Thursday October 5, 2006
Rudder Skeleton (Rudder)
2.0 Hours

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Tonight, I started putting together the rudder skeleton:

The big hole that you see in the next picture started out as a small hole in the rib and a large hole in the spar. The rib's hole had to be drilled out to the 3/8" diameter. I spent some time playing with the unibit until I was able to create clean holes. I then drilled out the hole on the rib. It's not perfect yet...I'll need to clean it up a little to match the holes in the other pieces that fit in there. For whatever reason, the hole comes out really close to the edge of the rib flange.

The rudder control horn then has to fit inside of the rib flange. I ended up having to radius the edge of the control horn so that it could fit inside the rib nice and snug.

Here's the lower rib clecoed in between the control horn and the rudder spar. I had to fabricate a little shim the same thickness as the rib to go between the control horn and the spar below the rib flange.

And if that's not enough...there's also a spar stiffener plate that goes on the forward side of the spar. Let's tally this up...spar stiffener plate, spar, rib/shim, and control horn. That's four different pieces of metal that each hole passes through. The reason, of course, is that this is the attach point for the rudder controls and for one of the rudder hinge bearings.

The other two bearings also get little reinforcement plates.

Finally, I prepped the two upper rudder ribs, clecoed them to the spar, and clecoed on the rudder counterweight skin.

And this is what I have after today.

Next, I have to trim excess off of the control horn brace that attaches to the (!) control horn and the lower rudder rib. I also have to mate up the two rudder skins, the trailing edge wedge, and then final drill all of the holes. I had fun putting together these rudder pieces today, but I'm not looking forward to riveting the trailing edge of the rudder. I ordered some Pro-Seal per the Van's plans to help hold the trailing edge closed while I rivet it.

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