This photo is of the prototype during the
earlier phases of construction.
November 25 2015 4.5hrs - 2528.0 total. Applied a second coat of filler to the
bottom fillet on the port horiz stab. The skin on the top side of the port horiz stab
was about 1in short of meeting the fuselage skin. I was expecting this to be covered
by a fiberglass fairing, but as I've decided to create fillets here instead, this skin
needs to be extended. Made paper templates, traced onto plywood, cut to shape,
scarfed joint areas and glued pieces in place. Made up and glued reinforcing strip in
place in top side. Sanded skin patches down in prep for applying filler on top side.
November 27 2015 2.5hrs - 2530.5 total. Sanded glue joints on reinforcing strip
then ground down protruding square edge to make it easier to contour filler over it.
Applied first layer of filler on the top of the port horiz stab over the reinforcing strip.
|2nd coat of filler on bottom port fillet.
|Skin patches on top side of port horiz
stab scarfed in place and sanded down.
Reinforcing strip glued in place.
Built up a large area at the leading edge to use to shape the fillet in that area. Sanded down the bottom fillet and used some of the
leftover filler to touch it up.
November 28 2015 3.0hrs - 2533.5 total. Sanded top, bottom and leading edge portion of fillet. Shape has turned out pretty well. Just
needs another light coat to catch a couple of low spots and fill in some bubbles, etc. Removed masking tape from edges of fillet and
feathered into surface by sanding. Shaped and sanded trailing edge portion of fillet on top and bottom. Applied another very think coat
of filler over the top, leading edge, and part of the bottom. Had quite a bit left over so went back and filled in some large, slightly low
areas in the fuselage skin.
November 29 2015 4.5hrs - 2538.0 total. Sanded down last layer of filler on port horiz stab fillet, top and bottom. Looks good. Got
some help and rolled fuselage back to vertical. Had it sitting on tail wheel, but it was a little unstable so raised it up onto a jack stand.
Found that I had only loosely fitted the tail wheel strut. Pulled off strut hatch cover to tighten everything down and discovered I need a
slightly longer bolt to allow cotter pin to engage in castle nut properly. Will need to pick one up locally if possible. Got down rudder
and started to fit fuselage trailing edge skin to rudder. I added a lot of extra material to bottom of the rudder as I knew I would have to
trim it back to get the correct profile once the bottom of the fuselage was skinned. Trimmed back some of the skin on the trailing edge
of the vert fin to get rudder close to final position. Marked bottom of rudder for first rough removal of material.
December 2 2015 3.0hrs - 2541.0 total. Applied two coats of paint to inside of tail wheel strut hatch area. Rigged up a jig to hold
rudder so the bottom can be sanded down. Had to make an adaptor for the shop vac to attach to the new small belt sander I bought a
couple months ago. This is the first time I've used it. Sanded down bottom of rudder to match the pencil line I'd added earlier. Removed
from jig and trail fit on fuselage. Looks like I might have taken a little too much off. Not a big deal as I can just add a laminate or
blocking back on as needed. Checked the books and plans and rounded off the bottom edged of rudder a little and trial fit again. Almost
have it in place, but need to get trailing edge fin skin to final profile. Again checked plans and books, marked skin for trimming. I may
have to scarf in a couple of small pieces of skin here and there to get it all lined out properly.
December 4 2015 2.5hrs - 2543.5 total. Picked up a new, longer bolt for the tail strut pivot point. Installed bolt and reinstalled strut
brackets. Put strut hatch covers back in place on fuselage. Went back to the plans and found I had marked the start of the little flare in
the fin trailing edge skin in the wrong place. Looks like I won't have to scarf any extra skin in - but just barely! Marked, measured,
erased, measured again, marked again, repeat, repeat, then finally got it where it looked right and sanded trailing edge skin down to
shape. Have still left about 1/8" extra material until I'm completely positive I want to remove it. Was having trouble getting the rudder to
fit in place. The plans call for it to have a flat bottom and rounded edges. Went back to the spitfire bible (the Monforton book) and
verified that the bottom of the rudder has a very round radius. Started shaping the bottom of the rudder to a more accurate, rounded
shape. Looks like continuing this, along with trimming the skin back a little more, will get it in place.
|First layer of filler on port top -
over reinforcement strip.
|Built up area at leading edge,
will be sanded to shape.
|Completed port side fairing.
|Fuselage back upright again
- now with belly skin.
|If you look closely you can see a light pencil
line on the bottom of the rudder showing
about how much will need to be removed.
|Starting to shape the bottom
of the rudder. You can see
the small skin angle here.
|Some of the visitors to this website have asked for some overview
shots showing more of the entire project. Here you go!
|Overview of the rudder being
fitted into aft of fin.
|A couple of reference shots from
the Monforton book showing the
rounded bottom of the rudder.
|You can see the inside of the belly skin piece that I
cant reach to paint. Its very reflective, especially
when I use a flash to take the picture. The orange
bungee cord is temporary till I can get a correct one.
December 5 2015 0.5hrs - 2544.0 total. Only managed to get about a 1/2 hour of work in today. Marked and sanded back the skin a
little more. Sanded down the side surfaces of the bottom of the rudder a little more.
