Thu May 6 2010

Installing rudder

This morning in preparation for installing the rudder, I screwed in the three rod end bearings. Well, actually it wasn't quite that easy. Is it ever? I retrieved three of the shorter bearings from storage, but found that the bottom bearing needed to be longer since it goes through more material. Van's shipped me one of these longer bearings, but I'll be darned if I couldn't remember where it was. Took me two hours of searching before I found it buried under some stuff on the workbench in the basement. Arg!

Once the bearings were in, I made three more L pins to temporarily fit into the pivot points and then hung the rudder. Looks cool!

With the rudder in place, the next step was to fabricate the rudder stops. The instructions specify that when the rudder is at full left or right travel, there should be 1 1/8 inch space between the side of the rudder and the aft corner of the elevator. Problem was the trim tab on the left elevator kept flopping down making it hard to take this measurement. So I quickly fabricated a trim tab holder thingy from some scrap aluminum and wrapped it in tape to avoid scratches.

here it is in action. There's a flange that goes under the trim tab to prevent it from flopping down.

I had read previously that almost everyone who makes the rudder stops per plans ends up remaking them after hanging the rudder, so I didn't even bother making these stops until now. The plans call for the length to be 1 3/4 inches, so I cut the material at 2 inches long figuring I'd avoid having a too-short bracket. Guess what...2 inches isn't long enough either. Dangit, this was the only piece of 1/8 x 1 x 1 1/4 6061-T6 angle I had. Now I'm going to have to order more. Frustrating.