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Empennage

Fixing up the VS

At my last technical inspection, we discovered that I had somehow made a boo-boo with one of the rib-spar unions. I don’t know how I did it, but I somehow put the rib over the top of the par rivets instead of having the rivets holding the rib to the spar. Here’s a photo of what I mean.

As the rib flange was covering the factory heads of these rivets, I had to figure out a unique way of drilling them out. Naturally, my ever insightful old father-in-law provided some great ideas. Firstly, I drilled out the core of the rivets from the shop head side.

I then cut out a wooden wedge and used a hammer to tap it between the spar and the rib so that the flange bent up enough to expose the factory heads. Using a punch I tapped the rivets out.

In order to bend the flange back so that it was flush with the spar, we used some blocks of wood and an F-clamp.

The flange was still a touch away from the spar so I put in some clecoes to hold it flush.

I then put in some new rivets and set them using my squeezer. Can you tell which ones are the new ones?

Here is a shot of the factory head side. I’m pretty happy with how the repair turned out.

I also filed out some scratches out of the spar doubler that I had made with my squeezer when I was setting the skin to spar rivets. I dimpled the elevator trim servo cover plate as well.

Build time 2 hours.

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About gstrack

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

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