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Left Horizontal Stabilizer Work

April 8, 2011

I’ve been moved back to working on the HS for the time being.  This isn’t a problem, since I really need to get some work done on it.  Over the last few nights I’ve been able to get a lot of work done on it.  Where it sits right now is the left HS is ready for dimple, debur, edge prep and priming.  I still have a lot of work to do on the right side.

Whats wrong with this picture?


If you guessed there are no holes to put rivets into then you guessed correctly.  If you guessed there is too much light, its out of focus and the subject matter isn’t interesting then you’re looking at the wrong blog.

There are actually quite a few holes missing.  Vans has left out a bunch of holes where the skin attachs to the ribs and these holes as well.  I guess it’s all part of the 51% thing.  The key to this site is take your time.  Measure, measure, re-measure.  In the picture above there are four holes that that should go from the top to the bottom.  The first hole is in that thick aluminum at the top (hs710) there are two in the home made tab in the middle (404) and one goes in that thick piece of aluminum in the bottom (hs714).  All in all there are 5 pieces of metal that you have to drill through.  Needless to say, messing up here can be quite costly.  The piece with the tab on it that doesn’t seem to fit well looks that way because I haven’t clamped everything in place and it’s all just dry fit into place.  Here’s what it looked like a little while later.

Its a clamp convention

You can’t own enough clamps.  Doing this is necssary though.  You have to line up this piece with that piece, don’t for get the piece over there.  You can’t let this piece slip while you’re adjusting that piece.  It’s a little nerve wracking, but eventually all the lines line up and the little marks you’ve made are in there right place.  Then you can start drilling.  By this time, I had measured, fit, trimmed, re-ordered, measured, fit trimmed enough times that I had no reservation about drilling.  I did have to modify the locations of the drill points a tad, but I maintained edge distance and pitch to well within safe tolerances.

Nice holes made.

After breathing a sigh of relief over this, the rest was easy.  The skins had to be match drilled to the ribs on both sides.  Since these skins are really thick and they are pre-punched, match drilling them was a breeze.  The last thing I did before knocking off last night was to disassemble the left HS and get it ready for prep.  I was plesantly suprised to find that all my match drilled holes were in the middle of the rib flanges where they should be.  I’m happy with how it came out.  Tonight I’d like to get everything primed.  If I can get that done, I’ll take those parts up to the attic and start on the right side horizontal stabilizer.

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