Thu Apr 29 2010

Installing vertical stabilizer

Since the servo pushrod needs primed, I removed it and measured the overall length so that once I removed the rod end bearings, I could get them reinstalled just as they had been.

Today I planned to fit the vertical stabilizer. One of the steps in this process is measuring from the top of the VS to each side of the HS to ensure the VS is, indeed, vertical. Well in preparation for this, I rechecked the level of the HS and found that the 0.016 thick shim was slightly too thick. Since I didn't have any thinner material, I filed the shim down to 0.010 thick. Came out well...just needs primed tomorrow.

After getting the VS out of storage and dusting it off, I set it in place. Looks cool!

As expected, the bottom end of the forward spar needs trimmed. I wonder why they don't have you do this when you're building the thing?

5/8 inch trimmed off.

It took me a while to find the correct dimension in the plans, but the VS needs to be located on the aft bulkhead such that the top of the lower hing bracket is 7 11/32 below the longerons. Once I got the VS positioned correctly, I used one of my heavy duty Bessey clamps to hold it in position.

Since I had already installed the tiedown bracket, I had to use the angle drill to drill through one of the holes into the VS rear spar. One cleco installed would hold the VS to the fuselage while I measured and adjusted to ensure the VS was vertical.

This cardboard pointer was taped to the top of the fuselage to see where the leading edge is in relation to the centerline of the fuselage.

Here I'm using a tape measure to check the vertical-ness of the VS. The correct dimension turned out to be 62 5/16 inch on both sides. Once positioned correctly, I clamped the VS in place and started drilling the mouting bolt holes.

All four of these were drilled #30 from the inside out, but then drilled up to #12 from the outside. I'm temporarily using castelated nuts since the nuts with the fiber inserts can't be turned by hand.

Here's the up elevator stop. I've delayed drilling the leftmost bolt hole until I've offset the leading edge of the VS by 1/4 inch to the left per the instructions. This should eliminste the need to superglue a washer to the back side of this bracket.

Once I had the VS completely drilled (didn't get pics of drilling the F-781 bracket to the forward spar of the VS...sorry), I removed the VS and drilled the F-781 to the forward spar of the HS.

Last item for tonight was to make a 0.040 thick shim to go between this F-781 and the front spar of the VS. Tomorrow I hope to get all the miscellaneous parts primed and installed permanently.