Finished rudder

Today I woke up early and got the trailing edge of the rudder riveted and leading edge rolled. It was good to experience this solo because it was a true test of workmanship and luckily I ended up with a straight trailing edge and round leading edge.  

Here you can see that there’s no hook in the trailing edge, it’s not perfectly straight at every rivet, but it’s not hooked. I can try little by little to smooth out the small waves, but it’s not critical. 

And here is the rudder hung on the vertical stab. It was surprisingly hard to fit the bolts into the hinges, not going to be an easy thing to remove if needed later. 

All in all, the 3 hours I spent were well worth t, and glad to knock off another assembly. On to the elevators! 


Finished rudder

Quick update

I thought I’d give a quick update on stuff, I won’t be back in the shop until next week, but I did take off the aluminum angles on the rudder trailing edge, and it turned out perfectly straight. Now I just have to rivet it with some double flush rivets and then I can mark the rudder as complete, then it’s on to the elevators! 

Quick update

Riveted rudder

Today I cleaned and primed all the rudder parts, then assembled, riveted and glued the trailing edge. I also received the ship date for my quick build wings and fuse.  

I’ve got nearly 4 months to finish the elevators. I hope I don’t run out of time 😉

  Here you can see the rivets on the reinforce the plate and the spar. The three reinforcement plate are all very similar. The hole in the center has a nut-plate riveted as well, this will accept the rudder hinges. 
Here you can see the blind rivets holding the rudder brace. Also the shop heads of the lower reinforce the plate. 

Here you can see the spar and skins riveted together. 

Here’s the lower rib riveted to the skin and lower faring flanges. Also the blind rivets holding the rudder brace. 

  A few days ago I bought some angle stock from Home Depot and match drilled them to the trailing edge. Here you can see it all clecoed together to check straightness. I then disassembled it and applied the sealant to the trailing edge wedge. It was extremely messy and sticky.  

Here you can see the trailing edge reclecoed and glued. Once this cures in a couple days I’ll remove the angle and then I’ll be ready to rivet the trailing edge together. 

All in all I think the 7 hours I spent today were well worth it. 

Riveted rudder

Continued work on the rudder

This morning I riveted all the stiffeners to the skins, even got a little help from mom on a few of the rivets. In the end all of them came out perfectly.  

Next I began on the rudder skeleton. It’s a much more involved structure than the stabs were.  

Here you can see the counter-balance skin clecoed onto the tip rib and the counter-balance rib. Once everything was clecoed I match drilled everything together. 

  And here is the rudder all drilled together. 

 I then disassembled everything and deburred all the holes.  

 I also countersunk the lead counter-balance weight for the dimples and screws that will hold this to the rib. 

Continued work on the rudder

Began the rudder 

Today I started working on the rudder. I began by trimming to size the rudder skin stiffeners.  

Once they were cut to size roughly I then used my scotchbrite wheel to shape and deburr all the edges of the stiffeners. I then match drilled all the stiffeners to the skins.  

Once they were match drilled I then disassembled it again to deburr the holes and prep the stiffeners and skins for dimpling. 

Here you can see all 232 dimples in the stiffener. I then had to do the same in the skins. 

Here you can see the skins being dimpled using the DRDT-2 dimpler. I used some old foam to support the skins, soft and easy to move around. 

Here the skins have been dimpled and the plastic has been removed for the rivets. 

I didn’t grab any pictures, but I also scuffed, cleaned, and primed all the stiffeners and the interior of the skins along the rivet holes. Next step is to back rivet the stiffeners to the skins but it was getting too late to get out the rivet gun. 


Began the rudder 

Finished Vertical stab and…

…I placed the order for my quick build wings and fuselage! It’s a big step for me (also a big purchase) and I’m excited to enter into the next phase. 

This morning before work I got up and riveted the root ribs to the front spar of the vertical stab.  

I the. Proceeded to rivet the skin to the front spar and middle rib, here you can see all the shop heads on the front spar as well as the middle rib.  

 After the front spar was riveted to the skin, I used my squeezer to rivet the rear spar to the skins followed by the root and tip ribs. Here’s the end result!  

And here’s the obligatory empennage mock up. It’s so cool to see this come together. Approaching my second week of work, I will begin work on the rudder. 

Finished Vertical stab and…

Began riveting vertical stab

Tonight I spent 2 hours and I cleaned, primed and began riveting the vertical stab.

Here’s all the skeleton parts after priming.

Here’s the rear spar flush rivets set. I was able to reach all of these with a squeezer, the ones holding the bottom rudder hinge bracket were a little tricky, but I managed to set them with no issues.

These have to be flush because this is where the rear stab is flush against the fuselage.

Here you can see all the universal rivets between the rear spar and the reinforcing bar. The missing rivets will be riveted to the ribs when closing up the stab.

Here’s a close up of the shop heads, they were perfectly measured to be 0.1875″ using calipers. That makes them exactly 1.5x the original rivet diameter.

I also began riveting the front spar assembly to the ribs, but it was too late to get out the rivet gun for the lower ribs. The angle on the nose rib flange is too tight to get the squeezer in and I didn’t want to bend it. I’ll have to do the rest of that in the morning.

Began riveting vertical stab

Prepped vertical stab

Today I spent 3 hours disassembling and prepping all the surfaces for primining.

Here you can see the dimples on the vertical stab skin, these will accept the flush rivets that attach the rear spar to the skin.

Here’s another view of the dimples, these were all reached with the DRDT-2 dimpler. Super easy to use and very quiet.

Here you can see the counter sinks for the rear spar dimples, this is necessary because the front side of the spar will sit flush against the rear fuselage bulkhead.

You can also see the surface prep for the primer, this was done on all internal components and the interior of the skins along the rivets.

Prepped vertical stab