Assembly

7/17/2011
Hours: 13.5
Assembly 13.5

Because I still have a month before the wings arrived, I decided to go through the remainder of the plans and do whatever I can of the assembly.  I wish I could simply assemble the entire tailcone with the HS and VS, etc.  But if I do, I'll have a real problem getting it out of the garage, so I'm just going to do whatever I can.

The first step was to store the tailcone.  It's an inch too wide to get in through any door in the house so storing it in the airplane room just isn't an option (not a surprise, by the way).  One option was to build a loft in the garage to store it, another was to hang it from the ceiling.  In the end, I asked my father-in-law to build a nice little platform which he did, and we stood the tailcone up on the platform with its front side down and pushed it into a quiet corner of the garage.  The platform is necessary because part of the skin extends forward (and therefore down off the side of the platform).  Without the platform, this wedge of skin would have to bend from the weight.

Next, I fabricated some parts that will be used in the final assembly of the tailcone and the HS.  I also had to fabricate a couple of brackets for the trim servo brackets.  The annoying thing about this job was that I bought the brackets pre-made from iflyrv10.com several months ago for $12.00 and they not only had holes in the wrong position, but were also made from cheap aluminum angle!  I didn't realize this until they were riveted in place.  As a result, I had to remove the brackets and fabricate my own from the angle provided in the kit to do the job.  Thankfully, I had no issues in the end.  My version of the brackets turned out just shy of perfect.  I'll definitely think twice before buying anything from that company again.  I even wrote an email about it and big surprise, I got no answer.

As mentioned, I also put together the bracket and mounting structure for the electric trim tab servo.  This will be wired to equipment in the cockpit for controlling the position of the trim tabs.  This part was a lot of fun because I was able to attach it to a battery to test the motion and do some preliminary adjustments on the cables.   I've finally seen something move!
  
Next was getting the elevators mounted to the horizontal stabilizer.  At the moment, the left elevator is almost finished being connected.  Not an easy job, as it turns out.  Scott came out and was a very big help on that.  It goes on and comes off for adjustment and then back on and off for adjustment and then back on and off for adjustment many times.  I expect over the next several days he'll be helping me finish the job on the left elevator and then get the right side on there as well.  In the process, we needed to buy some new tool from Sears and some of the kids (Zach and Scott to be specific) decided to play a little "Three Stooges."  The stooges are actually one of their favorite things to watch on TV these days.  As I was looking at something I heard behind me something that sounded a whole lot like Curly saying, "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh" and turned to find the last picture in this series.  Building an airplane is fun!