Horizontal Stabilizer

It has taken about two days (and I’m not done yet) on the horizontal stabilizer.

I was directed to build both halves as one, rather than doing everything twice and joining them at the end. I’m not really certain this made things easier, but also I can’t point to anything that it made harder.

Early in the process was to rivet together the aft spar. Easy enough.

After doing some bending for the forward spar, that also comes together easily. Now you have the skeleton of the horizontal stabilizer.

Getting the skins on was very hard. They are very tight once they’re in place – if I recall correctly the RV-8 is a “stretched skin” design. That means lots of annoyanace trying to get things to line up when doing skins like this. But keep at it, it’s possible.

Once all the skins are on, it’s time to put the final ribs in place to drill them. This is also not easy – the ribs put even more tension into the overall stabilizer and just barely fit into place. Then, once in place, you have to drill several holes through your spar in particular locations to rivet in the ribs.

I used several layers of painters tape to avoid scuffing the rib with the drill. After drilling these two holes, it was pointed out that I could have used a 45 degree angle drill. That would have been much easier. I bought a 45 degree angle drill for future use.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *