Empennage Archive

  • Bending Metal and Pop Rivets

    Bending Metal and Pop Rivets

    Happy 4th of July…  Spent 3.5 hours finishing the rudder this morning.  Used 3/4″ pipe, cut into the appropriate links, taped into place and rotated with two vise grips.  Worked well except the center section which for some reason didn’t close up quite right.  Did a second bend and it didn’t do the trick.  So, […]

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  • Rudder Rivet Together

    Rudder Rivet Together

    Spent three hours this morning riveting the skin to the rudder structure.  Decided not to find the special tools and went forward with blind rivets in the tight spots.  Pulled out the fiberglass parts and the top one slid snugly into place, will modify the bottom, as per the plans, and ensure all is in […]

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  • Rudder Prepare, RTV and Clecoe

    Rudder Prepare, RTV and Clecoe

    Spent two hours this morning.  Removed all internal vinyl, final polishing of parts, cleaned.  Put RTV sealant at the stiffner tips, and clecoed the rudder assembly together.  You can see the top stiffners in this pic.  Looks like a huge glob of RTV but the reflection adds to the effect.  Below is a shot from the […]

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  • Rudder and Priming Booth Upgrade

    Rudder and Priming Booth Upgrade

    Fourteen hours over a couple weeks.  Worked the rudder web, per directions, had to order a new part to redo holes for sufficient edge clearance.  Took my time, long slow process and the temps have been up to and over 100 degrees for much of the past couple weeks limiting workable time in the hanger. […]

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  • Rudder Work

    Rudder Work

    Did some work on the lower rudder parts, thought it was great and then noticed that two of the holes were not far enough from the aluminum edges… one of the fabrications was cut using the assumption that the holes put in place by Van’s Aircraft were a guideline as with the previous work on […]

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  • Rudder Initial Assembly and Parts Fabrication

    Rudder Initial Assembly and Parts Fabrication

    6 hours fabricating parts and assembling rudder for drilling.  Deburr, dimple, prime and rivet is next.  Neighbor, Earl White, helped out today.

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  • Rudder Stiffners and Bend Complete

    Rudder Stiffners and Bend Complete

    6.5 hours to finish devinylizing, deburring, dimpling, riveting and finally bending the rudder.  Looks pretty good.

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  • Rudder Stiffners

    Rudder Stiffners

    Spent 5.75 hours snipping, filing, dimpling and priming the right rudder stiffners… getting better at this, expect four more hours to finish the left side then will work the skin and back rivet.

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  • VT Complete

    VT Complete

    Well, despite storms and incredible winds this past week I was able to finish up the vertical tail, details below. Hey the helmet still fits, a bit loose in fact, my head must be shrinking… that explains a lot!! Camera “person” was a bit off centerline, below.

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  • VTail Drill, Debur, Dimple, Prime Work

    VTail Drill, Debur, Dimple, Prime Work

    9 hours work on the vertical stab.  Clecoed, drilled, disassembled, deburred, dimpled, finished, primed as required.  I’m going to leave the Alclad alone, as best I can, this time.  No need to buff off the Alclad and then add primer, the Alclad is meant to be anticorrosive as it is.  I’ll prime the exterior skin, […]

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