Fiberglass Tail Tips 4:00

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.

Elevator 0:30

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.

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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.

Horizontal Stab 2:00

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.

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Contacted Sonex

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.