Monday, June 4, 2012

Vertical Stabilizer Test Fit

Before metal prep, some dimpling and priming I wanted to do a test fit of the vertical stabilizer skin to the vertical stabilizer skeleton.  Sounds simple … right?  Well, yes and no.  It turns out I had to assemble and take things apart twice before the parts would fit together correctly. The plans call for trimming some metal off the narrow end of a few of the ribs. Not wanting to over do it, I did not remove a ton of material and as it turned out I had a clearance issue so had to take the ribs out and trim some more material off to get things to fit better.

                              Sliding the vertical stabilizer skeleton into the skin. It is a really TIGHT fit at the leading edge.

After trimming more material off the ribs, things were looking much better but the first rivet holes on the leading edges of the ribs are a bear to get aligned correctly. The taper of the skin on the leading edge wants to push the first rib tab on the ribs off to one side. The only way I could get a Cleco in the hole was to use a broom handle and slide it up through the lightening holes in the ribs and push on the leading edge of the rib to move the rib tab to the correct position.
                                                The completed test fit … yep, looks good … so on to dimpling,
                                                metal prep, primer and final riveting. To bad it needs to be taken
                                               apart for priming.