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Empennage

Rudder stiffeners and skins

I had a couple of sessions in the shed yesterday and managed to get some progress made on the rudder. I started by match drilling the stiffeners to the skins. I then deburred the stiffeners using my hex deburring tool before scuffing them with a Scotchbrite pad. Using my DRDT2 I dimpled the holes ensuring I was dimpling the holes to receive the rudder skins.

I had my soldering iron on and heating up whilst I was dimpling the stiffeners ready to devinyl the skins. Here they are with the outside strips removed. I removed all the vinyl from the inside.

There were lots of warnings in the instructions about deburring the rudder skins. They are very thin (0.016″) and I decided not to use my hex deburring toll in a drill as I usually do. Instead I deburred the stiffener holes using TIMMY. It didn’t take much to debur these holes. Only 1 twist was needed for most of them.

Once the skins were deburred I scuffed the inside of them and then dimpled the stiffener holes using my DRDT2. I then put these parts aside ready for priming.

The plans called for the rudder skeleton to be picked out and I clecoed the spar and bottom rib together.

There was a hole in the bottom rib that had to be drilled out to 3/8″ to match the hole in the spar. I didn’t have a drill bit that size so I used my Uni-bit. Worked pretty well.

The plans then called for a shim to be made out of some of the alclad strip stock supplied with the kit. I found some 0.032″ strip and marked out the shim according to the plans. I used the band saw to do this then checked where I had marked the holes to be drilled against the spar to make sure I had measured it correctly. I was pretty close but I reckon I’ll try and match drill these holes somehow.

I ended up drilling a #40 hole in middle hole location (this will eventually be drilled out to 3/8″) and clecoed this into position. I then tried to get the rudder horn into position but I couldn’t quite get it to all line up properly. I checked the 3/8″ hole alignment between the bottom rib and the rudder horn and it was a little off. The plans mention that the rudder horn may need to have one of its corners rounded to get these holes aligned so I’ll give that a try.

It was getting late so I called it a night at this point. Total build hours today – 5 hrs.

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About gstrack

Husband and father of 2. Control & Instrumentation Engineer. Flying nut. Gadget geek.

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