This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
May 29 2012 2.5 hrs - 1188.0 total. Clamped rudder jig
to table and braced. Finished sanding rudder spar web,
marked aligned and fastened in position in jig. Marked and
sanded rudder rib tabs and dry fit in rudder spar notches.
June 1 2012 2.0hrs - 1190.0 total. Cut 2ea 1/2" X 1/2"
spruce strips for flanges. Trial fit. Made some blocking to
hold strips to correct shape. Trial clamped to test how it
will glue together.
June 2 2012 1.0hrs - 1191.0 total. Wrapped blocking
pieces in duct tape to keep them from getting stuck in the
epoxy. Spent some time aligning the blocking and clamps
and marking the correct positions for gluing in the flanges.
|Rudder ribs being dry
fit in rudder spar
web. Note the top rib
#8 on the left
protrudes through jig.
|Dry fitting rudder
spar flanges on
rudder spar web.
July 1 2012 1.0hrs - 1192.0 total. Received some of the prefab parts from Steve a couple weeks ago and was able to
get them un-boxed and inspected today. Now have the top and bottom engine cowling, the air intake and the under
wing radiator and oil cooler enclosures. All the parts arrived undamaged and look great. I can't trial fit the engine
cowlings until I can get my garage door open to allow room. Started setting up the garage door so it can be opened.
July 2 2012 1.0hrs - 1193.0 total. Dry fit the engine cowlings with the help of a broom handle and some duct tape.
Maybe I'm biased, but I think they look great! That chin cowl is such a distinctive Spitfire shape.
July 3 2012 2.5hrs - 1195.5 total. Hung top cowl on wall to store and found a place on a shelf for the bottom cowl.
Glued flanges onto rudder spar web.
|Radiator and oil cooler air
scoops stored on the wall.
|Very rough dry fit of engine cowlings.
Couldn't get the airscoop under the
firewall far enough so its a little skewed.
|Flanges being glued in
place on rudder spar web.
July 4 2012 1.0hrs - 1196.5 total. Removed nails from jig that were holding spar flanges in position before glue set
completely. Started tracing out rudder trim tab hinge plates and trim tab ribs on 3mm stock.
July 5 2012 1.5hrs - 1198.0 total. Removed rudder spar from jig. Cleaned up glue joints. Cleaned out rib slots. Had to
trim up notches in rib 9 to get it to fit. Dry fit rib 9. Traced trim tab ribs onto 3mm stock.
July 7 2012 3.5hrs - 1201.5 total. Cut out and final sanded rudder trim tab parts. Ground down, shaped and sanded
internal glue joints on flanges. Dry fit the ribs. Stapled the spar into position on the jig, added bracing to allow
alignment of ribs for gluing. Marked center lines on all the ribs. Made up rib braces, dry fit and aligned ribs in two
planes and attached cross bracing for all ribs. Still need to align in 3rd plane. Installed laser level inside jig and started
Rudder trim tab parts.
|Rudder spar attached to jig,
extra bracing installed, ribs dry
fit and aligned in two planes -
still need alignment in 3rd plane.
July 8 2012 4.0hrs - 1205.5 total. Finished aligning laser level. Glued in rudder ribs. Cut rib notches into trim tab and
tab hinge plates. Sanded tab ribs and dry fit them. Cut out paper templates for rudder clamping blocks, traced onto
scrap stock, cut out and sanded to shape. Still need to cut the rest of the clamping slots in the blocking.
|Rudder rib blocking cut and sanded to
shape. Need to cut more clamping slots.
|Rudder trim tab pieces dry fit.
|Rudder out of jig - looks a little
off without the trim tab in place.
July 9 2012 1.0hrs - 1206.5 total. Removed bracing from jig. Removed rudder assembly from jig. Trail fit blocking
pieces. Still need some work to get them to fit properly. Set up a work surface for the rudder next to the disc sander
to making fitting the blocks easier. Started shaping the blocking pieces and marking them for where the clamp cutouts
July 13 2012 2.5hrs - 1209.0 total. Removed jig from workbench and stored. Cleaned up shop a little. Started fitting
the rudder blocking and cutting the clamping notches as I go.
July 15 2012 4.0hrs - 1213.0 total. Finished clamping blocks. Dry fit rudder in place on fuselage with spacers to
positions it appropriately. Dug out rudder hinge brackets and eye bolts. Clamped rudder assembly back to bench and
cut out and fit oak blocking for hinge points.
|Beginning to fit the
rudder blocking pieces.
|Trial fit of rudder, clamped in place
with spacers for positioning.
July 16 2012 1.0hrs - 1214.0 total. Glued oak hinge blocking pieces into rudder spar.
Bottom oak rudder hinge reinforcement
blocking piece being glued in place.
August 10 2012 2.0hrs - 1216.0 total. Rigged up extension onto drill press platform so I could drill the hinge eye-bolt
holes nice and straight in the rudder spar. Re-measured and marked centerline at drill points. Drilled small pilot holes
at each location after shimming and clamping to get everything straight and level. Had to remove some of the blocking
pieces to use the drill press.
September 28 2012 3.0hrs - 1219.0 total. Cleaned up the shop after several weeks of neglect and other home
improvement projects. Now that winter has set in (here in Fairbanks) I can get back to working on the Spit again.
Removed all the clamping forms from the rudder to allow it to fit on the drill press. Drilled the full sized holes for the
hinge bolts in the rudder post. With the clamping forms out, went ahead and sanded the rib glue joints to prepare for
sealing. Trial fit the hinge eye bolts and found they're a little too long. Need to pick up some shorter ones.
September 29 2012 4.5hrs - 1223.5 total. Temp attached the hinge eye bolts to the rudder post and the hinge
brackets to the eye bolts. Found holes and notches in brackets too small for 3/16 bolts so had to enlarge, clean up and
re-prime them. Clamped rudder in place on the vert stab and found the pilot holes from the plans on the vert stab lined
up perfectly with the hinge brackets on the rudder! Drilled those holes through the oak blocking and temp mounted
the hinge brackets via the long slot then final aligned the brackets and bolted in place. Still need to drill second
positioning holes for each bracket.
|Rudder temp mounted on hinges and
clamping forms in place. Getting ready to glue
laminates all around vert stab and rudder.
September 30 2012 3.5hrs - 1227.0 total. Drilled second mounting hole for hinge brackets in vert stab. Temp
mounted hinge brackets. Re-installed clamping forms into rudder ribs. Final sanded exterior profile of rudder so all rib
tips and clamping forms are flush. Taped off forms so they don't get glued into rudder. Mounted rudder in place and
clamped in position. Used spare piece of laminate to start preparing for gluing laminates around vert stab and rudder.
October 5 2012 6.5hrs - 1233.5 total. Measured to see needed length for laminate strips. Went to the hardwood shop
and found some nice Sitka spruce and had them cut the strips for me. Removed elevator and hung out of the way.
Made up clamping form for tight bend at fuselage to vert stab join. Set up laser level and verified alignment of vert
stab. Spent several hours sanding and shaping the vert stab ribs to try to get the leading edge laminate to fit with the
correct profile. Made up some more clamping forms, but still couldn't get it. Abandoned them. Dug out some books
and researched vert stab leading edge. Made some changes to the clamping methods. Almost have it!