Elevator Assembly - Jan 10, 2015
|Spent a little time today getting familiar with parts to the elevator.|
|Here are two ribs for the elevator. They come out of the box attached like the one on the left. I used the band saw to separate into two pieces.|
|There are eleven sets of these ribs that need to be separated. The corners will need trimmed to a slight radius and, of course, all edges de-burred nice and smooth:)|
|These are the tip ribs that will be on the outboard portions of the left and right elevator assemblies. I clecoed the pieces to these parts together and match/final drilled the holes.|
January 12, 2016
Worked a few hours today on the elevator and trim tab trailing edge ribs, and the trim tab skins.
|The ribs are cut out of a foam block supplied in the kit and will later be secured in place using Pro-seal.|
|I made the initial cuts using the band saw and did the final shaping with sand paper.|
The trim tab skins have a small amount of trimming that has to be done. I used hand shears to make the initial cut on the close-out tabs.
|Using a file to final shape the close-out tab.|
January 19, 2016
Today I continued the initial assembly of the elevator. There were a couple of holes to enlarge and some minor shaping/trimming required. The pieces were then clecoed together.
|These two holes on the forward spar of the left elevator needed to be enlarged to 5/8" and 3/8".|
|I used a step-bit (unibit) and drill press to enlarge the holes in the spar.|
|Here's the holes after final drilling. A snap bushing will be inserted in the 5/8" top hole for a wire run to the trim servo.|
|The top and bottom skins on the left elevator have a cut out that will enclose the trim tab. Here the skin must be bent to form a close-out tab when the upper and lower skins are joined.|
|One of the close-out tabs after bending.|
|This is the initial assembly of the left elevator including; the forward and rears spars, the ribs and the mounting brackets that will house the trim servo. The "cut-out" on the trailing edge is where the trim tab will be located.|
|This is the right elevator assembly with the lower skin in place.|
January 20, 2016
The RV-14 has one trim tab for pitch trimming located on the trailing edge of the left elevator. The trim tab is connected to the elevator with a "piano" type hinge. Today I clamped the forward part of this hinge in place and match drilled holes to match the rear spar of the elevator. The aft part of the hinge is match drilled to the forward spar of the trim tab.
I also assembled and clecoed in place the tip rib assemblies to the outboard sections of the left and right elevators.
|This is the forward part of the hinge clecoed and clamped in place for match drilling to the aft elevator spar.|
|I added clecos in the holes as I drilled them to keep the hinge in place.|
|The forward holes are all drilled. I added the aft part of the hinge just to check for straightness and fit.|
|This is the aft part of the hinge that will be attached to the forward spar of the trim tab. Holes from this spar must be match drill to the hinge.|
|I supported the trim tab spar with a piece of plywood while I match-drilled with a pneumatic drill and #40 bit with drill -stop.|
|The aft part of the hinge match drilled and clecoed to the ttrim tab spar.|
|This is the left tip rib assembly. There are a few #30 hole that need to be final drilled before the top skins are put in place.|
|I was able to get both the left and right tip rib assemblies in place.|
|Another view of the left elevator assembly so far.|
January 22, 2016More elevator work today. I have read from other builders sites the elevator can be a little slower to get going than other components of the empennage kit. I am finding this to be true as well so far. There is not necessarily anything harder than the other components, but there does seem to be several small steps to complete.
|I clecoed the top skins and elevator control horns in place.|
|The control horns need to be final drilled to #30 holes for riveting later.|
|There are 12 holes per elevator horn to final drill. Six on the front spar and six on inboard ribs. The brass color clecos show the six holes on the forward spar.|
|This is the initial assembly of the left elevator (right is at this stage as well). Next step is to disassemble, de-burr all holes and edges, dimple, prime and then reassemble and rivet.|
January 23, 2016
There are a few holes in the rear spar of the left elevator that need to be machine countersunk to accommodate the trim tab hinge. Note: See mistakes page regarding this step.
|Here's the setup I used to start the countersinking. I only got it close with the drill (didn't want to get too deep) and then finished with the hand tool below.|
|Countersink bit in de-burr tool.|
I took a short break from de-burring to fabricate a piece for the trim servo. The pieces for this part were pre-stamped, but attached and needed to separated. I used a band saw and then smooth the edges with a file and sandpaper.
