I set a long ruler between the F-709 and F-710 bulkheads down the centerline. This will assist in double checking the left offset of the vertical stabilizer.
As you can see, the VS is off to the left by 1/4".
Next I needed to make sure all three hinges on the back of the VS were in line.
Once that was set, I committed to drilling the F-781 to the front spar of the vertical stab. I needed an angle drill to get these, but the top row was unaccessible. No biggie, I will get it when I take the VS off.
Next was drilling the three 1/4" holes that go through the tailwheel mount. This is more or less totally blink drilling, which I am not really a fan of.
In the end, I had 3/8" edge distance on all steel parts, but BARELY on the right bolt. I started with a #40 and realized the hole was pretty close to the edge. I slowly recentered the hole as I enlarged it. In the end, it barely made it. On the left side, I drilled the hole a little inboard that I marked to play it safe. Van's tells ya to drill the holes 1.25" from the centerline. If I had to do it over, I would do it 1 1/8" instead. The bottom hole was easy...hard to mess that one up!
I took the rudder off and enlarged the four holes to #12's.
then I backdrilled the rest of the holes on the front spar.
Next was onto rudder stops. Here is my first try.
And here is the reason I needed a second try. You are supposed to have 1 1/8" between the rudder and the tip of the elevator when the elevator is in its neutral position. I got a little aggressive with my trimming and ended up with 1".
My second attempt was much better.
I needed to make the right one twice too. No biggie. I took them off and cleaned up the edges. I finished them off by countersunking them for CS4-4 pop rivets in the front and AN426AD4-x rivets in the rear.
With that done, the last thing that was bothering me was some interference between the leading edge of the right elevator and the back of the horizontal stabilizer.
The bent was just too long. I am going to to rebend the leading edge, so i needed to drill out the first row of pop rivets. That's enough for the day, I will work on this tomorrow. Time to go out and have some fun (what's that, I dont get to have that much anymore!).
Last Modified: August 13, 2023