Re: Connecting Wings to Fuselage - Question

From:         Bill Hensley <>
Organization: Questar Network Services
Date:         05 May 95 03:27:12 
References:   1
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  or MIME structure (JOSEPH PETER UHLARIK JR) wrote:
> Occasionally I have seen press reports about the progress on a new airplane
> in which the milestone of joining the wings to the fuselage is mentioned.
> Over the years, it appears that it is common that the fit is not exact.

A friend of mine used to work at Boeing.  He said that he had
witnessed the wing joining process for 747 aircraft at the Everett
plant, and it went something like this:

1.  Some titanium pins, roughly 6" long and 2" diameter, are
    dropped in liquid nitrogen.
2.  The constructed wing is lined up to the fuselage.  Holes are
    drilled.  The holes are the diameter of the titanium pins after
    the pins have been in the nitrogen and thermal contraction has
    taken place.
3.  The pins are pressed through the holes.  As they warm up, they
    expand.  Friction from the pin-holes interface holds the
    wing to the body.

I haven't seen this, it's hearsay, but it sounds pretty cool.

Bill Hensley
TRW Oklahoma City Engineering Office