Prime and rivet rudder skeleton assembly

Incredible snow

Incredible snow

It’s been a few days since I’ve worked on the project since we had a family trip to Tahoe for ski week. Missed working on the plan but the skiing was incredible due to a record-setting round of cold winter storms in the Sierra.

Prime rear spar parts

Van’s awesome! I contacted them about the dented rudder skin and they immediately sent me a new skin. I confessed that I didn’t know if I caused the dent or if it was there when I inventoried. Regardless, they are sending me a new one FedEx. This reminds me why it’s great to build a kit from such a good company.

Since I’m waiting for the new skin, I decided to get started on the rudder spar assembly. I primed it and let it dry.

Rivet rear spar assembly and rudder horn

While letting the primer cure, I worked on finishing the Vertical Stabilizer. See that section in the blog.
Once the primer was dry, I clecoed the assembly together in preparation for riveting. Started with the reinforcement plates and K-1000-6 nutplates. Took me a second due to confusion about the fact that the kit contains both K-1000-6 nutplates and K-1000-06. The extra zero makes a difference!

I used the squeezer for almost all of the rivets except a few that attach the bottom rib to the rudder horn. I was somewhat intimidated by squeezing such long rivets, but so far I am happy with the results. Some rivets do seem to flatten more uniformly than others. I’m not sure if this is technique, the flex in the squeezer yoke, or rivet-to-rivet variation, or just randomness.


Cleco assembly and final drill