the wing for covering.
Our wings were covered with Mat-Co-Air .020 aluminum in 1965. This was a popular option at the time, given the limited life expectancy of fabric coverings. Today, modern fabric covering processes, are superior to these supposed "metal upgrades" and thus warrant their removal. One problem we experienced with the metal covered wings was the that birds had found their way inside via the trailing edge lightening holes. We spent many hours pulling out, seemingly endless amounts of nest material from the wings, using a bent welding rod or coat hanger. So... we decided it was time to open things up and put it back to fabric. This would also permit us to change all pitot/static lines, cables, wires and install wing tip strobes.
Removing the skins was a rather tedious, but simple mater of drilling rivets. I figure about 1000 per wing. The only part of the wings that we were unable to salvage were the wingtip bows. They had been irreparably modified during the Met-Co-Air skin installation. We decided to install Madras tips instead of purchasing replacement Stinson tip bows. After performing the mod, I wish I'd have rebuilt to original. I'll elaborate under Madras tips on menu bar.
The rivet removal progress slowed to a crawl when I hit two skins secured with cherry-max blind rivets. Drilling the hard steel core from these rivets was practically impossible. Instead I carefully ground the head with an angle grinder. The heat softened the rivet enough that I could drive the pin out then knock the remaining head off without damaging the ribs.
With the skins removed we hung the wings and drifted the rivet shanks from their hole. Don't try this without supporting the rib with a counter weight... or you'll bend the ribs. Once all the rivets were removed we counter sunk every hole and flush riveted the rib screw-reinforcing strips... essentially plugging the old rivet holes. Afterwards, we marked and drilled new pilot-holes for our 1/4 inch fabric attachment screws - spacing IAW the factory original fabric attachment method.
After controls and plumbing were removed the wings were taken outside for a cleaning and preparation for paint.
We built a jig to hold the wings and lucked into some good weather to apply our epoxy primer.
After the primer cured we reinstalled the control cables, new electrical lines and Poly-Flo pitot-static lines.
With the controls installed it was time to apply anti-chafe tape to all sharp edges.
This is a good view of control cable routing. Some of the cable guides (and the flap springs) are not accessible once the fabric is installed. Tactical installation of inspection rings will go a long way to simplifying the problem if one should ever occur. Factory installed inspection rings, did not account for this eventuality.
Same thing farther out the wing.
A shot of the aileron control cables prior to the bell-crank.
Some excess wire and Poly-Flo tubing pending the installation of our pitot tube. The coil of wire to the left is for our wingtip strobes.
This is a shot of the flap bell-crank. We've installed new flap return springs. Get it right now, once covered you'll have a hell of a time getting at any of these parts until the next fabric job in 10-15 years.
Fuel tank in place, just to check the fit and measure for inspection holes. The wing will be fabriced first then the tank installed and fabriced in.
Wing has been fabriced using the blanket method and applying cork strips to cushion the fuel tank. For more info on fabricing the wings see the appropriate menu to the left.
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