Elevators 20 (4.5 hrs)


Bad news first. I cracked the left elevator skin while bending the tabs where the trim tab begins. It was going south already, and I was already contemplating a replacement. The crack was the final straw. A dent or a bad rivet (depending on the severity of course) I can live with, but a crack is a seriously problem that either needs to be properly repaired or replaced. I don’t feel comfortable repairing it given its location and would rather replace it now than later. I’m extremely dismayed by this turn of events as its going to cause a significant delay in my progress. I’m still hoping to have the empennage complete before the wings arrive… we’ll see.  I also made quite a mess of the trim access panel.  But in the end it was serviceable…

On the bright side, I finished riveting the right elevator. All that remains is to bend the leading edge and secure the counterweight.

Here are a few photos of the right elevator nearing completion:20130707-174256.jpg

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Dimpling the nut plates.20130707-174322.jpg

Look closely.  Someone has done something idiotic.  (I’ve riveted the nut plates and forgotten to dimple the where the screws will go.  I notice it as soon as I pick up the cover plate)20130707-174330.jpg

Luckily my handy little rivet drill thingamajig makes drilling out rivets super easy.  It didn’t take me but 10 min to drill out the plate and they all came out perfectly. 20130707-174338.jpg

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Here is the result.  I think the severe heat and humidity was affecting my brain today because I made multiple mistakes.  This trim access panel looks like complete crap.  At this point in the day I should call it a day as I’m already contemplating replacement parts… but I pressed on.20130707-174354.jpg

The next step on the task list was to bend the tabs on the left elevator.  Well I managed to crack one…. I’m not even going to tell you how I managed to do that, as its so stupid I’m embarrassed.  Now I’ve definitely decided to replace the elevator.20130707-174405.jpg

Here you can see the crack near the trailing edge on the bottom bend (top of elevator). 20130707-174413.jpg

So I went to Van’s website to price the parts I need:

  • Elevator Skin E-701-L ($64.55)
  • Elev Trim Mounting Plate E-615 ($6.95)
  • K1100 Nut Plates ($8.96 for 14)
  • Elevator Stiffeners E-720H ($6.10)
  • Elevator Stiffeners E-720DEFG ($7.00)
  • TOTAL $93.56 plus whatever shipping will be.  I’ll place the order tomorrow.

I’m not a happy camper right now.  🙁

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