hardware for it at the local ACE. While I was at it, I bought some lock washers to help keep the thing in tact.  Hate it when lights start dangling off the airframe.

This light is fairly bright, but I'm happy to report that it is not as bright as the white marker lights on the wing tips. Those LEDs sure are bright!

Eventually I may put a strobe in the tail, but for now I have all the lighting I need to be airworthy. That's the goal, get in the air!

Landing Lights

The original plan to install a pair of landing lights was to get some kind of reflector, install HID "bulbs" and insert the assembly into the leading edge of the wing, or better yet, inside the cowling or some other fiberglass area. The leading surface of the engine cowl really just doesn't lend iitself to pointing a beam in the right direction. For the most part, there just isn't room anywhere to stuff in a pair of headlights in anything fiberglass. So I'm back to the "driving light" plan.

I looked at the Hella FF75 for a housing and they were my first choice. Since the leading edge of the EVO wing is really space limited, a compact driving light would be the first choice.  Hella makes a micro DE projector lamp that has a small footprint and puts out a lot of light. However, at about $700 - $800 a pair, I wasn't going to consider it. For that much money, I can buy a set of driving lights and buy an HID conversion hit and not have half the money invested.

PIAA 1500XT driving lightFinal decision on a light housing was the more expensive (than the FF75) PIAA 1500XT in driving light configuration. I think they come with hyperbright halogen bulbs. The bulbs are H3 type, and certainly there are many HID kits available for that. But I will probably just install them "stock" and then upgrade to HID down the road some time. The first order of business is to get the lights shoehorned into the wing's leading edge.  These lamps measure 2-1/16” high x 5-7/8” wide x 2-5/8” deep.  What I'm hoping to do is find a place in the wing where there is enough room to STACK a pair of these. The top light will point out for landing and the other will point down more for taxiing. That's the plan anyway. The lights are on order. We'll see what we can figure out when they get here.

The PIAA 1500 XTs came from I immediately took them to the airport and sized them up. Yep, they will fit. Nice thing was that I heard from Mark Frederick at Team Rocket and he said that he had strongly considered these lights for landing lights. Now I'm feeling REALLY good about putting them in the wing... at the outboard end of the Leading Edge (LE).

PIAA1500XTsBracketMod.JPG First order of business was to modify the brackets that hold the PIAAs to the spar. Remember that the EVO wing has a LOT of taper. And the lights normally just point straight ahead. Well for LE landing lights that are out near the wing tips, you need to really point those babies inboard so that the light is centered up (I hope) on your flightpath way downrange.


So here's what I'm looking for. The black line that you see is parallel to the wing's main spar.  All I did to the bracket was cut one "loop" out for the hex bolt on the bracket. After I cut off the loop, I rounded it off and redrilled the hole for the bolt. Essentially the bolt mounting hole in the bracket was moved just one more hole shorter. I tried to remove as little material as possible when cutting off the loop, then drilled the new hole to give even edge distance  around the bolt hole. Then I slightly bent the soft steel so that the bolt hole arms holding the light body would sit flat.

FrontWingSparDrilledForPIAAs.JPGThe forward wing spar out at the outermost position on the wing is pretty slim. And I had to work around the lightning holes. I was going to fab some doublers and use nutplates, blah blah blah... but I decided to KISS and just go with what was provided and some AN3 hardware.  So I took off the brackets and used them as a template.

The holes around the lightning holes in the spar are really not kosher. However, I used a pair of BIG AN3 fender washers behind the holes to get more grab on the spar web.

Fortunately, those lightning holes are flat, not dimpled like some of them. That made mounting the very light, plastic bodied lights easy.

Each bracket is the same on the lights, but I mounted them upside down from one another. That actually gave me some orientation options. One light will point down at the taxi way and the other light will point way out in front of the plane. So mounting the brackets differently not only optimized the mounting position on the spar, but aids in how the lights are aimed!

PIAA1500XTsMountedOnSparTopView1.jpgHere's what I mean about the taper of the wing, the alignment of the main spar (perpendicular to the path of flight) and the aiming of the lights. I should have aligned the line parallel to the spar in the pic. That would have given you a better idea how offset the lights are to the LE of the wing.

