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HS On Hold

· 3 min read

Horizontal Stabilizer

Progressed nicely along building my HS until I accidently final drilled the holes in the flange using a #30 drill instead of a #40 drill. After talking with Van's Builder Support, I replaced the stringer and the front spar. The replacement was surprisingly cheap, around $60 for both parts. The shipping was $200. That was short of a shock but I guess with the weird dimensions of the spar they could only ship freight.

Lesson learned: Don't screw up the spar.

While waiting for the replacement to arrive, I started work on the elevator and ordered my fuselage and wings.

QB all the way

My original plan was to do a slow build fuselage and quick build wing. The current 5 month lead time for quick build means that by the time my quickbuild fuselage arrives I would have progressed past the quick build stage on a slow build fuselage. However, since I'll be working on remodeling my house this winter I won't have space to work on the project, so this is a decent way to keep the project moving. On the other hand, it's an expensive price to pay. I believe for the fuselage QB, my calculations came out to $44/hr that I'm paying for Van's to complete the work. The QB wing is substantially less than that, coming out to around $8 an hour.

Either way, I put down the order for delivery next April or May, and now I just need to figure out what I want to delete from these two kits.


Back to the build, started on the elevators after I put away my HS parts. This seems like the most complicated part of the build. A lot of small parts and a lot of fabrication. However, the work itself is fairly straightforward, nothing new up to 9-7 at least. A lot of final drilling, deburring, and a lot of clecos. I was forced to do some research on dimpling nutplates. On the rudder it was just 2, so I basically forced the dimple and it was good enough. On the elevators and the fuselage going forward there will be a lot more dimpled nutplates,and my dimple die was just slightly too big.

I ordered a reduced diameter dimple die from Aircraft Tool Supply because I had already dimpled my right elevator reinforcement plate so I'll need this to dimple the nutplates to match, but I grabbed 600 NAS1097's also and will be using that on nutplates going forward.

NAS1097's are reduced head rivets, so you just need to slightly countersink the skin to use these in lieu of AD426's. I believe the procedure calls for a few turns of your deburring cutter. A much more elegant and as far as I understand accepted practice compared to dimpling nutplates.

Time and Cost

Money spent so far: