Time: 6 Hours
Today I started on the aft end of the fuselage. First up was to cut and separate several parts for the elevator/rudder attach point along with the rudder stops.
The rudder stops are to limit the travel from side to side the rudder as you press on the rudder pedals. I decided earlier on in the build that I was going to use an internal rudder stop that goes between the lower rudder hinge. This stop is made by FlyBoys Accessories and is some type of plastic material. Since I’m using this I eliminated the rudder stops that Van’s gave me.
I then grabbed the two most aft bulkheads and the tail spring assembly. This assembly is what the tail whee connects to and provides shock absorbing. I separated the attach point from that assembly and made some measurements for a centerline mark. I also made that centerline mark on the forward side of the bulkhead.
With the two bulkheads clecko’ed to each other I used my hand seamer to bend the flanges of the forward one to match (parallel) the aft one so that it would be inline with the shape of the tail.
I then clamped the tail spring attach to the bulkheads lining up the centerline mark and the top mark. The top mark was measured by using the plans which are a little confusing. Luckily I found several references on the VanAirforce forum to help. I also found that there might be an error on the plans that shows a measurement of 7/8″ but several builders call for a 1 23/32″. I will do some more checking on that one.
I took the clamped parts to the drill press to drill two holes in the spring assembly by matching them to the bulkheads.
I countersunk those two holes on the aft side.
I then deburred all the edges and holes of the three parts. The two bulkheads need the 10 common holes dimpled for flush rivets on the aft side. I then scuffed and cleaned all the parts using MEK on the spring as it had some type of oil on it for rust protection. Then over to the spray table for priming.
I have a busy flight schedule this week and will rivet these bulkheads later in the week.
Another good day in the Hangar and it feels good to be back up and running!