2 Feb 05 - Empennage Mounting Adventures, Cont.


The SmartTool electronic level came in today (along with a few more clecos - you can never have enough) from Avery Tools. This is seriously cool - it's capable of measuring up to a 1/10 of a degree. I wonder how straight we've gotten everything so far? Perhaps a bit of playing with this is in order before the evening's work is started.

We'll want to be extremely careful when we mount the wings - the empennage probably isn't quite as vital, but as long as I need to get one of these and be careful about getting the fuselage level, it's not a bad idea to do it now.

Stuff we're trying to get done tonight: we're going to try to get the holes match drilled in the elevator horns, the elevator stop fabricated, the clearance between the elevator couterweights and the horizontal stab fixed. (One was a bit short once we tighted the rod end bearings down.) Also, it would be nice to start thinking about mounting the horizontal stabilizer. Anyway, let's see how this goes.


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Fore to aft is only 2/10 of a degree off. Not too bad.
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Laterally, we're even closer.
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So far, so good. Looks like there's no twist in the fuselage.
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Well, isn't that weird. Maybe there is. Interestingly enough, when we measured this at the very aft end of the plane, it was back to 0.1. Twists and untwists? Weird.
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Okay, time to stop playing with the level. This is the hole drilled in the elevator horn that sits farther aft (for ours, this was the left one). Worth being careful here, but no sweat.
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Now it gets interesting - here's the aluminum sandwich clamped between the two horns to keep everything parallel. That's a long drill bit in there (backwards) to make sure that everything's going to line up correctly.
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Somehow, I forgot to take a picture of the match drilled holes. They're done, and here's the next thing to do on the project: fabricate the elevator stop. It's fabricated, and there it is on the plane.
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Match drilling the rivet holes. I think these little cleco c-clamps from Avery are really going to come in handy.
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Getting ready to mount the horizontal stab - the Van's directions say that the gap here is supposed to be 3/16, and the easiest way to measure this is with a drill bit.
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The Van's directions don't make so much sense here - what I think makes more sense is to tape and clamp the shims, horizontal stab, etc, all at the same time. Van's doesn't suggest you do this because (I'm guessing, here) they want to minimize the risk of the shim moving while you're trying to drill it. That makes sense, but maybe it'll work just as well if we tape it and then clamp it.

However, we won't find out the answer to that question until tomorrow night. Even though it's taped in place, I'd like to clamp it, too, and we don't have clamps that really fit. Looks like it's time for another visit to Harbor Freight.

It's quitting time anyway, and we've gotten everything done that was on the to do list for today, so let's call it a night. Not a bad day, today.




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