Attaching A High Wing


I’ve been working on my Murphy Maverick for several years now, as it is basically a winter project. After finally finishing the starboard wing except for the fabric covering, I decided to mount it to the fuselage prior to covering it. As it turned out, this was a very good decision; the manhandling that took place would have certainly caused damage to the fabric.

The kit instructions call for a “T” support to hold the outboard end of the wing while fitting is performed at the root end. I wasn’t very hopeful for a successful result, so I recruited a different piece of equipment: a scaffold that I purchased from

Removing the wing from the bench and onto the scaffold. Note that the wing is supported by slings.

I assembled two sections of my scaffold. The bottom portion was assembled upside down on wheels, and the top portion was assembled right-side up on top of it. The logic to this was to provide sufficient clearance in between the scaffolds for the wing to be positioned. Since weight was not a factor, there were no issues with scaffold orientation.

To facilitate the initial slinging of the wing to the scaffold, I removed one of the metal cross braces and replaced it with a 1×6-inch board, bolting it to the scaffold with two “U” bolts. The board was positioned just high enough to clear the bench height where the wing was constructed but, at the same time, maintained sufficient bracing. Four ratchet straps accommodated the lifting and slinging. These were positioned to support the wing as close to two of the ribs as possible.

The scaffold and slings made it much easier to raise the wing and attach it to the fuselage.

With the wing suspended, it was secure enough to ream the spar fittings to specification and was a breeze to manipulate it into position for attachment to the fuselage. It also allowed proper dihedral to be maintained while the strut was constructed and installed. The scaffold also proved indispensable when I was aligning the aileron cable control holes into the fuselage.

Reaming the holes to final size was much easier with everything properly aligned.

The scaffold has been left in place with the starboard wing slung while I construct the port wing for several reasons. First, it’s out of the way, preventing any damage to it. It also allows me to use the already constructed wing as a reference while building the second wing. This made my progress on the second wing much faster. And finally, the scaffold facilitates work or storage underneath it. If it does get in the way, it can be moved by one person with no effort at all. I’ve also used the scaffold for several other projects outside of the wing fit.

Once the wing is attached, the proper dihedral can be set while waiting for the strut to be installed.


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