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Day 1 – Vertical Stabilzer

February 7, 2011

I am starting with the vertical stabilizer.  I was speaking with a representative from Vans last week and he commented that with the advent of the -10 and -12 Vans had changed their advice to builders and suggested that everyone start with the VS as a first build item.  His reasoning is pretty straight forward.  The VS is a simple structure, its big so there aren’t any fine detail stuff to do.  If you make a mistake on the VS then you can make mistakes fixing it that won’t ripple across the entire build.  He also said that if you really screw up the parts are cheaper to replace.


Here is the clecoed vertical stabilizer

I suspect that another reason is that the VS is a relatively quick thing to build.  You get to see progress on your project quicker than you might if you are trying to get the elevators to fit together.  Either way I am happy to be finally working on it.

One of the new tasks that you learn with the VS is fluting.  Fluting is necessary because during the cutting and bending process of the ribs they have a tenancy to not be straight.  Fluting allows the metal to bend back in the right direction.  I really had issues with this, but I think I have the process under control, now.  I remember seeing an EAA video on fluting one time.  I have to go find it and watch it again so I can get that process down.


Fluting, this is going to take some getting used to.

Next up is drilling, de-burring, dimpling, counter sinking, priming and whatever comes after that.  Yesterday was a good building day.

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