Skeletons In The Garage

Since my last entry I’ve been doing some flying, and also a bit of building. And yes, I’ve got pictures to show! Here’s me next to a PA-18 Super Cub. I’m working on my tailwheel endorsement in this one at Promark Aviation, and it is a blast! One more session should get my signoff, but weather and schedules have not cooperated in the last month to get that done. Soon. Hopefully!

I also took Liz flying in an Evektor SportStar from Pilot’s Choice. Compared to the Super Cub it’s more comfortable, but I really enjoy the pure “stick and rudder” flying of the Cub. Oh, who am I kidding? They’re all fun! 🙂

Now, on with the build pictures! First, a shot of all the parts I’ve created for the horizontal stabilizer. Not shown are the forward and aft main spars, which I purchased already formed from Zenith. I decided it would be too difficult to form them on my home-made 8ft bending brake, or more correctly the frustration wouldn’t be worth the modest price of the finished parts.

The assembly begins by measuring and marking all the rivet locations for the spar caps, doublers and ribs. This time I paid careful attention to the rivet spacing in relation to the ends of the caps and doublers to avoid any edge distance issues like I encountered on the fin. #40 holes were drilled in the spar first.

The spar caps, doublers, and ribs were then clamped into place and back-drilled through the spar.

Next were the front spar attach brackets:

It’s starting to look like something!

The same basic steps were then repeated on the rear spar and attach brackets.

And like magic, it’s really resembling a stabilizer now.

A concern I had was that since I was making these parts from scratch the specified skin width might not fit properly from spar flange to spar flange (wrapping around the ribs of course). Once I had it cleco’d together, I wrapped the tape measure around it to check. The plans say the skin should be 870mm wide. Guess how far that’ll go on mine? The rib flange needs a bit of a trim, but the alignment on the spar is bang on!

That made me very happy, and gives me a nice boost in confidence knowing it’s coming together just as specified. I now have to disassemble and debur everything, then cut and fit the skin. It’ll probably be a week or two before I have pictures of that, so stay tuned!

As always, you can browse all the photos in my 750 Cruzer album.