Build Log RV-10 #1

Blog for a Vans RV-10 Airplane Build

Tail Cone Attachment

Started 3/21/2011

This step was very exciting as it is a big step.  When the tailcone is attached you get a great sense of accomplishment as you look at one of the major structures coming together.

Starting off this section requires to final drill holes in the forward bulkhead of the tailcone.  In addition to utilizing a uni-bit to enlarge holes where ultimately the cables for the rudder controls will pass through.  Mine already had them done.  Removed the bulkhead, deburred and dimpled the holes per instructions.

Removed the F-1006B bulkhead from the tailcone and clecoed to the baggage ribs of the forward fuselage.  Then attached the tail cone to the forward fuselage.  Looks really cool at this point.  Final drilled all the holes between the two.  Then drilled the four holes on each side that attach the forward and rear longerons.

Reinstalled the tailcone forward top skin once again and match drilled through the shims into the sideskin.  At this time you also match drill the remaining holes through the side skin into the forward fuselage longeron then counterskink these holes.  Did the same process to the bottom area of the baggage door.

Now that everything is match drilled I separated the forward fuselage and tailcone so that all the holes could be deburred and dimpled where necessary.  Once this was done I re clecoed the tailcone to the forward fuselage.

Per the instructions got all the rivets installed between the two parts.  For the amount of accomplishment this steps goes very quickly.  Now that it is pemanently attached, time to stand back and admire over a beer.

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Empennage Fairings

Started September 15, 2010 - 4 hours so far

Needed a bit of a break from the fuel tanks, am also waiting for another batch of proseal from Vans.  So I started to work on the empennage fairings.

Read through the directions and they seem pretty straight forward as far as getting them fitted.  I am going to use the West Systems to fiberglass them so there a smooth transition from the fairings to the empennage parts.  The only one that will be removable will be the bottom fairing on the rudder.  This is just in case I need to get at the light and/or wiring.

Got all the fairings trimmed, fitted and sanded.  Before I rivet them to the empennage, i will be using proseal to attach strips of aluminum to the insides of the fairings as a better support for the rivets.  I do not want them pulling through the fiberglass.

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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.

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Started September 28,  2009 - 78 Hours

Its Monday night and ready to  start constructing the elevators.  The  first thing to do is to cut the  elevator ribs apart and remove the  excess material shown in the  directions.  Did this with a band saw and  then sanded to the scribe  lines with a belt sander.

Then took  those parts and deburr all edges, and cleco together.  Once  clecoed,  match drilled the four common holes of the rib halves.  Make  sure that  these are now labeled so that they remain paired throughout  the  construction of the elevators.

Working on the rib assemblies  and making sure that the flanges fo the  tip ribs are bent at exactly 90  degrees and straight by fluting between  the pre-punched holes.  Make  sure that all blue vinyl is removed before  clecoing the pieces.

Final drilled all the holes on the web of the rib assemblies. Then do  the same match drilling to the flange holes. And finally match drill  three 3/16 holes at the front of the ribs with #12 drill.

The  next step is to separate the four E-1022 Shear Clips using a band  saw,  finishing up with belt sander and then deburring with scotch bright  wheel.

Enough for tonight, going in to enjoy a beer and some  TV.

Back to the grind.  Started tonight on the top and bottom skins, you  need to be bent.  You make a bend in each aft inner portion the closes  the section next to the elevator trim.  Not hard to do, just take your  time to make sure that you get the bend in the right spot.

Next was too cleco and match drill the hinge reinforcement plates.  Then  remove and set aside for later.  make sure you mark the plates so you  know where they go during final assembly.

This is where you  start seeing it coming together by clecoing the E-1008  Ribs to the  front spar and bottom skin.  Make not to the direction of  the front  spar, there are tabs on one and and once you start match  drilling, they  become designated right and left, just as the skins in  the previous  step. Then cleco in the rear spar and shear clips to the  ribs and the  bottom skin.

Cleco in place the trim access reinforcement plate  and final drill all  the common holes using a #40 drill. Then match  drill the elevator gusset  to each of the inner rib and rear spar.

Attach the tip rib assembly to shear clip, front and rear spar and the  bottom skin.  Final drill the holes per directions.

Now to  install the top skins and cleco in place. Make sure you have the  top  skin bend over the the bottom skin bend.

