I spent 4 hours finishing up the fiberglass work for the tail tips and installing them. Not a lot to talk about. I spent a lot of time considering the rudder. After discussing the off set the rudder has with my EAA chapter and Sonex tech support, I’m going to go ahead and rebuild the rudder. Not a lot of work now, but after paint it would be a real pain.
I spent one hour measuring and drilling the fiber glass on the horizontal tail tip. One down two to go.
While I was at Oshkosh this year, I spent lot of time inspecting the tail section of Sonex aircraft. I know there is a joke here, somewhere. Well, the thing I noticed the most was that several of them had a slight twist in the elevator. Some worse than others. While they were all flying just fine, I’d still like to try and avoid this. So today I upgraded my workbench to make it as flat as I could get it. I snugged down the 2x6s as good as I could, then added a thick slab of MDF. Flatter than plywood and easily replaceable.
I then laid out the parts to start the Elevator and spent some time reading the plans. Sometimes I wish the plans included best practices/techniques for building a particular part.
I had some help in the garage tonight. Jes harnessed her inner Rosie.
After putting in her first few rivets, Jes said, that was easy. I want to make some art out of Aluminum. I don’t think she has checked out my log. This part already has about 20 hours in it. On the other hand, it’s finally done, for now…
One step back to go two steps forward. I took the skins and hinges back off of the Stabilizer and deburred everything. After that, I reassembled and I’m ready for rivets.
I’ve heard that the secret to completing a large build like this is to spend at least 5 minutes a day in the shop. Well I have some lost time to make up. I lined up the hinge to connect the elevator to the horizontal stabilizer, clamped and drilled the holes. Then I spent a lot of time up-drilling the skin. That was a lot of holes and moving the clecos got tedious. I changed hands on the pliers many times. I’m well on my way to Popeye arms. I always think the skin looks cool when you put the #30 clecos in place and before you remove the #40 clecos. Right now I only have 200 #30 and 200 #40 clecos, and I’m using every one of them. I should really order more.
I sent an email to Sonex tech help to let them know that I went ahead and just made up some ribs from sheet AL to fix my problem. That’s when I found out that Sonex has the SNX-Z02-04 channel they could have sent me. Well, live and learn. Apparently the older kits were supplied with it before they produced the laser cut option.
Just to be clear my tail kit was one of the first laser cut kits supplied so I don’t expect to have these problems on the rest of the kit that I purchased this year.
Good news though, Sonex confirmed I had the skins on correctly. the straight edge of the skins for the horizontal stabilizer is the bottom and the curved edge is the top.
Time to rivet.