Rolled Right Elevator Leading Edge

July 31, 2010

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How exciting! I get to roll the right elevator leading edge today!

Okay, if you couldn’t sense the sarcasm there, I’ll lay it out for you. I hate rolling leading edges.

This first section actually turned out nice after the roll. It was pretty easy to squeeze these together and rivet.

See? EasY!

Then, I took a picture of how I tape, which I have since ammended.

Now, I put tape along the entire edge, overlapping once piece with another.

Of course, since things started going badly, I forgot to take more pictures, but rest assured, I have some unintentional puckering between rivets on one of my rolled sections. The crappy thing is that once you roll and remove the pipe and tape, it is really hard to go back and re-roll.

Anyway, I moved on to installing the rod-end bearings.

Here is my rod-end bearing tool.

You can see how the rod-end just fits right in there. (The purpose of the tool is to help turn the rod-end in the nutplate without putting any pressure on the actual round bearing in the center.)

Tightening.

They want you to install the elevator rod-ends to 13/16″.

That's 13/16".

Right on the money.

After getting those in, I set the elevators aside and moved back to the trim tab. Here, I’m using wood backing (so the pilot of the countersink cutter has a good guide) and countersinking the holes on the top of the spar only (you can’t dimple the top, because the hinge sits just underneath the spar flange).

I'mi using a scrap piece of wood flooring here.

Then, it was time to dimple the skin. I only got the tab to a place where I can cleco it back together. I still have to fabricate some trim tab riblets.

Dimpled tab skin.

Then, I dragged the horizontal stabilizer out of the storage room and installed the elevators. Once I realized I had to drill out the hinge brackets to #12, the bolts went right in.

It looks like an airplane. And it's huge.

I’ll take more pictures of it for you sometime, but for now, I’m just going to leave this assembly on the workbench for a few days and admire it.

3 hours today.  22 more rivets.

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Left Elevator Stiffeners, Part Uno

May 26, 2010

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Another quick night in the shop. First thing, I fired up my 6″ grinder (with a scotchbrite wheel attached) and edge-finished half of the stiffeners. After that (about 45 minutes of the total 1 hour in the shop), I started the stiffener to skin drilling dance.) In this first picture, I’ve just placed the elevator trim backing plate in plate for the effect. On the right, my first two holes drilled (into a sacrificial piece of MDF) on the bottom of the left elevator.

Bottom of the left elevator, working from inboard to outboard.

Here are three of the shorter stiffeners drilled, and the forward most hole on the last four drilled.

3 done, 4 to go.

All of them drilled.

Next, I uncleco the assembly from the table, and recleco just the front and back holes of the stiffener so I can flip the skin over to match-drill the last hole (it’s prepunched in the skin, but not the stiffener on a couple of the stiffeners). Then, I traced around the stiffeners with a sharpie, then pulled them off and clecoed them to the outside of the skin, again, to trace them with a sharpie. This will help me figure out where to remove the blue vinyl later instead of just guessing (like I did with the right elevator.

Of course, the stiffeners don't go on the outside of the skins, I am using them to mark the outside of the skin for devinyling.

See? All traced.

The inside, too.

lastly, I removed the stiffeners and marked them before prep for priming.

B2 is upside labelled upside-down. Maybe I should remake the stiffener. /sarcasm off.

One boring hour today.

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Started Left Elevator

May 24, 2010

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Well, it’s monday. And even though I have a couple things remaining on the right elevator, I am going to follow the flow of the directions and move on to the left elevator before coming back to finish both of them.

In addition to the items they want you to do to both at the same time (roll leading edges, install rod-end bearings, etc.), I’ll have to come back to do three things on the right elevator:

  1. Fix a few over-driven rivets (and a couple that bent over that I didn’t catch at the time.)
  2. Figure out how to add RTV to the trailing edges after the fact (anyone have any ideas?)
  3. Trim down the counterbalance. I elected not to do this on purpose.

Anyway, on to the left elevator. Here’s the obligatory changing-of-the-plans shot.

On to the left elevator (and trim tab).

As I only have about a half an hour tonight, my plan was to just cover the basics. First, lay out all of the left elevator parts.

It doesn't look like a lot of work...

Devinyl the skeleton parts.

This picture is almost identical to the one before it, except for the missing blue vinyl on the skeleton parts.

Then, on to real work…kind of. The manual wants me to attach the hinge reinforcing plates to the spar, then move to the outer ribs.

Here you can see the two outer ribs fluted. I haven't straightened out the rib flanges yet, will get to that soon.

Blah blah blah, assemble the skeleton. For now, I didn’t do any match-drilling. I do that hole-by-hole as I take the thing apart.

This one will be more interesting due to the trim spar.

Finally, I found one more of the stiffener angles. I got that devinyled and then cut from hole to hole to form some of the smaller stiffeners.

More small stiffeners. These go between the main spar and the trim spar (ahead of the trim tab).

With that stuff done, I headed inside and caught someone with their hands in the cookie (doggie-treat) jar.

That bottom shelf has the doggie-treats on it. (We have really patient dogs. /sarcasm off)

Lucky you, I got some video.

