2.7.6 Aileron Hinge Installation

Continuing with the aileron mechanicals, now that the layups are finished, it’s time to install some hinges. Because the hinges are somewhat critical to the operation of the ailerons (as is the torque tube), the hinges are both riveted and epoxied to the aileron. And for this particular hinge, the rivets are long enough to penetrate through to the torque tube. So these rivets are doing double duty - they hold the hinge in place and prevent the torque tube from rotating should the epoxy that holds it in place loosen for some reason.

Right Aileron Hinge Installation

This is the inboard hinge after it's been structurally glued and reverted into place.

So that the aileron doesn’t stick out too far, I need to cut a notch into the aileron well in the wing.  Half of the hinge rests inside of this notch.

Right Aileron Well Notch

Half of the aileron hinge needs to "sink" into the wing well. Here's one of the notches for that.

The aileron hinges need to be attached to the wing. In addition to drilling holes in the wing, I need to install nut plates on the other side of the hinge. The nut plates get riveted to the hinge.

Right Aileron Nutplates

While the hinge gets permanently attached to the aileron itself, it gets bolted to the wing.

Once all three hinges are ready, it’s time to do a test fit of the aileron to the wing. Trust me, it won’t fit properly. It’ll bind and do all sorts of crazy things. That means it’s back to sanding and perhaps even some filling to get it all correct.

Right Aileron First Test Fit

Looks like we have an aileron that might actually work!

Success! It actually seems to work well. Yay! Finally, here’s a closeup of one of the hinges attached to the wing. Yeah, it’s a bit ugly right now but I’ll fix that later once everything with this wing is finished.

Right Aileron Hinge Closeup

Here's a closeup of the inboard hinge. The test fit looks good.

July 2020 Update: I’ve never been really happy with the way the ailerons and hinges looked on the wings. I also discovered that I used the wrong rivets when attaching the nut plates to the part of the hinge that attaches to the wings. So, during some downtime, I decided to fix these issues and I must say that the ailerons now hang better and the hinge pockets look much cleaner! I also decided to use countersunk screws and nuts for attaching the ailerons to the wings. I’ve had the original panhead screws on and off dozens of times and I noticed that the heads were starting to dig into the surface of the wing. The countersunk washers not only solve that issue but I think they look nicer and create a more streamlined surface. The photo below shows my first countersunk washer and screw test. 

Wings - Ailerons - Hinges

Adjusting the aileron hinges and modifying for countersunk scresa dnd washers.

Here’s one of the cleaned up hinges and pockets along with all three of the washers and screws. Quite a difference!

Wings - Ailerons - Hinges 1

And here's the cleaned up pocket and hinge. It looks much nicer!

Now that the right wing is finished it’s time to move on to the left wing. Obviously the process is identical so there’s no need to show that here. Once both ailerons are finished they need to be balanced. Click here for that!

ui© John Trautschold 2018