|Here's the parts for the trim servo push-rod after trimming and de-burring.|
|The holes for this part needed machine countersunk on both sides for double-flush riveting.|
January 25, 2016
I decided to build one elevator at a time. The plans have you construct them simultaneously. I had some nice weather and needed to prime, so I only had time to get one elevator ready. I disassembled (un-clecoed) and de-burred the parts to the right elevator. De-burring is very time consuming and pretty boring. You just have to accept it as an important part of the build and get-er done:)
|Here's some of the tools I used to deburr the right elevator. I also used a die grinder an bench grinder with scotch brite wheels.|
Today was prime day. I haven't built an indoor paint booth yet, so I'm dependent on the weather for a good day to prime. Since it's January, I have to prime when i get the opportunity. Only had the right elevator ready to go, so I got it done today.
|Here's the parts to the right elevator before priming.|
|..and after priming.|
|Skin after priming and blue tape removed.|
February 2, 2016
Today I cut the elevator trailing edge pieces to the proper lengths and machine countersunk the rivet holes. I also started dimpling some of the elevator components.
|Here's the piece for the right elevator in place.|
Also, since I try and dimple after priming when possible, I started dimpling some of the interior elevator components.
|Here's the elevator components before dimpling.|
|To dimple this piece, I used the DRDT-2.|
|I used the hand squeezer to get the outer ribs here.|
|The interior ribs are in two pieces and were easy to dimple using the hand squeezer. Probably could have used the DRDT-2 on these as well.|
February 3, 2016
Continued dimpling parts for the right elevator today. Got everything done except the skins. Also got to do some riveting on the outboard elevator ribs.
|The plans advise that a yoke may need to be modified in order to dimple the rear spar on the elevator. You can see the flanges on the spar are not at 90 degrees and could present a problem for some squeezer yokes.|
|This is the yoke that I have and it did not require modification.|
|Here's the inboard portion of the rib showing the manufactured heads of the rivets. The clecos are attaching a narrow piece of skin that will later be attached to the two ribs with rivets. I was just testing for fit.|
|This is the outboard elevator rib showing the shop heads of the rivets. This rib is where the fiberglass fairing will attach later on.|
February 5, 2016
Today I riveted the inboard and outboard ribs to the elevator spar.
|Here's the inboard and outboard elevator ribs clecoed to the spar. The trailing edge is facing up in this picture.|
|I set the universal head rivets for these ribs with the hand squeezer.|
|Right elevator outboard rib riveted in place.|
|That's it for the day.|
February 12, 2016
I had a few small parts that needed primed before I continued assembly of the right elevator. I recently added an airbrush sprayer to my priming process inventory and these parts were a good test.
|This is the airbrush I decided to give a try. I have read on other builders sites they find these very useful for small parts or when priming just a few parts and don't need to mix a larger batch of primer.|
|Here's the airbrush with primer in the cup.|
|The sprayer worked out great on these parts for the elevator. One cup primed these parts front and back.|
With the parts primed, I continued assembly of the right elevator. First I riveted the hinge reinforcement plates to the elevator front spar.
|This is one of the hinge reinforcement plates before riveting to the right elevator spar.|
|I once again used the C-Frame to back-rivet the reinforcement plates to the spar.|
|This is the plate in place on the aft side of the spar. Still a few more rivets to install. The manufactured rivet heads can be seen here. This area will be enclosed under the skins and not visible when the elevator is complete.|
February 13, 2016
Finished up the rivets on the reinforcement plates and added the nut plates.
|Reinforcement plate with nut plate installed on the aft side of the elevator spar.|
|Here's the forward side of the elevator spar. Later, a threaded eye-bolt will screw into this hole/nutplate and attach the elevator to the horizontal stabilizer.|
|Full view of the elevator spar showing reinforcement and nut plates..|
February 13, 2016
Today I riveted the right elevator counterbalance skin to the tip ribs. I also primed the interior of the rudder horn tubes and attached them to the elevator assembly with clecos.
