More Rudder Work   July 29th, 2006

Here are the two skins riveted to the frame. The four rivets on each side that hold the rudder horn brace are kind of hard to set. The plans call out optional pop rivets. However, these require a larger hole. I went ahead and drilled to #30, but had some aluminum chips get between the sheets. I tried using a thin screwdriver, but I really need a chip-chaser. I decided to order one, so I’ll just wait for it and work on the elevator a bit. Also, the horn brace is held to the rib and to the horn with LP4-3 and LP4-4 rivets. I didn’t have enough of these, so I ordered them from Aircraft Spruce at the same time as the chip chaser. Nobody else seems to call these rivets LP4-3, etc. However, Aircraft Spruce carries them as BSPS-43 and BSPS-44, or so they say at . We’ll find out!

If I were to do this again, I would probably drill the horn brace holes to #30 before putting everything together, so each hole can be cleaned properly.

Once I get these rivets I will have a few more rivets to set and then I’ll be ready to do the trailing edge.

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Assembling the Rudder skeleton   July 27th, 2006

I have started to assemble the rudder skeleton. I first riveted the reinforcement plates, followed by the nutplates (gray on the left). I primed these with the Sherwin Williams spray can primer, since I didn’t want to set up the spray gun for three measly parts.

I was able to reach just about every rivet with the squeezer, with the exception of the two outer rivets on the lower rib (see the picture on the bottom).

These two pictures show the completed skeleton so far. Next I will rivet the counterweight rib, followed by the counterweight skin.

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Countersinking Trailing Edge   July 18th, 2006

The trailing edge is an aluminum wedge that holds the two skins together. This part is countersunk on both sides.

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Match Drilling Rudder   July 10th, 2006

I had all the required pieces to put everything together and match drill all of the holes. Here is a picture of the assembled rudder

Next I’ll have to take everything apart, deburr, dimple, and countersink the trailing edge wedge.

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Assembling the Rudder   July 5th, 2006

The rudder skeleton is all pre-punched, so things went fairly quickly. The following two pictures show the rudder horn being fitted tot he bottom rib and the spar. There will be cables running from the rudder horn to the rudder pedals, so this is a nice thick aluminum piece. I had to grind (‘radius’) the upper edge quite a bit so it would sit flat against the rib (bottom picture)

After making sure everything fits together with no gaps, and all the holes line up, I put on the left skin. This now looks sort of like a piece of airplane..
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