« Archives in November, 2005

1.5 hours Working on the

1.5 hours
Working on the other skin now. Same process.

Rudder skins and stiffeners

4 hours
This process is easy. Make the stiffeners on the bandsaw, then run them on the Scotchbrite wheel to finish them up. Cleco to the skin, then matchdrill.

Stiffeners for the rudder

1.5 hours
Just got back from Thanksgiving vacation.. went to Florida. Land is no longer cheap there. bummer.. Anyway, today I fabricated the 16 stiffeners for the rudder. This rudder is the new 2-part skin design. I’m not sure if 1.5 hours is long or short for stiffener manufacturing time, but I tried to do each step to all 16 stiffeners. One trick I figured out that was pretty cool, is that on the pre-punched stiffener stock, there are notches for reference as to where to cut the forward edge. Let me see if I can describe this properly, Since I Still. Can’t. Effing. Post. Effing. Pictures. Just do this: After you’ve cut the 2nd stiffener down to size, you should have a bit left over with a rivet hole, a notch at the angle, a little notch on one edge set back from the big notch at the angle, and another little notch on the edge that lines up with the one in the angle. The bend, that is.
place the scrap with this notch/hole/notch with the hole lining up to your last hole on the end of the stiffener. Mark the notches with a sharpie. Cut from the edge marks to the center mark.
I suppose I should go back out there and do some more stuff, but I need to do some more research into why the VPN connection isn’t working.

VS pics

VS closed up, blue stuff taken off, but still need some blind rivets for the middle rib.

Everything nice and secure, good rivets all around.

Hinge brackets looking good…

This is where the Three Blind Rivets go.

And Steve Galle, holding up the (almost) finished product. only 14900 rivets to go!

Closed VS out.. except….

5 hours.
Wow! What a day! Started at about 10am doing the final blacksmithing on the VS, making sure all the holes line up, no gaps.. Forgot to dimple a hole on the forward spar, that sucked.. had to uncleco the skin, dimple it (yes it was drilled and deburred), then cleco the skin back on. But I drafted some help in the form of Derek Spears and Steve Galle. I was the shooter, Derek was the cleco puller/rivet inserter, and Steve was the Bucker. It went factory fast. Now, if someone could invent an autoloading rivet gun that pulls out the clecos for you and magicks up a bucking bar against the shank on the backside, that would rock. Not going to happen. But I can dream. Only had 4 or 5 bad rivets in the whole assembly, and it really went together well. One tip: make sure the taped up part of the bucking bar isn’t the surface you’re bucking with.. Tape doesn’t make such a good impact surface and your shop heads will slide around like water on oil. Derek took off early and we grabbed a burrito and talked engines. More and more I’m leaning toward Jan Eggenfellner’s six-cyl Subaru FWF package. No offense to the rotorheads, and much respect, but I hear a lot more engine-out stories from rotary guys than Subaru guys. Most of these issues are builder/operator related rather than the engine itself, but the devil is always in the details, and I’ve been on the rotary list a lot longer than I’ve been on the subaruaircraft or airsoob list. Either way, when somebody comes up with a FWF package for the rotary that costs less than 25k, it might be an option again.. Personally, I don’t mind flying behind an experimental engine, as long as its principles, engineering, and practical application is sound, but I’m well aware of the non-existence of an engine that puts out 300hp, weighs 10 pounds and will run for 900 miles on the smell of an oily rag.
Still no frigging pictures. VPN server at 3jane is not happy, so no ssh for openbar.

More Pictures! Isn’t this great?

These are pics from the process of closing the HS. All this happened in mid november 2005.

Here, we’ve closed up the skin. Fitting the middle ribs was a real ratbastard of a chore, but as soon as the zen took over, it became considerably less so. This pic is of the rear spar assembly clecoed and somewhat riveted to the rest of the HS.

Shop heads all looking good, gauged at the proper width and thickness. Used the 4″ thin-nose yoke on these.

Left side ready to rock.

Lined up, looking good, no gaps between the skin and spar, even with just clecoes on there.

An overview. By the way… You see that lamp? I hate it. I want it to be crushed to singularity in a massive black hole. The only thing making it useful are a couple of c-clamps. The only thing keeping it in existence is the fact that I haven’t motivated myself to replace it.

Sombody told me I can polish all that stuff out.. I hope so.

