Fiberglass work was actually pretty interesting and fun. I was a little bit afraid of how it was going to work, but I feel the results are good. I started by trimming the horizontal stabilizer tips and filling the rear part of them. Now after it is done, I feel I could have created a narrower gap between the tips and elevators.
Fitting the elevator and rudder tips was pretty simple. I used my heat gun to adjust them on some places, and a little bit more may be required once all parts come together on the airplane as I saw some minor misalignment once I riveted them in place.
The last piece I worked on was the rudder bottom piece. I decided to go with the flyleds DIY nav/led/landing lights kit. As a result I just bought the tailight/ strobe and fitted it in place. I also used epoxy to secure the support inside the fairing. The last thing I did was add extra fabric and epoxy inside at the join line between the too halves of each fiberglass tip fairing for a little more support.
The final result:
The last part I needed to work on was the trim tab. It wasn’t as hard as expected, but it did require a little bit of attention to make it right. The results are decent, just a few things that I would probably get better if I get the chance to work on another one.
Finally I installed both elevators into the horizontal stabilizer to adjust the movement as required. After some trial an error and few minor adjustments I got it to the point where it moves freely a little bit more than what asked on the plans. Next step is going to be fiberglass tips. I already started to work on fitting them and the results are quite good. Once I buy the supplies I need I’ll just get them done to do not have to work on them later.
After finishing the right elevator, work on the left was a lot easier. I got all parts prepared, and assembled it pretty fast with good results.
All the tips I learned on the right side helped with preparing everything in a better way. Now I’m just working on the trim tab while the trailing edge epoxy cures completely.
The right elevator was the hardest part to build so far. Now that I’m working on the left side things are going a lot better, and easier. Just for future reference, theseare things that I learned that makes it simpler:
- Dimples on the skin to spar area are not nice and resulted in my worst looking rivets so far. For the second elevator I asked my wife to help by holding the skins while dimpling and results are really good.
- It was hard to rivet the stiffeners and spars. I found that the easiest way was to open the skin at least 90 degrees, and hold it from the outside (it is not going to break). Once you do it that way, and have better dimples results are good.
- Riveting the counterbalance ribs to the main spar is a lot easier when the skin is still open. I got all but two rivets on both skin to spar and skin to ribs done pretty easy.
- Trailing edge came up pretty similar to the rudder. Nothing really bad, but not as good as I would like.
The elevators are pretty simple assemblies, but require a lot of attention to detail, and it is pretty easy to make mistakes. In the future I may re-do it, but overall I think is OK.
Felt pretty cool getting to test fit the elevator on the horizontal stabilizer. 🙂