I have finished today my horizontal stabilizer assembly! This is a first big point on my long RV10 build journey. Basically this is a first large part or I would say the largest out of all I have built so far. You are more then welcome to watch my video about completion of horizontal stabilizer built process.
Boring day where I had to match drill, debur and then dimple over 1000 holes all across the horizontal stab skins. I am scared to think what will I face when I get to RV10 wings build 🙂 Anyway that all has been completed. My family helped me a lot, especially at the end of the day when I started to dimple all holes and realized that it will take me forever. Next step will be to start riveting of my horizontal stab!!!
Horizontal stabilizer assembly takes way more time than all previous parts. It is not only because it is large part but also because it is more like a wing where assembly get more complicated due to quantity of parts and complexity or their attachment with each other. After building simple wooden jigs to hold the stabilizer in vertical position I started its assembly by clicoing all parts to skins from bottom to top. At some point I realized that I have not enough clicos thus I had to go one clico per 5-10 holes. I just ordered more clicos from spruce and waiting for these to arrive soon. This is needed for me to continue my build because the next step is a match drilling where I will need very tight attachment of all skins to all inner parts. My kids and wife were helping me during this assembly as well.
Another day of work on my project. Finally I was able to reach the point of priming of all my parts required for assembly of horizontal stabilizer. I worked hard to prepare all parts, cut, debur and prepare surfaces of the parts. Finally at the very end of the day, while outside was rainy and cool I was able to reach the priming point. I built simple painting camera and used it to prime my parts in. Check out my video to see the progress of my work.
After struggling with rudder and attempting to see if I am able to rivet it all I finally gave up and decided to leave it one side opened. Canadian aircraft inspection (Transport Canada) requires that inspector should have access to all shop heads of rivets so I must leave rudder with one side opened (on clicos). I started to work on my horizontal stab now. It is actually a long process – the part is large and assembly of it looks more like a wings assembly (I have not assembled my wings yet but read about it in manual). Today I was able to do first steps and assemble my rear spar.
While working today on my rudder assembly I reached the point where I have to physically close rudder skins and rivet these. Prior to that I riveted lots of parts and prepared most of the rudder assembly for final riveting.
In Canada you should have at least two inspections done for homebuilt (experimental) airplane before it will be issued an Airworthiness certificate. The last inspection is a final one, which, I am sure, is the same as in any other part of the world. However the additional inspection is required before that and it is called “pre-closure inspection”. I understand that idea is that inspector should be able to inspect each rivet’s shop head prior letting you close and cover your parts.
So what should I do next – stop rudder assembly as-is, put everything on the shelf and continue to work on other parts ? Or should I skip some steps from Vans manual and keep riveting the rudder without closing the skins (I have some amount of rivets to put if I skip a few steps).
After almost 2.5 weeks being home I finally came back to work on our RV-10 build. Kids brought some seasonal flu home and all family was fighting it. Today I spend good amount of time while working on rudder preparation for riveting. I completed holes match drilling, deburring, dimpling and countersinking. At the end I was able to prime all parts and left them to dry until next day. My goal is to start riveting and get it to the point where I can pre-cover the rudder for the upcoming inspection (when I have everything ready of course).
Slowly but surely rudder gets its shape. It now stared to look like a part of an airplane, which requires riveting! The next steps will be to match drill all holes, get all parts primed and then start riveting!
As of today we officially started to work on our second airplane part – Rudder. It was productive day, both my daughters helped me a bit with deburring of all parts required for the rudder. There was alot of cutting involved in first steps. I was able to advance up to the clecoing point which will be my next day task.
I can’t believe but finally I have completed assembly of my first real airplane part – Vertical stabilizer! Today, after some riveting I finally made that. Now its time to review all my mistakes, make sure that I understood what caused these and try to avoid these in the future. Next step is to start working on Rudder Section 7 of the VAN’s manual.