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

 

Prime time

I deburred, scuffed and primed all of the remaining empennage parts including the top skin and the upper side skins. I’ve just about run out of parts. Once I get my static line and nut plates from Van’s, I’ll be able to finish riveting everything.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 173.0
Total Time (hours): 173.0

 

Whole lotta scuffin’

I cut the aft tail skin with the snips. Cutting .040 aluminum with snips is a workout. I thought of using the band saw but it’s an awkward part to cut straight with the saw. I trusted my skills with the snips more than steadiness of my hand at the band saw. Good result but my forearm was pretty sore afterward.

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Cleaned it up with file and sand paper.

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My paint cutter arbor arrived from Aircraft Spruce. So I was able to cut the remaining countersinks in the rudder stops without the cage.

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I was skeptical that I’d be able to hit the right depth free hand but it worked out fine.

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I also heard back from Van’s support on the holes that I thought shouldn’t be dimpled and in fact they shouldn’t have. So I hammered them flat. This was definitely an error in the plans. Now my tie down bracket sits flush.

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And finished up with a marathon scuffing session.

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I’ve got to be honest. Scuffing parts is my least favorite part of the process. It’s dusty messy work.

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That was a lot of parts to scuff but I’m glad I fought through and got them done. This is most of the parts for the tail cone. Once these are primed, I’ll only have the skins and a few small parts left to scuff and prime in order to complete the empennage. Big priming session tomorrow. Then I can start assembling. 🙂

Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 144.0
Total Time (hours): 144.0

 

More work on bulkheads

Modified the bottom of the 1408 bulkhead.

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Deburred and dimpled all the 1407 and 1408 bulkhead parts.

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Separated, deburred, and dimpled the bell crank ribs.

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I realized when I went to drill the battery angles that I somehow modified the wrong one. I could swear that I marked these parts carefully before I separated them but it appears I switched the A and B markings. I don’t think this will be a problem though. I just needed to modify the correct one. The modification to the wrong one is not consequential.

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Once I fixed that, I drilled and countersunk all the nut plate holes and match drilled the angles to the bell crank ribs. I deburred and dimpled the 1406 bulkhead as well.

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I think next weekend I’m going to have two solid days of scuffing and priming all these parts.

 

Today’s Time (hours): 4.0
Empennage Time (hours): 141.0
Total Time (hours): 141.0

 

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

 

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