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41-03 Wing Attachment


I have been spending the last couple of weeks wiring up the engine (CHT’s, EGT’s and sensors etc) which will be the subject of another update, but today saw a major milestone with the wings attached!

Having built the entire aeroplane I was a little nervous about whether everything would fit, but of course I needn’t have worried … the Vans kit accuracy meant all the bolts fitted perfectly.


We positioned the wings on trestles initially.

This gave us plenty of time to apply Boelube to the mating surfaces and lightly oil the bolts … we used LPS #2.

Two people lifting the wing at the root, and another on the wingtip allowed us to issue instructions to line up the holes ready to insert the drift pins.


Once aligned the drift pins only needed a gentle tap to insert.

Then the large NAS1309-58 bolts were driven into position with a nylon hammer. A length of wood helped with access for the hammer.


The Spar Web tended to push away as the bolts were inserted, so we clamped them in place as the bolts were driven home.

See below for a short video showing the hammer action required : ) …


Once safely inserted I cleaned the bolt threads to ensure all oil and Boelube was removed ready for torquing.

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The Rear Spar Assembly bolts also fitted without any drama … very pleased about this since I remember having to ream these holes to final size as per the manual!


Prior to torquing we repeated the process for the left wing …


… and this again fitted nicely.


The large bolts needed a hefty pull on the torque wrench to apply the required torque plus the drag factor.

It was easiest to get a helper on the handle to assist in applying the torque for the top bolts … the lower ones are easier since lying on the floor gives convenient access.


We were careful to check that the washers provided correct positioning of the nuts … ie ensuring no “thread locking” combined with enough thread showing beyond the nut.

All them apart from one of the smaller bolts were correct with the washers as specified in the manual … for some reason it looked as though this one bolt needed an extra thin washer.

The wing attachment went better than I had dared to hope … testament to the excellent kit and the amazing accuracy that Vans have achieved.


3 comments on 41-03 Wing Attachment
  1. Frank Dressel

    Congratulations Steve,
    Looks like you have a beautiful airplane!
    Curious, I’m looking at trailers to ultimately move to paint shop, wondering what is the landing gear spread—axle tip to axle tip. I know you’re using 6 inch wheels but just wondering. Thanks
    Smithton Il

  2. Jonathan

    Short of words, as always, amazing.

  3. Steve

    Hi Frank & Jonathan

    Thanks for your comments … it’s a relief to get the wings on, and a satisfying moment : )
    G-STRV’s width from axle tip to axle tip of my plane is 96.5″ (2.45m), but as you say I do have Beringer 6” wheels. My friend has 5” Beringer Wheels and I think his width is 94.5” (2.40m)

    Keep building, it’s worth it!



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