Cleco in place and  final drill the elevator horns to the front spar with  a #30 drill.

The next step is to final drill the skins to the spars and ribs.  When  doing this, make sure that you start in the middle of each spar and  work  your way to the root and tip, inserting a cleco in every hole.

Take the cover plates and attach the trim cable anchor brackets.   there  are no holes so you must measure, clamp and drill each bracket.

Dimple the holes in the reinforcement plates to accept flush  rivets for  the nut plates.

Now comes the really fun part  (being sarcastic), completely disassemble  and deburr, deburr, deburr,  deburr, then deburr a bit more, then just  when you think you are done  deburr some more.  Now to the second most  fun part, dimple till it  hurts.  Make sure that you follow the  instructions closely as there  some parts that need to be dimpled on the  spars and ribs.

Then  prep for and prime.

Well, today is not been a good one. I finished prepping for primer  and  noticed that I made a big mistake.  Not the first and certainly not  the  last, but really makes you frustrated that you have to stop a  process  and wait for new parts from Vans.

What I did is not  look at the directions very closely as I mentioned you  should do in the  last section. In the rear spar you need to countersink  the first inner  29 holes on the top ONLY.  Well, I  was  having so much fun doing this, I just could not stop myself and  continued to counter sink all the hole, on both sides.  Since I was  already out of control countersinking, I just had to keep going and do  the front spar as well.  What and idiot i am.

So I decided to  get at least alumiprep, alodine, and Akzo prime the rest  of the parts  and then place an order for the new spars.  Not to  mention, both left  and right pieces.  This is another example of why you  need to read the  directions completely, slowly and a few steps forward  before continuing  with any new step.

The only thin I could get done is to start  riveting together the tip  assemblies and install the reinforcement  plates along with the  nutplates..  Now that they are done, I decided to  move onto working on  the tail cone section until my new parts come.

Be back later with this section.

I received the new spars this week and drill out all holes according  to  the instructions.  I started to put together with clecos so all  parts  could be match drilled.  Did not work so well since everything  was  already dimpled.  So did what I could and for the holes in the  flange of  the spars that attach to the skins.  Just drilled to a #40  hole.

The two spars then got alodine and primer.

It  was time to finally get this thing riveted together.  Got the doubler  plates and horns riveted in place and it was now time to start  attaching the skins to the rear spar.

Everything was going  really good. It was then I started to install  rivets to the front spar  and get everything closed up and noticed as I  worked my way out from  the middles, the skins began to warp.

Well folks, this is a  prime example of why you need to make sure that  you follow instructions  very closely and understand every single move  you make.  Also, I was  questioning why it was needed to cleco every hole  when you match drill  the skins starting in the middle.  Guess I found  out the hard way.

So now I have to mostly done elevators that are a pile of screwed up  aluminum.  So, now they sit on the floor in the corner of my garage as a  reminder of one major screw up.  Anybody want to buy them? Yeah Right!

So I got the pleasure this morning of ordering all new parts so I  can  completely start over on the elevators.  Nothing another 70 or so  hours  and $450 bucks wont take care of.  Ugh! May take me a while to  stop  cussing for this one.

Oh well, what do you do.  Major  learning lesson accomplished the hard  way.  So, guess I will move back  to the tail cone to see what kind of  mistakes I can make there.  Be  back later with this section.

Somewhat happy to say I am back  to this elevator thing again.  At least I  will know this time about all  the mistakes that can be made and will  definitely be much more  cautious.

So now that the tailcone is assembled and the  horizontal stabilizer and  rudder are basically attached, I am back to  the elevators.

Since I took pictures and made notes during the  initial assembly, I am  just going to start off where I left off.

So far everything is going together much better and faster this time  around.  Got all the ribs and rear spar riveted together.  This was a  fairly easy and quick process as long as you have the right tools, like  the long bucking bar from Avery.

Worked on getting the skins  attached to the rear spar and riveted the  upper and lower ribs  together.

Will now start to rivet the front spar to the skins  and ribs.

Started the riveting of the front spar, this went pretty quick.  Got  the  aft flange of the E=905 root rib and also riveted the elevator  gusset.

Next step was to attach the tip rib assembly to the  elevator.  Fairly  straight forward, just cleco and rivet.

