Attached vertical stabilizer tip

I final drilled all the holes to #30, dimpled them, machine countersunk the holes in the fiberglass, and blind riveted the tip to the VS. I detached the rudder from the VS and put the VS aside. Won’t be needing it again for a long time.

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I marked the rudder bottom fairing and cut the hole for the tail light with the Dremel tool.

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Used the sanding drum on the Dremel to finish up the hole.

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I primed the outside of the doubler with SEM rattle can primer.

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I mixed up some flox and used it to adhere the doubler to the rudder fairing.

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I blind riveted it in place. I’ll clean it up with sand paper once it has cured.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 211.0
Total Time (hours): 211.0

 

Attach bottom rudder fairing

Last night I put a layer of glass over the foam in the VS tip.

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This morning, I trimmed and sanded the edges.

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I filled with a thick mixture of glass micro bubbles and epoxy resin.

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I set aside the VS tip to cure and got started attaching the bottom rudder fairing. I measured and marked the fairing and match drilled #40 and clecoed in place.

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I used a nut plate, a #6 screw and a rivet as a drill jig.

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I dimpled all the nut plate attach holes with the squeezer. I needed the close quarters dimple dies for the aft-most holes.

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I dimpled the nut plates.

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I machine countersunk the rudder horn bracket. It’s too thick to dimple.

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I riveted the nut plates in place. I made the aft-most hole too close to the aft edge of the attach strip. So I cut one ear off of the nut plate.

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I machine countersunk the fiberglass for #6 screws.

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Everything went together just fine.

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I disassembled and started work on the doubler for the tail light. I centered and taped it in place. I drilled the #30 holes and clecoed.  I ordered a #43 drill and a 4 40 tap from amazon for the other two holes.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 209.5
Total Time (hours): 209.5

 

Attached top rudder tip

I was away in south Florida all last week for work. Good trip but glad to get back in the shop today.

I final-fit the top tip to the rudder with some sand paper. I match drilled #40 all of the holes.

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I final drilled the holes to #30.

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I machine countersunk the holes in the tip to fit the dimples in the skin.

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I dimpled the holes in the skin.

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I attached the tip to the rudder with the pneumatic pop rivet gun.

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Et viola…

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I attached the rudder to the vertical stabilizer on the workbench. I fit the VS tip with sandpaper and match drilled all the holes #40.

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I used the band saw to cut some foam to back the fiberglass closeout. I test fit the assembly to the VS and used sand paper to gradually reduce the size of the foam until I got an interference fit.

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I mixed up some epoxy resin with glass micro bubbles to . nice thick paste that wouldn’t run.

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…and used it to glue the foam into place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 206.5
Total Time (hours): 206.5

 

Sanded and attached horizontal stabilizer tips

Sanded and fit the HS tip to fit. Before I paint the airplane, these will need to be filled and finish sanded.

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Final drilled #30, dimpled the skins, and machine countersunk the tip.

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I picked up a pneumatic rivet puller at Harbor Freight yesterday. I used it to set the rivets and attach the tips.  So much nicer the the manual puller!

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This completes the work on the horizontal stabilizer and elevators. So I’ve moved them to a safe place until I’m ready to final attach them at the end of the build.

Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 205.0
Total Time (hours): 205.0

 

Filled the horizontal stabilizer tips

Filled the crag I cut in the right HS tip with micro.

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Then filled the aft space of each with micro. Once hardened, I’ll be able to sand the curved profile into them to match the leading edges of the elevator tips.

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Today’s Time (hours): 0.5
Empennage Time (hours): 203.5
Total Time (hours): 203.5

 

Attached right elevator tip

Same drill as as the left tip… Final drilled #30, remove counterweights, dimple reinstall and torque counterweights, countersink tip, cleco, and pop rivet.

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Tada

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I used this bit on the Dremel to cut some fiberglass and phone out of the middle of the HS tip to correct the fitting issue I mentioned yesterday. Not a precision instrument. At least not in my hands. But it got the job done.

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I added a temporary foam block to hold the correct width.

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I used some masking tape to compress to the correct width. And adjusted to an interference fit with the HS skin.

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Cut some cloth to fit the inside of the tip.

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Added epoxy and set aside to cure. Once it’s hard, I’ll remove the temporary foam spacer and backfill the gap I cut with micro at the same time I fill the front side.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 203.0
Total Time (hours): 203.0

 

Attached left elevator tip

I final drilled #30 the elevator skin to the tip. Then I removed the tip and countersunk the holes.

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I dimpled the holes in the elevator.

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I had to remove the counterweight to dimple the forward two holes. Then reinstalled and re-torqued the nuts.

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Installed the tip with CS4 pop rivets. I’m thinking I might replace my pop rivet tool. I’m getting a burr on the top of all of the rivets and I’ve had several break off in the tool. I’m careful to keep the tool perpendicular to the work but this keeps happening. A while back, a mandrel got jammed in the tool. I disassembled it to remove the mandrel and reassembled it. But I think the jaws are not grabbing properly now.

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In other news, you can see that after trimming and sanding the left HS tip, it fits nicely. The right tip is another story. I think I neglected to final fit it after I sanded the foam or perhaps I seated the foam too deeply. In any event, it spread the tip about an eighth too far and now the tip wont fit between the top and bottom skins at the spar. I’ll noodle on how I might salvage the part for a while and If I can’t I’ll order a new one. My best thought at this point is to take a 1/8″ wedge out of the middle of the foam/fiberglass with a saw and then put  another layer of glass over it.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Empennage Time (hours): 201.0
Total Time (hours): 201.0