6. Vertical Stabilizer

Vertical Stabilizer Doubler

Welp! This is the beginning! The very first thing we need todo is cleco this doubler to the vertical stabilizer spar. Drilled them out on the drill press.

Vertical Stabilizer Spar and Doubler

The next step is clecoing the thick spar doubler to the main spar.  Though it’s not pictured, the hinges for the rudder are also clecoed on. From there it’s a bunch of final drilling on the drill press. I clamped a large piece of hardwood faced plywood to my drill press so this spar could lay on it.

Before clecoing everything together, I needed to countersink the forward part of the spar doubler to take a dimple followed by a AN426AD4  rivet. I followed other blogs/VAF entries here by using a “dimple coupon”.  So I followed Chapter 5 by figuring out the depth for a flush rivet, followed by seven clicks deeper (0.007 inches). The result of that was that the coupon sat a little tall, so of course I went deeper. Eventually I was still seeing daylight between the coupon and the spar. I did some more research and it sounds like you can really get wrapped around the axel here; of course I started to worry that I over countersunk. I sent the picture below into Van’s to get their opinion and they said “…though it wasn’t ideal, it was OK to use, but to just stick to the 0.007 method … ” and that the ” … dimply coupon method just leads to too deep of a countersink”.





Vertical Stabilizer Assembly

Not too many issues here. The plans have you fluting and banding the flanges to mate with the skins. I thought they all had to be 90 deg. Turns out the ribs that mate up with the forward spar are supposed to not be at 90! Quick fix.

Vertical Stabilizer Assembly + Skin

Next is fitting the whole Vertical Stabilizer Assembly to the Skin. This was a bear to get the top nose rib to fit. The plans say to facet the front of the rib slightly. Well that wasn’t gonna be enough and based on other builders feedback and dent in the skin was easy. I found another -14 builders site who had done very similar to below and got a blessing from Van’s. On a later Tech. Counselor visit, he also mentioned he liked how it looked. The lower rib needed much less attention.

I was surprised at how much … force … was needed to get it all to fit together, but again a fellow builder and VAF confirmed it’s not super easy. Once a few cleco’s are in though, everything lined up nicely.

Here is the Assembly all clecoed together.