Anyway, a short half hour of left elevator prep.
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Ordered Wing Kit

May 14, 2010

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Well, I did it.

At 10:35am PST this morning, I sent in my wing kit order.

”]

Given the 13 week lead time, it should arrive sometime in…(counting)…August.

Don’t worry, I still need to do a few things before it arrives:

  • finish up the right elevator
  • start and finish the left elevator
  • install the empennage tips
  • clean up some edges
  • build wing jigs (not jigs…”stands”)
  • paint garage ceiling
  • epoxy garage floor (maybe)
  • build garage shelves in the same manner as workbenches
  • buy and install wood floors on first floor (1000 sq ft.)

I think I can keep busy for a couple months.

Later Friday night, I heard back from Barb.

Andrew, you’ll have about 8 weeks to decide how to ship your kit, but you
will need to let me know before your ship date if you want to us any other
method other than by my normal freight company.  Thanks for the order.

Then on Monday morning:

Andrew, it will cost about $359 to ship the wing kit to your door by ABF.

Now I need to contact Tony Partain to get an estimate through him.

June update:

Apparently, if you order the deluxe locking fuel caps, Van’s will credit you for the caps they normally send with the kit. That turns $210 deluxe locking fuel caps into $150 deluxe locking fuel caps. Wuhoo!

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More Drilling, Deburring, Scuffing and Dimpling

May 9, 2010

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After we got back from my first Pilots N Paws rescue, I was excited to keep working on the airplane.

I needed to start on the tip rib and counterbalance rib, so I needed to get the holes in the counterbalance to final size (#12, for a An509 screw).

I had some trouble awhile back with drilling the counterbalance holes to final size, and I don’t have any boelube, but i figured any lubrication would work better than none, so I poured some air tool oil into the holes and tried again.

This time, it worked much better. (I still got stuck a few times, but I didn’t come to a grinding halt like I did last time.)

Here's the counterbalance after drilling to #12.

I clecoed the counterbalance skin back onto these two ribs, inserted the counterbalance, and matchdrilled through those to make these holes in the ribs.

Nice job with the blurry picture, right?

Next up, deburring.

There's my trusty deburring bit.

Then scuffing.

Bottom rib (counterbalance rib) is scuffed.

After deburring and scuffing the tip rib, I dimpled all but the last 2 holes on the top and bottom of the rib.

The two non-dimpled holes are not shown here. I'll have to get the countersunk steel plate out to get those.

Next, I clecoed the counterbalance skin on the right elevator skin and marked with a permanent marker where I wanted to scuff and prime. Some of the edges here have to be broken to make the skins seam from spar to coutnerbalance skin a little smoother. More in a later post.

Above this line, the right elevator skin overlaps, and will need a coat of primer.

Then, out with the trusty blue tape.

Taped and ready for scuffing.

Then, I pulled out my #8 dimple dies (don’t have #10 dies, which are the correct dies for a #12 hole and AN509 screw) and dimpled the counterbalance skin. The countersinks on the right are the correct size. I need to figure out how to dimple the skin on the left a little more.

After this shot was taken, I screwed the correct screws into the assembly and tried to tighten them down to dimple more, but I didn't want to strip anything, and it wasn't really going to work.

I’m going to research how people did this without #10 dies later.

No rivets set, but a good hour on the plane.

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Drill Press!!!

April 26, 2010

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After the other day’s sucesess with fixing my dimpling errors, I need to run to the aviation department of my local big box store and grab a 6′ long 2×8 to cut in half and some hinges to make my homemade bending brake.

Instead of making it there, I had to stop by Harbor Freight to grab this drill press. Normally $90, I got a coupon in my email for $49.99. I can’t pass that up.

The box is a little damaged, but everything inside was okay.

A blurry shot of me starting to assemble.

Another in-process shot. This is surprisingly nice quality.

I had to install the little yellow knob to help open the lid. After this shot, I moved the belt down to the lowest speed (650 RPM, which is still pretty high).

I also bought these cool long pliers. I didn’t need them for the airplane specifically, but rather my girlfriend needed them to help clean out a hair clog in her sink in the bathroom. Good excuse to buy tools, and they don’t get accounted for on the airplane budget. Wuhoo!

Pretty nice pliers. I have a feeling I'll be using these often.

In the same email for the drill press, they wanted to sell me a (normally $15?) drill press vice for $7.99. Who am I to say no. I was a little disappointed that this one was only 2.5″. There were 4 sizes above it that looked nicer, but they exceeded my value-for-the-money threshold.

Drill press vise, also had via sale.

The allen wrench the drill press provided to help with assembly got filed away with my other extra allen wrenches.

You can see I am a little short on allen wrenches.

Back to the drill press vice. After a little cleaning, this thing doesn’t look half bad.

I'll have to find some bolts to mount this. Except I'll have to move it for different pieces. Maybe I'll just use clamps.

After a few minutes of trying to figure out where to put the drill press. This is what I settled on for now.

Notice I'm drinking sunset wheat tonight. Mmmm.

No hours tonight on the airplane, just tool assembly. Maybe I’ll grab some wood in the next few days to continue on the right elevator.

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