LandingLightLE1stCut.JPGI started cutting the wing LE in the back. I opened it first just enough for one light. I played with the lights a lot before cutting to make sure they would fit. Then I played with them inside the  LE and re-mounted it on the wing. There was plenty of slop in there to allow for mounting the lights offset pointing amidships and for thickness of some Lexan.

After opening up for one light, I opened up for the other. Two PIAA 1500XTs can easily fit side by side in the end bay.  And when I cut the back out of the LE, I still had enough room on either side of the lights that I have room that I could actuall install doublers and even an extra pair of ribs if I feel the LE needs the extra support. I don't think it does. I plan on using the Lexan lens to help the rigidity of the LE.

Once I hade the back cut out enough to allow me to leave the lights bolted to the spar and still get the LE off the ship, I started to contemplate cutting the actual LE out of the LE (to let the light out!). I ended up starting that cut 2 inches from the outermost end of the skin, and 2.5 inches down from the upper and lower edges.

Originally I was going to cut the opening at 2 inches from the top. I'm glad I left more meat in the skin. The more material you leave, of course the stronger the part will reamain. I think I got it just right top to bottom. But on the inboard cut, I think I'm going to have to remove about another 1.5 inches from the LE. The way these lights work, having part of the edge covered like that probably wouldn't effect the amount of light tremendously. However, since there might be some distortion and loss of light with the Lexan lens, I thought I'd better consider cutting that inboard area out a bunch more.

PIAA1500XTsWithLE2.JPGWhen you look at the landing lights from a distance and a different angle, the inboard light blockage of the LE skin isn't as apparent. But you can tell that there's a lot of room to cut more towards the rivet line. That's why I think I can take about another 1.5 inched out. That will make the opening about 12 inches and leave 3/4 inch minimum inside the skin at the rib ends. So there's plenty of room inside the LE to seat the Lexan behind the skin. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to remove the Lexan without removing the 74 screws that hold the LE on the wing front spar.

I bought some Lexan sheet from The stuff is pretty flexible, and not too bad to work with. But it scratches VERY easily. Once I have a prototype lens fashioned (Approx 12 inches wide and 7 inches from top to bottom (across the leading edge), I may try to find some scratch resistant material and remake the lens. For now, I just want to close the hole and get flying!

LandingLightsFinished.JPGSadly, the Lexan didn't work out. Don't even bother trying polystyrene!  :-)  I bought a sheet of clear plastic of unknown type at the local hobby store. It was very flexible, and I thought it would make a great lens. Once it snapped in two under the very tight bend of the LE, I figured out it was styrene. Not good. And LOUD! 

At any rate, I ended up buying a sheet of plexiglass from the local farm store. I heated it up with my heat gun and formed it over the leading edge immediately inboard to where the cut out was located. Then I trimmed it a little at the aft end, popped it inside the LE and then heated it up again. I pressed the plexi out to shape, but it still didn't conform very well. I cut two strips of .025 about 1/2 inch wide and formed them to the shape of the airfoil just on either side of the landing light opening. I made 90 degree end bends on the "clips" so that the ends of the strips would lock in flat against the back of the LE piece (which makes up the front side of the channel that goes all  along the wing). The clips popped in to place VERY securely. I took the heat gun to the plexi again and gave the plastic some serious massaging. Although the contour of the plexi isn't perfect, it's hard to tell from 5 feet away. Good enough for a first try (actually 5th try if you count the Lexan and styrene). The plexi lens can probably slide side to side within the wing LE, but I trimmed it so close to the tapered size of the opening, and the clips put so much tension on the plexi that I didn't even have to drill for any fasteners. SWEET! 

Wing Insertion

Before installing the wings, I removed the temporary spacers that I had in the spar channel inside the fuselage. When you remove all the bolts through the spar carry through channel, the control system drops free in front of the main spar in the cabin.

The EVO wing comes from the factory with the rear spar attach plate and a front spar/gas tank attach plate already installed. On my ship, they are both appear to be about 1/2 inch too long.  After slipping the wing into the spar channel, the laminated spar plates wouldn't go to the center of the ship. Therefore the bolt holes didn't line up either. Just to make sure, I asked if I was supposed to cut those spar mounting plates and sources confirm that they DO need to be trimmed to fit. Nothing in the plans about that. Ask twice, cut once.

