Rudder skeleton

Day 3 – Continue Section 7 – Rudder

Today started with marking up the rest of the skin stiffeners and a trip to Canadian Tire to get a new set of aviation snips. The new snips worked well on the strait cuts across the stiffeners, but when I had to get into corners, they were a bit bulky and did not do a great job. To be fair, this is hardly the fault of the snips! In the end, the bandsaw was still the best tool for making the long angled cut, and the bench grinder cleaned everything up in no time.

Next up was the task of match drilling the rudder horn to the bottom rib, and machine countersinking a couple places on the horn and rudder stops. This required some creative clamping, since the small part of the lower rib does not have holes for clecos yet. I made up a coupe pieces of scrap to protect the rib and horn from the c-clamp. This reminds me of the cleco c-clamps that I saw and passed on at Oshkosh. Might order a couple. The instructions also called for the whole pile of parts to be assembled for match drilling, but I was thrilled to find that most of the holes were already final sized! I heard Vans announce that some kits were like this, but I was not sure if mine made the cutoff. This saved me a ton of time!

In the end, I put everything together in preparation for the next step, which will be fitting the skin before a pile of de-burring and riveting. I am very happy with today’s progress. For the first time, I see the basic shape of an airplane part coming together. Can’t wait to see this part done!

Oh.. one last thing… I spoke to Vans today. A fellow from tech support reached out and we talked about my mistake I made on day 1. The answer was, I MAY be able to continue with the piece as-is, but his recommendation was to always start over with any pieces that are not riveted in. So, that is what I will do. I will order a new vertical stabilizer spar and caps. I am going to wait a bit though in case I muck something else up. That way, I can save on shipping!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *