Empannage Done!

Time: 6 Hours

Today I had one goal, to finish the elevators and essentially finishing the empannage. All that remained was to roll the leading edges of the left and right elevators. So I started by setting up the pipe rolling jig that I used for the rudder. I decided, based on the results from the rudder, to go up to a 1″ diameter conduit from the 3/4″ I used for the rudder.

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20130629-220829.jpgI also decided to try a different approach at where I taped the pipe to the skin. On the rudder I taped the pipe right along the edge of the skin. When the bend was done I had a small gap between the skin at the top of the rudder getting wider as you got to the bottom. On the first elevator I taped the pipe at the outboard even with the skin. I then took a measurement from the spar to the pipe. I matched this measurement at the inboard section. This angled the pipe in a little at the inboard section compared to the outboard. I then rolled the skin giving me a really nice roll.

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20130629-221327.jpgI then flipped the elevator over at set up for the opposite skin.

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20130629-221623.jpgBy taping the pipe at a equal distance on the entire length of the skin the gap that resulted was pretty much equal for the entire length. I had to massage the skin a little in the middle section to get it to lay perfectly flat.

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20130629-221739.jpgI then I matched drilled the holes and pop riveted as per the plans.

20130629-222017.jpgI repeated the process with the right elevator.

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20130629-222133.jpgI then placed the electric trim in the left elevator and hooked the linkage to keep the trim tab from flipping around.

20130629-222939.jpgWith those leading edges done the major building points of the empannage are done. The only pieces left are the fiberglass tips which are really finishing parts.

20130629-223016.jpgYou can wait to do these parts when you finish the aircraft or any point I between. I think that I will start the elevators and the top of the rudder. The bottom will have a light in the tail section and I will work on that later in the build. So now I have around six weeks before the wings get here to study up on fiberglass and the techniques. So I cleaned up elevators and brought them into the house for safe keeping and to be on display.

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20130629-223150.jpgBig accomplishment for me! Next up learning to fiberglass.

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