Wing Ribs

NOTE:  photos link to full size image

Each wing rib gets a reenforcing gusset in the top and bottom corners, right where the rib is attached to the spar. There are 4 different types (top and bottom, left and right), for a total of 32 gussets. I made cardboard templates to simplify this task. The plans have you make a bunch of oversized blanks, then trim each one down to final profile. This wastes a lot of material. You can see the excess next to the template.
I used my templates to make the gusset layout more compact and effecient. A 3/8" drill bit was used to remove the material fromthe tight corners prior to trimming.
Cutting out the gusset blanks.
The gussets were stacked and clamped together, making drilling the pilot holes easier.
Stack of completed aft wing rib gussets.
The flanges were bent using a hand seamer. This worked well.
Another shot of the bent flanges on the gusset.
Lastly, any minor deformation or warping in the gusset was removed with a plastic tiped hammer over the bucking bar.
This is how the ribs come from Sonex.
They are pre-formed, with flanges and flutes placed accurately according to the plans. I got a chance to make ribs at the workshop, and they are really not that hard to make. They do take a little time, but it is not a task that would be all that bad for a scratch builder.
The ribs near the wing root have the spar cap flanges to contend with. They need to be trimmed back to clear the caps.
I transferred the dimensions from the plans, then used a combination of the Wiss snips and my medium rat tail file to hog out the remaining material.
The #1 rib on the right win is a little different due to the design of the rear spar. To compensate, 1/4" is trimmed off and a new end flange is riveted on.
After the ribs are primed, the gussets are drilled and clecoed to the ribs.
Detail shot of the gusset.
Gussets are riveted in place and ribs are complete.


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Updated: 17 July 05