Wing Structure Complete

wing structure B Before the fabric covering process was started, I attached the control surfaces (aileron and flap) tank cover, and inspection covers to check fit and control movement. Aircraft cables were routed through pulleys and fairleads to check clearances. This was also the time to route the strobe and navigation wires from the wing tip to the root through the the trailing edge. Battery power confirmed their operation.

The Northstar wings are a work of art and engineering.  It was time to admire the structure before covering it all up.

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Wing Assembly Begins

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 The Northstar Wing uses the same airfoil shape as the Piper USA 35B as used on a Super Cub but the similarity ends there. For the design of the Northstar wing, Morgan Williams used the heavy duty features of the Piper Pawnee PA-25 Agplane with a higher gross weight. From there he made several more improvements including the alignment of all wing compression struts with the aileron and flap hinges thus directing the airloads in a straight line from the aft spar instead of zig-zagging through the spars.  There is also a new raked wing tip to maximize the wing aspect ratio and increasing the effective wing span that allows side-slips even with full flaps. Four sets of stainless steel drag wires including one set that runs through the gas tank extend through the spars and are tightened using a simple nut and block attachment system. Morgan also designed the control cables to stay inside the wing including the upper aileron cable thus maintaining a more aerodynamic and water resistant enclosure.

What was most impressive is the high quality of the parts. The spars came predrilled with reinforcements hard riveted at the factory. The aluminum ribs were preformed and predrilled and when any drilling was required Morgan provided a very detailed video explanation of how to make the set-up, what clamps to use, measurements needed and what type of rivets or AN hardware to complete the assembly with.  Also if I ever had a question he was always available to help me work through it.

The ribs were also predrilled for attaching the fabric with fabric rivets which I found to really speed up the fabric covering process.  The old method of sewing and tying knots to attach the fabric to the ribs is not needed on the Northstar wings.