Vertical stabilizer alignment 15.6 hours

I decided to revisit my alignment. After I thought I had achieved good alignment when I went to install the rudder I had to back out the middle and top rod bearings to the point where I did not have enough thread engagement. I followed the directions exactly. The issue is that the hinges when aligned with a straight edge are off because the hinge lenght must not be exact. So now I have to redo my attach plate as I drilled my holes about an 1/8 inch off, not a task I am looking forward to. I will have to fabricate an new attach plate from sheet for it to work.
Three days work 1/25/17-1/27/17. Fabricated and installed new attach plate. It took me three attempts but the third plate worked. I ended up drilling the holes about 1/8″closer to the attach bolts, that’s all the room I had. The only other option would have been to replace the forward spar.

Bending angle to attach plate.

The shorter one on the right is the new plate.

Not much room between the rivet heads and the spar bars.

Just enough room for the nuts to clear the web edge.

Good rudder horn parallel gap and rod bearings now within 1.5 turns from spec.

Match drilling: 8.9 hours

Match drilled VS attach plate, spacer, and front spar and HS spar reinforcement. Primed and riveted match drilled parts.

Installed elevators, clamped for neutral position, and fabricated a drill block to match drill elevator horns for pushrod. There is about a 7/8″ gap between horns so the drill block keeps the drill bit perpendicular to the horn being drilled.

Installed elevator pushrod, adjusted rod ends, and fabricated pushrod spacers. Checked elevator travel, up and down are both 23 degrees. So I will need to remove some of the control stop face to get the up travel in spec of 25 to 30 degrees.

Vertical stabilizer: 3.6 hours

Double checked for vertical on rear spar. Laser marked center for bottom spar attach bolts. There is no way to get a straight edge on the bottom spar to mark center so the laser comes in handy.

The top two holes are critical as they attach to the tail spring weldment and edge distance between the weldment and hinge bracket is marginal. I lowered the measurement in the plans by 1/32″ just to be sure. Match drilled rear spar to bulkhead assembly and control stop angle. Edge margins all look great!


Centered VS longitudinally with Vans string method. This was much more time consuming than the HS as the VS needs to be adjusted in three directions and it seems that each effects the other so lots of tweaking.