Attaching the Tail

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Attaching the tail is pretty straight forward, even though it seems like a BIG job! The horizontal stab is put in place first. It is hard to get the centerline of the fuselage aligned with the centerline of the stab, so I used a tape measure taped to the front center of the turtle deck. By checking the distance at various places on the stab, I positioned it square and true to the fuselage.
The bolt holes are then drilled through the stab and into the fuselage longerons.
Next, the vertical stab is put in place. Mine vertical stab skin required a minor bit of trimming for it to sit all the way down on the horizontal stab.
To drill these holes I used my right angle air drill and step drilled up to 1/4".
The vertical stab bolts thread into nutplates. There is simply no room to get a wrench on a nut back there.
Somehow, despite measuring everything several times, the gap between the fuselage side and left horizontal stabilizer skin is a little larger that I'd like (1/4").
The right side gap is perfect. I am going to either make a doubler to sit over the root edges (similar to the wing root doublers), or make a fiberglass fairing to cover everything (and skip the aluminum tail fairings).
Aside from the fairings, the tail is mounted! I really wish I could just leave it on there. It's so motivational to see it there. But, that would really complicate painting.


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Updated: 24 Jan 06