Vertical Stab Starts to Come Together

Who would have thought Cleco pliers would cause blisters? And this is only the vertical stabilizer … imagine what the wings will do 🙂

With just a few newbie challenges, which I’ve documented on the Tips page, the vert stab has come together, skin and all, and is now ready for disassembly, deburring, and possibly primer. I’m still undecided whether to do primer or not. My ’58 Bonanza was not primered at the factory, lived several decades back east (Ohio and Pennsylvania), and when looking at the inside aluminum from the bulkhead aft, it looked beautiful … and it passed an extensive corrosion inspection before I brought it out to Arizona. So, I’m not yet convinced that hours of extra work, several hundred dollars in materials, and a few extra pounds of weight, in primer is worthwhile. I’m going to think on this more before I decide what to do.

Today’s work was from RV-14 builder’s manual pages 06-03 and 06-04. Fluting: it all started making sense to me when I realized that as long as the pre-punched holes in the flange were in a single line, I was good. I used a flexible ruler and lined it up on the first and last hole. If the holes in between weren’t lined up, then I added/removed fluting creases as needed. Don’t forget, the “bumps” created from the fluting process need to bump downwards, or the skin is not going to fit very well onto the top of the flanges.