I supported the wing in two places on the install. Left wing first, I put a large container with two used aircraft tires on it, centered on the spar and a rib. Then I used a pneumatic stool with another tire on the seat out at the end of the wing. The stool allowed some adjustibility of the wing height.  Once the wings are in,  6 hardware bolts should be enough to stabilize the wings in position during setting of the incidence and the sweep. The wings will probably go in and out 1/2 dozen times before final assembly, with wiring and plumbing, etc..

RightWingForeAttachPlateInterferance.JPG     LeftWingAttachPlateMarked.JPG

NOTE: You probably only need to trim the FORWARD EVO wing attach plate to get the main spar fully inserted into the carry through. After I cut the left wing and got it all the way in, turns out that the forward plate needed trimmed about 5/8 and the aft attach plate (root end of aft spar) ended up being about 1/2 inch away from the fuselage skin. Now at this point the wing is NOT ALIGNED, so I may use up some of that excess gap I created. Also, there's plenty of meat on the aft attach plate and the angle bracket you fashion is plenty big to give you room for the single 5/16 bolt back there. But cut the FORWARD attach plate first, then see if you need to trim anything at all off of the aft plate.

RightWingTankPlateFinalSize.JPG LeftWingTankPlateFinalSize.JPG

WingRootSkin.JPGThe  pic shows the gap between the aft wing mounting plate and the fuselage skin. This gap is with the wing in proper alingnment.  Also note in the left pic how close the top wing skin flange is to the fuselage.  I hope that fiberglass root fairing is nearly vertical in that area because is sure doesn't need to be very large there since there is virtually NO gap.

Now to get the right wing temporized in the carry through and get ready to position the wings.


Don't forget to level the plane before starting to finalize the wing position. My tail stand isn't sophisticated, but it works. Note the back up system, should the cinder blocks or plastic pales fail. Sure would hate to ding that rudder if it all dropped.


Wing Spar Aft Attach Angle Brackets

The main support of the wing is the laminated spar that bolts into the spar carry through built into the fuselage. Once the wings are in the carry through, you final position them by bolting the factory installed wing root spar plates on the forward and aft wing spars to angle brackets that you fabricate and bolt to the fuselage.

The forward angle bracket is only a single unit. 2 AN3 bolts go through longerons in the cabin to support this bracket. A single AN3 bolt holds the forward spar plate to the attach bracket. I decided to go ahead and use 4 AN3 bolts to hold the bracket to the fuse, but it isn't necessary.

The aft angle bracket is a double unit, sort of like book ends on either side of the aft spar attach plate. Each of those brackets require 5 AN3 bolts, one of which you try to instert through the floor rib longeron. Also, once these brackets are postioned, you want to rivet the perimeter around these two brackets in order to further strengthen the skin and doubler plate of the EVO fuselage. Only a single 5/16 bolt is used to attach the aft spar end plate to the pair of aft spar attach brackets.


Mark explains that there is a .125 doubler factory installed inside the EVO fuselage, inboard of where the 2x3x5 inch angle brackets will be bolted to the wing root spar mounting plates and the fuselage. He recommends those brackets go on with 5 AN3 bolts in each bracket, one of which should go through the "floor rib longeron". He also said that the bracket perimeter should be additionally riveted after final positioning of the wings and attach brackets.  There's not much room for rivets in front of the brackets, but certainly there is room to rivet the aft side of the doubler. It pulled down a lot when the bolts went in, so it really needs reinforcement.

You cannot install the wings with BOTH of the aft brackets bolted in place. The front bracket has to be removed and reinstalled with the wing after insertion because the spar plate comes in at an angle. This also means you need to excersice care when drilling it to keep the bolt hole straight through the plates and brackets. Also, ED (edge distance) is CRITICAL on the bolt holes through the aft spar plates. Be VERY careful there.

One of the housekeeping chores with installing these brackets is to go ahead and complete the riveting in the area. Mark Frederick recommends a perimeter of rivets around the brackets. I decided to shoot a pair of rivets through the doubler and longeron in front of the brackets and several in back of the brackets. I should have used standard rivets, but prefer to CS or dimple and use flush rivets whenever practical... just because I do a better job on them. Perhaps they aren't as sturdy being flush, but shooting them through .040 skin using 4-8 rivets should be OK.


Note that I even put a nice row of three rivets between the brackets, two of which are 4-8s through the longerons.