|This is the counterbalance skin for the right elevator. The blue tape covers hole that do not get rivets and will later be used to attach the fiberglass tip fairings.|
|I used the pneumatic squeezer to set the majority of the rivets that attach the counterbalance skin. There were a few that I set with a hand squeezer due to their close proximity to rivets that were already in place for the tip ribs.|
|This is the outboard section of the right elevator showing the counterbalance skin in place. Later, lead weights will be attached to the inner and outer sections of the forward portions of these tip ribs.|
|Inner section of the tip rib and attached counterbalance skin.|
|Progress so far on the right elevator assembly.|
The elevator rudder horns are made of steel and come powder coated from Van's. However, I noticed the interior portions of the tubes were bare metal. Although probably not required, I wanted to apply some type of protection to these areas. I did some research and discovered several options to accomplish this. I narrowed the options down to boiled linseed oil and Akzo primer I am using for the rest of the parts. Boiled linseed oil has been used by many builders for years with great results. However, since I had the primer on hand, I decided to give it a try.
|The right elevator horn attached with clecos and ready for rivets.|
February 18, 2016
Installed the rivets for the rudder horn. I read on some other builders websites the rivets for these horns did not align properly with the holes in the spar and inner rib. While it is a very tight fit and it did appear initially that I may have the same issue, everything worked out fine. First I installed the clecos on the spar side. I then use a small drift pin to apply a very "small" amount of pressure to align the holes on the rib side. I installed clecos in all holes except the two furthest from the corner. I placed rivets (unset) in those two holes just to make sure everything was perfectly aligned. Clecos sometimes do not line holes up as precisely as the properly sized rivet. There was no undue stress or force on the clecos or rivets once everything was in place. I then set the rivets beginning with the two furthest from the corner on the spar side using the squeezer. Once those were set, I alternated from spar to rib working my way to the corner. The rivets turned out great.
Next, I moved to the right elevator ribs and riveted them to the rear spar. The ribs are still in two pieces and only the lower half is used at this point.
|I used the pneumatic squeezer to set th rivets for the rudder horn. While riveting , I used small c-clamps along with the clecos to ensure a tight fit between the horn and spar/rib.|
|This is the shop side of the six rivets on the back side of the spar for the rudder horn.|
|The lower part of the rib halves are clecoed then riveted to the rear spar.|
|The pneumatic squeezer work out great on these rivets.|
|Two rivets per rib half to attach to the rear spar.|
February 19, 2016
Today I started the process of riveting the right elevator lower skin to the rear spar and lower rib halves.
|Lower elevator skin clecoed to the rear spar and lower rib halves.|
|I used this tungsten bucking bar to buck these rivets. There is not much room on the inner portion of the spar, but this bucking bar worked well.|
Once I completed the riveting on the rear spar, I started attaching the lower rib halves. These are back riveted and go pretty easily and quickly.
|Here we have the flush rivets held in place with rivet tape.|
|The skins are flipped over and Scott is back-riveting the lower rib halves in place.|
|Lower skin for the right elevator with lower ribs riveted in place.|
February 19, 2016
Today I back-riveted the upper rib halves to the elevator upper skin.
|This is the upper rib halves in place ready for back-riveting to the elevator upper skin.|
|The upper rib halves..riveting complete.|
February 20, 2016
With the ribs in place on the upper and lower elevator skins, it was time to join the skins.
|Here's the special bucking bar inside the elevator skins. Can't be seen in the picture, but the rivets on the upper flange of the rear spar are the ones being set. The lower rivets were set prior to the skins being joined together.|
After the skins are riveted to the rear spar, it's time to move inside the elevator assembly and rivet the upper and lower rib sections together.
|This is looking inside the elevator assembly. Blind rivets (pop rivets) are used to rivet the upper and lower rib pieces together.|
February 21, 2016
The next step is to add the front spar assembly to the upper and lower elevator skins.
|This is the forward spar for the right elevator. Bind rivets are used to attach the front spar to the interior ribs.|
|After setting a few miscellaneous rivets ( a few were not easily accessible, but Van's give good direction), it was time to "closeout" the the inboard and outboard ribs. Here I'm using the pneumatic squeezer to set the rivets for the inboard rib.|
February 22, 2016
Today I riveted the top and bottom elevator skins to the front spar. There are several rivets so I considered using the pneumatic squeezer. However, I started with the hand squeezer and just kept going.
