Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Eagle Grows Some Tail Feathers

The first order of business today was finishing the last cut on the F-1294B lower tailcone fairing. Was able to make the two necessary cuts outside with the Dremel outfitted with a cutting wheel just prior to the afternoon monsoons setting in.
Masking tape was used to mark the cut line where the slot will be extended.
The slot cut in the F-1294B lower tailcone fairing is now completed.

It is easy to see why Van’s has the builder hold off cutting the slot longer until last …. the fairing becomes VERY flexible after completing the cuts. At this point the upper and lower F-1294A&B fairings are to be screwed together and test fit with the rudder installed and clearances verified.

Being somewhat impatient and wanting to move things along, decided to permanently mount the RV-12’s vertical stabilizer and rudder at this point. I was hoping to finish off working on the tip fairings prior to mounting the vertical stabilizer and rudder, but the epoxy and fiberglass materials have not arrived yet … so will need to finish that task standing on a ladder.
Déjà vu … mounting the vertical stabilizer onto the tailcone, this time for good.

After the vertical stabilizer was installed and bolts torqued the rudder was installed. By utilizing the piece of vinyl tubing and wire tie trick to hold the bolt while inserting it into the tight area on the rudder, was able to control the bolt and get all the washers inserted.
Using the vinyl tube and wire tie to insert a bolt into the upper hinge bracket.
Close-up of the vinyl tube and wire tie used to grip the bolt as it is inserted into the upper hinge bracket … (taken before rearranging the washers.

However, after getting it all together, was not totally happy with the clearances on the upper mounting point of the WD-1205 rudder horn where it meets the lower hinge bracket. So removed the rudder and added an additional thin washer to the upper hinge bracket to effectively increase the clearance on the lower assembly by raising the rudder assembly by the thickness of one thin washer … which worked out perfectly.

During the final tightening of the rudder bolts, the lower hinge bracket bolt is easy to get to, however, the upper bracket is another story. Not wanting to only get a fraction of a turn on the bolt, decide to try putting a couple of extensions together and tighten the bolt from up above. This worked great for both tightening and using the torque wrench for final torquing. Of course, if the tip fairing were riveted on at this point in time, this would not have been an option.
Using a ratchet wrench and two extensions to snug down the bolt on the upper hinge bracket from above … this did work quite well.

Once the rudder was permanently installed, the tailcone fairing assembly was paced back onto the tailcone and positioned on the forward edge line on the masking tape. A check is to be made to insure that there is at least 1/8" of clearance between the bottom of the rudder and the F-1294 tailcone fairing assembly … which is exactly what there was.
Using a 1/8" piece of metal to measure the gap between the rudder and the F-1294 tailcone fairing assembly …. it is perfect.

The next step will be to drill the faring assembly to the tailcone and mount nutplates at the screw hole locations.