Build Log RV-10 #1

Blog for a Vans RV-10 Airplane Build

Tail Cone

Started October 03, 2009  Build Time 126  Hours

It is nice to be starting  on the tail cone, even under the bad  circumstances that it is my only  choice since I messed up with the  elevators and am waiting for parts.   Oh well, here we go.

The first step is to trim and tap the tie  downs.  I decided to order the  pretapped ones from

Cleaveland  Tool

so the only thing to do was trim  the angles and cut to length.

You then move on to drilling the  tie down to E-1012A and E-1012B per  measurements in the instructions.

next is to make the Rudder Cable Angle and match drill it for nut  plates. Then countersink the holes.

Take one of the


foot sections of the stiffeners, make sure it  is not one of eight foot  sections, and cut to specs.

The horizontal stabilizer  attachment bars are slightly bent due to the  stamping process so they  must be straightened to within 1/16 inch along  its entire length.  Then  cleco to the bulkhead and final drill all holes  except for the very  bottom ones which will be done when installing the  newly cut  stiffener.  Then attach and drill the rudder angle and the  stiffener to  the bulk head.  Last is to drill out the two 1/8 holes to  5/8 using a  unibit.

Next make the F-1010A horizontal stabilizer attachment  bracket and then  separate the bulkhead doublers, cleco to the bulkhead  and final drill  the holes.

The next step entail constructing  the tail cone frames.  This is pretty  easy and goes quite quickly.  You  start to see a lot of progress in just  a small amount of time.

This step is a bit more difficult and just takes some time.  You first  measure and cut each fuselage stiffener to the lengths described in the  directions.  When doing this, make sure that you have the right length  of stiffener before you cut because there are two different lengths, 6  and 8 foot.  The eight foot lengths are used for the 90 inch plus  cuts.

Once they are cut to length, you must 45 cut the ends.   This is a bit  hard due to the S shape.  What I did was take a scrap  piece of angle  about 6 inches long, cut each end at a 45 degree angle  and used this for  a template to mark the lines on the stiffeners then  cut with a band  saw.  Worked great for me.

Once cut and  angled, it asks to draw a line down the back side.  This is  to be used  when installing the stiffeners, you have a reference of  center when  match drilling to the tail cone skins.  I started with a  ruler, but  this was taking way to long.  So what I did was took another  smaller  scrap of angle couple inches in length measured to where the  line  should be and drilled a small hole just big enough for the tip of  the  sharpie.  Then just insert the tip of the marker, set the angle on  the  stiffener and pull it down the edge.  Leaves a straight line at just  the right spot.

You really start seeing this tail cone come  together now.  Very exciting to see this size of part.

However, you will not be able to see periodic pics of these steps as I  did not charge up my camera.  It is charging and will start taking pics  again.  Hopefully I will not be done by the time it is charged.

I know, the suspense is killing you isn't it?????

Guess what,  no more suspense, finally got the pictures.  Here you go.

Much  has been done on the following pics as you can now see.  The ribs  have  been clecoed together, the bottom skin and both side skins have  also  been clecoed.

Once these skins were attached, the next steps  involved drilling all the  holes in the stiffeners that run along the  bottom and the sides.  You  use the marks that you placed on them in the  previous step to make sure  they are aligned as you go.  Make sure to  cleco as you drill.

Then the F-1011 Rear bulkhead along with  the3 F-1012 a and b bulk are  attached with clecos.

You then  have to cut and deburr the Rudder Stop skin stiffener and then  cleco  them in place to the side skins.  As for the rudder stop, you are  required to make it out of AA6X3/4X3/4 angle.  Make notice that the  length of the angle is shown at the shortest side and you must ad an  1/8" to each side to get total length.  Once made cleco in place and  drill holes in stiffeners and match drill to F-1012.

Next is to  add the last bulkhead to the front of the tail cone by  clecoing to the  skins and bellcrank ribs.  Once completed, attach the  baggage bulkhead  channel.

Well, not that I have to  completely start the elevators over again and  wait for a complete set  to ship from Vans, I am going to just finish the  tailcone.

Everything in the last steps was to cleco the complete tailcone  together, manufacture a some of the parts, match drill the hole, deburr  and dimple. 

All those steps are now completed.  I then  completely disassembled the  tail cone, cleaned everything up, applied  alumiprep, and then shoe a  coat of Akzo primer on everything except the  outside of the skins.  It  is time to start re-assembling and install  some rivets.

The steps to assembly are just about the same as  the initial assembly so  I am not going to explain every step that I  took.  Below the pictures  will go through the steps.

You will  also notice that before installing the top skins, I decided to  install  the static ports.

Tail cone is just about  all together.  Today I got to spend some time  attaching the horizontal  stabilizer and rudder to get them fitted. 

This is just a  great feeling to see something come together after all  the hours of  work so far.

Tail cone is finished with everything fit except  for the fairing and  will be doing those in its own section.

Its off to the wings.  They just showed up a couple of days ago.

Click on Images to view full gallery.