Saturday, February 15, 2014

Section 8 -- the Horizontal Stabilizer

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 31.75

At nearly the length of one wing, the horizontal stabilizer is effectively the third wing.  As I understand it, prior to releasing the empennage kit, Van's re-worked the RV-14's tail by bolstering it in some perceived weak areas.  It seems that the horizontal stabilizer was a main focus of this effort.  When putting this together, it was clear that it is built to withstand some serious loads.

It all begins with match drilling stiffeners to the rear spar.

Once the rear spar's stiffeners and elevator brackets are riveted to it, it's time to set it aside and focus on the front spar (the horizontal stabilizer includes two spars).  The picture below shows the front spar.  Since this is the spar that attaches to the tail of the aircraft it requires some extra strength.  Here, I am using the C-frame to back rivet the stiffeners to the front spar.  When it's an option to rivet this way, it's my preferred method.

With the front spar's stiffeners installed, it was then time to get started on the ribs.

 Next, the skins get there fitting . . . 

A break is always welcome.

 With the skins and rear spar installed, the horizontal stabilizer is done!

Next up, the elevator--ugh!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Section 7 -- The Rudder

Build Hours Added Since Last Post: 23.5

After my last post wherein I detailed the completion of the vertical stabilizer, I moved onto the rudder.  Just as with the flaps and the ailerons, the rudder tapers to its trailing edge.  Next to working with the pro-seal with the fuel tanks, I would probably place the trailing edges in a close second for level of stress and uncertainty.  Until you rivet the trailing edges, it's difficult to tell if it's going to turn out straight.  For the most part, I think I have been more or less successful in this endeavor and the rudder stayed true to form for me.

Below are the rudder pieces with the spar and doublers clecoed together.

After priming the stiffeners and spar, it was time to start putting it all together for final fitting.

With the final fitting done, I back-riveted the stiffeners to the respective left and right side skins.

Once the skins were all riveted to the spar, the trailing edge awaits its rivets.  As suggested by Vans, I used double stick tape to adhere the trailing edges and filler wedge.  The tape aids in ensuring a uniform edge.

Below is the finished rudder with the leading edge rolled and riveted.

Next up is the horizontal stabilizer.  Stay tuned!!