With the wing all taken care of, the next step is assemblying the tail surfaces. The first step is to attach the plastic attachment tabs on the elevator control rods. Be sure to thread each of them the same number of turns so the control linkage leverage is the same length.
The horizontal stabilizer and elevators are hinged at the factory and come with the tail fairing that’s between the horizontal stab and the rudder, already glued into place. This whole assembly is screwed and glued into place in the tail-saddle at the back of the fuselage. The fit is nice.
The tail fairing is made of fiberglass and is a hollow molding. You can’t just drop the attachment bolts into the holes. I found it helpful to use a short length of a drinking straw to guide the bolt into place.
Once the bolt slides into place you can then slip the hex driver into the straw to tighten the bolt into place. Once the bolts have been installed, you can check the tail alignment with the wing center section. Measure each side of the tail relative to the wing’s trailing edge. Each size should be the distance. For my airplane, the distance was off by 1/4 inch. This was taken care of by tweaking both the wing’s placement and the tail’s postion by 1/8 inch.
After everything lines up ok, remove the stabilizer, add some 15 minute epoxy and reinstall it. Tighten the bolts and then clean up any epoxy that oozes from the saddle with some paper towel and alcohol. Double check the alignment with the wing.
Now glue the rudder hinges into place in the vertical fin. I used Zap “Hinge Glue”. This is a discontinued product but I have a large supply. You can also use Zap “Canopy Glue Formula 560”. It is the same glue but dries clear instead of the yellow hinge glue color. It is better than using epoxy for hinges because it is water based, and so, while it sets up, it caused the bare wood to swell. This mechanically grips the hinge very tightly for an excellent bond. I have used it for as long as it has been available and never had a hinge break loose or pull out. (It is no longer available because wood kit sales have dropped so much.)
For the rudder drive rod, I use a little 15 minute epoxy applied to the tiller wire to bond it into the front of the rudder. Just a small dab is all that’s needed. If you do not glue it in place, over time, the wire will wear out the hole leading to increasing control slop in the rudder travel.
After the hnges dry in the fin, squirt a little Zap “Hinge Glue” into the holes in the rudder and use a tooth pick to work the glue into the whole depth of the hinge pocket. Slide the rudder into place and work the rudder left and right to check the alignment of the hinges. They should all be in line and the rudder should move smoothly in either direction.
All that’s left is to install the internal pushrods and clevises. Leaving the tailwheel unit out gives you good access to the rudder tiller rod from the tailwheel opening.
Stay tuned, I’ll be updating the build as assembly continues. Please leave comments!
See ya soon! CLICK HERE TO GO TO PART 5.