Wooden wing 2: underside
Wednesday, 28th May, 2014
With the notable exception of providing for the wheel well openings (and the remedial measures described in my last blog), work on the lower half of the starboard wing closely mirrored that above it. Minor but important additions made at this stage include the four turned aluminium tubes let into slots in the leading edge to accommodate the Hispano cannon and twin .303 Browning machine guns characteristic of the Mk IX’s C-wing.
So as March drew to a close, and with the wing inverted on two flat cushions to protect the vulnerable balsa upper surface, I followed essentially the same procedure as before – firstly the spars and other span-wise stiffeners are glued (and in places screwed) into place, followed by the chord-wise half-rib sections and then, finally, the balsa blocking.
As work progressed, the half-completed aileron was reinstalled into the wing so that the under-surface could be built up in situ to guarantee conformity. However, before installing wing half-sections 6 and 7. I boxed in the area immediately around the quasi-circular wheel well opening so as to provide support for a ring of flexible 2mm ply, which I glued exactly flush with the pre-cut opening. With its external periphery in-filled with scraps of soft balsa, this serves as my structural foundation for when the time comes to install the aluminium wheel-well walls.