Fitting the Wingtips

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Fitting the wingtips starts by trimming the top and bottom flanges to clear the spar caps and Rib #12. It gets pretty close to that last ribs right at the center. Using my dremel I slowly worked down the flange until the tip would fit properly.
Be careful and trim slowly. It is easy to take too much off the flange, and hard to put it back on!
The back edge of the wingtip needed a lot of work to fit. It is really too narrow to fit under the skin at the rear spar. To get around that, I simply removed the entire flange right at the aft end. This also makes it unnecessary to sandwich the fiberglass tip in between the rear spar and wing skins.
With the flanges trimmed, the tip fit quite well. Earlier Sonex builders had reported that the tips fit poorly. This simply wasn't the case on my kit. The quality and fit was very good.
The tip is taped in place in preparation for drilling and cleocoing. The holes are pre-punched in the skin, so drilling was simple.
All the holes were first drilled to #40, then very carefully enlarged to #30. This helped reduce the tendency for the fiberglass to chip off around the hole.
There were a couple of areas close by the spar that didn't fit very well. To solve this, I made some spacers with scrap aluminum and wedged them between the tip and the skin.
Ready to rivet.
I decided to use aluminum rivets on the tips. This should reduce the clamping pressure on the fiberglass, as well as be simpler to drill out should I need to remove the tip later on.
Tip riveted.
I applied some filler to cover up to gaps around the edges.
The filler was sanded smooth, and the tip is complete!


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Updated: 30 Oct 05