Riveting vertical stabilizer

November 4: riveted the VS skin to the skeleton. I wrapped the tungsten bucking bar in hockey tape to try to keep the scuffing to a minimum. Got it all completed in one session. All but the front two rivets on the VS-706 tip rib. There’s no room to get a squeezer or bucking bar in there, so it looks like I’ll have to fabricate something to be able to get those last two done.

And the rear spar is clecoed into place for now. Because Canada requires a pre-closing inspection, no parts of the structure can be enclosed beforehand. So I’ll have to leave the VS (among other parts) incomplete until I get enough done to have the inspector come out. This would probably include the VS, HS, possibly elevators and rudder, wing bottom skins and the bottom of the fuselage under the floor panels.

Assembling VS

September 15: I was pleasantly surprised at how well the AKZO went on. It sprays easily, dries quickly so you can flip the parts and spray the other side, and cure hard as a rock.

Set the very first of tens of thousands of rivets today.

Due to the particulars of the Canadian amateur-built process, I cannot enclose any structure until an inspector from the MD-RA (Ministry of Transport) comes out to take a look at everything. As these inspections aren’t cheap, and they have to drive a couple of hours to get here, most builders wait until they have their empennage and wings nearly complete before scheduling.

This means for the vertical stabilizer, I will leave the rear spar unattached, but will rivet the rest of the structure and skin together. As for the rudder, I will have to give my assigned inspector a call as the rudder spar has lightening holes which will allow him access. But I will defer to his instructions.

Since winter is rapidly approaching, I’m trying to get as much priming done as possible while the weather cooperates, and then spending the winter months in the basement riveting everything together.

VS Rear Spar and remainder

August 27-29: Continuing on after the simple task of prepping the front spar. The VS is a simple component, and goes together quickly. By the end of the weekend, you have a recognizable airplane part.

The quality of the -14’s pre-punched kit compared to the -7 that I originally started with is light years ahead.

Again, once everything is prepped, it’s put aside for batch priming.

It begins: VS Front Spar

August 24: Started with VS-702. Prepped spar doubler, clecoed into place and drilled the first holes. Finished drilling, trimmed bottom edge of front spar per plans, deburred and dimpled.

I set everything aside until I got a big enough batch to prime with AKZO.