Thursday, February 24, 2011

Updated Forming False Nose Ribs P/N 362

Over the past few months I've been working with John Gaertner of Blue Swallow Aircraftto develop a tool for making the False Nose Ribs for the wings on the NINE. John had a job to make a tool and I needed a tool to make my ribs. John's shop is down the road from me, closer to Charlottesville. After we got the tool working for John I wanted to experiment some more with the process for making parts. These 2 videos show the result of that effort. The next Blogs after this will explain how we got to this point.
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The ribs are an aluminum channel bent to the shape of the airfoil from the leading edge to the front wing spar. The rib continues a few inches past the spar as it bends down from the fabric so there isn't an abrupt end.
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This should have been easy. We had the factory drawing. I had photos and measurements of the tool like this which was believed to be the factory tool. The problem was the original parts were made with 0.025" thick 17ST (2017) aluminum. They don't make 2017 as sheet stock anymore. The closest aluminum in terms of chemistry and physical properties is 5052-H32.
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The result shown here is simple, shear strips 7/8" wide, notch one end of the strip, and roll form the rib over a block shaped so that when the part springs back after forming it has exactly the curve of the airfoil. Getting here was a cool adventure. The tools you'll see here were made with a band saw, belt sander, and a drill press to drill some holes.
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Enjoy
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Cutting the notches in end of the Blank:
video

Forming the finished Rib (Updated Video):
video

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