Friday, November 7, 2014

Empennage Nears Completion

Another long overdue posting, but certainly progress has continued despite a number of work conflicts over the last few weeks.

Continuing from the last update, the top rib of the vertical stabilizer with the VOR puck was riveted to the skeleton.  RG-400 cable was passed through grommets in the ribs and secured.  Wiring for the rudder strobe was also run through the grommets. A few hours with a rivet gun later and the vertical stabilizer skin was riveted on, completing this piece.

Riveted vertical stabilizer frame showing the RG-400 run for the VOR
and the wiring run for the rudder strobe
After riveting the vertical stabilizer, I once again joined it to the rudder and ensured that the rudder swung freely and that there was no interference with the VOR elements.

Rudder swings freely without interference from the VOR elements


Next up was the elevator.  Although the elevator is the first item for completion in the empennage plans, I had waited until the end to start it due to the skin that was accidentally damaged earlier in the build.  As with the other pieces, the elevator build started with riveting the skeleton together.  The elevator spar was a little more complex than some of the other pieces, but overall went together smoothly.  Once the skeleton was complete, I riveted the right skin on,leaving the left side ready for riveting once the new skin arrives. After I complete that, attaching the composite tips on the elevator and rudder will complete the empennage.
Elevator spar in progress. Torque seal on the nuts indicates that these nuts have been properly torqued.
Tape marks holes that are not to be riveted until the skin is attached. Note that I also ran bolts through the holes wherever I could prior to riveting to help ensure the holes lined up after setting the rivets.

Elevator skeleton riveted and ready for the skins. Note the counterweight on the end rib.

Right elevator skin riveted
Right elevator skin again

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