« Archives in October, 2007


.5 hours
Didn’t do much, cut the push tubes to length for W-818. Most of this was prep, as in, finding a safe, soft place for the VS and rudder, cleaning up the shop for a fresh start, and locating all the bits and pieces. For the record General Tools sucks. I have their pipe cutter and the plastic knob for tightening it cracked at the base, so now i have to use pliers. When I get round to it, i’ll drill a hole through the center for a pin, or find something like a faucet handle with a setscrew. I don’t want to make tools, I want to make airplanes. Still have to come up with a genius way of priming the inside of tubes. Something involving irrigation spray heads and rubber tubing, I think.

Emp is DONE!

The empennage is finally frickin’ done! Except for the fiberglass tips, which i’m going to do much, much later, everything is done. I closed up the rudder yesterday morning before work.
The trailing edge is a lot straighter than last time.. And it’s within the tolerances, I measured it!

Rudder all closed up

Mouted on the vStab, by the numbers, swings freely.

So BOOYA! Emp done, we’re on the wings, baby!

Almost done with the rudder.

4 hours.
Did a lot of stuff, so this is a combo entry. Got the skeleton drilled, dimpled, primed, and painted. I was going to finish the rudder last night, but genius me didn’t order the K-1000 platenuts for the rod-end bearings in the last AC Spruce run. This whole thing was a pretty mundane process except for one clever hack that I hope helps somebody.
The trailing ends of the rudder ribs are notoriously skinny. They are so skinny that the recommended procedure for dimpling them is to bend the flanges apart, dimple them, then bend the flanges back into shape.. I dunno about you, but this was a beeyotch for me on the elevators and on the last rudder, and I was dreading doing it on these, because once I bent them out of the way and back again, the fit kind of sucked. Then it hit me.
The 3/32 female pop-rivet dimple is pretty thin. Really thin. And the yoke that came with my squeezer had a lot of the nose ground off. Like so:

And it fits on the standard 3/32 dimple die:

And the adjustable squeezer set will get it up to the end of the range:

A bit of masking tape holds it in place (removing the tape on the surface for clean mating:

and the whole thing fits in the narrow end of the rib!

Apologies for the blurry photos. Macro photography isn’t my specialty.