Riveted Spars and Ribs in Right Elevator

Unfortunately Jared was unable to make it over to work with me today. I’ll be docking his pay. 🙂

Work on the the left elevator is still halted until I have a means to rivet the hinge portion of the aft spar. To wit I have ordered a complete range of squeezer flush sets from Aircraft Spruce. They should be here tomorrow.

Significant progress to report on the right elevator however…

Riveted the rear spar and rib assembly to the bottom right skin.

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Actually some progress was made on the left elevator. I was able to rivet the ribs to the bottom skin as well as the trim doubler assembly.

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I riveted the skin to the rear right spar using the special bucking bar to reach the shop heads.

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Side view of the special bucking bar in action.

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I fabricated the tool called out in the plans but didn’t actually need it on the right elevator. Maybe it’s necessary on the left?

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I blind-riveted the top and bottom halves of the ribs together. I was able to reach the aft rivets with no problem.

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Here they are all riveted.

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I riveted the forward spar to the ribs.

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…And then riveted the skins to the spar with the squeezer.

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I riveted the skins to the and root ribs as well.

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Next I’ll glue the aft ribs in place with Pro Seal, install the trailing edge, shoot the last few rivets in the root and tip ribs and she’ll be done!

I had one oops today and a gripe with the plans. They remind you that the counterweight skins go under the elevator skins after you’ve already riveted the aft spar and the ribs. This made it impossible to correct. I tried to carefully pull the skin out and bend the counterweight skin up as little as possible but it left a bit of a permanent bend. Nothing tragic. Just annoying. It would have been more helpful if the plans provided this warning when they had me cleco in the forward spar assembly.

Today’s Time (hours): 4.5
Empennage Time (hours): 112.5
Total Time (hours): 112.5

 

Horizontal Stabilizer Complete

Riveted the skin to the forward spar and all the ribs. Did all of these rivets with the gun and small tungsten bucking bar. It was a long day. Only had to drill out a couple of duds, though.

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Then clecoed the rear spar to the ribs and skins and riveted in place. The inboard and outboard ribs are riveted with AN470-4 rivets while all the others are blind-riveted with LP4’s. I used the squeezer to rivet the skins to the rear spar flanges.

Et Viola…

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Merry Christmas!

Today’s Time (hours): 7.0
Empennage Time (hours): 76.0
Total Time (hours): 76.0

 

Vertical Stabilizer Complete!

Scuffed and prepped the new parts. Then sprayed them with primer.

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Riveted the doubler and ribs to the forward spar.

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Clecoed the skin to the forward spar and ribs and started riveting.

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Finished riveting the skin to the forward spar and ribs.

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Clecoed and riveted the rear spar to the skin and ribs.

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VS Complete! Very pleased with how well it turned out. Once I replaced the parts I messed up, everything went smoothly. I’m much happier with my workmanship than the first attempt. A little experience makes a world of difference.

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Rearranged the work benches and started picking parts for the horizontal stabilizer.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 46.0
Total Time (hours): 46.0

 

Rudder Completed!

I riveted the trailing edge this morning. The double flush riveting was actually pretty straight forward. The edge turned out pretty straight and didn’t require much fiddling.

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Later, I rolled the leading edges. Then clecoed and blind riveted them to complete the rudder.

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Empennage Time (hours): 41.0
Total Time (hours): 41.0

 

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