Rudder assembly part #3

Rudder assembly part #3

After finally riveting all the spars and ribs, I spent some time thinking and researching the best way to approach the trailing edge. After all the progress, I was nervous about doing this for the first time since this is a critical aerodynamic aspect of the rudder.

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Rudder assembly part #2

Rudder assembly part #2

After fighting to set blind rivets this weekend, I decided to invest in a pneumatic pop-rivet puller. This tool is great! It makes quick work of instantly setting consistent pop-rivets. The best part is you can focus on aligning the rivet rather than actuating the manual tool which is particularly helpful when setting in confined areas.

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Rudder assembly part #1

Rudder assembly part #1

This weekend I was able to make some good progress assembling the rudder. This was probably the most challenging assembly work that I have done in terms of the number of steps and the number of areas where a small goof can have very negative consequences.

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Dimpling and countersinking of skins and skeleton

Dimpling and countersinking of skins and skeleton

Tonight, I finished dimpling the R-00901-L and R skins. I used the DRDT-2 for all the holes on the interior of the skin and the squeezer on the holes along the edge. In both cases, it’s very easy to get a nice dimple on the relatively thin 0.016” skins.

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Final drilling of skins to rudder skeleton

Final drilling of skins to rudder skeleton

This weekend I continued to work on preparing the rudder for final assembly and riveting. As with the vertical stabilizer, the sequence is to cleco the entire assembly together, match and final drill, disassemble, deburr, dimple, prime and put it back together again.

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Prime and rivet rudder skeleton assembly

Prime and rivet rudder skeleton assembly

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.

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Beginning to assemble the skeleton

Beginning to assemble the skeleton

Trimmed the right rudder skin and deburred the edges using a vixen file and scotch brite wheel. The next steps were to cleco and do some match and final drilling on the counter-weight and top rib to a #12. Disassemble, deburr, check for square flanges, and flute as necessary.

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Section 7 - Rudder preparation

While I wait to have the vertical stabilizer inspected by the EAA technical counselor, I decided to begin the rudder. The first page involves a lot of singulating, trimming, and deburring. I was able to use the snips for most of this work followed by lots of scotch-brite wheel trimming and buffing.

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