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The Boo

Empennage Attachment


This is a time in the construction where you can get a bit overwhelmed with the scope of this project.  There are just so many things to do now that the wings are attached.  I began the day thinking I would get to the fuel lines and finish that and the brakes but I can't.  I've got to take the wings off again in order to drill some holes for fuel line routing.  I'll get to that stupid move later.  So what can I do on a Saturday?  I've got alllll day too.  Hey, let's put the tail feathers on!  Managed to get it almost all done too.  Big day. 

Ok, first cut off 5/8" from the bottom edge of the front spar of the vertical stab.  Now WHY don't they tell you to do this when you are building the VS????  Morons.

On to the HS.  First find the aft most leg of and pilot drill.  Then fabricate a spacer and pre-drill a #30 hole with the drill press.  Clamp it and drill both and enlarge.  No sweat.

 Lay it on the aft deck.  Center it as best as you can.  Really take your time and measure, measure, measure.  Stick some shims under the forward spar and clamp.  Measure the distance from the tips to the firewall.  Measure again.  Do it again.  Repeat till it's perfect.  Now clamp that sucker good.

Pilot drill holes through the longerons.  Measure well so the bolt isn't offset too close to the vertical side of the longeron, or you won't be able to get a nut on there.  Just lay a ruler along the existing rivets on the aft deck and project that line on the angle.  The outermost two holes can be drilled normally but the inner two holes will require a small angle drill attachment.

Put some bolts in there and some old nuts and bolt it up tight.  Next, place a 3/16 drill bit in the middle and clamp the vertical bars to the HS.  Drill those holes now, pilot first then enlarge.  Once again here use the existing rivets to make the horizontal line perfect.  Put some bolts in.

Time to get the pushrod adjusted just right.  Plans are dead on here.

Now for the VS.  Mark and align the centerline and the rivet layout line on the 718 (I think).  Clamp very well in place.  Now you are going to put the VS on and off of this assembly many many times to get everything just right.  Remember to measure from the tip of the VS to the tips of the HS those should be dead nuts.  The tip of the VS is off 1/4 inch to the left of center, don't forget that and try to make it straight.

I taped a ruler to the back to make sure the height wise measurement was on, you can just barely see it here.

Once everything is dead nuts, start drilling.  Easy to write but this took me hours and hours to get everything just perfect.  It is a work of perfection if I do say so myself.  I'm very please with the way it came out.

Oh, the plans say something early about not putting on the rear tie down.  IGNORE, IGNORE, IGNORE.  Put it on when you have the earliest chance.  I did and it worked perfectly.  I can't imagine trying to put it on now.  What a pain in the ass that would be.  Thanks Vans.

I also installed the thingamabobers for the rudder cables.  What a day... Now what am I going to do tomorrow?  Hmmmmmm.

5/8/04 Good day today.  Managed to get the rudder mounted and the rudder stops riveted in place.  When I had built the rudder I used Vans numbers for locating the rod end bearings.  I only had to change the middle a bit and had to screw in the lower rod end bearing about 1/8 inch in order to have the prescribed 1 1/8 inch clearance between the rudder and elevators in the neutral position.  You just have to mount, test, unmount, change, over and over.  At least 5 times for me.   I also used blind rivets for all the rudder stops.   It's such a pain in the butt putting a rivet in such confined spaces.  There's really not that much force on them anyway.  I think a lot of people have had to refabricate their stops because they don't fit properly.  Mine were dead nuts when I moved the rudder closer to the VS.  Also, the gap between the rudder and VS at the top is perfect.


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Last updated: 07/06/05.