All material related to step 6.2 and 6.3

May 10th, 2017

6 hrs

I got straight to work on the Vertical Stabilizer. The first steps have you cut an angle off of the spar cap strips back about 16 inches. My beautiful aluminum and you want me to cut a chunk of it off??? Then I attached the cap strips, and various other components of the rear spar of the vertical stabilizer and match drill everything. When you receive the kit, Vans drills all the holes a few thousands of an inch undersize and you “match drill” the various parts together for the perfect fit. I also drilled some countersink holes to allow for the flush rivets to be installed. This is where my first “oops” was and I had to email Vans Aircraft. You are only instructed to countersink about half of the holes on the spar doubler. I was so excited that I was building, that I accidently countersunk them all. Not a big deal, just meant that I needed to order some AN426AD4-7 rivets as the kit did not ship with enough to do all the holes, just the specified ones.

Page 6.3 had me attaching the ribs and the forward spar for the vertical stabilizer. I also attached the skin. Helpful hints here for future builders: make sure you round off the noses of the nose ribs or you will get little creases in the skin. If you can get a helper, attaching the skin is much easier with two people rather than one. You must pull it tight and getting the clecos to fasten gets tough solo. Also, don’t try to skip around much with the clecos. Work in a pattern and everything will “fall” into place.


May 13th, 2017

3:30 hrs

Today I match drilled all the holes from the skin to the ribs and spars. Then I removed the skins and deburred all of those holes. I also needed to dispose of the shipping crate. I kept some of the wood, a guy from the neighborhood over picked up a sheet of the plywood, and my neighbor took some of the box material. I also began the construction of two riser benches for my dimpler.


May 14th, 2017

2:00 hrs

Today I finished building the riser boxes and dimpled the entire skin. This tuned out to be easier than I thought it would. I also dimpled all the rib flanges and debured everything.



May 18th, 2017

8:00 hrs

Today I finished the prep work and etched and primed all the pieces for the vertical stab. I also built a fake antennae hub for the cat whisker antennae. I intend to fly the airplane in the Caribbean where being able to listen on a VHF nav antennae for long distances is imperative so I needed a good nav antennae placement. I had some help today with the priming work with a longtime friend Russ Blackwell. I also drove the first rivets of the project with the rudder stop as well as a few on the rear spar.