Rudder part 3

September 26, 2011

Tonight I didn’t have much time but I wanted to get something done so I finished welding the 60 deg splice on the rudder pitch horn and also finish welding the pitch horn to the splice. I then decided to locate and drill the lower hinge inplace. I measured and drilled a small pilot hole in each side of the hinge and then placed it on the aircraft and finihed drilled in place. I then drilled the frame tube out to 3/8 and installed a 3/8 0.058 tube and welded that in place. After that was done I taked the collers for each hinge in three places like the drawings show. All I have left on the rudder is the bottom for the steering chains.

I also CAD’d up the new rudder area vs the old rudder area just to see the size difference and it turns out that the new rudder is 35% larger

Old/Stock Rudder 447 in^2
New Rudder 601 in^2

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Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 811 hours


Rudder part 2

September 25, 2011

Today I got started again late since I was up very late the night before. I decided to re-attack the pitch horn again. I heated it up again and this time I made sure I had the radius in the right spot. I temp fit it again and now I get 32-35 deg of travel which is what I wanted. So that being done I fit the 1 inch 60 deg cut tube and the rudder pitch horn together in a jig and tacked them in place.

After that I had all the right elements to start assembling my rudder. I tacked all the ribs in place. It was funny how even tacked the rudder is easily flexed so you have to be careful with welding out of the jig. I finished the rib welding and trimmed the 3/8″ tubes on top and bottom. I fit the top tube and a gusset and the bottom tube with a 3/8″ support. finally I finished the whole thing off my finish welding the top of the rudder leading edge tube to the 3/8 which required some crimping. After all that I positioned the rudder and hinges where I wanted them and check the throw which was good. marked the 60 deg cut tubing with pitch horn and tacked it in place and check the throw again, which was still good.

After all that I decided to back drill my upper hinge, properly spacing it of course!

Time spent today 8 hours
Total time spent 808 hours


Rudder part 1

September 24, 2011

Well after a long day of building yesterday I got up a little later and started working on the rudder. Up until now I have only played around with the strap hinges and rudder spar but it was now time to get started on the building the rudder. First things first I need to get a pipe bender. I went to lowes and bought a 1/2 EMT 5″ radius pipe bender (it was the smallest they had). I wanted to bend the radius at the bottom of my rudder to 4.5 to 5 inches so that worked out. Next stop was the airport to cut out the lower 1″ 30 deg tube for the rudder horn to attach. I also cut out those tube for the elevators as well. I got everthing home and practiced a bend on some spare 3/8 0.035 4130 tube. After some adjustments I had it pretty good I so I measured out everything and made a bend. With some clamps I placed it up on the plane for some sizing.

I marked up the 3/8 tube and the rudder spar and then jigged it on my work bench (sorry no pictures thought I took some but I can’t find them!). Anyway I got sitting happy and then measured out my ribs to match my fuse ribs. I then marked up some 0.025 sheet and took them to the airport for use of the sheer and brake again. This was easier than though it was going to be I was really dreding the folds but it was no big deal.

I got everything home and realized that I mis-marked the top rib by 1 inch exactly, oops that what I get for adjusting the ruler by 1 inch to make it more exact, oh well. So I marked a new one and headed back to the airport and cut and folded another. I got everything home and trimmed the ribs to fit. Before I welded the ribs I had to get the hinges done they go on before the ribs. So I stopped there and finished the hinges (rosettes and made sure they rotated smoothly on the tube). I then also decided to make the rudder pitch horn. I ended up drawing this one in Solidworks and glueing it to a piece of sheet. It took a lot of effort to make the folds right on the pitch horn and were a SOB at best. The first go around I made them and they limited the rudder travel to somewhere around 15-20 deg. So I had to continue the folding by heating and forming them until they were giving me the right amount of travel. I actually got tired and gave up and went to bed.

Time spent today 8 hours.
Total time spent 800 hours!


Torque tube Part 5 and control stick

September 23, 2011

I took a half day at work so that I could burn some leave and get some work done on all these welding projects. I started right in by marking up the aileron control tower shape on 0.050 sheet. I also marked out the shaps for the stick pieces as well. Finally just to be as efficient as possible I marked up the channel for the last elevator control tube that gets formed and installed at the idler.

After I got back home I imediatly trimed them up to the correct radiuses. I started tacking the aileron tower together and then I set up the wings on the fuse to check to make sure that the aileron push tubes would be in the correct place. I adjusted the tower a little and then marked and welded that on. Also found out that I can have a fully assembled airplane in my basement with plently of room to work and have a paint booth!

Finally I finished the stick. I don’t think I mentioned that last post but had gotten started on the stick and welded the bearing housing to the stick and cut that to size. Today I tacked together the lower half and fit it to the stick and finish welded it. Also here is a picture of the torque tube and stick married up.


Time spent today 8 hours
Total time spent 792 hours


Torque tube part 4

September 22, 2011

Tonight I went straight to the airport to use both the chop saw and the shear and brake. I imediatly trimmed and folded the aft tower housing for the torque tube. I then cut the 1″ and 7/8″ tubes for the bearing housing on the stick. After I got home I checked the housing and it looked perfect. I profiled the housing to fit the torque tube and then marked and cut out the torque tube accordingly. I positioned the housing and then tacked it on. I wasn’t happy at the angle so I cut the tacks and repositioned and tacked it again. I then welded it on and moved on to drilling the housing for the bushings. After that I cut some bushings for the idler and welded those on as well.