Moving on the to to cuttin gout the foam ribs for the trailing edge of  the elevator, since you need to do the same step for the elevator trim  tabs, i did them all at once.  During the painting of the elevator  skins, I did mask off the spots where these ribs get glued so I went  ahead and glued them with a coat of tank sealant mix.

Also  while gluing the ribs to the skins, you also apply tank sealant to  the  trailing edge pieces and then cleco and clamp to a bench to dry for a  couple of days.

Its been a few days now so it is time to clean  out all the extra sealant  from the rivet holes in the trailing edge and  then rivet together.

Finish riveting the shear clops with  blind rivets and then move on to  rolling the leading edge with a pvc  pipe and rivet together with CS4-4  pull rivets.  Once completed install  the counterweights into each  elevator tip.  This step has you cut and  shape the lead pieces a bit but  soft enough to do with a band saw.

Now on to the Elevator trim tabs.  To tell you the truth, I hated this  step the worse.  Not that it was hard, I think that since I was having  so many problems with the elevators that I am just a bit ticked off  about them. With that said, the directions explain everything so I am  just going to be done with this section. 

To add to my  problems, I must have accidentally deleted or misplaced  some of the  photos, so you won't get to see any of those either, this is  all I got.

I am moving on, thank god!!!!!!!!

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Horizontal Stabilizer

Started August 11, 2009  - 75 Hours

This section started off with the great job of  deburring.  All the  edges and lightning holes in the HS-1003 Rear Spar  and the doubler  plate.  Match drilled all holes in double plate and rear  spar.   Countersunk the two middle holes in the doubler plate.

On to  clecoing the hinge brackets to the rear spar and match drilled the  holes.

I then disassembled all the pieces to apply alumiprep,  alodine and Akzo  primer. Once dried, riveted everything together.

Next was to cleco the flange bearing between the two inboard hinge  brackets, final drill the six holes, deburr, then reassemble with  rivets, and the last step is to bolt it onto the rear spar assembly.

The next step consists of making two brackets out of angle  aluminum.   This was a pretty simple to do process, but when cutting one  of the  brackets, I accidentally cut on the wrong side of the line.   Stupid  mistake.  I will have to order a new piece of aluminum for Vans  tomorrow.

While waiting for the new angle piece to be shipped I  went on to the  next steps of cutting the spar caps and stringers.   This consists of  cutting the ends at an angle.  Using a band saw works  well to make the  initial cut, then sand flat with a belt sander.

Once these were cut, they needed to be deburred to remove any sharp  edge.  Used the scottbrite wheel for this. 

After deburring  the edges and lightning holes for the front spar, you  lay the spar caps  in place, clamp and match drill the holes on the spar  web.  Make sure  you do it on the web side and not the flange.  Just  about made this  error.  Once completed, you need to deburr all edges  re-assemble and  then match drill the holes in the flange.

The next step  involves attaching the brackets that were supposed to be  previously  made, but since I screwed up, skipped that step for now.

I then  clecoed the HS-1007 double plate to the front spar and match  drilled  all the holes.

Since I screwed up one of the HS-1008 angle pieces, I finished them  as  the new piece of angle aluminum came in from Vans today.

Once everything was deburred, I prepped and finished applying Akzo  Primer.  Once this was dry (the next day) it was time to start clecoing  everything back together and riveted per instructions, and attached  inboard hinge bracket assembly.

Now to where I left off on the  front spar.  Everything on the HS-1007  has been deburred and match  drilled and reassembled, I then attached the  HS-1008 spar attachment  brackets.  Make sure you have them on the right  side, the directions  show them backwards as for left and right.  it  depends on what side of  the stabilizer you have up.  Also, there are  some holes that should not  be drilled out, make sure you place tape to  keep them from being done.

After countersinking the eight holes on the doubler and the nine  on the  spar flange, everything was taken apart, deburred, alumiprep,  alodined,  and the primed with Akzo.

The last spar and parts  have now dried so it is time to start riveting  them together per  directions. Once done you have to make some  modifications to the  HS-1004 Inspar ribs.  Two have to be trimmed one  way, and two a little  more.  Not hard just something that needs to be  done.  They are slots  that hold the Long and Short Stringers.

