Rudder

1/25/2011
Hours: 2.5
Rudder total: 35.7

Got the trailing edge done!  I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  It is straight to less than 0.0625" (which is 1/16).  This is almost half the tolerance Van's permits  in the notes (which states that the trailing edge should deviate less than 0.1" from a straight line).  I measured this by laying the completed rudder on a flat surface (with the horn hanging over the edge) and measured the largest distance from the surface.  I would consider it a flawless evening of work if it weren't for the one smiley I put in the skin as I hit the trigger a little too quickly while going over the rivets one last time.  I was very annoyed with myself about this.  Anyway, a good night of work.
Every other hole of the trailing edge cleco'ed to the angle iron.

A look at the rivets sticking up through the bottom.  After these rivets were set - first partially according to the plans and then fully with a back-rivet set, I turned over the rudder, cleco'ed it again and hit the manufactured head with a flat set.  Then turned it over yet again back to the side showing in the picture and hit the shop heads again with the flat set.  Then I taped rivets into the holes from this side - so that every other rivet was inserted from the opposite side.  Each time, I hit the row of rivets in a random pattern to avoid a progression of bending or something like that.  As others have said, I'm not sure it makes a difference, but I'd rather not find out the hard way that it does.  Also, I got sick of looking at those red markings and cleaned them off the metal finally.
On the rivets placed in the holes previously occupied with clecos, I repeated the procedure described above.  However this time, there were no holes to hold the rudder to the angle-iron (aka bucking-plate) so I got just about every clamp I own to do the job.  This was a pain because the vibrations from the rivet gun were constantly causing clamps to come loose.  I tightened them snugly, but I didn't want to overly tighten them so as not to dent the rudder.

Once all the rivets were set nicely, I went over them all one last time with the flat set just to make sure everybody was as flush as possible.  All was going well until I got a little too quick on the trigger and caused this little smiley dent.  Argggh.  Always something to mess up an otherwise really good job.  Thankfully it's not horrible and when its painted I don't think it'll be visible unless you're really looking for it.  (the black things are marks I put to remember which rivets I hit as I jumped around randomly).

Nice straight trailing edge.
Our RV-10 rudder as it stands tonight.


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