With the empennage 99% complete (fiberglass work not done yet) I finally got some hooks up on the wall to get everything out of the way.
I also spent some time cleaning up the garage and getting things reorganized after I slacked a little and shop got a little messy. I then spent some time finishing up the pitot tube mounting provisions.
Here’s the pitot tube mounting plate, the rivets on the side attach to an angle support that will get riveted to the rib.
Once I finished this I installed it in the wing. Currently there are no rivets that go through the wing skin into this plate except the ones that go through the spar. I may add more but the mounting screws hold the pitot mast and the whole installing is extremely rigid.
Even with the setup clecoed, the pitot tube is extremely rigid. I’ve flown many Skyhawks that have more movement in the pitot tubes by a factor of 10!
I also closed up the stall warning access plate (the hole behind the pitot tube)
The doubler plate is installed behind and held in by the clecoes, the cover plate is installed with screws into plate nuts that have been riveted to the doubler. The doubler has been match drilled, dimpled, deburred, and primed and can be installed at any time.
The Dynon pitot tube has angle of attack along with airspeed, which will indicate stall visually (on the EFIS) and audibly via my headset.
The wings are getting close to complete (or at least the majority of the work) and I will soon begin the work on the fuselage!
Tonight I pulled down the horizontal stab and fit the elevators to the stab. The final step in finishing the elevators required drilling the horns to the center bearing. I purchased a 1/4″ OD drill bushing with a 3/32″ ID. I then drilled #40 pilot holes in the horns and then stepped them up to 1/4 for the AN4 bolt.
Here you can se the bolt at the base of the elevator horns. Once this was drilled the elevators swung freely with no binding in either direction. It was a smooth as butter!
I also took this time to cut the horn notches in the aft spar, this will get cleaned up and then reprimed. I also fit the fiberglass tips just to see what it looked like, I’m holding off on the fiberglass work until later.
The tail feathers look so good! Can’t wait to fit this up to the fuse in the future! You can see the trim tab on the left elevator (the whole thing is upside down) it still needs to be slightly adjusted for the trim tab push rod from the servo, but other than little things here and there, the empennage is done!
Tonight I spent a few hours finishing off the left elevator. After spending the last couple days organizing and rearranging the shop with the wings and fuselage, I finally got around to finishing off the last few things on the elevator (minus the fiberglass).
I rolled the last segment of the leading edge and inserted the eye bolt hinges and set the jam nuts. I then spent some time adjusting the trim servo and trim tab.
I don’t plan on using the trim tab indicator and switch from Ray Allen, but for alignment it was great. These wires will be routed up through the fuselage and then attached to the trim switch on my control stick.
Tonight I spent a few hours to inventory my kit. I went through the boxes and went through all the different bags. There are A LOT of parts!
12 pages of parts. I also made some more room to move around in the garage. I have to do some clean up before I can start working on stuff though.
Hopefully gonna get that table out and clear the whole side of the garage and then should have plenty of room to work.
Over the last few days I’ve been making slow progress, but nevertheless, my fuselage and wings are arriving tomorrow, so I have to finish off the empennage and make room in the garage for the plane.
Here you can see the first two outboard sections of the leading edge rolled, this is by far the hardest part of the elevator. I also managed to knock out the rest of the trim tab riveting and alignment. I will need to measure and adjust the threaded rod that attaches the servo to the tab, but that can be done at any time.
Here you can see one of the riblets that I made for the inboard trim tab edge. It’s not perfect, but it pretty good. Next step on the list is the elevator alignment to the Hstab, and drilling the center bearing to the elevator horns, then I’ll be ready for the QB Kit that arrives tomorrow
Last night I spent a couple hours on the trim tab. I’m deviating from the plans and I removed the tabs from the elevator and trim tab and I’ll be making riblets. I’ve seen several people attempt to make the trim tab following the plans and it can be very difficult. By going down this route it is a lot easier.
Here’s the tab after I lined everything up and match drilled the hinge to the elevator. Everything lined up perfectly!
Here you can see the trailing edges of the trim tab and elevator are perfectly straight. There’s a little curve in the tab skin that I’ll straighten out before riveting the the hinge.
Here are the bottom rivets holding the trim tab spar to the tab skin. You can also see the push rod attachment point on the bottom of the tab.
Next up is final prep of the the riblets, and I might need to drill out some of the rivets along the edge of the tab, and then fab the riblets and re-rivet things together.
This week has been a very intense week, but I’ll start with the news that I passed my PPL checkride on Wednesday! It was a grueling 8 hour day including hour long flights to and from the examiners airport, and 2 hours for the checkride itself, 3 hours for the oral exam! But at the end of the day, I flew home a private pilot!
On the building front, I’ve completed riveting the left elevator structure to the skin, I also began work on the trim tab, I am going deviating from the plans in regards to folding the tabs, and I’ll be fabricating riblets for the elevator and trim tab. It should make for an easier time overall. I hope to close out the left elevator this weekend, if I’m not out flying friends and family around that is!