Wings Test Fit

Wings Test Fitting during “The Grand Mock-Up”

22 June 2013 — Today I pulled out all the stops . . . or should I say I pulled out all the pieces of the build so far.  Before I am separated from my project while I spend a year in the Middle East for Uncle Sam, I wanted to get an idea of what this thing looks like put all together.

So I pulled the fuselage out into the front yard, and kept it covered while I collected the other components.  After I got the CS spar & firewall in place, I added both of the wings next.

Now let me say, besides the measurements provided to me in the plans, and of course a couple dozen confirmation measurements, I had not lined up either wing with the CS Spar to confirm that the hard points (aluminum extrusions) lined up with each other.  Obviously, I was very relieved to confirm I hadn’t jacked any of my measurements up!  Also, as you can see I had to throw on at least one winglet just to get an idea of how it would look.  Although it was a little awkward to get it on the end of the wing so it looked half-way normal, I think I got in the ballpark.  Well, and of course we can’t forget the canard… yes, it’s on there too!

Long-EZ Project Mock-upChap 14/15/19/20 - CS spar-firewall-wings-wingletLong-EZ Project Mock-upLong-EZ Project Mock-upChap 19/20 - Wings & Winglet mockupLong-EZ Project Mock-up

 

Chap 14/19/20 - CS spar-wings-winglet

Once I got the pics above taken, now it was time to fill in what gaps I could to make it look at least a little like it had some mass to it.  Next came the engine cowlings.

Chap 19/23 - Wings & Cowling trial fittingChap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

Long-EZ Project Mock-up

Chap 10/19/23 - Canard-Wing/spar-CowlingChap 10/19/23 - Canard-Wing/spar-Cowling

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fitChap 10/19/23 - Canard-Wing/spar-Cowling

The following pic is a closer-up shot of the upper cowling & wing.

Chap 19/23 - Wing/spar & Cowling fit

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Project Update

Hey Guys,

I wanted to touch on something that while I was in the military was attributed to Gen. Petraeus, who stated, “Perfect is the enemy of good enough.”  I know a lot of people in the homebuilding world would groan at that statement, but the simple fact is that focusing on perfection, or the perfect solution, on every task is simply a huge time bust.  Burt definitely did not ascribe to this methodology, because choices simply have to be made for efficiency…. especially if we are to finish these airplanes in a decent, timely fashion.

To be clear, I’m not talking about being unsafe, or a lack quality, I’m talking about doing all the myriad of little extra tasks just for the sake of making the plane “better.”  Having run large organizations in the military, I can tell you often the amount of time and energy getting from, say, 93% to 98% can be way too big of a chunk of the overall effort.  If we’re honest, that 93% mark would be more than sufficient in meeting the mission, yet our drive for excellence and recognition pushes us to spend way too much time on the added 5%. In the end it gains us nothing but Kudos and Brownie points, but very little true value added. 

My point in all this is I’m attempting to make decisions based heavily in efficiency, more so than on perfection or “quality”, which is almost always in the realm of cosmetic areas vs. actual operational, functional or safety-related areas. 

Ok… I’m about 2 months back on the build.  I’m close to finishing up the major canopy tasks that will then free me up to really start focusing more just on the nose, which I have been dabbling with somewhat regarding the nose hatch hinges.

As far as shop tooling capabilities, over the past few weeks I’ve been using both my 3D printer and plasma cutting table regularly, both seeming to be working fine now. And yes, I am still slowly reassembling the milling machine to convert it to CNC.

As I get towards the end of really finalizing the nose tasks, I’ll start transitioning to the strake build (Chapter 21).   Again, the final big airframe assembly will be the winglet/rudder install (Chapter 20).  

 

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