Plug For Grypmat…

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-2-06-00-pm

About a year ago a company called Grypmat reached out to me to test a new product they had… I did, and have come to find it invaluable when working on airplanes.  After some testing, I gave my feedback, which surrounded the mat’s issues with solvents and static charge.  To my astonishment, Tom (creator) listened and reformulated the mat.

Anyway, I just saw they have a Kick Starter campaign going to fund two more sizes.   After a year of using this thing, I feel strongly enough about the product that I wanted to support Tom.  FWIW,  I’ve funded $100 to their cause to get the two smaller sizes along with another 12×22.  If you haven’t seen them at Spruce or at OSH, give it a look.  Kudos Tom and good luck!

If you want to order a unit, I encourage you to consider funding their Kick Starter rather than ordering from Spruce.  To do so click HERE.

 

Wing X Install – Part 5…

Orig published over on BCP.org March 2015…  This article is for entertainment only and is NOT an approved or instructional material.  Consult the proper installation documents for reference.

ebb72184a4e3e43508bd4f50

The install continues…

A word about pulling the rivets. Although the kit comes with everything you will need (and some extras for once) it’s always good to understand just WTF is going on. The stainless strap uses Cherry Max and not just cherry rivets. If you and (God forbid your AP) don’t know the difference, its worth learning.

5a72e5efb9600761f1965465

Before you move on, make sure all the rivets lock. In a nutshell, the stem gets pulled and must lock with the steel collar. If it doesn’t, the rivet will not look flush, and if its not flush, its not structurally sound.

095ceaceae6ce4f9dd6ae6b7

Next step is to dress up the outboard ends of the upper lift strut. Because flush rivets were removed and universal heads were installed, you will have to dish out some material on the inboard and outboard side of the strut in order for the strut to fit back where it belongs… A bit nerve wracking at first, but no biggie as you will be working distal of where the tangs rivet to the strut. Dremel works great here, first with the cutting bit, then the sanding drum.

72ff56d81f0450769dba5bd5

 

d44edad6ed44ed2792a23a14

0c3c17bd8b9903eb17c1edbd

Remember to measure sixteen times and cut once… You can always remove material, but never add it on.

61d1df316136179dd5e1c67c
Last thing you might want to think about here before you re-install the lift strut is to rehab the tangs. I cant in good conscious re-install a part without freshening it up, so I hit it the part with some scotch bright, z-chromate, and some metal finish Rustoleum.

a7eb560cec7e4a22248842b3

5fba245129994c0dcb4fb3ba

Wing X Install – Part 4…

Orig published over on BCP.org March 2015…  This article is for entertainment only and is NOT an approved or instructional material.  Consult the proper installation documents for reference.

9d917f8dc7f230be4ddb9cb6

f523d62eb3a752380e51c504

Next I focused on the stainless strap. Again, this is getting sandwiched between the skins at Sta. 100. Note: This step is only required on SOME models. You will have to check your main spar to see if it is needed.

f523d62eb3a752380e51c504

 

930f16ab54b8a761311f2ac1

With the strut out of the way, you can now drill the heads of the flush mount rivets. You will be drilling out the 5’s and installing #6 universal head cherry max. Even though you will be eventually enlarging the holes with a #10 bit, take care not to take the easy way out and just drill out the 5’s. Snap the heads, and drive the tails out with a punch…

c4a02af9d140c082fda1d7fb

With the flushies out, slide the stainless strap between the skins and start spotting. Spot drill, remove, drill press, install, spot drill, remove, etc… Stainless sucks so go nice and slow and take your time.

40f4e33914acd25de3bc8b6a

Once the holes are all in, and everything fits, fit the strap and enlarge the holes with a #10. Remove and debur, then install for the final time….

ac774503ea2ea1f7aa2b9b10

Since clecos wont really pull the sandwich tight enough, I used several #10 fasteners to snug it up real tight. Once you are all set, pull the #6 universal cherry max rivets. The 6’s are damn near impossible to pull by hand, so make sure you have a good pneumatic rivet gun handy.

90896d4da857385b176a7774

One final note… The kit comes with all the fasteners and rivets you will need. That said, make sure you double check the hole with a grip gauge before you pull the cherry Max. The stainless strap will use 6-6’s for all save one. This is where the skins lap. Here WingX provides a 6-7.

