Did the Nasty

Decided to just get this out of the way tonight…

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I went through three changes of gloves and still managed to get it on my hands.

Prepped the scuffed surfaces with isopropyl.

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Sealed the trialing edge ribs in place. Peeled the tape and stuck the top skins to the trailing edges. Weighted down the aft section to ensure good bond of the skins to the ribs. The sealer cures in six hours according to the data sheet. So should be riveting the trailing edge and finishing up tomorrow.

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Bent the trim tab hinge pin per the plans.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.0
Empennage Time (hours): 119.5
Total Time (hours): 119.5

 

Riveted Spars and Ribs in Left Elevator

I started off the day by taping the trailing edge to the bottom right elevator skin with the 3M VHB. tape.

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I also completed the trim servo assembly. I need to order a crimper to terminate the wires from the trim servo with the supplied micro molex connector. I also need to get a label maker to label all the terminations.

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Then my new squeezer set from Aircraft Spruce showed up. It’s nice having them relatively local. If I order by 4:00 they’ll ship same day and shipping via UPS ground gets it here next day from Peachtree City.

With the new squeezer sets I was able to complete the riveting of the hinge portion of the skin to the aft spar.

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I essentially completed all of the steps that I did to the right elevator yesterday to the left elevator today. So now both elevators are ready to have the aft ribs glued and the trailing edges riveted.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Empennage Time (hours): 118.5
Total Time (hours): 118.5

 

Assembled Trim Tab

Bought a 3/4″ MDF panel at Home Depot. Leveled it out on the bench and shimmed the dead spaces with sheets of paper to create a flat surface.

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Prepped the skins, spar, and trailing edge with isopropyl.  Mixed up a small batch of fuel tank sealant and put a thin layer on each side of the trim tab ribs and set them in place. I used the 3M VHB tape on both sides of the trailing edge. Used clecos to align it with the bottom skin and set it in place. Then I clecoed the top skin in place along the spar and trailing edge. I peeled the paper from the VHB tape between the top of the trailing edge and the top skin removing clecos as I went to avoid tearing the paper. I replace the clecos to clamp the whole sandwich together while the tape sets up.

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The sealant is ridiculously sticky and smells like ass.

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I riveted the top skin and hinge to the spar.

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All done!

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Weighted down the skin with a board and some 2×4’s to ensure contact between the skins and the ribs until the sealant sets up. The spec sheet says there is a 6 hour cure time for the B 1/2 sealant I used.

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Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 101.5
Total Time (hours): 101.5

 

Riveted everything together

I finished back riveting the stiffeners to the skins. I had one oops where a rivet got cockeyed just before I drove it. It left a ding in the skin but didn’t penetrate. I debated replacing the skin but opted to move on.

I used 3M F9460PC double stick VHB tape to secure the trailing edge extrusion to the skin and clecoed it together. I put some long rivets through every tenth hole or so, put the tape on both sides of the wedge, and used the rivets to properly register the taped wedge to the right skin. Then I clecoed it in place and removed the rivets.

I riveted the stiffeners and shear clips together. I removed the backing from the other side of the tape while I pried the skins slightly apart so the strip didn’t tear. I removed clecos as I worked my way to the top of the trailing edge. I pressed the left skin into the tape and clecoed every hole.

I mounted the counterbalance. I had to file a bit off of the forward corners to clear the shop heads of the rivets holding the counterbalance rib in place. I riveted the skin to the spar, and riveted everything else except the trailing edge. That will be tomorrow’s adventure.

I neglected to shoot progress photos along the way but here’s the result of today’s work…

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This is the tape I used…

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Empennage Time (hours): 36.0
Total Time (hours): 36.0