Wing Sweep and Incidence

In order to position the wings, you get to check 3 things. You need the wings parallel to each other, you need the wings perpendicular to the centerline of the ship, and you need to set the incidence according to the plans. With the plane level and the wings pinned into the spar carry through, it's time to make some measurements to see where we stand.

First thing I'm going to do is make a mark directly over (or under) the spar at the tip end of each wing. I want a cross hash mark equidistant from the centerline of the ship on each wing.  Next, from that point, measure back to the center of the tail spring swivel nut and bolt. If those measurements are equal, and the wings spars are parallel, we are good to go, The wings sit very stable in position being pinned in. Let's hope that they are where they should be and that no tweaking is necessary. (They were close, but it was easy to adjust them.)

Note that the main spar postitions the wing very closely and it's safe to position the aft angle attach brackets on the fuselage and clamp them down go ahead and bolt them in early in the wing installation process.

I bought some plumb bob string and 4 big steel nuts for the weights. I taped them to the either end along the tank skin seam under the wing. I let them swing free very close to the ground. What I found was that the left wing seemed to be just about correct in sweep and the right wing was cocked aft a couple inches.


I used a 4 inch C clamp to lock the right wing into position. It was farther out of whack than the left wing, so I started with the tough wing first. It wasn't tough. With the C clamp snug, I coaxed the wing forward until all 4 strings lined up.

Before going any farther, I needed to also set the incidence. I used a 1.9 inch piece of scrap and my digital level. I had to rack the LE of both wings down substantially to get the ZERO incidence (parallel to the "waterline" of the turtledeck lower rivet row). Again, the tail is up and the ship is level in two dimensions.


The incidence is set at "station 20". I measured the width of the cabin and boot cowl bays, divided in half (assumed that was REAL close to the centerline) and then did the math and extended out 20 inches from that mathmatical centerlin. I placed 3 marks on the wings. The incidence is set by using 2 rivets lines that are 22 inches apart (per plans). With one end of the level at the top most rivet line and the 1.9 inch spacer under the aft rivet line, I racked the wings until they were at ZERO incidence. Then I went back and checked the plumb lines (which did not change).

The right wing was locked down at the aft attach plates, I rechecked  everything, then used a 12 inch drill bit to start the hole for the drilled 5/16 bolt that holds the aft end of the wing in postion. I drilled up to size and then inserted the bolt and snugged it up. Rechecked plumb and incidence and moved on to the left wing.

The left wing was clamped, racked and the plumb lines checked. Once the wing was in position ( and at least three times before this point), I checked the sweep of the wings to see if it was even. The measurement from and equidistant mark near the outboard wing tip along the spar showed both wings were the same distance from the tailwheel nut.

Time to drill the left wing and lock it down. Once the drilled 5/16 bolt was snugged, I rechecked all my measurements and moved on to making the forward spar tank attach brackets.

I did notice that during drilling that the wings did slip a little bit, and that my final incidence measurements suffered about .1 degree. Oh the agony!

Forward Spar/Tank Attach Brackets

Now that the wing position is locked in (and the wings feel VERY rigid and fixed at the root), time to fabricate attach angle brackets for the front end of the wings. First you take another pair of 2x3x5  angle provided and open the angle in a vise. Not much, just about 1 thickness of the web is all that you have to bend it. The relationship to the forward attach plate on the wing to the fuselage is a little funky, so you have to bend the angle to sit flush and passively against both. It wasn't too hard to shape.

I didn't use the plans on the size and shape of this bracket. I just put them to position, marked the overlap points, and trimmed the angles down to size. Once I've flown and am confident that the wings are straight, I'll remove these brackets and cut them down to size. Also, I used FOUR AN3 bolts to attach the angle bracket to the fuselage and the plans only require two. Perhaps all I'm doing is adding unnecessary weight, but I like a little more strength up front to suppliment the stress at the rear.


A single drilled AN4 bolt is all you use up front. A little smaller than at the rear of the wing root. There is much less stress up front.

Some more housekeeping rivets around the brackets is again in order.  These are 4-6 rivets.


Now that the wings are set in position, it's time to finish. I'll need to finalize the aileron push tubes, the flap push rods and wire up the wings. Still lots to do here, but it's terrific seeing the plane sitting with the wings and tail feathers in their final orientation!

