Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A little Elevator Work

We flew up to St. Louis to visit friends and family for the Memorial Day weekend. So, of course, nothing to report there. Except that every cross country trip reiterates the reasons for this airplane: it's speed, comfort, the advanced avionics, and it will do it all a lot cheaper than renting. This last flight back could have been cut by almost an hour! Can't wait.

The plans call out for solid rivets to attach the elevator skins to the small aft spar. This is fine where it's cut out for the trim tab, but where the skin extends beyond spar...not so much. Access to the area is really difficult especially when the upper and lower skins come together. The plans tell you to make a special bucking bar to reach inside the skins or just install with blind rivets on this one side. Well, I decided, after looking at the strength values of the rivets, to just install both sides with the blind rivets. Primarily so both sides look the same and it will be a lot easier. Plus there is no risk of damaging the thin skins.

With that I proceeded to install the MK-319-BS blind rivets and discovered they are slightly oversized. The #40 holes are a little too small. What I really needed was a #33 hole, but after scouring town this drill bit is nowhere to be found. So I settled for a 3mm drill bit...pretty close. Tried it on a piece of scrap and it's perfect. I opened up the holes in the elevators and popped the blind rivets in. They work great and it was real easy. (0.5)

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