One Down - One to Go!

All has not been quiet in ye 'olde aeroplane factory since we got back from AirVenture. With another kit coming in late September, and the shop fully up and running, it was time to get moving on the wings for the Xenos, and the result is now a finished left lifting surface, with the right framework ready to go on the workbench to get its skin in the next couple of weeks! No, we have no intention of finishing up the motor glider before the little jet arrives, but it would be nice to have the majority of the metal work done so that it's "just" a matter of systems work and over-all integration. You know -the last 90% or so...

Xenos wing

Skinning these monster long wings is a challenge of endurance more than anything else. With every single silver cleco deployed and the inboard lower surface left to install, I had to put out a neighborhood call and round up a few more hundred to get to the point where everything was initially fitted up. On the next wing, I now know that once the outboard skins are fitted, we can updrill for #30 rivets and put the brass clecos to work earlier, taking up some of the slack for the silvers.

Also of note, we have functional controls in the wing - the aileron pushrods and bellcrank are working, and when you pull on the spoiler cable, it waves "hi" as it pops up and down out of the wing. You'll also see in these pictures one of the joys of the aviation fraternity - I didn't build those wing stands, they were a gift from a former Xenos builder. When we're done with them, we'll pass them on to whomever else needs them. Why two separate stands instead of the traditional single rack for the wing? Well, with a 25' long wing, that'd be one heck of a long rack.

Xenos wing

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and a Subsonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

One Reply to “One Down - One to Go!”

  1. Hi Paul,
    Glad to see the Xenos progress. The dual wing rack caddys make a lot of sense especially with along span. Also the picture of the shop shows how important having adequate room for the wings and helper(s) is along with keeping things organized. The tail kit for our Xenos is on the build schedule for the fall and winter.

    On the Reno side we are following our friend Jessy Panzer with her plane, Cruse Missile, race 13 in the Sport class. We'll see how her and the team's effort plays out during race week.

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