Making the Aileron Stiffeners

Changing of the Blueprints! I started the ailerons tonight.  Having finished up the flaps, the next logical step is for me to do the same for both ailerons.  After looking over the plans, the first step is…..making stiffeners!  Soooo much excitement /sarcasm.  Honestly though, the ailerons look to be a little easier than the ribs, so I’m looking forward to getting them done.  The work starts with us finding our A-710 stock and cutting as prescribed in the plans…..all 32 stiffeners.

Now I cut out the stiffeners from these 8 pieces of stock to create 32 smaller pieces that get trimmed a little bit more. See the detail below on how Vans has us trim these smaller pieces to actually become the stiffeners.


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And eventually I ended up with a pile of rough cut stiffeners like this:

This is where I realized I did something pretty dumb.  You see that blue plastic film?  Yeah, it has to come off, but I didn’t think far enough ahead to just go ahead and remove while I only had 8 BIG pieces of aluminum to remove it from….instead I cut all my stiffeners, and THEN had to remove this blue film…..32 times, instead of 8. Oh well, I’ll remember to do it better the next time and save myself some time and fingertips. heh.


Finally, it was time to deburr all the edges to get rid of the roughness and the cutouts to show us where to cut.  I used my scotchbrite wheel to make quick work of this and was able to complete all the stiffeners in this one session.

That was all I was able to get done in this build session.  It will give me a good starting point for the next time, as I’ll probably start fitting and drilling these things to the skins. I am seriously considering using alumuprep and alodine for these parts instead of the scuffing and acetone cleaning.  Stiffeners are not very fun to scuff, and there is A LOT of these things for the ailerons.  I’ll probably be putting in an order to Aircraft Spruce pretty soon to get this done, as well as the ribs.  Heres all the photos for tonights work:


And heres a short time-lapse I shot to prove I am the guy building the airplane 🙂


Google Photos Link:

Hours Worked: 2.25

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