As tasty as that sounds this full rack of ribs is a little different; it’s a wingful of ribs. We have been working hard on all of the ribs for the wing for the past month. Last week we reached a major milestone, we installed all of the rib foam cores into the wing.
The process to get all of the ribs installed was quite involved. We first rough-cut the foam from templates. We then sanded all of the ribs to be flush with the top and bottom skin. While it only takes two sentences to write it involved placing the rough cuts on the wing skin. Using a flashlight you find the gaps between the rib and the skin. Then you sand down the high parts to make them lie evenly.
While sanding the ribs we realized we did not provide enough margin from the templates so we had to re-cut and re-sand some of the ribs. After all nineteen ribs were finally sanded to the appropriate shape the time came to seal the surfaces with a layer of q-cell to keep the foam from absorbing the epoxy when we laid down the fiberglass. We then bonded the ribs to the lower wing skin using q-cell. A nice wide radius was used so that the fiberglass would bond properly without any bubbles.
Several of the ribs required inserts of stronger foam for things like aileron bell cranks, flap mounts, landing gear, etc. so we put those in there right before we sealed them with q-cell. Those ribs also required that we lay up the fiberglass on them before we bonded them to the wing skin so that we could reinforce them later.
We were finally ready for laying some fiberglass on those ribs.
Current state of the build is that we are in the process of laying fiberglass on all the ribs that are installed on the lower wing panel. On the fuselage we have also been doing some rib building. One rib to be exact. That one rib though has ten layers of fiberglass on a very complex shape. It took two weeks to lay up this one single rib but it is finally complete. The rib is on the front of the fuselage.