Replacing aileron brackets – SB16-03-28 [4.0 hours]

A couple of months ago, just after I’d finished riveting the flap and aileron gap fairings onto the wing box sections, Van’s released a service bulletin¬†¬†which applied to all aircraft models. In the case of the RV-10, there has been no reported cases of cracks in the inner aileron support bracket, and there is no requirement to replace the existing bracket on “fully completed wings” if no cracks are found. My wings aren’t fully completed yet – the bottom skins are still off. This means I have much better access to replace the aileron brackets. I thought about this for quite a while, and ordered the replacement bracket kit. After the parts arrived, I thought about it some more, and elected to go ahead with the replacement because:

  • I felt comfortable doing the drillouts without making a mess of the spars
  • My wings are still open on the bottom, making the job a lot easier
  • Van’s themselves are replacing the brackets on all new quickbuild shipments
  • The new brackets are substantially more robust than the old brackets, indicating a desire on the part of the designers to greatly strengthen this part.
  • By doing this I avoid having to periodically inspect the area in accordance with the service bulletin

I separated all the parts, match drilled and de-burred them, and primed. I had ordered new bearings along with the brackets themselves. Assembly of the parts was simple.

Then it came time to pucker up, cut the aileron gap fairing, and drill out the old bracket. I did this on the right wing box section, because it doesn’t yet have the leading edge assemblies in place and was easier to put up on the bench. I drilled out two rivets to trim the aileron gap fairing properly, plus the eight rivets holding the old aileron bracket in place. Taking a lot of care with this, I was able to punch out all of the rivets without causing any hole enlargement. I took a picture of the area after removing the old bracket, since I did such a good job of this, and found out that evening that I’d lost a whole series of pictures because the camera had an episode and corrupted its SD card. I was able to recover some pictures, but not the ones that counted.

I riveted the new bracket on, and everything looked good. Last job was to reinstall the two rivets I had removed from the aileron gap fairing. I then discovered that at least one of these should have been set before I had installed the aileron bracket. In the last picture, you’ll see that this rivet is sitting right up against the rear bracket stiffener. If I had set the rivet first, it would be OK. As things stand, if I try and buck this rivet I suspect it’ll just make a mess behind there. I’ve sent a picture Van’s and asked them if it is acceptable to install an MSP-42 pulled rivet in this location.

Apart from that problem, right wing all done, and I have the new bracket ready for installation on the left wing.

  • w51a
    Cutting W1013 parts
  • w51b
    Cut W-1013F,G parts
  • w51c
    Match drilling new aileron brackets
  • w51d
    New aileron bracket parts ready for priming
  • w51e
    Left aileron bracket ready for assembly
  • w51f
    Assembled left and right aileron brackets, ready for installation
  • w51g
    New right aileron bracket installed, except for rivet in modified gap fairing
  • w51h
    New right aileron installed
  • w51i
    Problem gap fairing rivet - should have been set before aileron bracket

Finish right aileron [4.5 hours]

After a break from building, I got back to work today and finished the right aileron. Riveted the bottom skin to the main spar, the trailing edge, and CS4-4 rivets on each side. Used the same method (construction tape) as before, with the same result – dead straight trailing edge. I’ve shown a few different views to complement the previous descriptions of this technique.

  • w52a
    Right aileron TE wedge secured with tape, cleco'd down to straight edge
  • w52b
    Preparing for second riveting pass, after which every 2nd rivet will be set
  • w52c
    Preparing for second riveting pass, after which every 2nd rivet will be set
  • w52d
    Preparing for 3rd riveting pass
  • w52e
    Scrap metal (after doing both ailerons)
  • w52f
    Completed right aileron