First order of business was to remove the protective plastic and do some inspecting and deburring of the edges and holes.
With that out of the way, time to assemble the main rib structure.
On the bottom rib there was a minor misalignment of the rib. The rib extended a little bit beyond the skin, but the holes were all drilled fine.
So I trimmed off the small part that extended too far.
And on to more ribs to make it a really solid seat.
The last part was to put on the front skin and make sure everything lines up. When I first clecoed it on some of the ribs didn’t align, so I unclecoed the skin again, then centered it and clecoed it again and everything fit well.
With the wiring finished and the Antenna fitting done, I am now finally able to close up the Vertical Stabilizer and rivet the skin.
To begin, I closed up the left side of the skin and held it in place with clecos, since this is the side where the Antenna slides through the enlarged rivet hole, while on the right side I had to create the custom notch so that I can pull the skin around the Antenna.
Once that was done, I riveted on the support plate for the Antenna onto the top rib of the Vertical Stabilizer.
Now that the structure is complete, time to mount the Antenna permanently in place. Using two 20mm long M4 screws, washers and Nyloc nuts and some medium strength threadlocker I mounted the Antenna in place. Here’s the Antenna mounted in place and the wire connected to the Antenna using the BNC connector I crimped onto the wire.
Riveting the skin
With all the prep work finished, I closed up the right side of the skin, made sure everything fits correctly and clecoed it in place. There are two holes on the bottom on each side that are not riveted, but instead I have to install Rivnuts in them, so I marked out those holes, so I don’t accidentally rivet them.
There were two rivets that I had to shorten in order for them to fit flush near the Antenna. So I made a small template for the dept through a piece of wood and then shortened them accordingly.
After that, it was just a matter of pulling the many rivets on both sides of the skin to close the Vertical Stabilizer up for good.
The last part was to install the two rivnuts on the bottom on each side, so after enlarging the holes using my step drill and reaming them out using my hand reamer, I got out my rivnut puller and high strength loctite and put those in place.
With the Vertical Stabilizer completed, I then did a quick test fit and mounted it on top of the Fuselage and also attached the Rudder for a moment – almost looks like an airplane.
I got an exciting progress update from the factory today on the coming along of my Sling TSi Quickbuild kit down in The Airplane Factory in South Africa. The Fuselage is mostly assembled and here’s the pictures of it:
Aside from that, my tool collection is coming along nicely. I now have hundreds of clecos, various pliers, deburring tools, drill bits and countersinks. Just a few more tools to go from the list from TAF.
The project may also have been my excuse to buy a label maker, I ended up with the Brady BMP 21, so now I get to print nice labels, I started with some boxes for the clecos as seen below.