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.


Rudder Riveting and Trailing Edge Prep

October 27th, 28th and November 4th, 7th, 8th 2018, 18h

Riveted the horn brace. It was a bit tricky to get to some of the rivets.  The pneumatic riveting gun end up slightly damaging the the horn brace circle.  I fixed it by straighten it and sending it.


Installed the counter wait.

Riveted the counter balance skin and associated parts. The back riveting gun moved while riveting one of the rivets, bending the skin a little.  I checked with van and they said it is ok to proceed and that I can try fixing it with mallet.  The mallet fix did not work, but the bend is not that bad, so I decided to proceed with the current state.


Riveted the skeleton to the skin.  Some of the back rivets to attach the counter balance skin to the skin were tricky to reach, but by the end we were able to get all of them.  When getting toward the trailing edge, the pneumatic riveting gun, nor the backing bar could fit, so I had to convert those to pop rivets.

Fitted the bearings.  One of the bearing did not go all the way.  I checked with Vans and it is expected that this bearing would not go all the way.  As long as I see a couple threads outside the platenut, they said that it is good.  I checked that I have a couple threads.



Did some prep work for the trailing edge.  We primed the skin; however, after checking with Vans we found out that we should not have any primer on the skin around the trailing edge, or on the trailing edge.  So, we had to remove the primer, which was time consuming.  Then we buffed the area.


To get a straight trailing edge, I got an aluminum angle, matched drilled the holes in the trailing edge to the angle, deburred them and clecoed everything.  The trailing edge looks straight.  At the point of glueing the trailing edge, I realized that the proseal I both mentioned that it is for Granite, this did not seem right.  I called Vans, and it was not the correct proseal, good catch . I bought another proseal from Vans



Rudder Priming and skeleton Initial Riveting

October 13th and 20th 2018, 8h

With the decision of priming everything, we went ahead and prime all parts of the Rudder.

Afterwards, we got to the riveting parts, we riveted the fore spar, but the we faced few issues:

  • the bolts and platenuts mentioned for attaching the reinforcement plates did not fit together, the pitch of the thread seems different.  I decided to follow up with Vans about this.
  • Riveting the trailing edge of the rudder is pretty complex.  It is very important to keep the vertical stabilizer straight for good flight performance, unless you wait to experience some pretty non linear dynamics!  We read the instructions, but they are not very clear, so I decided to call Vans about this one as well.