Falcon Field Airport

Mesa, Arizona


Completed April 2013

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Shop and Hangar Info

The Vertical Stabilizer


I should have started this piece first.  I have read where a couple of people did this first because it is easier than the HS.  Boy, were they right.  I completed this part in three short afternoons.  I clecoed together the rear spar and reinforcement and final drilled those along with the front spar, etc.  Once that was done the skin was clecoed on for drilling.  Once the spars and ribs were drilled, everything was ready for debur and dimple time.  The reinforcement would have been a bear to debur because of the shape, so I used my handy dandy Sears grinding bit from a builder tip.  This thing has an odd texture to it but manages to do exactly what I want it to.  I really need a small ScotchBrite wheel for my Dremel.  For the dimpling I hit the spars and ribs in less than a ½ hour.  I set up the DRDT-2 for Jenni and she dimpled the skin while I was at work.

Here is a picture of the skeleton after drilling.

Parts ready for AlumaPrep

When I got home I broke out the rattle can primer and hit the skeleton parts with a couple of coats of primer for good measure.

I was able to rivet the whole thing together in a short period of time by myself. Shooting rivets solo is not that bad but a second set of hands would have helped.

One special note, I was able to get a lot of practice drilling out AN4 rivets on the rear spar because for some reason I could not keep the rivet shanks from sliding sideways during squeezing.  I had something like 5 or 6 rivets that I felt were unacceptable.  This was a major pain in the ass too.

Here are some of the shop heads on the inside of the VS.  This thing came out really well and I am very pleased with my work.  I was able to reach inside the VS with my Cleveland rivet gauge and verify that all of my shop heads are good to go.

Here is a picture of the completed VS.  Sorry I don’t have any ‘tail feather’ pictures to post yet.  I suppose I should set one up so that everyone can ooh and ahh or at least I can!

The completed VS in our storage area (a.k.a. The Family Room)

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