Rudder Cable and Horizontal Tail (4 hr)

During the week I investigated the two questions posed in the previous entry:

  1. does the torque tube rest inside the plastic fairlead or the metal tube? I never got a reply from Zenith at all about this but the overwhelming wisdom on the forums is that it rests inside the metal tube, that the fairlead is there only for the rudder cables. In fact if you google the definition of fairlead you get: a ring mounted on a boat or ship to guide a rope, keeping it clear of obstructions and preventing it from being cut or chafed. I think it would have been called a bearing if the tube were to rest on it. So, I ordered a new front bearing.
  2. Will the arms on the rear fin flap about in the wind? On this, some people said that the l-angle stiffeners were sufficient, some people said that, like me, they didn’t think so and made a cross piece to keep it rigid. I suspect I will do the latter.

Business taken care of, on with the show in which we take care of more items at the back.

New rudder cable fairleads had arrived during the week so Allen and I spent a lot of time trying to get them in the right place so that the cable doesn’t rub on the metal where they exit the fuselage. This took us quite a while but I think we finally have it: note the enlarged exit hole, no way to do this without making that hole much bigger.

With the fuselage riveted together the only way to get at that fairlead is by putting your arm through the lightening hole in the top.

My arm was just about small enough to get in and out, but often not without scraping it on the edge and I ended up with some good bruises on my arm after multiple trial fits. I definitely recommend installing this before you rivet on the top skin. Ouch.

There are some rivets at the back that had been left out “just in case” and with the tail pieces on you can’t get to them, so I filled in some holes.


The rivets going vertically on the back of the fuselage are going to have to come out because I’m pretty sure that’s where the rudder cover goes.

While looking at the video of the cable installation I noticed some parts on the tail that are not in the photo guides. Sure enough they are in the plans but nowhere do I see them in the guide. This stuff pisses me off, why leave things out?

First there’s this l-angle on the stabilizer

I have no idea what this is for. And then there is this fairlead on the other top which I’m guess is there to keep the cable off the edge of the hole.

I swear that fairlead was lined up with the top edge of the angle when I drilled it, don’t know how it ended up skew-whiff like that. Still does the job, I think.

And then there’s this fairlead for the rudder cable that took forever to find on the plans.

So we still can’t connect the controls until the torque tube is properly installed but maybe soon. I want to be able to play with the control stick and see the tail dance.