It’s a Learning Experience

Each part of the empenage seems to add a new complexity to the build.  The Rudder is no exception.  It does not have internal ribs like the Horizontal Stabilizer; rather it has light weight stiffeners that the builder fabricates from pre-punched angle channel stock.  Tho lighter in weight than the Vertical Stabilizer the Rudder has many many more rivets.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANot the best photo, but it shows a pre-punched rudder stiffener being cut  on our band saw.

There are sixteen stiffeners. Continue reading “It’s a Learning Experience”

Let’s build a Vertical Stabilizer


I have an old (3 megapixel) Olympus camera that is now dedicated to recording the build.  I keep it in the tool chest for photos such as these.


In building the Vertical Stabilizer, the first task is to smooth all edges and slightly round the corners of all the parts.

Vertical Stabilizer rear spar and reinforcing plate.
Vertical Stabilizer rear spar and reinforcing plate.









The lightening holes in the reinforcing plate are punched at the factory and have rough edges, as on the center hole shown in the photo on the right.  The other two shiny holes have been finished with a Scotchbrite wheel on a drill and then a hand held Scotchbrite red pad. Continue reading “Let’s build a Vertical Stabilizer”