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.

img_2085

Final drilled #30, dimpled the skins, and machine countersunk the tip.

img_2090

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!

img_2087

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 right elevator tip

Same drill as as the left tip… Final drilled #30, remove counterweights, dimple reinstall and torque counterweights, countersink tip, cleco, and pop rivet.

img_2078

Tada

img_2079

I used this bit on the Dremel to cut some fiberglass and phone out of the middle of the HS tip to correct the fitting issue I mentioned yesterday. Not a precision instrument. At least not in my hands. But it got the job done.

img_2073

I added a temporary foam block to hold the correct width.

img_2074

I used some masking tape to compress to the correct width. And adjusted to an interference fit with the HS skin.

img_2076

Cut some cloth to fit the inside of the tip.

img_2075

Added epoxy and set aside to cure. Once it’s hard, I’ll remove the temporary foam spacer and backfill the gap I cut with micro at the same time I fill the front side.

img_2077

 

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 203.0
Total Time (hours): 203.0

 

Attached left elevator tip

I final drilled #30 the elevator skin to the tip. Then I removed the tip and countersunk the holes.

img_2068

I dimpled the holes in the elevator.

img_2069

I had to remove the counterweight to dimple the forward two holes. Then reinstalled and re-torqued the nuts.

img_2070

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.

img_2072

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

 

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.

img_2025

 

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.

img_2022

 

And that completes the aft fuselage!

img_2023

img_2024

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

 

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.

IMG_1998-1

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

IMG_1995-1

I dimpled the F-01409 frame.

IMG_1996-1

And the aft deck.

IMG_1997-1

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.

IMG_1999

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.

IMG_2002

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

 

Top skin assembly

Broke the edges of the top skin with the edge roller. Peeled the vinyl from the rivet lines and dimpled the top skin on the DRDT-2.

IMG_1990

Dimpled the top rib with the squeezer.

IMG_1991

Dimpled the top skin doubler with the squeezer.

IMG_1992

Dimpled the stiffener and back riveted it to the skin. Back riveted the doubler and riveted the rib with the gun and bucking bar.

IMG_1993

 

Today’s Time (hours): 1.5
Empennage Time (hours): 174.5
Total Time (hours): 174.5

 

Hey–this thing’s starting to look like an airplane.

Scuffed and primed the side skins.

IMG_1956

 

Machine countersunk all the holes in the longerons.

IMG_1958

 

Dimpled the remaining stiffeners.

IMG_1960

 

Dimpled the skins.

IMG_1961

 

Clecoed everything together.

IMG_1965

IMG_1964

In my excitement over putting all this together I neglected to peel the the blur vinyl from the rivet lines. I’ll have to remove some clecos and do that before I rivet.

I also riveted the aft bulkhead to the aft bottom skin.

IMG_1963

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 157.5
Total Time (hours): 157.5