Last Thursday the team reached a major milestone in the process of building the airplane – we closed out the horizontal stabilizer. The two main team members that worked very hard at making this happen are Chris Foster and Tony Tan. Read on for a little more detail on what they did.
The very first step was to build a worktable that was level and free from warp to ensure that the stabilizer would be free from twist. Some 80-20 extruded aluminum came to the rescue and we have a sturdy and straight worktable frame. We finished it with some MDF and sealant as a table surface.
We then bonded the stabilizer panel and got to work. One of the first steps was to bond in the rear stabilizer spar and the inboard ribs. The issues we had bonding in some of the ribs are the subject of this earlier post.
The next big step was finding the elevator hinge line and preparing the mounts for the elevator hinges. The laser lavel and some creativity helped us dream up a contraption to mark the line.
Last step was to bond in the NAV antenna and we were ready for closeout! A team of four frantically applied mill fiber on the stabilizer to cover all the surfaces in the short working time of the resin.
We then laid some (a lot) of weight on the top panel and wait for it to cure. Tomorrow we see the results of our handiwork.
As far as the other parts of the build go, we are in the process of bonding in the firewall and the wing ribs are getting fiberglassed one by one.