Another RV-10 Site
Horizontal Stab
& Elevator Log



rv01 (6K)


rv02 (5K)


rv03 (5K)


rv04 (4K)


rv05 (5K)


rv06 (4K)


rv07 (4K)


rv08 (5K)


rv09 (5K)


rv10 (4K)


rv11 (4K)


rv12 (4K)


Reconfigured the shop to have the workbench long way down the shop floor. The permanent work bench will supplement holding the 11 foot spars. I also have a jig for holding the skins that will extend across both tables. Looks like this will be twice the work of either of the surfaces completed so far.

RV-10 Horizontal Stabilizer



Dwg, Steps

Notes and Photos

3/7 to 3/9/08


8-2, 8-3, 8-4, 8-5

Work started on the rear spar and doubler. The plans then called for priming so I skipped ahead to the front spar so I would have enough material to make it worth while to mix up the primer.

The rear spar called for a set of attach brackets made from stock angle. I machined them up on my mill to within 0.002" of the dimensions specified on the drawing. Who cares? Most people would have cut them with an axe and filed them down.

The rear spar calls for two very long spar caps fitted into the spar corners. Similar to the VS but much more work (190 holes). Then the doubler and attachment brackets get matched drilled to the spar and spar caps. After deburring, all pieces are now ready for priming. Simple work but a lot of it.

Milling Attach Brackets.

Front and Rear Spar

3/10 to 3/16/08


8-2, 8-3, 8-6, 8-7, 8-8, 8-9

Primed parts. Then riveted spar doubler and hinge brackets to rear spar. Riveted brackets to flange bearing and bolted to rear spar. Rear spar completed.

Riveted spar doubler, spar caps and attach brackets to front spar, photo 1. Then set up the jig for holding the skins and placed the skins inside. Deburred all the nose and inspar ribs, some of which required trimming per the plans. Two of the nose ribs needed pass through holes for trim cables. I plunge milled the holes as shown in photo 2.

The skeleton was cleco'd together and then match drilled. Then the skeleton was transferred to the skins as shown in photo 3 and 4. After adding the stringers, I then cleco'd the skin to the skeleton. Took about 450 clecos. I haven't counted but there must be about 900 skin holes to drill, deburr, countersink and rivet. Drilling is next task.

Riveting Spar Doubler

Milling Nose Rib.

Skeleton and Skins

Adding Stringers.

3/17 to 3/23/08



Not much to photograph during this monotonous step. Matched drilled the 900 skin holes. Then reconfigured the work shop so I would have my work bench space available. Then deburred 1,800 holes. Then dimpled 900 holes. Then dimpled the ribs and countersunk the stringers. I still have to countersink the front and rear spar but skipped ahead and primed all the ribs and stringers since they were ready. Priming marks the turning point from match drilling to final assembly.

Dimpling Skins.

Priming Parts.

3/21 to 3/30/08


8-9, 8-10, 8-11, 8-12

I countersunk all the skin holes in the front and rear spars after priming. I think this is a better way to do it so the primer doesn't fill up the hole after it is cut. Then assembly starts with the riveting of the stringers to the web and inspar ribs creating an inspar assembly. The skins were then put back in the jigs and the nose ribs attached. It was difficult to rivet the front of the nose ribs in such a confined space. Then the front spar and stringer assembly are inserted in the skins. The entire structure is then cleco'd back to the skins.

The nose ribs are blind riveted to the spar. Then the skins are riveted to the front spar flange. This is about a 4 hour job. I have flipped the holding jig on its side for the skin riveting so I am not standing on a stool bent over. Be sure to secure the HS to the jig if you are going to place it on its side.

Riveting Structure.

Riveting Skins.

3/31 to 4/5/08



Next the skins were riveted to the front spar flange. Then to the inspar ribs up to the stringers. The stringers were then riveted and then all the remaining ribs. At this point I inspected everything for proper riveting and drilled out quite a few I didn't like. Then the structure was closed up with the rear spar. The skins were then riveted to the rear spar flange.

After 948 rivets on this piece, I feel like I can rivet anything together.

All Done!.


RV-10 Elevators



Dwg, Steps

Notes and Photos

4/5 to 4/7


9-2, 9-3, 9-4, 9-5, 9-6, 9-7

Elevators have gone together rather quickly up to this point. The ribs are a split design similar to the rudder. The skins are separate flat sheets 0.016 thickness. The counter balance rib was a little tricky to flute for flatness and get good hole alignment but not a big deal. Horns fit right in place. Trailing edge was cut to fit similar to rudder. I have match drilled the skins and am ready to start dimpling but I am off to Sun-N-Fun for a couple of days.


Counter balance rib.

Left and Right Elevators

On my way to Sun-N-Fun 4/10-11

4/8 to 4/20/08


9-7, 9-8, 9-9, 9-10

Finished match drilling and then disassembled, deburred and dimpled skins and ribs. Three areas were a little tricky to dimple: 1) Tip rib in narrow tip, 2) #6 screws in cover plate and 3) nut plate. I had to make special dies on my lathe. One accepted a #6 screw as the make die and pressed into a countersunk steel die that fits into my squeezer. The second was a narrow 3/32" die that will work with the nut plates. The tip rib needed a flat piece of steel with a flat female die to get into the narrow rib space.

All parts were then primed and I have just started assemble of the tip rib and front spar.

Parts all prep'd.

Riveting tip ribs.

4/21 to 4/27/08


9-11 to 9-15

The rib halves are back riveted to the skins as was done with the rudder. Then the front spars are riveted to one skin. But unlike the rudder which was joined rib by rib, the elevator is cleco'd all together and then the ribs are blind riveted. It was tough getting into the small space for the ribs.

The opposite skin was then riveted to the front spar as shown in the picture below. When completed I skipped the trailing edge and went on to attaching the counter balance rib and tip rib. I will go back and do the training edge bonding at the same time I do the trim tab bonding.

Rib halves attached.

Riveting skin to rear spar.

4/28 to 5/10/08


9-15 to 9-19

Turns out it is better to do the trim rib and elevator trailing edge bonding separately. The trailing edge was cleco'd directly to the steel angle on the work bench and was perfectly straight after riveting. I'm very happy with the way it turned out.

The trim tabs were another story. The plans have you completed the fold, then bend the tab using wedges and then bend the leading edge. I would suggest first bending the tabs using square wedges, then completing the fold and then bending the trailing edge. Riveting was a major PITA. The 0.016" skins mark and distort very easily. There is only about 1.5" in which to get a bucking bar to buck the front spar rivets. I had to use some round steel stock as an ad hoc bucking bar.

I am glad the trim tab are done. I am glad I only have one more use of proseal bonding agent in this project.

Only thing left after these tasks is attaching the trim tabs to the elevators using the piano hinge. Then done!

Trailing edge work.

Riveting trim tabs.

Joining tabs to elevators.

Completed Elevators.




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