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New Rudder is On!

The new rudder is on, and the plane flies well. I think it may even fly a little better than before, but that could be a placebo effect. A couple of notes though:

  • The rod bearing distance measurements on the drawing referencing the inner surface of the spar is farking stupid. It means you have to subtract the thickness of the spar and doubler plates if you want to adjust your rod bearings using the accessible side of the spar as your starting point.
  • There’s also no way I can think of to get a 1/64″ accurate measurement of the rod bearing hole center to the spar without some weird contraption.
  • Salvage as much as possible from the old piece. In this case, I was only able to get the counterweight and the fairing attach strips, but it provided an excellent opportunity to practice drilling out rivets.
  • Use a plastic zip tie to cut out the excess pro seal from the rivet holes on the trailing edge before riveting. This works way better than it should and won’t scratch the work.

Once I actually got the parts and a solid block of time to work on it, it went really quickly. 10 years ago, I spent a lot of time puzzling things out and correcting mistakes. This time around, it was almost easy.

Rudder 3.0

It was easier to build new than repair the old one. Here are various stages – riveting skins to spar, and the dreaded trailing edge pro seal. Fortunately, I still have the drilled angle aluminum I used to do the last one, so of course it worked out fine.

Pro tip: use the end of a plastic zip tie to carve out the excess sealant that squeezes out into the dimples.

Test

Foo bar bar

Rudder 3.0

This time around, I kind of know what I’m doing. I’ve done the stiffeners, removing the plastic, all that Jazz. The only part I was able to salvage from the old rudder was the counterweight, and this time, I know the order of riveting in such a way that I’m not fighting the counterweight to do the top rib.

New cowl plugs!

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