|Using the hand squeezer to set the rivets on upper and lower elevator skins to the forward spar.|
|Rivets all set. The skins overhanging the spar in this picture will be "rolled" together later to form the leading edge of the elevator.|
|This is the trailing edge piece with the double-sided tape added to both sides. After 15-20 minutes of set time, the paper on the lower tape will be removed and the trailing edge piece will be affixed to the lower elevator skin.|
|Trailing edge with the lower surface adhered to the skin. Paper on top tape will remain in place until bottom piece is "cured".|
February 28, 2016
It's been a few day since I put the trailing edge tape in place and adhered the lower surface to the bottom skin. The tape should be well "cured" now. The next step is to install the foam ribs that were fabricated in the early steps of the elevator construction. The foam ribs are secured in place using pro-seal. This will be my first real experience using this. I did use a little when I set the the rudder counter-weight, but that was a very small amount.
|These are the foam ribs that are laced in the trailing-edge of the elevators. Six are used in the right elevator and only two in the left. The left elevator has the the trim tab attached, and it uses smaller foam ribs.|
|Everything in place and ready to cure for a few days.|
February 29, 2016
Since I decided to build the right elevator first, It is now time to start the left elevator and trim tab. The basic construction will be the same as the right, but the left does include the trim tab. Also, the trim tab servo is located inside the left elevator and includes some mounting hardware associated with that.
|Finishing up the countersink by hand with the de-burr tool.|
March 31, 2016
Well....I had a little set back since my last update. I was in the final steps of finishing up the right elevator when I did something I wasn't completely satisfied with. It occurred after I installed the six foam ribs in the aft portion of the trailing edge of the elevator. As shown in the steps/pictures above, these foam ribs are cut to shape using a template supplied in the plans. The ribs are then installed between the top and bottom skins using proseal. The plans say don't exceed 1/32" inch of proseal when installing the ribs. Long story short, after I installed the ribs using the proseal, I added weights to the skins per the plans to ensure good contact while the proseal cured. When I removed the weights, I noticed "ridges" in the skins where the ribs were located. These "ridges" also formed "valleys" between the ribs. These "ridges" and "valleys" were very slight and probably not an issue in any way but I just didn't like it.
The cause of this issue was probably a combination of trimming the foam blocks slightly larger than the template and using more than the recommended 1/32" of proseal.
|This is the issue that I wasn't happy with. The stickies with numbers show the six "valleys" created by the over-sized ribs under the skins.|
|This shows the depth of one of one of the "valleys". There were six of these on the aft portion of the elevator.|
|Another view of the wavy skins.|
Again, I don't think this issue would have caused any structural or controllability problems later on, but I just didn't like it. I had been very pleased with the quality of workmanship on the elevator up to this point and hated to go out on a bad note.
It was a tough decision, but I decided to order new parts and build another right elevator. I am now in the final stages of the rebuild and so far everything has gone very well. I cut the foam blocks today..making sure they are exact this time!:). I will install them in the next couple of days and hopefully have a completed right elevator shortly thereafter.
While I was waiting on parts for the replacement elevator, I decided to go ahead and rivet the trailing edge of the "bad" elevator. This will be good practice for when I do the replacement.
April 10, 2016
I haven't updated this site in a few weeks, but I have been working on the "replacement" right elevator. I basically followed the same procedures as I did for the "original" elevator...except for the trailing edge ribs! Actually, today, I prosealed those foam ribs in the replacement right elevator. Looks like everything went together very nicely! I have weights on the aft section of the elevator now and will remove in a few days. Hopefully I'll have a nice, flat,..non-wavy skin!
The following pictures show the construction of the "replacement" right elevator.
|I didn't get any pictures installing the foam ribs with the proseal. Tough to get pictures of this step while working alone with the proseal. Hopefully I will get some when performing this step on the left elevator.|
|Aft skins of the elevator with weights in place while proseal for the foam ribs cures.|
After the proseal has cured for a few days, there are a few rivets on the inner and outer ribs that need to be installed and then the trailing edge will be riveted. I will use the same process for the trailing edge that I used on the original right elevator.