December 6 2015 1.5hrs - 2545.5 total. Marked contact points, removed rudder from fuselage, clamped to workbench and sanded away
a substantial amount of material. Mounted back in place on fuselage to try fit. Rudder deflection should be 28.3 degrees in both
directions. I can now get about 25degrees left rudder and 23 right, but that with it rubbing very hard against the trailing edge skin and I
still need to allow for the fabric covering and paint on the rudder.
December 7 2015 3.5hrs - 2549.0 total. Pulled rudder off fuselage again, mounted to workbench and sanded down lower leading edge
skin. Removed skin in this area and continued reducing cross section by sanding down outer edges of flanges on rudder spar. Trial fit on
fuselage again. Much better clearance in this area now, but still rubbing at several areas all up and down trailing edge skin. Decided to
try moving hinge point out a bit by backing the hinge eye bolts out a little. After several small increments, I now have both top and
bottom points about 1/8 to 1/4 further out from front of rudder. This gives me 30 degree swing in each direction, but its still rubbing a
bit in a couple of places. Pulled up some photos of the Tally-Ho prototype to see if I can tell how far the gap is on it.
December 9 2015 1.5hrs - 2550.5 total. Determined the gap is fine and can even be a bit larger. Backed off the top hinge point another
full turn on the hinge bolt and removed one of the washers to drop it down a bit lower. Had to sand away quite a bit more of the forward
tip of the bottom of the rudder, but its getting pretty close now. Am able to get 30 degrees swing both ways without it binding against
the trailing edge skin. Marked bottom profile and verified I needed to add some material back onto the very bottom of the rudder. Glued a
small piece of laminate material in place. Will need to sand to shape.
December 18 2015 3.0hrs - 2553.5 total. Have been very sick for the last week or so and unable to anything much except sit around and
make body fluids. The worst seems past now and was finally able to get out into the garage and do some work! Sanded down the
laminate strip I'd glued on before and went ahead and took the bottom profile down to the line marked before. Hung the rudder back in
place, eyeballed it a little more, put it back in the clamp, and did some serious shaping on the bottom contour. Also started shaping the
"D" ribs on the front of the rudder spar in preparation for re-skinning that area. Hung rudder back on fuselage and checked bottom
profile again. Didn't like the shape so spent some time sanding the profile to better looking curve. Had to re-shape the sides a bit again,
but this time did it all with rudder mounted on fuselage. Starting to look about right.
December 25 2015 1.0hrs - 2554.5 total. Marked where rudder nests inside fuselage skin on bottom of rudder so I can start making up
a new leading edge shape there. Removed rudder from fuselage and clamped to bench. Made up a couple of pieces of blocking for
leading edge area at very bottom forward section of the rudder. Prepped area and glued blocking in place.
December 26 2015 4.0hrs - 2558.5 total. Sanded down blocking and continued sanding and shaping forward lower portion of rudder to
prep for gluing on new piece of skin. Made up a cardboard template then cut a piece of .75mm ply to shape. Steamed and clamped in
place to cool. Started working on the cove molding that goes inside the trailing edge of the fuselage skin. Had to split into four pieces to
handle the curves. Sanded to shape and dry fit.
|Getting serious about removing material
to get rudder to pivot full range.
|Leading edge skin removed
from lower portion of rudder.
Sanding down profile.
|Hinge points backed off
about 1/4". Looking to see if
the gap is too large now?
|Starting to shape bottom of rudder.
|Rudder profile just about right.
|Cardboard template and piece
of .75mm skin. Plywood is so
thin I cut it out with scissors.
|Bend around nose of lower
rudder is so tight that I had to
steam even the super thin ply.
|Dry fitting cove molding
onto aft of fuselage.
|Nose skin being glued in place.
December 27 2015 2.5hrs - 2561.0 total. Trial fit rudder on fuselage again and sanded down more material from lower sides of rudder
spar. Marked, prepped and glued new skin piece onto nose of rudder. Drilled new drain hole, cleaned out existing one, sealed them both.
December 28 2015 5.5hrs - 2566.5 total. Removed staples and clamps from skin piece. Sanded down excess glue and skin joints. Trial
fit rudder on fuselage to check clearing with new nose skin. Looks OK. Measured and cut pieces of ply that will go on outside edges of
hinge opening. Needed to put a bend in these small pieces. Wrapped tightly with elastic strapping onto old plastic tube and steamed.
Came out pretty well. Marked and sanded areas in aft of fuselage where cove molding will go. Prepped for gluing. Made up a piece of
blocking to go at bottom of skin curve. Sanded and carved to shape to allow rudder nose to nest without rubbing. Final fit four cove
molding pieces. Tested with rudder for clearance. Masked off area for small missing skin piece to be installed on port side just behind
elevator access panel. Scarfed existing skin. Made up skin piece and scarfed. Prepped for glue.
|Clamps removed. First
rough sanding finished.
|Four new pieces of cove
molding dry fit. Carved blocking
piece in place at bottom.
|Strips of 1.5mm ply wrapped
with elastic straps onto tube
|This is where they will
be scarfed in.
|This is one of the other
hinge points with the side
pieces still intact.
|Piece of skin scarfed and ready to
be glued in place.
|Here's what it looks like
dry fit in place.