May 29, 2010

Rudder Cable Fairings, Started on Front Deck - 5.5 Hrs.

Since I don't want to be idle waiting for material to arrive from Aircraft Spruce before I install the brake lines, I'm moving on with some details. A while back I ordered a pair of rudder cable fairings from Avery Tools. They have been sitting here staring at me for long enough. I decided to take care of it now before mounting the empennage to the fuselage.

The first task was to trim the flanges to a pleasing shape and determine where the rivets will go. The parts also needed a tiny bit of bending to get them to conform to the gentle curvature of the fuselage. Then I drilled some slightly undersized holes in the parts, using a #41 bit. Then I taped the piece to the fuselage after positioning it precisely where I wanted it. Then I match-drilled the holes #40 to the fuselage. I decided to use NAS1097 rivets, commonly called "oops rivets" for this installation. This avoids any dimpling, since the parts only need a slight countersink for the rivets to fit flush. You can do this with your deburring tool. The smaller rivet heads really look nice. I've used them throughout the project for installing nutplates, etc. You don't have to worry about dimpling the skin of the fuselage either. I just deburred, then scuffed and primed the fuselage skin and the underside of the fairing, before riveting them in place.

Above, the right side. Below, the left side. I also installed the Adel clamps that hold the plastic sleeves in place. Believe it or not, there is primer under these parts. I masked off the area carefully, and no overlap shows.

I'm really pleased with how these look! And it feels good to check one more item off the list. One more loose end taken care of. On the left side, shown above, I used a small piece of scotchbrite on the front end after riveting, just to test cleaning it up for painting. The rivets almost disappear. This is going to look nice.

Moving on, I studied the drawing (DWG 24A) for a while and started fabricating the small angles and parts for the front deck and sub-panel installation. It's an exciting moment to walk over to the parts inventory on the shelf and see only a very small pile of stuff remaining. I can really see the end of the fuselage kit in sight.

Well, I have a good start on the small stuff here. These parts are all drilled, cleaned and primed, ready to install.

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Contact me: swayze "at" europa.com (replace "at" with the @ sign... no spaces... you know the deal)