Whilst I was completing my PPL training in France during March & April, J made some excellent progress on the build with a little help from his friends – so he’s going to be my guest author for the next few build-related posts to bring us up to date 🙂 

Before Em went off to France, we had the stiffeners riveted to the skins and the spar assembly finished. This all sat on the living room floor for 3 months until early June.

It was only a matter of time before the plane took over the house, and it didn’t take long. Em has also progressed swiftly through the following five stages of plane-builder’s grief:

  1. “It’s only going to be in the garage, right?”
  2. “Well I guess we don’t need the guest bedroom THAT often”
  3. “As long as we can still walk across the living room…”
  4. “This is our life now?”
  5. “Whatever. Pass me a rib so I can deburr in front of Game of Thrones”
Our living room floor - now and for the foreseeable future
Our living room floor – now and for the foreseeable future

Countersinking the trailing edge was tricky – too shallow and the skin pillows up, to deep and the holes are baggy – but once we had a setting we were happy with it went quickly.

Rudder assembly showing trailing edge
Rudder assembly showing trailing edge

 

Rudder with back riveted skin
Rudder with back-riveted skin

 

Trying to get the angle exactly right when countersinking the trailing edge...
Trying to get the angle exactly right when countersinking the trailing edge…

 

Joining the two skins was quite satisfying, the pop rivets made it very easy.

Adding the spar assembly, we managed to reach all but two of the rivets at the bottom with the squeezer (we left the two forward-most horn to skin rivets until later). The skin to spar rivets went very quickly, except for the 6 at the top above the counterweight rib which had to be bucked in a very small space.

Bolting in the counterweight turned out to be a bigger job than expected: the lead just absorbs all the torque on the nut. We’re planning to proseal and loctite it all in. Once that’s done, it’s just the tip rib and the trailing edge to do.

J

RV-14 build: Putting the rudder together (guest post)

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