On Saturday I inspected the Rudder counterweight arm’s top surface. It looked great. I did a rough trim with the Fein Multitool and then put the entire rudder under black polyethylene and set out under the sun. This is a technique that we use to heat-cure parts in order to make sure that the resin cures completely.
This is the Fein Multitool. The blade vibrates back and forth. It
produces very little dust and cuts fiberglass like it was butter!
Monday, I sanded the top edge and the vertical sides of the counter-weight arm (CW arm). With a good resin cure, It was easy to sand and shape the surfaces.
Tuesday, I prepared the bottom of the CW arm for glassing. Like the top surface, I cut a trough out of the foam along the perimeter and then filled it with fairly dry flox (resin and cotton fibers). I then applied two layers of bi-directional (BID) glass cloth to complete the bottom skin.
Underside of counterweight arm showing foam removed around
inside edge. This trench will be filled with flox and then two layers
of bidirectional fiberglass cloth applied.
Rudder positioned and ready to layup the counterweight arm’s
The next morning I took a look at the CW arm. After doing a rough trim with the Fein tool, I test fitted the elevator on the fin… Looks great!
Here is the rudder with finished counterweight arm mounted onto the
I spent the rest of the week working on the pitot/static assembly and the vertical fin cap. I used flox to attach the pitot/static assembly to the inside of the cap.
This is a view of the pitot/static tube assembly and I have applied flox to the area between the two tubes.
how it fits into the vertical fin cap. This will glue the pitot/static assembly to the inside of
The pitot/static tubes are now floxed in place. I put the cap
onto the top of the vertical fin and am holding the tubes in
place with red duct tape.
I put the cap on the fin to and used tape to make sure that the tubes were pointing straight ahead and aligned with the airplane centerline. I almost waited too long to remove the part after letting it cure for about 8 hours. I was finally able to get the cap off with a great deal of effort. Luckily, the cap wasn’t damaged, and the pitot/static tubes remained solidly in position.
Chuck came over today (Friday) and I greeted him with a vertical tail with the following: A rudder with counterweight mounted, the pitot/static tubes on the cap and last but not least our strobe flashing on top! It is starting to look like a real airplane.
We got to work making the templates for hot-wire cutting our new elevators. We took a break and went to the Metal Supermarket (its real name) and bought 1/2″ diameter rod for the elevator leading edge counterweights and some other miscellaneous aluminum. We ended the day by hot-wire cutting the starboard elevator. Below you can see how an elevator emerges from a solid block of foam.
Preparing to square the edges.
Formica template of the elevator attached to end of foam block using nails.
This is the elevator after we have used a hot wire. We used the Formica
template to guide us. The template has been removed.
The starboard elevator foam core.