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[December 22, 2005]


I decided tonight to start making the stiffeners for the rudder so I can prime the VS and stiffeners all at the same time. The stiffeners need to be back-riveted onto the skins before you can assemble the spars/ribs for the rudder, so I can get more done with less contact to the priming process. Fine by me!

First I marked in a thick sharpie what each side of the rudder is - Left Inside, Left Outside, Right Inside, Right outside. It may sound silly, but I don't want to backrivet the outside of the rudder.

I honestly took about 30-60 minutes just figuring out how the stiffeners needed to be cut for the rudder. At first, I thought that my batch of stiffeners were not for my rudder skins (typical reaction from what I read on most web pages). After reading the manual about 100 times and looking at the drawings until they made sense (yes, that is a very long time), I figured it out.

I started with the left skin. The inside of the left skin is not show in the drawing (the right side is). The drawing shows that the orientation of the stiffeners on the right skin is that the perpendicular flange (part that sticks out towards the inside of the skin) is on the bottom. I assumed this the same for the left skin without thinking. It turns out that it is the opposite for the left skin in order to prevent interference from the flanges bumping into each other. Another hint is that all of the stiffener bars needed to be cut in half. The factory edge is the trailing edge of the stiffener. The cut edge needs to be trimmed down as per the documentation. It all makes sense now, but it took a while to sort through it all.

The angle stiffeners all lined up on the LEFT rudder skin.


This is the first stiffener bent.


This is how the Van's drawing tells you to cut the angle - from the notch in the angle to the edge. I do not really like how the notch looks, but that will be smoothed out by the scotchbrite wheel on the grinder when all of them are done.

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Last Modified: November 11, 2017