This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
April 14 2012 6.5hrs -1634.0 total. Put second
coat of sealer on elevator. Put 1st coat of sealer
on inside of skin pieces that will put on elevator.
Went and plotted out the template sheet for the
vert stab and rudder pieces. Rough cut paper
templates out, final cut vert stab templates.
Marked and cut out vert stab rib #4 from 1/4" ply
and fit in place. Laid out other ribs and horiz brace
on 1/8"stock. Put 2nd coat of sealer on inside of
port elevator skin, mixed up batch of thickened
epoxy and glued port skin in place. Was a very
difficult piece to get into position and took a LOT
of clamps. In retrospect, I could have saved
myself considerable trouble by using staples.
Pulled pins and filled the holes.
|Port elevator skin glued on -
somewhere under all those clamps!
|Starboard elevator skin being
glued on, buried in clamps, port
skin is visible in the background
with clamps removed.
|Starting to cut out the vert
stab ribs and diagonal brace.
April 15 2012 4.0hrs - 1638.0 total. Traced and cut out vert stab ribs and diagonal brace from 1/8"
stock. Sanded to shape except for diag brace which will need to be shaped in place. Marked for
lightening holes, but haven't cut them yet. Sanded all glue contact points on SB side of elevator and
inside of skin piece. Put 2nd coat of sealer on entire inside surface of skin and glued in place on SB
side of elevator.
April 16 2012 3.5 hrs - 1641.5 total. Started sanding filled pin holes on port skin when the elevator
along with all the clamps fell of the bench and crashed onto the floor! I was certain something was
broken, but much to my amazement there was only a couple little dents on the outer edges of the
laminates! What a tough structure, now tat its 2 coats of epoxy and both skins installed! Went ahead
and removed all the clamps, straps, etc. Trimmed extra skin at center section where vert stab is and
also a little in the hinge point where the trim tab flex tubing comes through the elevator spar. Trial fit
the elevator on the stab and it fits and doesn't rub!!! I was very worried about this! There still is a
little bit of a clearance issue on the endcaps, and these encaps gaps are much too small, so a little
tweaking is still in order, but overall, it fits pretty good! Trimmed and dry fit the three remaining vert
stab ribs (haven't cut the lightening holes in them yet). Still need to do the diag brace.
|Elevator with leading
edge skins trial fit on stab.
|The four vert stab
ribs dry fit in place.
April 17 2012 2.0hrs - 1643.5 total. Checked the alignment of the vert stab ribs. Going to take a
little work to get them all straight and level. Also need to go ahead and drill the mounting holes
through the horiz stab and bulkheads to get it loose mounted so I can start gluing in the vert stab
ribs. Once those are glued in - the horiz stab is not coming out again! Removed the elevator - again -
and put on bench. Marked location to trim skin trailing edge, but I'm not sure that's where I want it
to be. Its a trade off between the skin being accurate, or with it aligning with the existing ribs so
the rib stitching will line up. Either way its not going to match the original, but its not going to be
very easy to see and only the most particular viewer would be able to tell.
April 20 2012 2.5hrs - 1646.0 total. Decided to go with the pattern I'd already marked. After
looking at more original Spitfire layouts I noticed a couple more anomalies in the structure of the
elevator in comparison to a real Spitfire that would make it difficult, if not impossible to exactly
duplicate the layout. This current layout is very good and is very close to the original. Trimmed upper
surface of port and SB skins. Final sanded. Am trimming with a box cutter knife rather than a saw or
dremel. Gives nice clean lines that only need a light sanding to be finished.
|Here you can see the pattern I came
up with that lands all the points on top
of the ribs. You can compare it to the
original (MKV drawings but the best
I've got for comparison to a MK1.)
April 21 2012 5.0 hrs - 1651.0 total. Turned over stab and trimmed bottom trailing edges. Cut and
sanded hinge notches to shape except the other two. I left a little skin forward of the spar at each
hinge opening, but after trimming them all back to the same size, they bulge outward. I'll need to
glue a small stiffener on the inside of the skin to remove the bulge and strengthen the skin there.
|Trailing edges of skin
trimmed on both
sides and hinge points
sanded to shape.
|Looking down on a
hinge point you see the
skin bulging outwards at
the top and bottom.
April 23 2012 1.5hrs - 1652.5 total. Tested some different types and thicknesses of stock and settled on 1/4" birch
ply for reinforcement strips for hinge point skin bulges. Measured and cut 8 strips. Sanded and dry fit in place.
Started working on what to do with the outer hinge points.
April 27 2012 2.0hrs - 1654.5 total. Spent 2 hours trying to get the horiz stab lined up and clamped in place so I can
drill the holes in the main spar. Just about have it figured out.
April 28 2012 6.5hrs - 1661.0 total. Finished aligning horiz stab. Drilled bolt holes through stab and BH at main
spar. Had to go buy some bolts and nuts of the right size. Installed bolts through main spar. Aligned and drilled
trailing edge spar - just one hole here as it may need to be adjusted later for angle of incidence tuning. Installed one
bolt here. Measured and cut stringers for above the stab. Will need to scarf onto the ends of the exiting ones. These
stringers bend quite a bit so steamed them and clamped in place to dry/cool. Final sanded vert stab ribs. Cut
lightening holes in rib 2. Glued in ribs 2 and 4. Used left over glue to start gluing in the stiffener strips in elevator
leading edge skin
|Vert stab ribs #2 and
#4 being glued in.
|Stiffener strips being glued onto inside
of skin on leading edge of elevator.
Top stringers being dry fit after
steaming. You can see the
amount of curve on the strips.
being dry fit.
April 30 2012 2.0hrs - 1663.0 total. Removed clamps, sanded down glue
joints on vert stab. Dry fit upper diag brace. Cut lightening holes in upper brace
and rib#3. Started fitting lower diag brace.
May 2 2012 3.5hrs - 1666.5 total. Cut lightening holes in lower diag brace, sanded, final fit, glued
in place. Sanded scarf joints onto ends of stringer pieces and glued in place. Glued in upper diag
brace. Used extra glue to glue in two more strips in elevator hinge point skin.
May 3 2012 2.5hrs - 1169.0 total. Cut lightening holes in rib #1. Dry fit ribs 1 and 3.