Sunday, December 28, 2008

Started the Horizontal Stabilator

Hope all had a good Christmas. Had a chance to get back to work today on the tailcone and started preparing the components for the horizontal stabilator.

On Page 09-02 the plans require quite a bit of countersinking. Figure 1 shows two machine countersinks in each HS-1211 spar cap for two CS4-4 rivets BUT there is no corresponding step in the plans that tells you to countersink these holes. Also, I believe, the plans should tell you to countersink for the CS4-4 rivets using the "special" 120 degree countersink as the CS4-4 rivet has a 120 degree head. CS4-4 rivets are also used on the HS-1202 spar and HS-1203 spar. This research took me a bit of time, but, found the answer via the VAF forums and other sites.

Also a CS4-4 rivet cannot be found in the catalogs. Must be Van's nomenclature for this rivet type. Via the forums I found the following info:

In fact, here is the cross reference I found via research. The BSP and BSC rivets can be found in the catalogs (Aircraft Spruce shows the specs).

BSP-43 will sub for a LP4-3
BSP-44 will sub for a LP4-4
BSC-44 will sub for a CS4-4

Also suggest reading ahead and countersinking all of the 3/32" rivet holes in each of the components and then changing/setting the countersink cage for the 120 degree CS4-4 holes. It takes me a while to set the cage for the different countersinks. Bet some of you have more than 1 cage!!

Anyone know if a 120 degree dimple die set is required anywhere in the tailcone or fuselage plans?? Also, let me know if the above is in error. Will continue deburring and priming the parts on Monday.

Reading the Sunday paper is kind of depressing as it seems all of the news related to 2008 is bad/negative. Kind of disagree, as in 2008 WE are building, one heck of a plane, the RV-12.

Time - 3 hours

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Anti-Servo Trim Tabs are Complete

Completed both the left and right anti-servo trim tabs today. No real problems with the assembly. I drilled the hinges using the drill press. Did notice one of the holes in the template was elongated and did not use that hole any further. Keep an eye on the condition of the template. Two of the templates are supplied with the kit, maybe with this in mind. The second trim tab went much faster than the first, as usual. Did have to touch drill a couple of the holes on the hinges before riveting. Maybe to be expected as you are riveting three pieces of metal, one drilled with the template. The horizontal stabilizer is next. But it might have to wait until after Christmas. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!

BigJohn on the VAF Forums had a good suggestion here. Here is his post.

Here's a suggestion for you fellows who haven't gotten to the AST section yet. I had a bad time with riveting the control horns to the AST ribs as called out in Step 3. It is very awkward getting the squeezer positioned behind the flange in the rib, which is already attached to the skin at that point. This, and my inexperience at that point, resulted in gaps between the riveted parts. Two attempts resulted in the same problem, and damaged parts. It should be noted here that these parts have to be riveted tightly together, with completely flush rivet heads, in order for them to fit together when the AST halves are mounted to the stabilator hinges on Page 11-04.

Anyway, I ordered new end ribs and control horns from Van's, and started over. This time I riveted the ribs and horns together BEFORE riveting the ribs into the end of the servo tabs. This simplifies the procedure and makes it very easy to get the squeezer positioned properly for a good tight rivet set. I then installed the completed assemblies into the ends of the AST's and riveted using the LP4-3 rivets. In two spots behind each horn, I used the little wedge tool and the hand squeezer because the rivets go in quite close to the horn. After all was said and done, the AST assemblies now fit prefectly onto the completed stabilizer hinges, but believe me, there is no room to spare!

Time - 6 hours

Monday, December 22, 2008

Rudder is Complete

Assembled the rudder components today. All went very well. The only hint I can add is to insure the skins overlap as per the plans at the leading edge of the rudder before you start to rivet the skins. If you follow the plans step by step and do not ensure the overlap is correct, I think it would be next to impossible to correct. (That is, without drilling out a bunch of rivets.) The solution is to always read ahead during the assembly process. The skeleton and the finished rudder is shown in the pictures. Heather, my daughter, and, Brendan, her fiance are holding the rudder up next to the vertical stabilizer.