In addition to the  trimming, the top and bottom of the Inspar ribs need  to be bent to 9  degrees.  I did this by clamping to the side of the  bench, checked the  angle and then used the hand seamer to bend to the 9  degree angle.   This will also be done on two of the front nose ribs.

When  working with the nose ribs, make sure that you trim a bit of the  front  corners so that when installed they do not make the dimple in the  skin.  I did this and when installing, noticed that I did not do them  enough.  Luckily I did catch this in time and was able to get them  trimmed farther without making permanent dents in the skin.

Now  that the piece are ready to be clecoed together, I made my cradles  to  hold the stabilizer skins vertical for assemble.  These definitively  do  help as a another set of hands.

The first part was to put  everything together and match drill all the  ribs to the front spar.   They are then disassembled and the nose ribs  get installed into the  skins first.  Then comes the spar, the HS-904 and  HS-1004 ribs.  Make  sure to follow the instructions, read a couple of  step ahead as these  go in in a certain order.

The rear spar was finally put in and  clecoed together.  The last step  was to match drill all the holes,  trying not to forget any. 

Starting tomorrow, I will take  everything apart, deburr, dimple and prep  for priming.  Boy, seems like  this thing goes together and then comes  apart then back together many,  many, many times.  Exhausting!!!

During some of the last steps, had a loss of memory and forgot to  keep  taking pictures.  So that I accomplished was finishing up taking  everything apart and prepped for and then primed.

Now that  everything is primed it was time to start the final assembly  with  riveting the two inboard ribs to the stringer webs and then rivet  the  HS-1014 and 1015 stringers together, then finish riveting those to  the  HS-1016 stringer web.

The directions then call ask to install  two snap bushings.  Did this but  added some E6000 adhesive to them so  they would not pop out during  construction.  Once they fall out, would  be very difficult to get back  in. 

The next step you will  definitely need a helper.  This is riveting the  front spar ribs to the  inner skins.  Got my friend Scott to help with  this process.  Without  help, I you would need some very long arms and a  lot of luck to get  these rivets in, bucked and looking good.

Then installed  HS-1004 ribs in riveted to the font spar web and then  slid  that part  of the assembly into the skins.  I then riveted the  front spar to the  front ribs and the skins to the front spar.

Then riveted up the  inner ribs to the stringers and then along those  stringers.  These are  not very fun rivets due to the lack of room.  Once  the stringers are  riveted, you finish up riveting up the HS1004  and  HS-904 ribs.   Getting sick of all these rivets already.  Need a break.

The  last step is to rivet the rear spar in place.  This was a pleasing  experience since I did not have to buck the rivets but could use the  pneumatic squeezer.

Wow, that was a lot more work than  expected.  Oh well, Yeah!!! I am  finished with this piece for now.

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Rudder Trim

Started on August 11, 2009 - Build Time 29 hours

After looking for as many different ideas on  adding rudder trim.  I  have chosen to use the method that both Robin  Marks and Geoff Combs  have used.

I am thinking of making just a few changes to there  method and will try  to give as best description of this as I go.

My first step is to mark out on the rudder where everything will go.  I  tried to get pretty close to the middle of two skin stiffeners.  I  picked the ones that the middle hinge cutout is. 

The tab is  7" wide and 3 3/4" deep at and 2 3/8".  The difference is to  make the  front side of the tab perpendicular to the leading edge of the  rudder. I  then marked out the access plate, locating it       3 1/8"  from the  leading edge of the tab.

The next step was to drill a starting hole for the access plate.  I  then  clecoed and then match drilled all the outside holes with a #30  bit. I  probably should have used a #40 but used the #30 by mistake.  To  match  up all the rivets so they look the same, I will just use the  1097AD4-3  (also known as Oops Rivets).  I then clecoed the access cover  to the  skin and marked where I need to cut out.

The cut out was made with a dremel and cutoff wheel.  To make the cut  straight, I laid a straight edge to where the cut needed to be and ran  the dremel with a sanding wheel along it.  The cut came out nice and  straight.  I also made the elongated hole for the push rod also with a  dremel tool.

Everything was then deburred, dimpled then alodine  and Akzo primer  applied.

Tonight I started with cutting trim tab out of the rudder.  I used  once  again a dremel with cut off wheel then finished the trim work with  a  file and a sand drum on the dremel.  This was a bit nerve racking to  do,  but it worked out just about perfect.