April 11, 2016
While waiting for the proseal to cure on the right elevator, I was able to get all the parts for the left elevator primed today. I have been working off and on for all the prep required for these parts for the last few weeks.
|Here's most of the parts for the left elevator. Not shown are the skins and the pieces for the trim tab.|
April 12, 2016
Today, I continued working on the left elevator. My normal process is to prime the parts and then dimple. So, with all the parts for the left elevator and trim tab primed..it was time to dimple. Following the plans, I dimpled the left elevator counter balance skins and the left top and bottom skins.
|I'm using the DRDT-2 to dimple the skins for the left elevator.|
April 14, 2016
I completed dimpling the parts for the right elevator and trim tab today. At this point, the plans concentrate on the assembly of the trim tab. I think this is a good idea because it will give more practice riveting the "unique" trailing edge that is used on the trim tab and both elevators. Not a difficult procedure (already practiced on right elevator #1:), but if a mistake is made it would be much easier to re-do the trim tab vice an elevator.
Another positive step today was that I removed the weights on the "replacement" right elevator and the skins in the aft section were nice and smooth. No waves due to the "oversized" foam ribs like I had on the first right elevator. Overall, I'm glad I did the re-build.
Here's some pics of what I did today:
|Here are the five nut plates riveted in place. I decided to back rivet these and it worked out ok. The access cover is also shown in this picture.|
|Here's a view of the un-driven rivets that will secure the trim tab front spar to the lower skin. The back-rivet plate is in place under this group of rivets. I started in the center, skipped every other rivet, and worked my way outboard.|
|Trim tab front spar riveted to the lower trim tab skin.|
|Here's the the two "problem" rivets after removal. Rivet remnants can be seen between the trim tab skin and trim tab horns.|
April 15, 2016
I had a couple of hours today to continue work on the trim tab. I started by riveting the trim tab horn to the trim tab. I used the C-Frame to set these rivets. I then scuffed the areas with 150 grit sand paper where the foam ribs will be pro sealed to the trim tab skins. Also scuffed the area where the trailing edge piece will be secured with the 3M double sided tape.
After the ribs were pro sealed in place, I peeled the backing off the double sided tape and clecoed the trailing edge together. I then riveted the top skin and aft section of the trim tab hinge to the forward spar of the trim tab assembly. I used a hand squeezer to set these flush head 3/32" rivets. At this point, the trim tab assembly is placed on a flat surface and weights are placed on the skins to ensure good contact while the pro seal cures.
|The trim tab horn in place with three out of seven rivets set.|
|I used the C-Frame to back rivet these rivets. Could have probably used hand squeezer, but it is pretty tight quarters on the rivets flush head on the horn side.|
|Side view of the C-Frame setup. I have the back rivet kit installed here that easily allows different sets to be used. Here the extended length lower flush set allows room for the clecos.|
|Trim tab horn riveted in place.|
|Shop head of the rivets that attach the trim tab horn.|
Once again, I didn't get any pictures of the pro seal application process. I am getting more comfortable with the proseal, but still making a pretty good mess. I use several paper towels and a few pairs of rubber gloves. I have read from other builders they recommend wearing several pairs of gloves. I finally figured out they mean to actually wear several pairs of gloves at once (3 worked for me). Then as the gloves get sticky and messy, you just remove a pair and you are left with a fresh clean pair. Kind of like the tear offs motocross riders use on their goggles:)
I will let the pro seal cure for a few days and then move on to riveting the trailing edge.
With the experience I gained from riveting the trailing edge of the trim tab, it was time to rivet the trailing edge of the "replacement" right elevator. As I mentioned above, since I liked the results of the squeezed over the back-riveted trim tab rivets, I squeezed all the rivets iornthis trailing edge. I was happy with the results.
