Elevators Log 

 Project News
 April 11, 2017

 Project Log

  Horizontal Stabilizer
  Vertical Stabilizer
  Rudder II

 Wing Kit
  Fuel Tanks

 Fuselage Kit
  Aft Section
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  Top Fuselage


 Firewall Forward
  Fuel System

  Finishing Up!

 Project Notes
 Project Summary
 Other Stuff

The elevators are built just like the rudder except there are two of them, and the left one has a cut out for the trim tab. The trim tab is attached to the top skin of the elevator with a small piano hinge. There are also two elevator horns that must be drilled to the HS center bearing.

June 3, 2001 - 3.5 hours
Started laying out the stiffeners on the right elevator and cut the stiffeners from the angle provided.

Laying out where the stiffeners will attach to the right elevator. The pre-punched rudder stiffeners were much more fun.

Elevator stiffeners waiting for me to figure out where to drill the holes.

June 4, 2001 - 1.75 hours
Drilled pilot holes in the stiffeners for the bottom right elevator skin and started fabricating the stiffeners for the top.

June 5, 2001 - 1.5 hours
Drilled the second set of stiffeners for the right elevator. Started deburring all of the right elevator pieces.

June 7, 2001 - 2 hours
Deburring right elevator parts.

June 9, 2001 - 4.5 hours
Drilled the stiffeners to the right elevator skin. Finished deburring all right elevator parts. Sanded, cleaned, coated and primed all the parts to the right elevator.

Stiffeners drilled and clecoed to the right elevator skin. I used a hollow core door as a table hoping that it would be straighter than the table that I used for the Rudder.

June 10, 2001 - 6 hours
Riveted the stiffeners to the right elevator skin. Formed the trailing edge of the right elevator. Started putting the elevator skeleton together and built the V-Block jig for the elevators.

Stiffeners are back riveted to the right elevator.

Reinforcment plates and platenuts are riveted to the right elevator spar.

June 18, 2001 - 2 hours
Straightened up the V-block jig. I wasn't happy with it. Riveted the tip ribs together. Looked dumbfounded at the manual and the prints for a while until I realized that I was too tired to continue and went to bed.

June 22, 2001 - 2 hours
Finished laying out the Right Elevator skeleton. Started drilling and dimpling holes to attach skin to skeleton.

June 23, 2001 - 6.5 hours
Finished drilling, deburring and dimpling holes. Riveted the right elevator together. Bent the leading edge and mounted to the HS. Drilled the pilot hole for the HS hinge. Right elevator is finished except for fiber glass and bolting on the counter weights.

Close up of how I used a pop rivet dimple die set and a couple pair of Vise Grips to dimple those wicked little holes at the trailing edge of the elevators.

The elevator mounted in the V-block jig.

Close up of the horn attachment. Notice the line that I used to help align it with the centerline of the spar.

I hate this part. Forming the leading edge of the elevator with a piece of 1/2" black pipe.

Right elevator mounted to the horizontal stabilizer.

I used a small quick-clamp to hold the elevator in trail.

Detail showing how I used a small piece of 1/4" stainless tubing as a drill guide bushing to drill the pilot hole of the control horn. Notice that I had to cut notches in the HS spar lower flange so the control horn could move forward.

June 24, 2001 - 9 hours
Started the left elevator. Fabricated and drilled all of the stiffeners. Trimmed the Z brackets for the electric trim servo mount and started deburring all of the parts in preparation for priming.

The stiffeners drilled and clecoed to my holow core door. These stiffeners are not the same as on the right elevator. They are not even located the same. Make sure you look at the plans twice.

June 25, 2001 - 2.5 hours
Deburring, Deburring, Deburring.

July 7, 2001 - 1 hours
Deburring, Sanding, Deburring, Sanding

July 8, 2001 - 3 hours
Etching, coating, priming.

July 9, 2001 - 2 hours
Drilled the spar to the left elevator skin and dimpled the holes in the spar. Drilled the rear spar to the skin and dimpled the rear spar (OOPs @#$%& I am supposed to machine countersink those)

July 10, 2001 - 2.5 hours
Undimpled the left elevator rear spar with the Avery squeezer and a flush rivet set. Countersunk the rear spar holes that match with the trim tab hinge. Finished dimpling the elevator skin and all of the stiffeners. Backriveted all the sitffeners to the elevator skin.

July 11, 2001 - 2 hours
Bent the little tabs on the elevator skin where the trim tab is. Started putting the skeleton together.

The elevator goes in the V-block jig and the wedge that was originally cut out is used to secure it for bending the tabs.

Spars clecoed in place and the inboard rib clamped to the assembly almost ready to drill.

July 12, 2001 - 2.2 hours
Mounted the elevator trim servo on the mounting plate. Assembled the reinforcement plate for the elevator trim and riveted it to the skin. Also worked a little on the skeleton.

Detail of the trim server mounting. I really had to stare at those drawings for a while to figure how this went together and now it looks so simple.

The trim tab servo reinforcement plate attached to the left elevator skin.

July 13, 2001 - 4 hours
Finished the left elevator skeleton and started drilling the elevator skin to the skeleton.

Getting ready to assemble the outboard ribs.

I used a 3/16" rod through both of the rod end bearings to help me find center and then set that at the 13/16" distance from the spar that the plans call for.

Complete left elevator skeleton.

Getting ready to hammer on the trim tab to bend those little tabs to close the ends.

July 14, 2001 - 4 hours
Deburred and dimpled the skeleton and skin on the left elevator. Put all the rivets in the left elevator except for where the trim tab hinge is to be attached.

July 15, 2001 - 4 hours
Finished the trim tab and riveted the hinges to both the trim tab and the left elevator. Assembled the tail for a picture and to try and convince myself that all of this stuff will really look like an airplane someday. Stored the tail away and did a little dance because - THE EMPENNAGE IS DONE!!!

I modified one of the bucking bars that I got from Avery's to get in behind the hinges on the trim tab and the elevator.

Completed trim tab

To set the rod end bearings on the rudder I used a couple of pieces of dental floss to mark the face of the spars. I set the top and bottom hinges first and then set the middle one to match.

Completed empennage except for fiberglass.

Another angle of all the tail feathers.

Empennage stored away.

January 30, 2002 - 0.75 hours
Decided to go back and work on the tail some more. I bolted the counterweights on the elevators and the rudder. Also got the fiberglass tips out and started contemplating fiberglass.

February 4, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Fixed and redrilled the center hinge holes in the elevator control horns.

February 5, 2003 - 1.5 hours
Drilled the holes in the elevator horn where the control push rod attaches, removed the elevators and started installing the tail on the fuselage.

This web site and the infomation contained within it are for entertainment purposes only. The opinions expressed on construction techniques are my opinions only and should not be confused with proper construction techniques. There is undoubtedly more than one way to build an airplane and some methods that I use may or may not work in any given circumstance. If there is any question please call the kit manufacturer. I love to help but I am not responsible for the misuse of any information contained on this web site.

 March 3, 2016