Rudder Work

Super Bowl Sunday I stole an hour to work on finishing the rudder so that it can be vinyl wrapped and have a final assembly on the plane.

You may remember that I had done a poor job on the upper fairing and was going to order a new one, but that I was confused that I couldn’t find any mention of it in the plans. Well, it was five years previous that I bought my rudder kit and during that time Zenith decided to give up on that piece because it was too difficult to install. So, no replacement needed.

Really not much to do on the rudder. I trimmed up the skins on their sides so they weren’t overlapping any more.

Trimmed rudder skin

Then I clecoed the lower fairing in place and riveted every last hole I could find. I did check before putting the fairing on that it is still possible to get at the mounting bolts – after 5.5 years, maybe some things are starting to sink in.

The rudder is a complete unit and my plan now is to get some red vinyl wrap and cover it, same with the rest of the tail so that it can be fixed in place and forgotten about.

Riveted rudder

As part of measuring for the vinyl I retrieved and dusted off all the slats and flaperons

Cleaned up flaperons and slats

To my shame I could not remember (or work out) which are which.

Also over the weekend I was looking at the inboard seatbelt attachment. It is very hard to find this guy on the plans and in fact when locating and pilot drilling them I relied solely on the picture in the photo guide.

Inboard seatbelt attachment

I’ve since found it in the plans. It isn’t on the page it should be, and because it is behind the arm rest it only appears in very small dashed outline. Anyway, I enlarged the holes to size 20 for riveting but I am yet to work out what goes in the big hole that attaches to the seat belt. Nothing in the plans for that, going to have to ask Zenith or maybe find the answer on the forum.

While hand riveting the rudder (it was a super sunny day and people were opposite me cleaning their hangar so I decided not be a noise polluter) it became very hard to pick up the bite on the rivets so I wonder if I am about to break my second rivet gun? I tried a liberal dousing of WD-40 but it may be too late.