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The PT-19: Fitting the Wing

November 29-30, 2018

If I’m going to have any chance to be successful flying this model, it is imperative that the wing is perfectly aligned and with the proper amount of incidence to optimize the airflow. This part took far longer than it should — because I’m a novice at this, I had to rely on what made best sense to me to solve whatever problem I encountered. Trial and error is inefficient, but the lessons learned are more deeply understood.

A kitted plane would have the cutout in the fuselage match almost perfectly with the wing. These fittings would have been worked out in the prototype. Unfortunately, I do not have that luxury because this plane IS my prototype. Consequently, I have some work to do here,

I made some careful measurements so that the wing was perfectly centered on the plane and the dihedral matched perfectly on both sides. I leveled the fuselage and balanced a long straightedge across the length of the wing. I then added temporary shims at the point where the fuselage meets the wing until it was symmetrical.

December 1, 2018

Keeping the wings level, I decided to add clay to fill in the gap. The plan was to let it dry and use the dried clay as a template for cutting out balsa in the exact shape needed to fill the gap.

Unfortunately, it was s dismal failure.

December 4-9, 2018

I realize that because balsa is easy to cut and sand, I can just build it up directly. Keeping the wings at the proper alignment with the fuselage, I added different thicknesses of scrap and secured them with thin CA glue until there are no gaps between the fuselage and the wing.

Sanded down, the buildup blends in pretty well. At some point, I felt that the wing needed an increased incidence to improve the aerodynamics. Leaving the leading edge in place, I pushed the trailing edge away from the fuselage about 1/4″ and continued to buildup using scrap.

I added a balsa block for the wing mounting screws, and glued in blind nuts for the two nylon bolts.

It took awhile, but I feel good about this phase of construction. Here is the PT-19 just prior to covering.