Internal Tiedown Hardpoints

An 'eye'-hook installed into the internal hardpoint (wing's bottom surface)

Some 10 years ago, when the wings were being constructed, I installed a hardpoint to the shearweb of the wings (sorry, no pics from way back then). Welded to the plate was a threaded bushing that was fitted flush with the external bottom skin of the wing. It was installed at the same time as the leading edge foam blocks were reattached in the wing jig. (see the wing construction section for more information) The plate was drilled with several holes for flox rivets and covered with several layers of BID glass. It was completely covered over by the carbon fiber wing skin and I had completely forgotten about them even being there.

Today, quite by accident, I found them again. I just happen to be working on something completely unrelated, and had the telescoping magnetic retriever out. It, and a few other tools were temporarily laid on top of the wing. I was working on the wing tips and bumped the wing, knocking the tools loose and they started sliding off the camber of the wing. It was one of those slow motion moments where you just watch, as there is no way you can stop it from happening. BUT, as I watched...I was amazed to see one of the tools make an about-face and go backward. Not yet realizing what had actually happened, I was wondering if I had just become a telekinetic or something. A little investigation easily dismissed that thought...and rediscovered the hardpoint in the process. Yep, the magnet found the steel hardpoint's exact location like a cruise missile. A little drilling later, and now I have threaded hardpoint that I can insert 'eye'-bolts into for removable tie-down rings!

Another Berkut innovation that I hardly even remember doing....

UPDATE 5-3-04: Now that I'm closer to flight, I ordered the real set of forged eye bolts. These are much stronger and will not bend open like the other.

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