This week we have been wiring the gauges up. Big Steve has been working on getting the wires from those gauges onto the wings of the plane so we can send the recorded information to our data acquisition system.
We have switched everything round on the shop floor. The main plane fuselage has been taken off the work bench and instead the plane wing is sitting proudly on it so we can work on placing the wires for the strain gauges onto the wing. Some of them are in particularly tight spots so it’s important we have good access to the wing. We have placed wiring for the strain gauges onto the main wing spar and this is where we are looking at gathering our strain data from. To do that, we have laid very fine wires along the structure of the wing spar which have then been threaded through and appear further along the wing. From here, we can connect them to our data acquisition system. The wing spar will slot into the spar of the other wing and they will be pinned together and can be attached to the fuselage of the aircraft. We have been using these giant lollipop sticks to give us a bit of clearance so we don’t damage the wiring when we install the wings. The wire is extremely fine and fragile so it’s crucial they are well protected… and it gives everyone in the office an excuse to eat their body weight in Magnum ice creams, so there have been no complaints from the team (no ice creams were harmed in the course of the installation)!
The project is progressing and we are moving forward with the instrumentation. The wing is finished and we have to wire up the gauges on the vertical stabiliser and then we will be in a position to start fitting the wings together in preparation for the big flip, which will hopefully be soon – time is flying!
In addition, Phil has been creating attachment eye bolts with necks that will be sitting at the top of the Whiffletree. He will attempt (how very cheeky!) to gauge up the eye bolts to see if we get a good response in measuring the loads from each point at the top of the whiffle tree. This should give us a better understanding of what is going on within the structure, so fingers crossed!
The boys have had their paint brushes out and painted the fuselage of the plane, it’s looking very smart. The cleaners have been in to have a bit of a talk to us, so we are on our best behaviour to keep the workshop area clean.
Little Steve’s boiler has broken, he’s had to come to the AMRC especially early this morning so he can have a shower, desperate times call for desperate measures. Lynne has been on her holidays to whisky country on the west coast of Scotland (alright for some!) and Shane has also been to Scotland. He has been to Prestwick, Glasgow to support the AMRC at the Spirit Aerospace 10 year anniversary. They were doing an airshow which featured the Vulcan, but more impressively they had created a giant plane balloon structure which took 6 hours to make (Shane is a bit disappointed he couldn’t stick around long enough to help pop all the balloons!). Also the team has been keeping their energy up with a diet of sandwiches, crisps, hob nobs digestive biscuits and chocolate – the Whiffletree project is hard work so it’s vital the office stays at peak performance.
Photos from top: Painted plane fuselage, strain gauges featuring lollipop sticks, Phil’s eye bolt and office rations.