77a457855ec4a1af28c5fab1

Wing X Install – Part 3…

Orig published over on BCP.org March 2015…  This article is for entertainment only and is NOT an approved or instructional material.  Consult the proper installation documents for reference.

 

867649e2bf4830a57592944f

Next on the agenda is to get the strut out of the way so you can gain access to the Sta 100 lower rivets.

I use a Genie Superlift as it is perfect. Its manual crank allows for very small adjustments and its fork is just wide enough to lay a small cradle on and grab the outboard wing. It is also perfect for lifting the TW to get A/C into flight attitude for weighing, fuel calibration, or whatever… Once you have the bolt loose, releave the tension and drive out the bolt with a brass drift. It’s tough to get a hammer on the drift, so if you can’t get the bolt totally out, careful not to cheat and ease it out with a ratchet… This will gall the inside of the fork and weaken it.

1f7c99e68dca5ade21d445fa

7be46d5698379bf7a35d2d9b

It’s a bit freaky, but crank the wing up just enough to let the strut end drop out. With the strut free, lower it just enough to gain access to the rivet line.

7d6214b0afb9f30333b37c09

Wing X Install – Part 2…

Orig published over on BCP.org March 2015…  This article is for entertainment only and is NOT an approved or instructional material.  Consult the proper installation documents for reference.

db2ab4f15cb32406437b126e

Lots of places to start, but the first step I did was to cut the access holes in the underside of the wings. The instructions say you can cut as many as needed, but really the job can be done with just two in the right spot. This is not a how-to, so confirm your own measurements, but the holes are roughly inboard of Sta 136 and 154, 2nd bay aft of the forward spar.

To cut the holes, I used the ARC360 from Spruce which is totally awesome. Super easy to use, fast, and perfect holes. No muss, no fuss.

9cdc0fea0c0b49d0d356eb22

9ae90b4e160883dcb5047236

4553f3c837c939aac7f10929-1You may want to rivet the backing plates for the inspection covers at this stage, but don’t squeeze em yet as you will want the holes as large as possible to get your arms in there… and for that, make sure you wrap some tape around the edges of the holes to save your forearms from getting all cut up.

96219964cd3dc5ba72a835c4

3238132a1b6c2d568ec3ab7f

 

 

Grizzly Claw Ski Drag…

Thought this was super cool!

Kudos Airframes Alaska for innovating!

Product Review: Grypmat

DSC_3347

Last month I was contacted by Alex Fried, the CEO of Gryphson Industries asking if I would be interested in doing some user testing of their first product, the Grypmat.  I had just discovered a leak in the wing bladder and would be needing to work up on the polished wing, so the timing couldnt be more perfect.

First, how the company describes their product:  The GrypMat consists of a 2’x1’ rubberized, flexible, non-marring, non-slip, anti-static material. GrypMat is designed to give mechanics a safe and secure surface to store tools without worrying about damaging the equipment they are working on. GrypMat works where other tool trays won’t, such as the curved surfaces found on aircraft wings and bodies. Using GrypMat reduces Foreign Object Damage (FOD), lowers maintenance times, prevents scratches and damage, and helps mechanics do their jobs.

DSC_3333

The mat I received came rolled up with a nice bungee to keep it small.  The material was unlike anything I had handled being super flexible and gripy.  I quickly put it to work laying out two mats on the tops of the wings.  In principle, the idea seemed worthwhile, and in practicality, quickly became invaluable.

Thoughts: Overall, I loved using the mats, and am happy to help promote the product.  The units I received are pre-production, but have been assured that the final units will be even better.

NET NET, the mats were super helpful working on top of the wings.  My tools as well as the fasteners stayed in place, and I was able to avoid any unwanted scratching in the bare aluminum.  Other than working on the exterior, I can see the most important benefit being an aid to working inside.  Anyone who has ever worked in a tail dragger knows what a huge pain in the ass it is when stuff starts rolling backwards and then disappear into some secret crevasse.

At any rate, keep an eye out for the Grypmat once it hits the shelves!

 

IMG_0904a