Attach bottom rudder fairing

Last night I put a layer of glass over the foam in the VS tip.

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This morning, I trimmed and sanded the edges.

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I filled with a thick mixture of glass micro bubbles and epoxy resin.

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I set aside the VS tip to cure and got started attaching the bottom rudder fairing. I measured and marked the fairing and match drilled #40 and clecoed in place.

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I used a nut plate, a #6 screw and a rivet as a drill jig.

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I dimpled all the nut plate attach holes with the squeezer. I needed the close quarters dimple dies for the aft-most holes.

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I dimpled the nut plates.

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I machine countersunk the rudder horn bracket. It’s too thick to dimple.

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I riveted the nut plates in place. I made the aft-most hole too close to the aft edge of the attach strip. So I cut one ear off of the nut plate.

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I machine countersunk the fiberglass for #6 screws.

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Everything went together just fine.

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I disassembled and started work on the doubler for the tail light. I centered and taped it in place. I drilled the #30 holes and clecoed.  I ordered a #43 drill and a 4 40 tap from amazon for the other two holes.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 209.5
Total Time (hours): 209.5

 

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.

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Tada

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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.

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

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

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Cut some cloth to fit the inside of the tip.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Fiberglass work on HS tips

Jared came by with all of his fiberglass stuff and showed me how to close out the horizontal stabilizer tips. I am so grateful to have someone who built the same plane as well as a couple of others that’s willing to help me out as I am learning to build my first plane. Thank you Jared!

We started by attaching the elevators to the hs on the bench. I drilled and clecoed the elevator tips that I had trimmed and fit yesterday to the elevators. Then we trimmed and fit the HS tips to the horizontal stabilizer. We drilled and clecoed them in place and trimmed the trailing edge to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator tip with a 1/8″ gap.

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Then we trimmed and fit the HS tips to the horizontal stabilizer. We drilled and clecoed them in place and trimmed the trailing edge to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator tip with a 1/8″ gap. We removed the tips and cut out a foam backer and sanded it to fit into the HS tip.

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I traced the inboard edge of the tip on some glass cloth and cut it out with shears.

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We used West Systems epoxy with the fast hardener. First we mixed up a batch of epoxy and incorporated glass micro bubbles into the resin to make a thick paste that we used to glue the foam in place.

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Then we mixed up another batch of epoxy and laid the glass cloth over the foam. I used a brush to impregnate the cloth with resin and set it into place. It’s rare that I get a picture of me actually building my plane! Photo credit to jared. I had the mask on to work with the micro bubbles. it’s powder fine and super light so it disperses into the air easily and probably isn’t very good to breath.

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And here are the HS tips setting up. Once they’ve cured I’ll fill them with micro and sand them to match the profile of the leading edge of the elevator.

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Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 200.0
Total Time (hours): 200.0

 

Trimmed and fitted the elevator and rudder tips

As much as I enjoyed looking at the aft fuselage with the tail feathers attached progress must continue! I remove the rudder, elevator, vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer. I trimmed and fitted the elevator and rudder tips using a Dremel with a diamond cutting wheel, files and 60 grit sand paper.

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I also received the molex pins I ordered from Mouser so I fixed the wire I accidentally yanked out of the aft wiring harness molex connector.

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Tomorrow Jared will teach me how to fiberglass and we’ll close out the VS and HS tips. I’ll need to drill, dimple, countersink and rivet/screw the rudder and elevator tips as well.

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 196.0
Total Time (hours): 196.0