BOOYAKASHA! A horizontal stabilizer. And the spokesmodel sporting a Made In Detroit t-shirt! I tried to get the obligatory flying-lawn-furniture shot, but I didn’t have the time and my wife didn’t have the patience.

Perfectly balanced…

Even the horrendous ding in the skin kind of came out once all the parts were lined up.

And there it is with the blue stuff taken off! Love it!

And now it’s time to do the VS. Much simpler structue, and now the happy builder is armed with the painful lessons of the HS.


Well, I promised you some pix, and these are them. Finally we have our VPN sorted out with our ISP, so SSL and FTP now work. Which is good, because for a while, I was SOL.

This is the new longeron yoke on the squeezer.. Believe it or not, it works. Next to it is a rivet gauge. It checks shop heads for minimum width and height.

Riveted on the hinge bracket for the VS.

Blurry art-house pic of the flush rivets on the VS forward spar.

Better pic of the forward spar. Notice flush rivets where this part has to somehow connect with something on the fuselage.

Doubler clecoed to VS forward spar. the NO NO NO NO NO thing is something I made up to keep myself from riveting the holes where the rib goes on. P-touch to the rescue.

Flush rivets and clecoed spar/doubler/hinges.

why no pix

Looks like our colo has put us all behind their firewall, and the only way through it is with a VPN connection. The other option is for us, that is me and the small-to-medium-sized gaggle of creative professionals who share resources here, to have our machine directly connected to the internet. Nobody’s actually got time to walk the rampart and keep out all the foul things that could turn our websites into random ones and zeroes, things whose names probably end in -oth or -ith. So I’ll have to make do with text for now, because I can’t ssh or sftp with my shell account. There are options to explore, and this will be remedied soon, but I can’t say when. Meantime, I’m collecting folders, named by date, with pix in them, and i’ll post them later in my usual disorganized fashion.

4 hours. After cleaning up

4 hours.
After cleaning up the shop (I always like to make a fresh mess), I tore into the HS rear spar.. If you recall, last time, we got the HS ribs and forward spar riveted in.. But something about the aft middle rib I didn’t like, so I drilled off the rivets and went to work on why there were gaps between the flange and the skin. Turns out, after some serious mangling to try to get it in there properly, the rib didn’t sit well in the dimples anymore. This time around I tried it a little differently, that is, not clecoing the forward flange of the rib to the forward spar. Well, dang. Still wasn’t perfect, and I was still dealing with the ding I put in the skin last time around, but it was damn close enough. No actual gaps between riveted flange and skin, and the ding actually popped back into shape.. somewhat.. But the thing that was warping the rib enough to make it not line up to the dimples in the skin was the fact that it was being twisted when the rib-to-spar clecos were in.. Not much, but enough to mess it up. But after riveting the rib to the skin, it didn’t take much to get the rib-to-spar holes lined up (read: drill) and the blind rivets went in without any trouble. Still, I had to use NAS oops rivets on that rib, top and bottom. But it turned out ok, so I was ready to move on to the final step: closing the HS by installing the aft spar, which by now has had all the hinge brackets and everything installed properly and securely. Yeah, I don’t want my elevators coming off in mid flight, so you can bet I paid close attention to that.
There are a buttload of rivets on that aft spar/HS skin setup. I did all of them. Except one that I missed and it’s staring at me right now with its baleful empty eye. I have pictures, but I still can’t upload them because my server is bollocks at the moment. SFTP and SCP are both down. But the HS looks pretty darn cool with all the rivets (except that one I missed) in, and all the blue stuff taken off! And the rigidity of the structure is absolutely amazing.. I LOVE monocoque construction!
Next time I update this, I hope to have pictures.

Some VS work.

2 hours
Since I had to wait for my AN426AD4-8’s and -9’s, I figured I could get some work done on the VS.
Cleaveland tools delivered me some much needed things, like a longeron yoke, a 4″ thin-nose yoke, and some flush squeezer sets, as well as the pop-rivet dimpler in 3/32 and 1/8 sizes. My squeezer is definitely a piece of work, and I need to hack off the safety so I can have better teasing action.
So I was able to get the VS drilled countersunk, and ready to rock. That’ll be next after I close out the HS.
I have some pix, can’t seem to ftp them to the site at the moment. Grr. pix as they become available.