Tuesday, January 18, 2011
What the heck is "Dry Rigging"
I don't know if it is the correct terminology or not, but Dad always considered one of the most important steps in aircraft restoration to be the "Dry Rigging" check. What is this you ask? Well before you go to the trouble of covering your airplane with fabric, you take the opportunity to fully assemble the airplane and make sure everything aligns, fits, and works properly. You'd hate to find out after your fabric finishing job that the N-struts no longer align in their mount holes because of those newly built lower wings. Seriously, you can do all of your preliminary rigging of the wing wash-out/wash-in, landing gear alignment, control cable function etc. It will save a lot of headaches in the latter stages of the rebuild.
This step in the process is also a good emotional boost as you transition into the final stages of work. Once you see that whole airplane coming together, you can't help yourself from making engine noises and picturing yourself lifting off the grass on your very first takeoff.