by Tommy H. Thomason

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Grumman A-6 Wing Fold Differences Part 2

Jim Rotramel has graciously taken the time to provide me with his photos and Grumman illustrations of the wing fold fairing on the top of the wing for the A-6 metal wing, A-6 composite wing, and EA-6B wing.

The A-6 metal wing fairing was a series of four exposed hinges and separate panels that either stayed fixed with the inboard section of the wing or rotated with outboard section. There also appears to be one or two hinged panels at the aft end of the fairing that opened for clearance (and an exposed component that might be the top of an aileron bellcrank).
The four hinges are in line with the locking lugs and tie into four wing spars in the inboard section of the wing. If you examine this picture of the left-wing fold area closely (the picture above is the fairing on the right wing), you can see the location of the hinges and some of the sections of the outboard upper wing skin that rotate around components in the upper fold-joint area.

The A-6 composite wing and EA-6B wing were slightly different in detail but similar in concept: the wing-fold joint was a rectangular open area covered when the wing was spread by what resembled a bi-fold closet door lying flat. This is a cross section of the A-6 composite wing-fold fairing.

The A-6 composite wing  and EA-6B wing fairings were slightly different when viewed from above, primarily at the aft end. This is a comparison of the left-hand wing-fold fairing with Jim's dimensions.

Jim also provided comparison photos of the outer pylons of the A-6 metal and composite wings when they were spread.

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