Fabricated the HS Attach Support and Rudder Stops

I cut the horizontal stabilizer attach bar support angle from the provided aluminum angle. I measured it out with the calipers, marked it. Drilled stop holes in the inside corners and used the bandsaw to remove most of the material. I finished removing material with a vixen file and cleaned it up on the scotch brite wheel.

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Made the rudder stops from the provided aluminum angle. I measured with calipers, marked up the angle and cut it on the band saw. I cleaned it up with a file and the scotch brite wheel.

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I machine countersunk the top two holes in each rudder stop. I was totally stumped on how to countersink the other two holes on the inside of the angle. The countersink cage won’t fit. After some head-scratching I gave Jared a call to see what he did.

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Apparently theres a thing called a “paint cutter arbor” that has the same threading as the countersink cage and one can mount the countersink cutter into it and mount it in the drill press. So I ordered one from Aircraft Spruce.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.5
Empennage Time (hours): 131.0
Total Time (hours): 131.0

 

Began Work on the Aft Fuselage

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The aft fuselage build begins with cutting and trimming parts. Separated the rudder cable guides.

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Separated the various j-stiffeners, longerons, and battery angles. Modified several of the parts according to the plans. Dimpled a couple. And straightened the HS attach bars.

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This was the first nice flying day we’ve had in the Atlanta Area in a week or so. So Sophie and I took advantage and did a little sightseeing in the Skyhawk around north Georgia. Absolutely beautiful flying day.

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We also paid John and Bernie a visit in the McCollum control tower after we got back and things had slowed down a bit at the airport.  They really had their hands full today. It was very busy with the nice weather. On the way out we were one of six flights waiting for departure and they had three in the pattern, several arrivals inbound and a transitioning aircraft all at the same time. These guys are awesome at what they do.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 128.0
Total Time (hours): 128.0

 

So F’ing Close!

I thought for sure I would finish the elevators today. But no! Came up short by five AD-41-ABS pop rivets.

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Started the day by riveting the trailing edges. I lightly set all the rivets with the pneumatic squeezer first. Then propped everything up so that the trailing edge rested flush to the back rivet place and very carefully used a mushroom set on the bottom to finish the double flush rivets. With he “backward” trailing edge of the elevators, I almost needed to use just the edge of the rivet set. It was tricky but I’m happy with the result.

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Remy helped me roll and rivet the leading edges.

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I cut and installed the lead counterweights. Is it me or does installing lead in an airplane just seem wrong? 🙂

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And here they are. My almost completed elevators!

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TODO:

  1. Finish riveting the leading edge (ordering rivets today)
  2. Terminate the wires from the (waiting for crimper to arrive)
  3. safety wire trim tab hinge pin (waiting for safety wire to arrive)
Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Empennage Time (hours): 125.5
Total Time (hours): 125.5

 

New Trailing Edge and Skin Prep

I got home from a grocery run with the family and my replacement trailing edge was waiting in the driveway. Thank you, Van’s. Their shipping team is not taking any chances. The trailing edge was wrapped in paper, and sealed in a length of PVC pipe with PVC end caps. The end caps were sealed with that tape they use for packing everything. This is the stickiest tape ever. I’m thinking I might build a plane from it after the RV is done.

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I was just going to bring it down to the shop. But once I saw the packing job, I just had to open it.  …and since I was down there and the drill press was still set up for countersinking trailing edge, I clecoed it to the skin, marked it, trimmed it, and finished the outboard end correctly this time. And then I countersunk it.

…and while I’m down here, I might as well prep the skins for bonding, too. Same drill as the trim tab… Measure, tape, strip primer with isopropyl, sand, and wipe with acetone.

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Ready to start assembling the elevators!

Happy New Year!

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 103.5
Total Time (hours): 103.5

 

Disassembly and Deburring

Clecoed and final drilled the elevator horns to the inboard ribs and spars.

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Cut the trim tab pushrod parts and the trim tab horn parts.

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Deburred everything and got about half the parts scuffed and ready for primer. Next I’ll scuff the rest of the parts, peel and scuff the skins and prime everything.

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My pint of fuel tank sealant arrived from Sky Geek today. I’ll use this to glue the foam ribs in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 88.0
Total Time (hours): 88.0

 

More Work on Elevators

Jared Solomon and Wes Greer stopped by today and helped move the elevators along. I really appreciate having experienced builders helping me out.  Things went really fast and their advice is incredibly valuable. Had lot’s of fun building together, too. Thanks guys!

Today we final drilled the tip ribs to one another and to the counterweight skins. We cut the foam trailing edge and trim tab ribs. We trimmed and deburred the trim tab skins. We trimmed the right elevator aft spar. We bent the closeout tabs on the left elevator skin. We fit and drilled the trim tab hinge. We clecoed everything together and fit/trimmed the elevator trailing edges.

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Jared and Wes went home and I continued building. Not even ten minutes unsupervised and I screwed up! I misunderstood the interface between the trailing edge extrusion and the elevator wing tip. I removed way too much material from the trailing edge. I didn’t realize that the wing tip would be trimmed and butt up against the trailing edge. Had I read forward to the “Empennage Fairings” section, I would have understood how this went together. Oh well… Ordered a new trailing edge from Van’s.

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Empennage Time (hours): 85.0
Total Time (hours): 85.0

 

Elevator Parts Prep

Cut and deburred the edges of the elevator ribs and clecoed them together. Also cut and deburred the shear clips.

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Straightened and fluted the tip ribs. Deburred the edges of the ribs and the counterweight skins. Clecoed everything together. Ready for drilling.

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Copied the plans page with the templates for the foam trailing edge ribs and the trim tab ribs. Checked to ensure that the copy was 1:1 withe respect to the original.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 80.0
Total Time (hours): 80.0