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I'm looking into getting a wing to do some experiments prior to modifying an actual aircraft. Thanks to awesome folks on this forum, I've been able to find the wing of a 172M from 1972 that I can pick up now.

However, I still need to know approximately how many panels are on the top of this specific wing. For example, anything like this 172S or this 172P would be perfect for me, while this PA28-140 configuration wouldn't work (too many panels). Do you know how I could find out about those panels for the 172M from 1972?

Thanks!

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    $\begingroup$ What you are looking at on the top of the 172 wing is the rib rivets not individual panels. It should be a single sheet of aluminum riveted to the ribs, they are just in a rectangular pattern to match the underlying ribs and stringers. It may be one sheet for the top, and one for the leading edge... $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 16 '16 at 19:32
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Ron, thanks for the info - if you're right this is amazing for me. Are you 100% sure for the 172M? I understand your point about the rivets vs. panels, I am just wondering because in the case of the PA28-140, there are actually quite a few distinct panels on the top of the wing. Just want to make sure it's not the case for the 172M before I rent a U-Haul truck! $\endgroup$ – Aerocurious Jun 16 '16 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ I'm fairly certain, however the person you are getting the wing from should be able to provide you detailed photographs. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Jun 16 '16 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I asked but the hangar is dark and the top of the wing leaning against the wall, and the person can't move it alone apparently. $\endgroup$ – Aerocurious Jun 16 '16 at 19:54
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You way want to take a look at this video of a 172 wing rebuild. The wing is not lots of tiny panels but what you are seeing is the areas that the rivets are placed to hold the larger panel on.

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  • $\begingroup$ Amazing! This seems to indicate that the number of panels were already low in the 172 in 1957, good news for me and my 1972 wing... $\endgroup$ – Aerocurious Jun 16 '16 at 19:38

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