Flap Set Up

A little pleasant surpise: Current EVO production flaps have a premade (?) bracket for the push rod that makes them go up and down. My flaps didn't have that. A quick email to Mark, and I had the bracket in 3 days. Two AN4-7 bolts and washers in each bracket. Installe the bolt hole for the push rod on top of the flap and forward. Flap attach is good to go. It went so fast, I forgot to stop and take a pic.

Another surprise: The flap arm that gets screwed to the flap torque tube needs reinforcement. Evidently there has been some twisting of the steel in service, so the web of that arm needs to be reinforced. The current production arm has a small triangular truss welded between the tube sleeve and the web. Simple and effective. I don't weld, so I'll have to figure something else out. Yes, I could have just bought a set of "Mark II Flap Arms", but mine were already installed when the information became available. No biggy.

I rounded off the steel brackets provided by Team Rocket and then scotchbrited off as much RUST as I could remove. I primed the brackets and took them to the ship. Those steel brackets get drilled to the flap motor arm that goes through the fuselage. The bracket sits vertically on that arm. There is a push rod and threaded rod end bearing set  with the kit too. Those rods are provided already to length.

It's just a matter of setting the flaps to neutral, then hooking up the pushrod/rod end bearing assy and hooking it up to the flap root bracket and the steel bracket. Once the fit is verified and the rod ends adjusted, drill the steel parts together to accept AN4 hardware. and bolt it up.


Once both sides are set, theorectically, the flaps should operate evenly. However if the rod ends are not adjusted the same, a turning tendency might be induced by the flaps. Best to check and make sure everything is bilaterally symmetrical.  I had already marked the location on the flaps using the TE of the wings skin  when the flaps were neutral. I simply adjusted both rods OUTWARD until the flaps got pushed against my wing skin enough to get back to neutral when retracted.

Couple things to look out for: Make sure you have adequate but minimal hardware. The wing root fairing doesn't allow any extra room for bolts and washers. You might have to grind off a couple threads of the AN4 bolt, depending on where you put your flap arm on the flap torque tube. So keep a close eye on the hardware combination and the clearance to the fuselage skin and wing root fairing. I started with the flap in the nutral position, and the flap motor arm fully extended and the rod end threads "centered", and didn't have any clearance issues.

Plumbing the Wings

Before installing the wings "permanently", some plumbing and wiring is necessary. I got some 3/4 ID corrugated conduit from my local Menards and ran it through the forward spar channel in my EVO wings. I'll run my strobe GR-400, the Nav/Strobe and landing light wires, Pitot Heat and AOA wires, and the pitot tubing through that channel. The conduit lays in the channel very nicely, not snug, but it sits there pretty well. I think I am just going to glue/bond the conduit into the lower aft corner of the channel. Less weight and less drilling of the spar that way.

Another wing wire that has to be attended to is the fuel level meter wire. This signal wire is merely ring terminated and attached to the screw in the meter, which is bonded into the fuel tank at the factory. The wire from this meter will snake around the fuel lines and enter the cabin with the other wires from the wing conduit.

The strobe cable will go into it's own hole into the fuselage. That will go below the longeron and along the floor, through the spar carry through and to the controller back as far away from other electrical stuff as I can get it, perhaps under the left rear floor. The other wires will go into a fuselage hole above the angled longeron and then head up and over to the instrument panel where the EFIS, light switches and main electrical bus reside. The holes in the fuselage will of course have grommets or snap bushings to protect the wires from sharp edges. Those wings move a bunch, so the wires will no doubt be rubbing.

WingFuelLineFilter.JPGThe wires and pitot tubing share the wing root with the fuel line and vent. The wires go under the tank/front spar attach plate and through the fuselage near the fuel lines.  The fuel line is natural aluminum 3/8 tubing with -6 AD fittings, just like the rest of the fuel system behind the firewall. I ordered some fittings and tubing from Summit Racing. I fashioned a nice big loop from the 90 degree bulkhead fitting on the fuse and looped all the way up and over the tank vent fitting, then inserted the  Summit Racing fuel filter at the bottom of the loop where I could get to it easily.  From the forward side of the fuel filter, a short "S" curve of tubing will turn and connect to a 90 degree fitting on the -6 male fitting sticking out of the wing tank.  Most other EVOs have a 90 degree bulkhead fitting on both tank fittings. I was SOL with mine and had to buy $60 worth of fittings.