I then made a  U-shaped rib to fit between the 2 skin stiffeners that  will give the  skin some more strength.  Also, the hinge for the trim tab  will be also  be riveted to it.

I then used a rivet spacing fan to mark out  the holes on the trim tab  and the hinge.  Then did the same for the  holes that protrude through  the skin, the new u-brace, and the hinge  attached to the rudder.

After getting this area for the hing  cut out, It came to me that I  should have flipped the hinge over so  that it did not protrude out.  It  is only a very little bit and do not  think it will make any performance  issues so I just left it the way it  was.

Then clecoed everything together to check the fit and  looked pretty good  except for some minor trimming.  Like a bit of skin  removal for the  hing pivot area.  Once that was done, I deburred all  the edges and holes  and dimpled.

I then moved on to the access  plate, I dimpled all the holes and riveted  on the nut plates  (k1000-06) and then riveted the access plate frame to  the rudder skin.   Since the nut plates use #6 screws, I had do  re-dimple the access  cover and plate with a number 6 dimple die.

Today I Finished cleaning up all the holes.  Had to dimple the holes  for  the piano hinge and the holes in trim tab.  Removed the brace that  runs  vertically placed by the trim tab slot that the skin and hinge  attache  to so it could be deburred and trimmed just a bit.

Then it was time to manufacture a control horn.  Just took an extra  piece of aluminum and cut to the shape I was looking for.  Then put in a  bend 1" down so that it could be attached to the trim tab with a  couple  of rivets.  If you look at the horn, you will notice that I had  to cut a  bit of it out to allow for travel on the forward side.

Once this was done, I riveted the brace in place.  Since it would be  impossible to try to run solid rivets into the trim tab, I ended up  using stainless steel cs-4 pull rivets.  I though about putting nut  plates in the hinge so it could be screwed on but the holes on  the ends  of  the hinge would not allow it.

My next step was to try and finish of the  slot where the push rod goes through the skin.  I used a fairing  purchased from Aircraft Spruce.  I put it in from the inside and then  finished forming the outside with Super Fill.  This worked out pretty  good.  Kind of nervous about how much travel I will get with such a  small hole so may have to bore out a bit.

I also used Super  Fill to go around the control horn on the trim tab to  fill in all the  gaps and cover the rivets.  This needs a bit more  sanding but turned  out better than I expected.  In addition to this, I  filled inside of  the trim tab also with Super Fill to make it stiffer.

Following  are some pictures with this all done with the servo and  control rod  just in place for pictures.  I am waiting for some Click  Bond studs to  mount the servo.

Finally received the Click Bond studs and got  them installed.  The servo  is now temporarily installed and mounted  with push rod.

I am having some issues with the push rod  hitting the rudder outer skin  when pushed and the flare when it is  pulled.  Trying to get some ideas  on how to get more travel.  Right not  there is about 1/2 an inch but the  servo has 7/8" of travel.  Otherwise, it is finished and I am pretty  satisfied with how everything  turned out.

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Rudder Construction

Started July 15 2009 -  52 Hours Build Time

Today I started gathering all the  pieces for the Rudder  construction.  The first thing to do is cut apart  the rudder stiffeners  and brackets.  I did this with a band saw and then  ran across all the  edges with the scotch brite wheel.

Took all parts and deburred  the edges. After that was completed  took all parts and assembled per  directions with cleco's. Match drilled  all holes and then clecoed the  skins to the skeleton.

Finished match drilling the skins and  the disassembled the  entire rudder.  I have decided to add rudder trim,  am trying to find the  best way to do this with some ideas from other  builders.  You can check  the progress of that modification here - Rudder Trim.

I  then deburred all the holes and dimpled the skin along with all  corresponding parts.

Once everything was all deburred, I  applied Alumiprep 33 and rinsed with  water.  Then applied the Alodine  to all parts.

Now that all parts have Alodine, I mixed up the  Akzo primer  and applied to all parts.

Now that I am ready to  start assembling, need to figure exactly how to  do this rudder trim.   What I am going to try is to cut out a small  portion of he rudder and  add a servo just as is done for the elevator  trim.  This rudder trim  has been done by a couple of others.  You can  see all the rudder trim  mods here in the building  tips  section.

