Tuesday January 23, 2007
Elevators and more! (Right Elevator)
4.0 Hours

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It's been a while since I posted last, but I have been making progress.

I last left you with a note about how the elevator trim servo plate wasn't sitting flush against its stiffener. The general consensus was that it isn't a problem and will likely tighten up when its screwed together.

The oops rivets from Vans finally arrived...

I installed one in that bad hole in my right elevator and back rivetted it in place.

Next, I bent the elevator using my home-made bending brake. It took quite a long while to get it bent enough, but in the end it came out pretty well. I was worried that the skins weren't straight enough along the stiffeners, but a quick call to Vans tech support assured me that it was well within tolerance.

Next, it's time to prepare the elevator skeleton. I drilled the elevator attachment reinforcement plates to the right elevator spar.

Then, I started putting together the counterbalance ribs. These two ribs (the longer of the two serves as the outboard elevator rib) support the counterbalance weight as it hangs out front of the elevator. They get rivetted together like this.

Then, a counterbalance skin is "wrapped" around the weight sitting at the end of the ribs, like this. I had to file the weight down quite a bit to get it to fit.

You drill two #12 holes through the counterbalance skin, through the counterweight, and into the flanges on the two ribs. This holds the weight in place. The counterbalance skin will get dimpled and the counterweight will be countersunk for some flush head screws. I drilled a #40 pilot hole before I drilled it out to #12.

You can see that one of my screw holes came out fairly close to the web of the rib. After some testing with a screw, washer, and nut, I think it will be ok, still.

Finally, here's a shot of the drawing for this section to help you get an idea of what I'm talking about.

I just had my birthday recently and got a few cool new tools from my folks. Another inspection mirror of a bigger size, the other plate nut drill jig, and an electronic digital caliper for measuring stuff. From my wife and her folks, I got a new car radio/CD player and have spent the last few evenings installing that rather than working on my plane!

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