Finished attaching elevators. Started attaching horizontal stabilizer

Fabricated a spacer block to act as a drill guide and clamped it between the horns. Double checked that the elevators were still clamped in the trailing position. Match drilled the left horn to the right horn.

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Checked to make sure everything was aligned and nothing was binding. All was good. Nice and smooth through the whole range.

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Positioned the horizontal stabilizer on the aft fuselage and bolted the forward spar to the attach bars. I clecoed the middle holes on the aft spar to the aft attach bars. I drilled the two top holes and installed bolts.

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Unfortunately I could not get the drill squared up to the spar for the lower holes because of interference with the aft bulkhead. I’ll have to head off to home depot to get a long 1/4″ drill.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 190.5
Total Time (hours): 190.5

 

Started attachment of elevators to horizontal stabilizer

Screwed the rod end bearings into the elevator forward spar.

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Fitting the right side was very tight. I’m sure theres a proper tool to do this but I ended up using a cresent wrench to twist the bearings. There was no way I could do it by hand.

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On the left side I couldn’t even get the threads to engage. On close inspection I discovered that the nut plates were a hair off center from the hole in the spar and reinforcement plate.  I enlarged the hole by a 16th being careful not to damage the nut plate. Then I  was able to get them screwed in with the cresent wrench. I screwed them in to the measurement called out in the plans.

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I temporarily attached the left elevator to the horizontal stabilizer. I checked the clearance of the forward edge at the maximal up and down deflections. I used a digital level to fin the maximal deflection points. I had remove the elevator and backed the rod end bearings out three turns to get the necessary clearance.

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I used a clamp to lightly hold the elevator in the trailing position to locate the pivot hole in the elevator horn.

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I made a spacing block as called for in the plans and clamped it in place. I then honed down the drill bushing to get a snug fit in the bearing and used it to drill a #30 hole in the elevator.

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I enlarged the hole hole to 1/4″ with a step drill and deburred the hole. Then repeated this whole process on the right elevator.

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I reattached both elevators to the horizontal stabilizer. I used the appropriate hardware to make up the center hinge. It was extremely challenging getting the washers between the horns and the edges of the bearing. I ended up taping the washers to a small piece of scrap aluminum and using it to shoehorn the washers in place. Then I lightly clamped both elevators into the trailing position.

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I measured and marked the location for the control attach hole on the right elevator and drilled a #40 hole and final drilled it to #12.

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Tomorrow I’ll make a guide block and match drill the hole to the other horn.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 189.0
Total Time (hours): 189.0

 

Aft Fuselage Complete!

My replacement cover plate arrived from Van’s. I deburred it, broke the edges, and dimpled the correct side this time! I’ll prime the inside next time I shoot primer.

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We riveted the top skin in place. We moved the fuselage to the floor and Remy crawled inside and bucked while I shot.

Still looks more comfortable than a Delta coach seat.

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And that completes the aft fuselage!

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All that’s left is fitting and drilling the horizontal stabilizer and elevators and a bit of fiberglass work on the tips. Then the entire empennage kit will be complete!

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 186.0
Total Time (hours): 186.0

 

Riveted the top side skins

Clecoed and bolted the vertical stabilizer to the aft fuselage and match drilled the upper attachment holes.

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Rolled the aft fuselage on its side to rivet the top side skins.

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Finished riveting both top side skins to the aft fuselage.

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Clecoed the top skin in place.

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Tomorrow I’ll rivet the top skin and that will complete the aft fuselage.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 183.0
Total Time (hours): 183.0

 

Riveted aft deck

The nut plates and new static line that I ordered from Van’s showed up today. I installed the static line.

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Riveted the nut plates in place.

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Riveted the aft stiffeners.

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Countersunk the upper cover plate attach holes.

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Installed the left cover plate. The other one is on it’s way from Van’s. I bought some stainless screws to install the cover plates.

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I riveted the aft deck in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 180.0
Total Time (hours): 180.0

 

Dimpled top side skins and aft deck

Dimpled the top side skins. I used the squeezer for most of the holes and the DRDT-2 for the ones the squeezer couldn’t reach.

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I clecoed the side skin on. And I actually remembered to peel the rivet lines this time.

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I dimpled the F-01409 frame.

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And the aft deck.

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I clecoed the aft deck, F-01409 frame in place along with the Horizontal Stab Attach Bar Support Angle and deck angle. I clamped the attach bar to the support angle and match drilled. I also match drilled the deck angle to the aft bulkhead.

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I dimpled the cover plates for #6 screws as well. Then I realized for the first time that the cover plates are not symmetrical. <moan> And of course one is now dimpled the wrong way and primed on the wrong side. I went to order a new one from Van’s web site only to find that F-14112 does not exist in their parts inventory and it’s an hour after closing time. Oh well. I’ll call the tomorrow. No big rush given that I’m almost out of parts and my wing kit isn’t scheduled to ship for more than a month.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.5
Empennage Time (hours): 177.0
Total Time (hours): 177.0