Primed Elevator Trim Tab

August 19, 2010

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Well, I got a few more things done on the tab tonight.

First thing was to prime the outside of the elevator tab where the surface mates with the tab horns.

Here's the mating surface, ready to be primed.

After reexamining my countersinks in the trim tab spar, I decided to re-countersink them. This time (after reading the guidance in the construction manual about how to do this on the flap), I used the trim hinge as a countersink guide. This worked much better than the piece of wood.

Nice countersink on the left. The old (wobbly) countersink on the right.

Then, everything was put up on the cardboard piece for priming.

Priming.

After the parts dried, I started in on riveting per the plans.

Everything was fine after 7 rivets, until I paused to re-fit the tab on the elevator.

4 of the first 7.

I was getting a little bowing (top skin concave, bottom skin convex) in the tab skin due to what appeared to be distortion of the tab spar. I drilled out the 7 rivets I had set and spent a little time re-tweaking the spar.

A fit check. You can't see any of the bowing very well, but it is definitely not satisfactory.

After re-tweaking (adjusting the spar flanges on the tab) and refitting a few times, I had things lined up much better. It’s not perfect yet (maybe more work on this tomorrow will get it right), but it is definitely improvable.

1 hour today.

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Trim Tab Fitting

July 1, 2010

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Okay. Today was a pretty productive day. I had taken everything apart, then realized I still had some more fitting to do on the tab, so I put it all back together again. Before that, though, I thought and thought about what to do about the two holes on the right side of the picture. These are for the fiberglass tips, and they are supposed to be matchdrilled later, after the counterbalance skin is installed as a lap joint underneath. How can I deburr parts that are riveted together if I drill through both? Maybe it’s not a big deal, but I decided to drill them to #30 now (for #6 screws).

Two holes the right before drilling...

...and after.

Then, I was thinking ahead about the safety wire trick you have to do with the hinge pin. Why not drill that now, so I can deburr before priming?

I drilled this just larger than 0.060, which is one of the biggest safety wire sizes.

Next, time to deburr and dimple the left elevator spar.

Me dimpling.

And after everything was dimpled, a nice picture down the spar of my blurry recycling bin, golf clubs, and motorcycle jack. (No motorcycle anymore, but the jack comes in handy to lift the corner of a car when a tire needs to be taken off for one reason or another.)

Spar! (I'm tired, so we are down to one word captions for the day.)

Another shot of the same.

Dimple! (Wouldn't it be annoying if I everything I wrote ended in an exclamation mark?!)

After edge finishing the two hinge reinforcement plates, I shot them with primer.

Primed!

Then, my attention turned back to the tab. ¬†I’ve clecoed the elevator half of the tab hinge back in, and on the right you can see my drilled riblet!

Drilled riblet! (Okay, I've had enough of the exclamation points.....!)

Here’s a better picture. I basically drew a line perpendicular to the hinge line up from one of the holes along the trim spar, then spaced them at 1.5 and 3 inches. That spaced everything evenly, and gave me plenty of edge distance all around.

Don't look at my edges, they aren't finished yet, but you get the idea.

Then, I stuck the tab on and inserted the hinge.

As some would say, "Easy Peasy."

Other direction, just for kicks (not as much deflection due to cleco interference, but again, you get the idea).

Because I bought a longer section of hinge to replace my bad first attempt, my hinge pin was long enough to actually fit (Van’s says they will send you the real one (because it needs to be longer than 18″) in the finish kit.

I got to bending.

After more bending, I ended up with something like this.

Ooh, isn't that pretty! The safety wire hole I drilled earlier is in the middle there, and will allow me to safety wire this hinge pin to the spar so it won't COME OUT IN FLIGHT!

Then, I figured out how to do video. They speak for themselves, but keep in mind that while my gap is intentionally small, I still need to edge finish, which will open them up.

Another video, this time a little closer. You can see I am pushing and pulling left and right to make sure there is no interference even with the small amount of play in the hinge. I think I am okay, but this will probably open up a little after edge-finishing.

Two hours of late-night-hinge-pin-bending bliss.

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$6.48

June 22, 2010

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After getting stung by a wasp two times in the last two days trying to mow the lawn in the backyard, I gave up (shows determination and perseverance, huh?) and retreated to the comfort of my garage for some airplane work (the floors can wait until tomorrow).

Back to the tab. Before I do any more cutting on the elevator, I want to get the tab hinge drilled so I know exactly where the outboard edge of the tab will swing. I am doing this before they really tell you to in the directions (the directions have you actually finish the elevator, then start working on the tab.

Anyway, you are supposed to draw a line 1/4″ from the loop edge of the tab, and first matchdrill that to the tab. (I started with the elevator side, which eventually bit me in the ass. Read on.)

I decided to mark both sides with the 1/4" line. Hmm. Doesn't look like there is going to be a lot of edge distance.

Then, I took the hinge apart (you can see the hinge pin in the next photo) and clamped the elevator side to the elevator, lining up my 1/4″ line in the first prepunched hole, and aligning the first hinge loop where I thought it looked good (making sure this fit with the plans).

Hint: If you take apart the hinge, you can easily clamp the hinge half to the elevator (and tab, with the other half).

Next, I lined up the outboard side. This tab hinge is nice and square with the edge, and with the holes.

Let’s drill!

Here are 6 holes drilled (I'm working inboard to outboard).

All done with the elevator side.

Next, I reassembled the hinge and spent a few minutes just kind of getting everything lined up.

I wish this were the final product, but this is just me mocking things up before drilling.

With the greatest of coordination, I managed to hold a straight-edge against the inboard edge, line up the inboard pre-punched hole with the 1/4″ line, and line up the trailing edge of the tab with the trailing edge of the elevator, AND take this picture. Boo-ya.

Looks good so far.

Then, I drilled the inboard hole. The inboard side is perfect. (Can you tell that some other part may not be by the way I phrased that?)

If you look closely (lower left corner), you can see that the tab trailing edge is further aft than the elevator trailing edge.

I was pissed. I lined up the hinge with the elevator edges and holes, and with the tab edges and holes. This means that either the elevator or the tab isn’t perfectly square.

I thought about just moving the tab forward, but then there would be slightly different distances between the skins from inboard to outboard. I measured it…it would have been about 1/32 difference. No one would have noticed except for me.

But…I can’t leave it alone. I’m going to reorder the hinge and try again. This time, I’m still not going to follow the directions. If you make the hinge perfectly square to the tab, it’s going to be off on the elevator side. I’m going to have to split the difference between both by first clamping the tab in perfect position, then clamping the hinge in place and matchdrilling a few holes.

Admittedly, I should have followed the directions by starting with the tab edge, but it wouldn’t have mattered, it still wouldn’t have been a perfectly square hinge line after I was done.

The tab hinge is AN257-P2 according to the materials list in Section 4, but the part shows MS20257-2.

I also think, given my edge distance worries (must be okay because it is per the plans? I don’t know), I am going to order the MS20257-3 (or AN257-P3, which is 1 + 1/4″ wide instead of 1 + 1/16″). I checked with Van’s, and they want $9.70 (plus $4 handling, plus $12 shipping or something) for an 24″ piece of AN257-P3.

I checked aircraft spruce, and they wanted $4.75 for a 3′ piece and $1.73 shipping via USPS.

Which one do I choose?

Duh. $6.48 for my first re-ordered part. Bummer. (It’s better than a $60 elevator skin, though!)

Here are my edge distances.

I love this kind of building. Thinking, playing, mocking up, etc. The normal matdrilling dance gets old…this is the stuff I really like.

1.0 hour tonight. Frustrating, but fun.

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