Tales of the Tail

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted here! Since my last entry, I’ve gotten my tailwheel endorsement and started skinning the horizontal stabilizer. I decided to bend the skin using the vacuum method. First, it was folded and taped. Liz was a big help here, there’s no way you can do this by yourself.

The next step is to put a pipe inside it for the leading edge to form around, and seal up the ends with plastic drop cloth. You can also see the smaller pipe with vacuum adapters on the end. This entire mess is clamped to the bench.

Let the sucking begin!

And how did it turn out? Not perfect, but good enough.

Now that the skin was formed, it was time to mark out the rivet rows and drill it for fitting to the skeleton.

The next step was to put the skeleton on the bench, shim up one spar (to clear the ribs) and level it. I used some popsicle sticks and screws to hold the spar down to the bench.

Finally, it was time to start drilling! The attach brackets are removed for the initial drilling.

The clecos are growing nicely, almost ready for harvest. 😉

Once drilled, the skin was removed and the slots for the attach brackets were cut. A nibbler worked well for this, with touch up from a file.

The final result. Not bad, a little close on the one side. Nothing a bit more filing won’t fix.

That’s all for this time! My next log entry may be a bit of a surprise to some people, but I won’t ruin it by saying anything more right now. 🙂