There is also a mandatory tank vent that you have to plumb. That is the fitting near the top of the wing skin. Tom Martin and others recommend a double loop before the aluminum tubing exits the bottom of the wing. The free end will stick out the bottom of the wing root. A bevel has to be cut in the tubing facing forward to aid in a "ram air" effect.  The vent line is a -4 fitting and 1/4 inch tubing,a nd a snap bushing can be used where the tubing penetrates the lower wing root fairing.

Jegs40MicronFilter.JPGThe Jeg's filter is a nice compact little guy. Comes with -6 male ends. The filter is a stainless screen keeping debris larger that 40 microns out of the system. The Airflow Performance filter downline catches 10 micron particles. The Jeg's filter didn't come with any instructions, so I opened it to see how it was configured. The unscrewed end is the outlet and the barrel end is the reservoir... at least that's how I'm configuring it. I like the idea of the debris occupying the big area, not the small.

The rubber gasket around the neck of the filter is easy to botch when you try to reassemble the filter. Better keep a couple spare O rings and some "fuel lube" around.

"Final" Wing Install

Now that the wings are set up and plumbed, time to stick them back into the fuselage.With the wings disconnected from the attach plates but pinned in,  I reamed the large bolt holes with the recommended reamers. Those bolts slip in the holes OH SO NICE after reaming! The AN3 bolts however wouldn't go in very well. I used a cheapo #12 bit and the bolts were still too tight. I was afraid I'd never be able to get them out if I had to "drive" them in. Turned out that the #12 was just worn out. A brand new 12 drill bit cleaned out the wing spar holes so that the AN3 bolts could be inserted and withdrawn by hand... but barely. Snug is OK. And this was dry. Putting the bolts in after lubing them with LP3 (for anti-corrosion) will make that job easier.

One of the tough parts of this project is reaming the lower bolt holes through the spar splice plates. The forward lower splice plate does not want to sit in place very well. The corner flange and rivest get in the way. But the splice plate will sit in there will a little coaxing (and a little filing of the "point").  Unfortunately, I have so much stuff in the stick bay, I had to disconnect a lot of adel clamps and brackets to get into the holes. I also had to cut the reamer shanks about in half just to be able to get the drill in there. I needed a VERY close order tight quarters right angle drill to finish the reaming job. Too bad I didn't have one. I ordered a Dewalt right angle drill after the fact just so I wouldn'g get stuck next time.

Putting the wing bolts is was a breeze. Some of the big bolts along the floor were a little tough, and some wires already go through the carry through, so working amoungst the spaghetti was a nuisance. All in all, though, it was pretty sweet to get the wings in "permanently". The bolt length and spar channel thickness is so close that one washer is barely enough, and two washers is about too much. Doesn't make sense, I know, but these wing spars are some precision made parts. And gladly so!

I put all of the top wing spar bolts through with the nuts forward and the head aft. The bolts on top are exposes and I'd rather have the heads (without washers) next to me where I'm sitting. On the lower spar plates, I reversed most of the bolts, but I don't think it much matters.

Wing Root Fairings

When I first got my fiberglass wing root fairings, I thought they were bulky, unwieldy pieces of work. Now that I have wings on the plane and put them into place, the wing root fairings are actually quite nice. They fit very well, and will actually be smaller in contour than you might expect.  They should be a very nice adjunct to the airframe. I continue to be impressed on how nice this airframe comes together and how nice the form and function of the parts compliment the plane. Very nice!

In order to get them to fit, first thing is to trim the area at the TE of the flaps. This has to be done on the bottom side, trying to get the flap to be able to retract, yet fit into the fairing nicely.  Once the fairing fits to place it's time to double check the  flap actuator arm hardware to make sure it doesn't hit the fairing. Mine just barely touches, so I may need to use some thinner washers on the bolt, but I think it's good to go.

Word of caution here, the wing root fairing shouldn't be screwed to the top of the wing at all. The wing flexes a lot, so some freedom of movement needs to be accommodated. Also, there's that pesky 100LL under the skin in most of that area of the wing.

WingRootAttachFlange.JPGThe lower wing root fairings are recommended to be in two pieces. Mine are 1 long one and a short one at the front. The EVO wing and the F1 fueslage are a mismatch, so there is quite a joggle that needs to be made on the aft piece.

