David's RV-10 Build

Just another RV-10 builders log

Category: Empennage

Right tank assembly

This week I wrapped up any deburring that was left as well any dimpling that was required. I also drilled out the holes for my return line and custom fabbed a anti rotation plate out of some 1×1 angle. I cut the angle at the bend to make 2 pieces.

I decided to go a different route on the assembly this time. I back riveted all the stiffeners in place first. then the next time I worked on it I did the filler cap, the drain, and I all the parts on the inboard rib as well as the end rib. This method has made it a lot easier to make sure everything is sealed. I also don’t feel as rushed.

Since I had extra proseal made up I went ahead and finished the elevator trim tab that I started rebuilding months ago. I forgot to take any pictures after this.

Clean up

Over the last couple of days I hit a few things on my to-do list. I decided I really didn’t feel like messing around with fiberglass for now and I will have plenty of time for that later. I replaced a few rivets here and there that I didn’t like. I also started redoing the left elevator but the foam blocks did not feel like cooperating. Last night I started the fun process of tearing down the empennage. This morning I laid some blankets down over a room in my shop and had some of my employees help me lift everything up there. The tail cone went up far easier than we thought it would. After that I gave the shop a well deserved clean up.


Over  the last 2 weeks I ahven’t done anything large by any real standard and its hard to post about putting a screw in here or there. So i’m just going to add it all into one post.

  • Installed the Trim Servo & Cables. Eventually took the trim servo out so I could connectorize it. That still needs to go back in. I forgot to order the cases for the DB9 connectors and those will be here Monday.
    • Need to figure out why the left elevator trim will not go as high as the right side. It barely goes above the left elevator, but is even when in the down position.
  • Mounted all of the elevator & rudder fairings.
    • While installing the bottom rudder fairing I installed the Rear Strobe Mounting bracket I received from Cleveland Aircraft Tool. This is a nice looking bracket that should make strobe mounting a breeze.
  • Installed the Flush Static Air ports from Cleaveland Aircraft Tools
  • Rebuilt the right trim tab. This looks much nicer then the old one. Still need to do the left side

I also going to create a tasks to do page. So I can easily remember what I still need to do for when i skip steps or move onto other areas if I get bored.

Trim servo with white writable heatshrink & db9 connector

lower rudder fairing being installed


the plane as it sits

trim tab off waiting to be replaced

much nicer looking trim installed. moves much easier this time with graphite applied.


Elevator movement

Today I worked on the pushrod for the elevators and got it mounted. This went really easy, but it did expose a flaw done earlier. My elevators are 1/8″ of an inch out of alignment. Van’s says this is perfectly fine as they have one plane thats 5/8″ out and it flys great. So I have 2 options, 1) Leave it or 2) Pull an elevator off and weld close the hole and try it again. I will probably pursue option 2 when I get to the point where I search out all the flaws I see in the empennage section.

I also “bolted” on the rudder, but I have some rubbing that I will have to fix in the near future.


Haven’t touched this in a while mainly as I have been ridiculously busy. The weekends lately have been taken over by Flying & Skydiving lessons. Today I just went through and final drilled both Stabilizers and put in the appropriate bolts. Nothing to really photograph.

Putting things together!

Poor logging this week, but Ill get over it. Last week I ordered a bunch of spare rivets, some NACA ducts, flanges and hoses for the cabin air that will be installed later. Turns out I ordered the wrong flanges but its not the end of the world. First thing I did was install the ball joints into the elevators. The plans call for a 7/8″ gap from the center of the hole to the front spar of the elevator. This was pretty easy.

next I mounted the horizontal stabilizer to one of the many workbenches I had with 4 Sheetrock screws. Next I mounted one of the elevators to the horizontal stabilizer and made sure I had the clearances needed. then I had to file down a bushing so it would fit in the bearing to drill the final pivot point. after a quick trip to a local tooling shop, I was able to drill the hole in the control horns. Rinse wash repeat for the other side.

after mounting both elevators back on I marked and drilled the control horns for the push rod. the plans next call for the elevators to be removed. but I was in no mood to do that considering how much of a PITA it was to get the nuts tightened on there.

I believe next I match drilled the Vertical Stabilizer attach bracket and made the spacers for the horizontal stabilizer.

spacers made from the plans (photocopied 4 times) for templates

parts primed

Once these parts dried, I taped the spacers onto the bottom of the HS attach brackets. Next i mounted the HS Assembly onto the tailcone. I finished the day off by match drilling the 4 attach points towards the rear. I installed the nuts & bolts as called out in the plans as I drilled each hole.

Tailcone Complete!

Today Corey & I wrapping up the tail cone rivets. I luckily happened to have a bunch of old moving blankets that we acquired for some reason. This made great padding for working inside the tail cone. Once we generated a game plan, I crawled into the tail cone and began back riveting the rivets. After a while it became lunch time and we had ourselves a healthy meal of KFC and played some Diablo 3. (As you can tell we had a very busy day at the office). After defeating Diablo we went into the back and Jason helped finished riveting while Corey & my Dad gave me the infinite wisdom on whatever came across their minds. I don’t know what they said 99% of the time as I had my ear muffs on.

Corey & I riveting

Tailcone skins completed!

Since I could & have been waiting for this day. Jason & I temporarily attached both the Horizontal & Vertical Stabilizers.

The excitement quickly died down as I decided to take off these pieces so I could finish the rest of the tail cone section without worrying about cleco failure.

Next I began by assembling the bellcrank assembly and installed it into the tailcone. Afterwards I installed the rear seat belt attachment points.

After this little bit of excitement I stripped the majority of the blue plastic off of the tailcone.

Then I cleaned off a workbench and proceeded to mount the horizontal stabilizer to it. I held it down using 4 1 5/8″ drywall screws that I had left over from building the tables. I did a pretty poor job of pictures from here (just 1). But it involved installing Rod End Bearings into both elevators. I got a little bit ahead of myself and mounted both elevators to the horizontal stabilizer. The next time I get to work on this I will remove one of the elevators and follow it step by step again. 

Tailcone riveting pt3

Today I had nothing going on at the shop so I had one of my guys help me finish the bulkheads & bottom skin. Once we got done with that we did the F1037 bellcrank ribs. I did put a nice dent in the bottom skin when the rivet gun slipped from my hand and bounced where it was not requested to bounce. We did get the majority of it out though. You can still tell its there though. I will try working on getting it out a bit more in the future when I have some time.  I swear the worst rivets were the ones in the bends. We struggled with those quite a bit. After riveting the skins to the point where I had no more clecos in. I began working on the F1014 Aft Deck. Eventually I got that all riveted together and put the top skin on and called it a night.

Jason putting rivets in the aft deck

aft deck riveted ready for more rivets for pieces

all done (minus additional nuts & bolts)

installation of stiffeners

top skin cleco’d on

David's RV-10 Build © 2015