Sunday, November 29, 2009

Overall, a fairly easy day to complete the horizontal stab

I know, I already said it was done. I thought that it was close enough to fudge a little, figuring that the final steps of installing the control horns and counter balance arm would be fall-off-a-log simple. The parts were all match drilled, so how could they not fit, right?



It wasn't quite that easy when it came to doing it. The top control horn went on with no problem, but the bottom needed a little convincing. When you do the match drilling on these, the stab spar box is not yet riveted closed. Apparently there can be tiny changes in it as it gets riveted together. The match drilling isn't super precise to begin with because the horns can't be held in place with clecos. You temporarily slide bolts in the holes that have been drilled. Either or both of these situations led to a bottom control horn that didn't quite line up. A clamp was enough to coerce it into position, but I still had to deal with the nerves that come with knowing that cross threading a bolt into one of the nutplates would cause weeks of heartburn. The entire stab would have to be disassembled to replace the nutplate.

The counter balance arm also was off by just a thread. On bolt went in fine, but the other hung up on a tiny little lip inside the bolt hole. There was no hope of getting a drill in there to remove that tiny little ridge, so I put a bunch of tape on the front of the arm to protect the powder coat while I tapped on it with a mallet. The bolt slid right in after putting an appropriate amount of fear into the assembly.

The part that I thought would be the most difficult was the drilling and bolting in place of the actual lead weights. That was actually the easiest thing I did all day:

I spent the rest of the day working on the RV-6 cowl and watching The Battle of Ohio. The right team won.

Oh, I also mocked up a picture of the sponsor decal that will ride on my brother's NASCAR modified next season:

As if I needed another reason to look forward to next year! That is so cool!

No comments:

Post a Comment