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

 

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

 

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

 

Finished Elevators and Worked on Aft Three Bulkhead Assemblies

Yay! Rivets came in the mail and I was able to finally complete the elevators.

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Cleaned up the edges and deburred the longerons and J stiffeners.

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Matched drilled the aft bulkheads to the VS aft spar.

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Countersunk the tie down support.

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Dimpled the bulkheads. I think I found a problem with the plans. They called for dimpling the #30 holes in the web of the bulkhead. Note the two dimples along the edge of the tiedown bracket. they are keeping it from sitting flush against the bulkhead. I’ll likely need to undimple these holes somehow.

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Match drilled the next bulkhead to the HS attach bars and dimpled the flanges.

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Likewise with the next bulkhead…

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Ready for deburring, scuffing, and priming.

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Today’s Time (hours): 6.0
Empennage Time (hours): 137.0
Total Time (hours): 137.0

 

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

 

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