Time - 4 hours

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scotchbrite Wheel/Mar-Hyde Hint

Did not accomplish any work on the rudder on Saturday, as Renee and I went to Chicago-O'Hare to pick up Heather and Brendan. Blizzard conditions during the drive to and then back home on I-88. Left at 2PM, arrived home at 11PM.

Wanted to pass this tip. My scotchbrite wheel in the bench grinder had developed two fairly deep grooves making edge finishing a bit difficult. To true up the wheel, a belt sander with 80 grit paper held against the running scotchbrite wheel trued the wheel and eliminated the grooves in about 1 minute. Much better than using an old file, and, one does not have to worry about depositing a dis-similar metal in the scotchbrite wheel. The same will work with the 1" wheel in the die grinder.

Also ordered a quart of Mar-Hyde self etching primer. Have the rattle can variety but not the paint can version. Should be much easier to use during the winter months. I'm going to give it a try to prime the mating surfaces. Have been using a small throw away foam brush.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vertical Stabilizer is Complete

Finished skinning the vertical stabilizer without any problems. Checked all of the nutplates before skinning. (Thought that was a good idea). The fit of the skin was very good and did not have any buldging of the skin at the leading edge. Was pretty aggressive when I rounded the ribs that could have dented the stabilizer skin near the leading edge. Riveting was relatively slow because the plans say to slowly rivet from the leading edge on both sides working toward the trailing edge. Worked OK, but riveting took a bit of time. Will start the rudder on Sat. Have completed a bit of that section while I was waiting for parts. Will visit ORD on Sat. also.

Time - 4 hours

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vertical Stab Skeleton Complete, Prep of the Skins

Yesterday I completed the vertical stabilizer skeleton. If you look at the pictures carefully, you will see I decided to prime the spar because I scratched the alclad quite a bit during the assembly process. Primed it with Marhyde. The other mating surfaces are primed with SW P60-G2. The instructions tell you to cover the holes where one should not rivet. Let me tell you, this is not a bad idea. Had to drill out two of the LP4-3 rivets because I did not take this advice. Today, I deburred both of the vertical stabilizer skins and riveted the nutplates to the skin which will allow attachment of the lower leading edge.

Before skinning, I am going to run a bolt or screw after coating with beolube into each of the nutplates to ensure I do not a problem with any of them (binding). Easy to replace them now, if necessary. The four nutplates on the spar would be nearly impossible to replace later.

Completion of the vertical stabilizer is scheduled for Friday. Then on to O'Hare to get my lovely daughter and her future husband.

UPDATE: From the VAF Forums

"I found another possible gotcha on page 06-04. Before you rivet the nut plates to the VS-1202 front spar (step 6.), be sure and final drill #12, the four holes in the VS-1202 front spar and the two corresponding holes in the front of the VS-1208 lower main rib that are for the AN3 bolts. The plans don't tell you to do this, but it is obvious that it should be done. I'm going to call VANS and bring it to their attention." Steve

Time - 5 hours

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Vertical Stabilizer Spar Caps

Match drilled the right and left lower and upper spar caps to the vertical satbilizer spar without any problems. There is a lot of match drilling to do here. The first picture shows one upper and lower spar cap drilled the other not yet match drilled. The second picture shows all 4 spar caps match drilled and deburred. Countersinking of the upper spar bracket was completed next. The third picture shows the countersinking of the holes in the upper spar cap. Because 2 of the holes are VERY close to the spar cap bend radius, you are not able to use the microstop countersink. I placed the countersink bit in the drill press and countersunk the 2 holes very slowly to the correct depth. Countersunk the required holes in the main spar and the front spar with the microstop cutter.