April 20, 2016
After allowing the proseal to cure for several days, I removed the weights on the skins and prepared to rivet the trailing edge. I used the same method I used on the "original" right elevator. I clecoed the trailing edge to piece of flat steel (every other hole) and set the rivets with a small diameter rivet set. After setting every other hole, I removed the trim tab from the flat steel and used the special rivet sets developed by Avery Tool (think they are now sold by Cleveland Tool), to set the remaining rivets.
|This is the trim tab clecoed to the flat steel for back-riveting. I placed rivets in every other hole.|
|This is the rivet set I used. I tapered the edges with a grinder to reduce the chance of "smileys". Following the recommended procedure in plans, I partially set each rivet and then went back and "final set" the shop heads flush to the skin.|
|This is the top of the trim tab showing the factory flush heads of the rivets.|
April 22, 2016
|This is not a great picture, but here's the special "angled" sets being used to final squeeze the elevator trailing edge rivets. The clip on these sets is used to ensure the angle of both the upper and lower set remains in the proper position.|
|This shows the upper manufactured head of the trailing edge rivets.|
|The right elevator trailing edged turned out great using the "squeezing method".|
|The right elevator is mostly complete. The leading edge skins still need to be "rolled" and riveted together. I will wait and accomplish this when the left elevator is ready for that step.|
April 25, 2016
With the right elevator mostly complete, it's time to move to the left elevator. The majority of the process is about the same as the right elevator except the left includes the trim tab and trim tab servo.
Again, since most of the build procedures are the same, I will only show a few pictures and notes where needed for the left elevator construction.
|Riveting inner/outer tip ribs|
|Universal heads of the rivets on the inner tip rib.|
|Shop rivet heads on outer tip rib.|
|Hinge reinforcement plate with nutplate clecoed in place.|
|Another view showing rear spar clamped to workbench. Also, during this step, the trim tab hinge will be riveted to the rear spar.|
|This is how I riveted the top skins to the rear spar. I used a tungsten bucking bar with an angled end which fit nicely in the rear spar "channel". This is where the clamping is important to keep the spar/skin from moving around while riveting.|
|I riveted the trim tab hinge at the same time I riveted the skin/spar in the above picture. I worked from the center outboard skipping a few rivets and then repeated until all rivets were set. I used a hand squeezer to set the hinge rivets.|
|Shear clip that will later be riveted to the left elevator skin close-out tabs.|
|Rivets in place and taped in preparation for back-riveting the top skin to the ribs.|
|"Inside" view of the elevator showing upper rib halves with un-driven rivets in place.|
|View of the trailing edge of the left elevator. Unprimed areas are where the foam ribs all be pro sealed in place.|
May 5, 2016
Started today by back riveting the lower rib halves to the left elevator bottom skin. Then moved on to rivet the trim servo housing/reinforcement plates to the lower skin. The trim servo is actually located inside the left elevator. It is connected to the trim tab using a small "linkage" that was assembled earlier in the elevator section.
|This is the trim servo housing that is located in the left elevator. I back-riveted these brackets, reinforcement plates, and nut-plates.|
|Exterior view of the trim servo housing. This view is the bottom skin of the left elevator.|
|This shows how the top and bottom skins of the left elevator are joined. The rib halves that were back-riveted to the skins earlier are "sandwiched" together and will be joined in a later step using blind rivets.|
May 6, 2016
Today I joined the upper and lower left elevator halves.
|When using the riveting method above, the plans say to place a shim under the elevator assembly to prevent damaging the trailing edge skin while using the bar. This shows the shim thickness/position that worked for me.|
|Left elevator skin to spar rivets coming along.|
|When the elevator skin.spar riveting was complete, it was time to rivet the interior rib halves together. blind rivets are used for this.|
|Here's the blind rivet after pulling using the piece of trailing edge material to help set.|
|This is the inside view of the rivet that was pulled using the technique from section 5.|
|This is another view of the trim tab servo housing located inside the left elevator. Once the elevator is "closed up", the servo will only be accessible from an access plate the will be located on the lower skin.|
|With all the interior riveting complete inside the left elevator, the next step is to close it up by attaching the forward spar assembly. Here the front spar assembly is ready to be placed in position for riveting.|
May 9, 2016
My progress slowed down a bit..from my already snails pace:), due to some household chores I was falling behind on. I did manage to get the majority of the right elevator assembled and riveted. There are a few rivets during the closeout process that are not easily accessible. I some time to decide the best way to set these rivets and came up with a plan that worked out well for me.
