April 13, 2004 HOME

A little necessary work in the yard this morning and then to shop. So many things were blooming in the garden that it was hard to come inside, but once I got my hand on airplane parts -- well, it just felt right.

All the hinge bearing I found were short except for one. I assume that goes with the rudder. I took out 4 of the short ones for the elevators and decided to try hanging at least one elevator.

Simple enough. You just spin on the jam nut and screw the stud of the hinge bearing into the spar of the elevator. But wait, it (all of them) won't screw in by hand more than a few turns and you don't want to grab that bearing with a pair of pliers and damage it. Ultimately, (sorry I didn't get a pic) I used flattened piece of PVC pipe to protect the bearing while I screwed it into the nutplate.

Only after trying to hang the elevator, did I remember that I had to trim sheet metal to allow the counterweight to clear. First I tried snips. They worked fine, but there was no way to get a curve and I didn't want a square corner.

Next, I tried a nibbler. It was crude and a little awkward in the tight spot, but it left a more workable cut.

Notice that the nibbler didn't get it perfect, but it left a generally rounded form that I could work with.




It was then pretty easy to just grind it to shape with a mini Scotch wheel on a die grinder.  I just started at an angle and rotated the wheel in until the line was straight.  The finished product is close. I won't finalize it until I'm sure I have the elevator exactly where I want it.

Next, I hung the left elevator. Notice that it outweighs the counterweight and I don't have the trim motor in yet! Well, no surprise. After a moment of head-scratching, I figured out that the hinge bearings were not screwed in all the way and that put the hinge point too far forward so the fulcrum point was off center. Thus, the thing sagged.

Instead of destroying my fingers trying to get an AN bolt in and out each time I wanted to make an adjustment to the elevator fit, I used these bent nails. They were much much easier to get in and out than the bolt. I got this idea from another builder's site and now I can't remember who. Whoever you are, you deserve some credit for a great idea. So, thanks. I hope you read this...

Screwing the hinge bearings in farther did the trick. I still don't have it right, but I'll work on it more in a few days. Well, it probably won't be until after April 15th. Guess what I haven't done yet! Uncle Sam will make me pay if I don't spend the next few nights filling out forms -- Ugh...




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