Time - 4 hours

Monday, December 15, 2008

Starting Section 6, Vertical Stabilizer and Section 7, Rudder

Am expecting a shipment from Van's today that will contain the backordered VS-1210 hinge bracket that will allow me to start on the vertical stabilizer. Until it arrives, I have started on Section 7, Rudder. Today, I constructed the R-1204 spar caps and the R-1205 hinge brackets. The spar caps were match drilled to the spar and the WD-1205 Rudder Horn was final drilled to the spar. The spar caps, hinge brackets and rudder horn were temporarily clecoed to the spar.

Late in the day the R-1210 hinge bracket arrived and thus was able to start Section 6.0, Vertical Stabilizer. Prepped the vertical stabilizer hinge brackets, inserted the COM-3-5 bearing and riveted the 3 parts of each hinge assembly together. I did not have a problem with the tip of the hinge bracket pulling apart or separating as mentioned on the VAF forums.

Time - 3 hours

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Priming of Vertical Stabilizer, Rudder, Anti-servo Trim Components Completed

It was 55 degrees today and tonight it will be 5 degrees. Was able to complete deburring of the components and primed the mating surfaces with Sherwin Williams P60-G2 wash primer. Lots of nasty fumes from the primer but luckily I was able to leave the garage door open today. Have not been able to spend a lot of time with the kit during the past week due to commitments. On Saturday, I spent about 3 hours deburring, and, today (Sunday) I primed the parts. Assembly of the vertical stabilizer, rudder, anti-servo trim tabs starts on Monday. The back-ordered part for the vertical stabilizer should also arrive on Monday. Thus, will probably start with the rudder.

Time - 4 hours

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Started Assembly of the Empennage

Started assembly of the empennage kit today, Tuesday December 9. The first step in the instructions has you build the wedge used for close quarters pop riveting. As I had already constructed the wedges with the wing kit, the step was not necessary. The second step has one separate and debur the VS-1210 bearing bracket. Guess what, after searching for the part under the workbench, I finally figured out the part was the only item that was backordered with the empennage kit. Thus, spent the day deburring the parts for the vertical stabilizer, rudder, anti-servo trim tabs. Will continue deburring parts and priming parts the next couple of days.

Also called Van's to check on the backordered parts. All of them will ship today, including another 2500 LP4-3 rivets as the original 10,000 will not be enough. Per the UPS tracking number, the parts will not arrive until next Monday. As such, deburring and priming the mating flanges will have to occupy my time.

Time - 4 hours

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fuselage and Empennage (Tailcone) Kits Finally Have Arrived

After waiting for about 3 months after completing the wing kit I finally received both the fuselage kit and the empennage kit on Friday, December 5. My birthday was December 2, this is some BIRTHDAY present!! I have to compliment Van's because the combined shipment most likely saved me about $300. The shipment was contained in two manageable wooden shipping crates. Lots and lots of parts. Performed the inventory of the empennage kit on Saturday. One item was backordered, the VS-1210 bearing bracket and the parts listing indicated I would receive a separate shipment via FedEx or UPS containing two fairings, the upper and lower tailcone fairings. All parts, with the exception of those mentioned were accounted for. And, there was absolutely no damage to any of the parts. Van's is putting a lot of work into packaging and protecting all of the skins and the multitude of parts in the kits.

On Sunday, I performed the inventory of the fuselage kit. You would not believe how many parts are contained in the hardware kit associated with the fuselage kit. I would say there are about 2X compared to the wing kit or the empennage kit. One part, the F-1203J doubler was missing from the kit and four (4) AN3-7 bolts were backordered. Have to say, Van's has a darn good batting average. Of the 3 kits received to date, this is the first item missing from the thousands and thousands of parts received.

Quickly determined I was out of storage space thus had to negotiate with Renee to use the spare bedroom for storage. You DO have to have a saint of a wife to survive the building process. The picture shows the fuselage parts now residing in the spare bedroom along with the flaperons. I am more than ready to start assembly. Will most likely start the empennage assembly on Tuesday. Monday will be spent Christmas shopping with Renee.