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Hello fellow builders, I am about ready to mount the wings for my 801. The plans photos and instructions are a bit thin. Those of you that have mounted 701,750 & 801 wings I ask is there any valuable sage advise I should know? Tips or things to lookout for? Thanks, Bill of Georgia
Sort of obvious, but you can't have too much help when lifting wings overhead - two minimum and three's better (Two to lift and the builder "free" to look at the fittings and give directions)! Have a little "briefing" and make it clear you're in-charge and giving directions so someone is not being told to do two different things by two people!
Be sure the airplane is level laterally - level floor, equal tire pressure, etc. Don't assume any surface is level without checking!
If you have exposed rafters, tie a safety sling to the wing just in case someone slips. My garage had a smooth ceiling so I used a padded step-ladder as a temporary support and rest - tape the padding so it can't fall off and the ladder mar the wing.
I fully assembled my plane in my garage prior to break-down for paint. It was fun when visitors dropped by, saw the fully assembled plane in the garage, and said, "How the heck are you going to get it out?" I usually replied, "Oh, I'm going to grease it up really good and I think it'll slip out!" ;>) After paint, I did final assembly in my hangar, but it was much easier since everything had been previously fitted.
I assembled in my hanger so I had a very flat piece of concrete and was able to hang the wings from the rafters with adjustable straps - making it easy with 3 other friends (they are building a Cruzer) to raise and lower. That would be the ideal situation. Get a good digital level if you dont already have one.
Thanks fellows, I plan to “borrow” a couple very large Deacons from our church as helpers and adjustabe sheer rock ceiling stands. I guess the question is how you know the wings are square to the fuselage? Thanks. Bill
The front wing attachment point is bolted and the rear loosely clamped. A string goes from one wing tip to the other and lines up with the spar rivet line on both wings. This is also how you set the wing dihedral, measuring up from the wing to the string.
I agree that running a string along the spar rivet line will ensure that the wings are aligned relative to each other, but that does not guarantee they are perpendicular to the fuselage. A second check would be to check a measurement from wingtip to a common central point near the tail to ensure the distances are equal. It might be possible that one wing would have to be angled back a tiny bit and the other angled forward to have them both perpendicular to the fuselage and aligned. I'd recheck everything again once the dihedral is set since due to the wing's angle of incidence, the wingtips will move aft as the dihedral is increased.
Some have found that they couldn't get the wings perfectly perpendicular (at least in the 750 series). As I recall, small amounts of sweep - backward or forward - are OK as long as it is symmetrical on both wings: It's not a F-16, but always check with Zenith! ;>) In fact, some have claimed a bit of forward sweep aids stability at low-speed and landing - likely more theoretical than demonstrable since we're talking about barely measurable degrees of sweep!