Trevor & Dewey's RV-7 Construction Log

Fuselage - Main

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Date: 08/16/2011
Task: Mounting the empennage

Tonight I noticed two very important problems. The first: When setting the position of the VS front spar, we didn't take into account the fact that the rear spar hadn't been drilled and bolted to the F-712 rear bulkhead. This through the hinge line out of whack. Secondly, this project started out as an RV-7A, so I drilled the lower hinge bracket for the tie-down block. Well the -7 doesn't use that block but instead has AN4 bolts that go through the hinge bracket, VS rear spar, F-712, and tailwheel weldment. I'm concerned about edge distance here. The plans call out 1.125" spacing from center, which is just shy of the edge distance requirement. If I use a dimension of 1", I'd be fine. I'm going to call Van's to check.

First order of business tonight was to drill the lower AN4 bolt hold through the VS rear spar, F-712 and tailwheel weldment.

Since we had already drilled the F-781 splice plate last night, I had to fabricate one out of scap 0.63 since the position is going to be different once the VS rear spar is bolted in place. I traced, cut, clamped, and match drilled the pattern of holes that had already been drilled through the VS.

After the VS rear spar was securly bolted in place, I set the 1/4" angle of the front of the VS. This helps counteract P-factor.

Then I clamped the F-781/VS front spar to the HS front spar and verified all the dimensions were still correct. The major one being the rear hinge line where the rudder mounts. I got all three perfectly lined up and clamped the VS front spar in place.


Clamped,. drilled and reamed for AN3 bolts.

Now that the VS is mounted solidly, I had to mount the rudder on to check or free movement. It swings perfectly!

Here is the custom F-781 bracket I fabricated.

After removing the rudder and VS, I installed the elevators so we can drill the push-rod attach points.