The preparation for any aircraft build involves everything from preparing space, purchasing and arranging tools, power layout and of course ‘kit inventory’ and ‘storing parts.
Patricia is building her plane at home, in her garden workshop. It is about the size of a double garage. She has built a wooden workbench, using 2 x 4 timber and 18mm MDF sheets. It is 4 feet wide and a little over the minimum recommend length of 12 feet (sheets come in 4ft x 8ft lengths). She has two shelves under the bench for storing some of the parts. Furthermore, Patricia has two sets of shelves dedicated to parts for the plane.
The WXYZ Plane is a Zenair CH750 STOL aircraft, which is a semi-monocoque aluminium construction, using 6061T6 aluminium and 4130 chromoly steel. 6061T6 Alumunium is a strong, light and corrosion resistant metal that can be easily worked by hand. It drills and forms readily, but benefits from appropriate tooling. 4130 chromoly steel is an alloy of iron, chrome, molybdenum and few other choice ingredients, which provides a corrosion resistant, durable and readily workable steel. Since Patricia will need to drill holes for rivets, bolts, etc and also cut, trim and file the materials, her choice of drill bits, snips and files is important. Metal Seagulls is able to provide all the tools needed, but most people already have some. Here we can see specially sized drill bits that relate to the rivets and clecos being used and some step drills for larger holes. The short bits relate to the clecos and rivets being used – #40 are the smallest, used with the silver clecos and A3 rivets, #30 for copper clecos and A4 rivets and #20 for the black clecos and A5 rivets. The long drill bits are for reaching into hard to get to places (one #20 and one #30). The step drills (on the right) make progressively larger holes as the progress.