Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Rudder work

7.3 hours since last post.
Worked a little each night, but dramatically slowed the pace. Reality has rudely intruded. At the previous pace, the rudder would be finished by next weekend. Then the wing kit would need to be ordered, and even with a 6 week delivery time the empennage would be done well before the wings arrive.
But there's no way I can order the wings right now. Finances prevent it. But should be able to order in about 6 weeks. So I decided to slow work to a trickle to keep from going crazy while waiting on the wings. Time to focus on work and get back into tri shape.
And I need to fly three approaches before the end of February or I have to do an instrument proficiency check. For those thinking this a bad attitude towards instrument proficiency, relax. There's not a chance I'll go flying in hard IMC until I (and an instructor) are satisfied that I'm back up to snuff. In the meantime a couple of hours under the hood with a safety pilot in nice VFR conditions will keep me legally current long enough to build some more hood time. Thinking about doing a proficiency check (even though I shouldn't need it) with Ken Wittekend in Burnet. I could also get a tailwheel endorsement there.

For the week, finished pre-assembly of the rudder. I decided to do this before riveting the stiffeners, because I want to prime everything after all drilling is done. Should have at least clecoed in a couple of stiffeners, but I think this will work.

After assembling and match drilling the rudder, disassembled and deburred. Finished all deburring with only the left skin to go.

The other out of order item was to drill the leading edge holes to #30 before priming. At the worst I may have to drill again when forming the leading edge.

Also fit the counterbalance to the 912 rib. Had to calculate that a #12 drill bit is usable for the 3/32 screws. Couldn't find a definitive spec for this in any of the instructions or the standard aircraft handbook. The SAH gives drill sizes for rivets, but this a bolt. It works, but a #11 might be better. Didn't search the builders sites, I image others have already answered this question.

Solved the dimpling problem I had with the HS and VS. There are bad fish-eyes in the pictures. It's not a strength issue, just looks bad. Might even have less drag, in a golf ball fashion. Emailed Mike Knipp who had photos of beautiful flush rivets. He was gracious enough to email back with his method of setting up the DRDT-2. I had already done some practise dimples with a similar setup, but ended up doing the entire HS and VS with the wrong setting. Bottom line, I was not dimpling with enough pressure. The first part of the process will form a dimple, but also the fish-eye that is seen on my assemblies. Just another 1/2 to 3/4 turns down on the ram and the fish-eye is pressed flush. You can see this in the reflection off the metal when dimpling. At first the reflection causes a magnification. When set correctly, finishing the dimple with some pressure will erase the magnification entirely. My rudder will look much better.