First order of business on the lower fairings is to cut the belly skin extension (under the spar channel) back to 7/8 inches along it's entire length. I did this with a dremel tool and the wing in place. Be careful not to cut through the main wing spar! The 7/8 inch of skin remaining will act as a nice flange for attaching a wing root cover with some nutplates.

Second order of business is to make a flange on the lower LE of the wing to attach the fiberglass root fairing and the metal lower wing root closure. I drilled all the rivets out of the rib flange and slipped a piece of .032 under there. Getting the rivets out was a little, uh, tough... so I ended up using NAS ("oops") rivets. Anytime those #3 rivet holes get even slightly wallered out, squeezing hard rivets nicely is nearly impossible. Those big NAS oops rivets work great!

LowerWingRootForwardCover.JPGNow that there is a flange on the LE to attach the fiberglass upper and/or lower forward  Wing root fairing, we can procede with the lower fairings.

The forward lower root faring is pretty easy. Measure between the skin edge over the flange over to the ski edge on the belly, and cut a sheet to spec. I used .025 T6. This piece is just a cover, and although it is in a high pressure area, I don't think it will move with 8 or 9 screws in it. On the flange (wing) side I just spread the parttern of screw holes out  as far as I could.

 Note: Mark recommends AGAINST attaching the fairing this way. TR recommends just drilling between the rivets and tapping pan head screws into the longeron....  

On the belly side, I chose to drill out existing rivet in order to install nutplates in their place. The belly side of the cover is just overlapped onto the belly.  I was going to install nutplates with NAS rivets through the longeron. Mark's remark was that the extra holes in the longeron certainly don't help the overall structural strength. So I'm wondering if two little holes and removing rivets (to install nutplates and screw though the rivet hole) is better or worse than just drilling and tapping a #8 hole and putting in a sheet metal screw.  That's a tough one. At any rate, I think I'll use pan head screws along the belly skin and not do any countersinking over there.

Once the cover is drilled and clekoed to place, time to remove it, then install nutplates, then  dimple the wing flange surface and screw down the cover. I'll need 10 K1000 countersunk nutplates for the wing side. On the belly side, I think I'll use standard  nuts or nutplates. I'm contemplating using the existing rivet holes and trying to figure out how to fix nuts there without drilling any extra holes.

The aft lower wing root fairing is another beast all together! That bitch has a curve on the belly side and a step to the wing. And the joggle isn't constant. At the forward end, there's NO bend at all, and at the aft end you have to joggle for a step up to the wing from the belly to the tune of about  2.5 inches. That's gonna be tough to do with aluminum and hand tools. For me, anyway...

WingRootTopFairingR.JPGThe fiberglass (some are carbon fiber) upper wing root fairings are pretty nice. I got out my air body saw and cut them to a rough shape. Then I took my permagrit block and smoothed out the edges. The lower forward area needs to be trimmed back, and contrary to the pics in the manual should NOT overlap the upper gear leg fairing.  Once I get the lower root fairing, the upper root fairing and the upper gear leg fairing close to shape and sitting where they should be permanently, I'll have to do some more cutting on the 'glass to get everything situated. One thing I want to do is make the lower fairing removeable without removing the big wing root fairing.

The upper wing root fairing requires quite a few #8 nutplates be drilled and rivete to the inside of the fuselage. That should be a fun little project. Final fitting of the upper wing root fairing and riveting the nutplates will be a two man job. Now, who can I coerce into helping me on THAT project?    Hmmmm......

RightRootTrimmedtoUGLF.jpgThe upper gear leg fairing has to be coordinated with the wing root fairing. Mark Frederick said not to overlapp them, but trim them to butt up against each other. That took some guess work and again, the body saw.  After a little cutting here, and there, and here, and there again, I finally got something I liked.

Also, Mark recommended removing most of the underside of the upper root fairing. He mentioned that Tom Martin trimmed his root fairing to about midway between the LE and the seam along the bottom of the wing LE. I just cut mine back to a convenient place, trying to figure out how to make the screws for the lower front root fairing to coincide with the upper fairing. Then again, the bottom of the upper wing root fairing really doesn't need to screw to anything, particularly the wing (since it flexes away from the fuselage so much). I think I'll  cut mine both back a little more. Actually, I think the right side is about there.

So all I did was cut the upper fairing to side flat against the side of the fuselage, and have a nice round contour at the front (LE). The UGLF ends up with a big notch  cut out of the aft end on the outboard side. I also cut that fairing along the TE to match the upper fairing.


