Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

1 hr.
Dimple left elevator stiffeners.
Clean gummy edges of skin.
Start dimpling left elevator skin.

Monday, April 28, 2008

.7 hrs
Cleaned left elevator parts with MEK and then primed.

Had to dimple a few last holes before priming, just places forgotten during the first pass, for instance the leading edges of the counterbalance ribs.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

3.2 hrs.
Match drill left elevator skin. I've read that it's a good idea to have pictures of yourself doing the work to meet the 51% rules. So the girls were put to work with the camera while I was doing a few tasks. They don't seem to stay interested nearly as long as I can!

Match drilling on the left elevator.

Bottom of left elevator match drilled.

Disassembled and deburred all interior parts.
Dimpled the spars and ribs.
Countersink top of trim tab spar.

Countersinking the trim tab spar.

That really is me doing the countersinking.

Wash spars/ribs in prep for priming.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Left elevator skeleton

1.8 hours.
Countersink right elevator trailing edge wedge. Used a chisel to build a simple jig to hold the wedge during countersinking. Just cut a channel the same shape as the wedge in a small piece of 2x4. The upper surface of the wedge now sits flush to the 2x4 surface, so controlling the countersink is a piece of cake. A small hole in the middle allows room for the countersink guide.

Having trouble gauging the correct countersink depth. A flush fit for a rivet is probably about right, but it does enlarge the hole in the wedge. Going deep enough for the skin dimples to properly fit makes it even worse. Going shallow enough to not enlarge the hole makes the trailing edge look terrible.

Edit (4/13/2009): There is actually a note about this in the aileron instructions. It would have been nice if they had included that for the rudder and elevator instructions. Bottom line, it's OK for the countersinks to overlap, which enlarges the hole. Getting the depth right on both sides is the most important metric.

I think I need to join EAA and find some builders to talk to.

Dimple right elevator trailing edge.

Started the left elevator skeleton by
clecoing the spar and root rib to the skin, and the trim tab attach spar.

Also clecoed the counterbalance assembly together and then fitted to the elevator assembly.

Friday, April 25, 2008

.8 hrs
Finish match drilling trailing edge.
Deburred the skin and started dimpling. I'll save the wedge countersinking until the left elevator is in the same state.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

1.1 hrs and 5 rivets
Finished riveting spar to bottom of the elevator. The bucking bar that Granger made worked great.

Started on the trailing edge. Marked the wedge and started match drilling, using the 84 degree drilling guide.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

2.3 Hrs, 75 Rivets
Riveted spar to bottom skin, except for 4 rivets. The 3 outboard rivets were prepped for 3/32 flush rivets that would have been easy with a squeezer. But the counterbalance assembly is in the way. Pop rivets would have been OK, but the holes are already prepped. So I had Granger fab up a small short slab of steel to act as a bucking bar. It looks like it will work, and tomorrow we'll try it out. That should finish all of the spar rivets.

Now on to the trailing edge. Match drilled the angle iron, but will wait until the left elevator is ready for the trailing edge and do both at the same time.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

2.2 hours, 164 rivets

Riveted spar to the upper skin. Was able to set a few with the squeezer and the 4" no-hole yoke, and bucked the rest using the traditional built up blind bucking bar. Went reasonably well, but there are a few divots where I applied pressure to the mushroom set at the wrong angle. And those will be on the top for everyone to see. Dang.

Back riveted the lower skin stiffeners. These were a bit of a challenge since the skin is harder to open enough with the spar in the way. And the skin seems to want to buckle a bit more, and you have to be very sure that everything is solid up against the back rivet plate. Learned this the hard way on the last stiffener. It wasn't all the way down for two of the rivets, and they were not completely set on the skin side. Drilled them out and riveted again. Only mildly painful, but I hate not getting them right the first time.

1.2 hours, 108 rivets
Back riveted upper stiffeners. This was easy compared to the bottom stiffeners (which come later)

After reading current posts on the VAF forum, I chose to rivet the counterbalance assembly to the spar before installing the spar in the skin. Based on the work I did the next day, I think this is a good deviation from the instructions.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Right elevator assembly

Long break because of work and travel to Virginia to visit Dad.

1.3 hrs, 78 rivets
Rivet elevator horn to spar assembly.

Rivet counterbalance ribs together.

Longeron yoke ordered a month ago arrived in the nick of time. It came in handy for riveting the ribs together.

Rivet counterbalance skin to ribs.

3.6 hours, 24 rivets
Dimple spar assembly
Clean and prime counterbalance skin and ribs, spar assembly, stiffeners.

Dimple right elevator skin.
Clean and prime skin.
Rivet nutplates, reinforcement plates to spar assembly.

Sunday, April 6
Went flying today in the club 152. At Bergstrom was a surprise. The day before, working in the garage I heard the deep rumble of a big multiengine. I ran outside to see a WWII bomber flying very close. Not too unusual, there's a couple of CAF squadrons in the area. Then another, and yet another, and I managed a pic of the last one. So fast forward to Sunday.

All three bombers wereat Atlantic. We had to walk under them to get to the 152. What a treat!

Turns out they were from the Boston area and were selling tours and rides. They had a B24, B25, and B17, all of which flew over Lakeway the day before.

The B-17 returning. The field had just gone IFR.

And they had a Mustang.

What a beautiful machine!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Right elevator match drilling

4.7 hours and 3 rivets since last post
2.8 hours
Rivet spar and root rib.
Cleco rudder horn to spar assembly
Cleco spar assembly to skin
Cleco counterbalance skin together and cleco to skin.

Match drill skin, spar, ribs, counterbalance assy.
Match drill counterbalance ribs to spar
Match drill rudder horn to spar/root rib

Disassemble all.

.2 hours
Spot primed spar and root rib prior to riveting

1.7 hours
Match drill reinforcement plates to both spars, debur

Match drill root ribs to both spars, debur.
Dimple spar and root rib attach.
Dimple counter balance assemblies.