Started putting the rudder together with rivets.  I was hoping  to  do the rudder trim as I put it together, but since the trailing edge  has to be glued with Pro Seal, I decided to just finish it and then do  the rudder trim.  Hope I do not regret this decision.

Finished  riveting the spar to the skin stiffeners tonight and  am ready to start  putting in the rivets attaching the skin to the  stiffeners.  I am  stressing out about putting the rivets in the trailing  edge.  Since  there is the possibility of it hooking as you put them in,  I am sure it  will happen to me.  I have also decided to alternate from  side to side  as I install the rivets.

I worked on the trailing edge rivets  and did exactly as the  direction mentioned by starting to just barely  set the rivets, doing  every tenth rivet or so and then every fifth and  so on till they were  all in then did the same procedure when finishing  them.  This did turn  out OK with no hook noticed. The hammered end of  the rivet did fit  somewhat ok in the dimple, but did not care for it.  However, when  checking the rivets, they all seemed to be pretty loose,  in fact some  fell out as I gave them a little push with a punch.  Not  very happy  about this.  I am thinking the holes got a bit reemed  out  when I match  drilled perpendicular to the plane.  So what I decided to  do is remove  all the rivets and replace them with Oops 426 4-3.5.  This  would give  the same head as the 3-3.5 but with a bit bigger shank.   This procedure  worked out GREAT.  The rivets were very snug, the heads  looked perfect  and the hammered edge when finished set in the dimple  just perfect and  filled it up completely.  This turned out much better  than I had  expected.  The only issue I have with this is that when I  finished  setting the rivets, I ended up with some small dents in the  skin.  Not  bad and maybe be able to cover up, but they are still there.

Rolled the leading edge skins with a 1 1/4" PVC pipe and  riveted  together to get a pretty decent curve.  Put in the counterweight  and  finished riveting the skin to the ribs.  The Rudder is finished.   On to  the Rudder Trim.

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Vertical Stabilizer

Started June 2, 2009 -  Build time 34 Hours

I started building last night by  reading through the first section  of the manual (You will find that you  need to read every little word  more than once or you will have an Oops!)

The very first thing is to  cut the spar caps.  Not a very difficult job  but for a first step it  is very never racking.  Oh well, needs to be  done.

Only in the  first stage and already sick of putting in, taking out,  putting back  in, taking out, deburring, reassemble, etc.  I am going to  need some  more patients.

After assembling the rear spar, the rest went pretty  quick.  Lots of  satisfaction when you see something that actually looks  like a plane  part.

Notice all those cleco's with the skin  attached.  Probably do not need  to put one in every hole but I did.

One thing to make sure is done when applying the out skin is to round  off the the flanges on the front part of the nose ribs or you will come  to find a small dent protruding from the skin.  I did round mine and  still had a small outward dent from the middle rib.  Some to pay a close  attention to.  This is not in the manual but should be.

The  next step was to take all the pieces back apart to deburr,  countersink  and dimple the skin and inner skeleton.  There is one  picture of the  inner workings taken when I was taking it back apart.

After  that boring task, I was finally ready for getting  everything primed.   Started out with using Alumiprep on all pieces,  washed with water and  then immediately applied alodine. (have to say I  do like the nice gold  finish it leaves).  I then let cure overnight  before applying the Azko  primer.  I used a fairly cheap HLVP gun with .8  nozzle and it worked  perfectly.

It will be a couple of days and I can start putting  in my first rivets.   I bit nervous about this step and will have to do  some practice first.

The couple of days turned into a couple of  weeks.  Finally go  to start putting in some rivets. They started out a  bit slow but now  that I have done a few, am getting a bit better at  it. It is nice to see  something coming together that looks like a plane  piece.

Finally Finished my first piece.  Certainly a great  feeling to  get some accomplishment.  Now that I am starting to  understand the  process and learn to read a few steps ahead before doing  anything, it  should start coming together a bit quicker.

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Empennage Arrival

On May 27th the rear empennage arrived.  You can see that it came in a  wooden crate in the first photo.  Opening up the crate it was a  pleasure  to see how well everything was packaged.  Vans does a great  job at  this.

I laid out all the pieces on the floor for inventory and  inspection for  any damage.  Not was to be found.

Looking at all the items laying around is a bit overwhelming at  first.   Thinking, WOW! I have a long way to go.

Can't wait to get started.

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