The left side didn't sit as nicely as the right side. In order to get the fairing to sit nicely on the side of the fuselage, wing skin and distal to the flaps, I had to pull the fairing to the position in the picture above. That LE is going to need some glassing, and of course that big flap hanging off the bottom will need some serious cutting... if not reconstructive surgery.

There has been some discussion about how to attach the upper wing root fairing. You name it, some guys have done it. Rivnuts, screws and nuts, screws and nutplates, rivets, and just plain old bonding.  I think I'm going for screws, tinnerman washers and nyloc nuts. Or some kind sole to help me buck rivets on about 60 nutplates....

I finally decided to just use stop nuts on #8 cs ss screws instead of all those nutplates. That's a LOT of work, and nutplates are now about $.50 each. Even so, many builders just bond the fairing on and call it good. That's probably cheaper than nutplates. But nuts and screws is pretty easy too. The fairing still needed some cosmetic finish work after airworthiness inspection, so it's quite removable.

Lower Wing Root Fairings

The lower fairings are made in two pieces. The forward fairing is just .025 cut to shape. The aft fairing I finally made out of a couple layers of BID tape. It didn't turn out very pretty, but not bad for a 1 shot prototype. I just wanted to get the root closed for inspection. I can make the thing pretty later.  That piece was tough to make in metal because of the curve and step bend. In fiberglass, though, it was almost a snap. I just epoxied the tapes on the bench, then taped them over the area to be covered. That took some doing. I laid the glass up on poly sheet. I just cut the sheet around the tapes and put them up on the airframe. Both sides of the glass had plastic covering them, so it was all non stick.

The aft fairing on one side has #8 nutplates on it, the other doesn't. It's a bit of an experiment to see if both sides hold up equally well. the inboard side of the aft fiberglass root fairing sits on top of the belly skin. The sidewall of the fuselage turns up from on top of that belly skin, forming a recess between the two surfaces. One fairing wedged beautifully into the recess. It remains to be seen it it holds up in flight.

The rest of the lower fasteners are all nutplates and #8 pan head screws. I had a buddy help me buck the nutplates onto the floor near the pilots feet and rudder pedals. They aren't obtrusive and I trust machine screws and nutplates much better than sheet metal screws.


Tie Downs

Oops. Forgot to install tie downs. Nothing in the manual about them. Fotunately an inquiry on our Team Rocket forum was answered by Tom "Tool Man" Martin. He suggested buying ONE extruded tie down bracket and two eye bolts from Cleveland Aircraft tools. Clevenland makes a kit that has 3 7.5 inch brackets and 3 powder coated eye bolts for the RV big fat wings and nose draggers. However, for an EVO, you can just split one bracket and use it in the two wings. Then you actually just tie down the tail either over the wheel or the spring.

My Cleveland tie down bracket was only tapped on one end. And it wasn't tapped far enough into the aluminum. So I had to re/tap both ends. YThe eye bolt is 3/8 inch.

Ideally it would probably be better to put the brackets in front of the spars, but I chose to put mine aft of the wing spar on the end rib under the wing tip. The only reason I did this is because I already put my Dynon heated pitot controller on a cut out just in front of the spar on the left wing. I'm not sure it really matters much. In the forward position, the bracket/eye bolt would be more in line with the wing spar, which has an aft joggle in it just before the two outboard most ribs. Still, you're pulling so close to the center "spar" of the wing, I'm not sure it really matters.

I used 4 each AN3-4 bolts to hold each bracket in place. After sawing the bracket in two, some dress work with the scotchbrite wheel was in order. Not only did I buff up the cut, but I rounded the corners AND I also "bevelled" the bottom edge to fit into the radius of the rib bend.

I predrilled the bolts holes 3/4 inch from the ends and midway on the flanges. I match drilled the bracket butted up agains the bottom edge and the spar. Make sure you have the threaded side down! Once clekoed in place with the bolt hole completely down on the flange, I outlined the "box" and removed the bracket. I used my right angle adapter with the threaded #30 bit and shot for the center of the little box outline I traced. Then drilled up to 3/8. Peice O Cake!

The brackets fit without any other modification. On the EVO wing, the "box" fits directly between two rivets on the skin/flange. That couldn't have worked out better. And getting the nylock nuts on the backs inside the wing was easy.


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