Elevators

3/22/2011
Hours: 3.5
Elevators: 55.7

The tip ribs are now in place. Most of the rivets were easy, but there were two on each elevator that were really, really troublesome. Finally got them in. There were also two pop-rivets on the bottom skins of the elevators. I accidentally put in the wrong rivets in these spots, but as I understand it, the only difference between the ones I put in and the ones I was supposed to put in are that the ones I did put in do not sit perfectly flush against the surface. I'll accept the 0.001 MPH slower speed from this added drag on the airplane and move on.

The other accomplishment was cutting out some foam ribs for the trailing edge of the elevators. There is a template in the plans that you are supposed to cut out and glue to these rectangular foam blocks with spray adhesive. Then you cut them out first with a saw and then with a sander or sand-paper to get them right down to the line. Well. I got the adhesive from Home Depot last week and I just knew this wasn't going to be pretty. Oh, not to worry. The foam ribs came out just about perfect. It's just that I really don't get along well with chemicals. I hate paint and even in grade-school I've always hated glueing things. I hoped that the spray adhesive would turn out less messy but I didn't really expect it to be so. By the time the glue dried with the paper templates adhering firmly to the blocks, somehow gobs of the glue were in my hair, all over the bench and somehow managed to get on the air-hose coming out of the compressor. I have no idea how since I was nowhere near there.

Anyway, I'm glad that's over. If only the next task wasn't using fuel tank sealant to adhere these ribs in place, I'd be much more looking forward to tomorrow night's job. The foam ribs will go between the skins of the trailing edge of the elevators. There is a picture or two showing these ribs resting on top of the elevator trailing surface. They'll go inside there next time. This tank sealant stuff used to put these ribs in place (called proseal) is like black roofing tar except stickier and much messier. ugh. Not going to be fun.
Finally for tonight, I have to admit that I'm surprised that the elevators are taking as long as they are. Not sure why I thought that. There are two of them and the timing projection is looking like it'll be twice the rudder or so. I still have the trim tabs to make which includes more proseal and more primer. Thankfully, I've already deburred the edges of all those parts and have already done the foam cutouts for the trim tabs (did those tonight while I was already making a mess).

I have to say, this is a fun project (except for the chemicals). I hope we'll be able to order the wing kit soon.

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