May 10, 2016
Today I finished up with a few miscellaneous rivets on the left elevator. I also installed the trail edge piece to the lower skin using the double side tape. I used the same procedure I did for the left elevator and it works well for me. I adhere the tape to both sides of the trailing edge piece and then peel "only" the lower side paper off and stick the piece in place to the "lower" skin. I then cleo the trailing edge piece in place and let set for a few days (plans say one day, but I have heard longer is better...no idea if true or not).
Next up is installing the foam ribs (only two in the left elevator) in the trailing edge and then closing up the trailing edge by back-riveting...or squeezing with special die. I am sticking with latter:)
May 15, 2016
I installed the foam ribs today using proseal. Those will need to cure a few before I can rivet the trailing edge and a few other miscellaneous rivets on the tip rib. I also assembled the housing for the trim tab servo.
|Foam ribs ready to be installed in the left elevator trailing edge. There are only two in the left elevator . The trim tab will attach in the in "cutout" area shown in the picture.|
|Here's the parts to the trim servo housing. Pretty easy assembly. Just a few hole to dimple and machine countersink.|
|Trim housing with servo mounted in place. I now need to attach pins for a molex connector to these wires on the servo.|
May 25, 2016
I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for elevator/s construction:) I don't have pictures, but I riveted the trailing edge of the left elevator using the hand squeezer and the special sets from Avery/Cleveland that I used on the right elevator with good results. Worked great on the left elevator as well. Next up, I rolled the leading edge skins for the left and right elevators. I did this for the rudder and was not really looking forward to this step. There are several "methods" that builders have developed/used for this step, but I just kept it simple and used the method described in the plans. I used a 1 inch PVC pipe, gorilla tape, vise grips and channel locks. I don't think there is an easy way to accomplish this task. It takes quite a bit of "working" the skins to even get them close to where they need to be before blind riveting.
|I apply the gorilla tape as shown to the skin that I will be working with.|
|I then attach a 1' PVC pipe just slightly longer than the skins so I can get a wrench on the end.|
|Here's a skin after after several "rolls" with the pipe. The skin is not easy to shape. It will spring back quite a bit even after rolling it almost 180' around the pipe.|
|When rolling the skin, it seems to work best to push down and roll simultaneously. This gives the most bend and does "crease" the skin where it "breaks" over the spar.|
|This is the bottom skin with the initial bends completed. Still a ways to go. The top skin will overlap this skin when the final shaping is complete.|
|Outside view of the left elevator leading edge.|
It's been awhile since my last update. Household chores, unscheduled vehicle maintenance and a family vacation limited my time on the RV project.
However, I was able to spend the last few days finishing up the elevators.....almost.
The only thing remaining before I can call the elevators complete is installing the trim servo assembly. I still need to install pins and molex connector to the wires on the servo motor. I installed two of the six pins, but I think I may re-do one and maybe both. The pins are very small (think they are called micro), and the crimping pliers I have may be a little large for the job. I modified them slightly by grinding them thinner (think I saw on Stein Air Video), but still not sure I have what I need to make a good crimp.
However, I was able to spend the last few days finishing up the elevators.....almost.
|Here's the finished product.|
|This is the inboard view of the left elevator with inside counterweight in place.|
|Outboard view of the left elevator with weight in place.|
July 30, 2016
Well, after a little research and practice, I was able to finish crimping the six pins for the elevator trim servo. This was my first electrical portion of the build, and it was a bit of a learning curve. The molex pins/plugs used for this were the "micro" version. I have read that others have had issues with these as well. The "micro" pins will only fit into the plugs in one orientation. There is a note in section 5 of the plans that mentions this, but even with that info, I still needed some practice. The pins and plugs are very small and I used a magnifying glass and good light to make sure the orientation was correct. Still, the pins did not just "slide" right in. It seemed like a very snug fit. However, with a nice firm/steady push with an eyeglass screwdriver, I was able to get the pins in position.
|Here's the "micro" molex pins crimped to the elevator trim tab servo wires.|
|Pins in positon in plug.|
July 31, 2016
Today I installed the elevator trim servo. The servo is located in left elevator and connects via a linkage to the trim tab.
|The primed green plate in the upper part of the photo is the housing cover for the trim tab servo. The servo motor is connected to the trim tab with a linkage to the trim tab horn.|
|Completed left elevator.|
|Left and right elevators completed and stored for future use:). Horizontal stab is behind the elevators.|