Finished the Elevator

December 15th and 16th 2018, 10h

  • We pop riveted the remaining hard to reach rivets
  • we rolled the leading edge of both the left and right elevator
  • We riveted the leading edge of both the left and right elevator. It was a bit tricky to get the two surfaces to mate smoothly together, we had to do additional adjustment to the bend at the area where the two surfaces meet, and by the end we got some pretty good results.


Then we attached the elevator to the horizontal stabilizer, we had to adjust the number of rotations of the bearing to get good range of motion.  We have now bigger than the max 30deg range of motion, which we can reduce later on. We also had to remove a little bit of material from the horizontal stabilizer to make room for the horns, to get the large range of motion.


The empennage is looking pretty good, time to move on to the wings.


Elevator Riveting and Trim Tab

December 8th and 9th 2018,11h

We finished the elevator skeleton riveting.

We riveted the elevator skeleton to the skin.  We missed putting RTV at the trailing edge where the stiffeners meet, which is because it was not specified in the instruction, but it is recommended by Van.  I checked with Van and they said that it is ok to proceed and that the elevator is air worthy without the RTV.

We still need to do few rivets that can not be reached with the pneumatic or back riveting, I am ordering some more flash pop rivets for those.



We started working on the trim tab:

  • Match drilling
  • Deburing
  • Dimpling



Rudder Trailing and Leading Edge

December 1st and 2nd  2018, 8h

Finally, after 2 weeks of letting the sealant dry, we got into riveting the trailing edge of the rudder.  The trailing edge ended up being nicely straight.


Afterwards, we got into rolling the leading edge of the rudder. This ended up taking a while, but we got a nice curved surface.


Unfortunately, a cleko teared a little bit through one of the holes in the leading edge of the rudder.  So, I need to follow up with Vans about this.


Left Elevator Prep and Trim System

November 30th and 26th 2018, 5h

I did counter skin the left elevator in the various locations it was called for.


I prepared the trim system:

  • I spent a lot of time trying to determined where this 2. I called Vans and this 2 pieces are extra from another airplane, they were left in my trim box by mistake.


  • Making the Holes in the correct location was tricking, but it worked out in the end with the use of a lo of clekos, clamps and testing throughout the drilling.
  • Also, I had to make few modification to the access plate so that the trim system can go in and out easily.



Then I looked into bending the sides of the elevator, where the trim tab will get places.  For that I need to cut a piece of wood with the taper of the elevator.  I don’t have any equipment to cut wood, so I went ahead and bought a band saw. Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 6.15.15 PM.png

Left Elevator Prep and Priming

November 24th and 26th 2018, 8.5h

Left elevator prep:

  • I deburred all the parts.
  • I smoothed all the edges.
  • I dimpled all the parts.
  • I cleaned all the part with Acetone.

Then,  I primed all the parts. I had to extra mix the primer given how tick it became.  Based on Stewart System, it is normal for EcoPoxy base to become pretty tick and chunky. After the extra mixing, I was able to get good results.