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

 

New Trailing Edge and Skin Prep

I got home from a grocery run with the family and my replacement trailing edge was waiting in the driveway. Thank you, Van’s. Their shipping team is not taking any chances. The trailing edge was wrapped in paper, and sealed in a length of PVC pipe with PVC end caps. The end caps were sealed with that tape they use for packing everything. This is the stickiest tape ever. I’m thinking I might build a plane from it after the RV is done.

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I was just going to bring it down to the shop. But once I saw the packing job, I just had to open it.  …and since I was down there and the drill press was still set up for countersinking trailing edge, I clecoed it to the skin, marked it, trimmed it, and finished the outboard end correctly this time. And then I countersunk it.

…and while I’m down here, I might as well prep the skins for bonding, too. Same drill as the trim tab… Measure, tape, strip primer with isopropyl, sand, and wipe with acetone.

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Ready to start assembling the elevators!

Happy New Year!

Today’s Time (hours): 2.0
Empennage Time (hours): 103.5
Total Time (hours): 103.5

 

Disassembly and Deburring

Clecoed and final drilled the elevator horns to the inboard ribs and spars.

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Cut the trim tab pushrod parts and the trim tab horn parts.

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Deburred everything and got about half the parts scuffed and ready for primer. Next I’ll scuff the rest of the parts, peel and scuff the skins and prime everything.

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My pint of fuel tank sealant arrived from Sky Geek today. I’ll use this to glue the foam ribs in place.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 88.0
Total Time (hours): 88.0

 

Elevator Parts Prep

Cut and deburred the edges of the elevator ribs and clecoed them together. Also cut and deburred the shear clips.

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Straightened and fluted the tip ribs. Deburred the edges of the ribs and the counterweight skins. Clecoed everything together. Ready for drilling.

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Copied the plans page with the templates for the foam trailing edge ribs and the trim tab ribs. Checked to ensure that the copy was 1:1 withe respect to the original.

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Today’s Time (hours): 3.0
Empennage Time (hours): 80.0
Total Time (hours): 80.0

 

Horizontal Stabilizer Front Spar

Got the font spar to the point where it’s ready to be scuffed and primed. This was way more work than it looked like in the plans. It all started with the spar caps. They had to be trimmed and deburred. Then they’re match drilled to the spar web. Then disassembled, deburred, reassembled. Then they are match drilled to the spar flanges, disassembled and deburred. There were approximately a million and one holes drilled and deburred in these things.

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Then on to the spar doubler. The usual drill (no pun intended)… Deburr edges, fit, cleco, final drill, disassemble, deburr holes.

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Countersunk twelve of the holes on the doubler.

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And here are all the front spar parts ready for scuff and prime.

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Today’s Time (hours): 5.0
Empennage Time (hours): 53.5
Total Time (hours): 53.5

 

Horizontal Stabilizer Rear Spar

Started work on the horizontal stabilizer today. The first part involves preparing the rear spar.

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Deburred the rear spar and the rear spar doubler with the Scotch Brite wheel, files, a deburring tool and god old fashioned sandpaper. Got all the edges and lightening holes nice and smooth. Clecoed the rear spar doubler to the rear spar. Final drilled all the holes.

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Clecoed the 8  outboard hinge brackets to the spar and final drilled.

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Machine countersunk the two holes in the center of the spar.

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Fit, clecoed, drilled, disassembled, deburred, reassembled, and riveted the inboard hinge bracket assembly with the flange bearing in the middle.

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Deburred and scuffed everything. Ready for primer. I’m only going to prime the inside of the spar. the outside will be painted when I paint the airplane. I neglected to account for this when I built the VS and rudder. I’m assuming the primer can be stripped from the outside of those spars in preparation for painting.

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Today’s Time (hours): 2.5
Empennage Time (hours): 48.5
Total Time (hours): 48.5