Time spent today 4 hours
Total time spent 784 hours


Torque tube part #3

September 21, 2011

Tonight I continued the torque tube construction. I started by trimming the top of the stick housing and then moved on to drilling the 3/4″ holes for stick bolt access. Then I marked and drilled the 1/4″ holes for stick pivot bolt. I cut out the 3/8″ 0.058 bushings and welded them on.

I then moved over the aft torque tube idler housing/tower. I marked up some sheet metal and cut it out using my snips. Inevitably with angle folds I screwed up the geometry and it was a little short and didn’t have enough material to make the 3/8″ fold on the aft end of the tower. So I spent the rest of the night marking up another sheet with the correct angles that I could take to the aiport and use the shear and the brake.

Time spent today 3 hours
Total time spent 780 hours


Torque tube #2

September 20, 2011

Tonight I right to work with jigging the forward and aft torque tube rounded pieces for the stick housing. I marked the cut out and trimmed the main tube cut out to match the stick housing. After that I got the rounded corners jigged and tacked them in place. After that I cut some sheet to the trapazoidal shape of and tacked them in place on both sides. I then finish welded the stick housing.

Time spent 3 hours
Total time spent 777 hours


Elevator drive arms and Torque tube #1

September 19, 2011

Tonight I decided to try cutting making ht elevator drive arms. I was going to have these laser cut but I figured i could make them with a angle grinder, drill press and Solidworks CAD. I first drew the arms in Solidworks and printed them out. Using a glue stick and some packing tape I adheared them to the 0.100 4130 sheet. AFter that I drilled all the holes. I then cut them out using my angle grider and a cut off wheel. When I drew them up I made the fold tab longer so that It be easier to bend. I bent them in my vice using the correct radius shoe (1/16 Aluminum folded over the vice make the perfect radius) on the vice and a little heat from my torch. I then trimmed the folds to the correct size.

I received my parts order from aircraft spruce to include all the materials necessary to complete the torque tube. I bought a 3ft section of the 1.5X0.035 tube. I quickly marked all the demensions and cut the tube to the right size. I then started trying to figure out the cut out for the stick housing. I’m deviating from the plans to make it easier to build. It is a common change. I am usin the left overs of the 1.5″ tube for the forward and aft sections of the stick housing. I marked and cut out the stick housing section of the main tube I then set up a simple jig to lay thos pieces at the correct angle. It was late and trying to keep the tube straight was getting frustating. So I left it there for tomorrow.

Time spent today 4 hours.
Total Time spent 774 hours


Squaring the Elevators part #2 and Rudder part #1

September 18, 2011

Today I got to work on the left elevator squaring. This one I did differently than the right since it was a splice rather than it terminating in to the Elevator rib. I used the AC 43.13-1B guidance to do an internal splice. I found a 4130 tube that fit and spliced it to the new tube using rosettes and a 60 deg splice line. I then finished the tube into the elevator leading edge and applied the corner gusset.

I then headed to the airport to use a Chop saw to cut some hinge tubing and the shear to cut the hinge straps. The shear was awesome I was able to cut all four straps out nice and straight it took me and Eve on the shear together since it was at capacity with the 1/16″ 4130. I then used the chop saw to cut the stop rings on the sides of the elevator hinges. Nice to have the chop saw as it cuts nice and straight.

We went home and I got right to work bending the straps which I thought would be hard to do but I took some ideas from Stuart’s website on how to do that I was able to surprisingly bend them around the tube easily. I found that bending them around a 7/8 tube works better as they spring back and fit perfectly around the 1″ tube. If you use a 1 inch tube to bend them they are a little big. You might be wondering how I am going to slide those hinges on to my elevator and the answer is, I’m not. I will be using the Christen Eagle bronze bushing hinges and a strap so that I don’t have to. As for the hinge collars I was going to split them and weld them back together in place. Anyway I tried these hinges I made for rudder out and it works pretty good.

Time spent today 4 hours
Total time spent 770 hours


Final Clear coat on the top wing and squaring the elevators

September 17, 2011

Today I decided to take a look at my elevator and stabilizers. I hadn’t removed the covering on either side of the stabilizers or elevators so I did that. Actually quite a difficult or more difficult than I thought it would be. Anyway, Up until recently I was planning on building a new set of elevators but I think I will just salvage what I have and go from there which is much easier than starting from scratch. One “looks” modification I wanted to make was squaring the tips of the elevators. It seemed like is should be easy and after seeing what a fellow builder has done “airbiker” from the www.biplaneforum.com website http://www.exp-av8r.com/ he has mearly cut off what was rounded and squared it off. I figured I could do the same thing so I did.

After I finished the right elevator I moved over to the top wing and sanded it smooth with 320 grit then applied the last coat of clear coat on to the wing. Other than securing the drag wire intersections those are read for cover…

Time spent today 5.5 hours
Total Time spent 765 hours