Elevators – 0901 to 0909

Quite a lot of parts in the elevators! It's like Vans have been ramping you up to this and suddenly each page has about 10 instructions instead of a couple like before. The trailing edge of the elevators have foam ribs which need to be cut from a block provided using paper templates. This necessitated the purchase of a bandsaw which I wished I had had when I was separating all the ribs and shear clips. I managed to find a nice secondhand Draper on Gumtree and it has been a godsend. I also needed more bench real estate so a second fire door and trestles has been brought into play. It is much easier to interpret the plans if you can lay everything out as per the diagrams. Vans lights to show everything as if you are standing at the back of the aircraft looking forward which can be slightly confusing at times.

One of the more testing parts was folding the edges near the trim tab. Vans recommends doing this using the edge of the bench and using a piece of wood clamped on the bend line. You then set your rivet gun on a very low pressure and use it to create the fold. Having heard a few horror stories I approached this with trepidation but it turned out really well with a really nice fold and subsequent fit.

The trim tab requires a piano hinge to be match drilled and fitted. I made a small jig to ensure that the hinge remained parallel as I had heard of people ending up with a stiff hinge as the piano hinge is very soft and flexible and very easy to bend when fitting. This worked out fine and a test with the hinge wire back in confirmed that the trim tab pivoted freely.

As in all things Vans, you do a lot of construction and then it all needs to be taken apart for deburring etc. This is where I'm up to and halfway through deburring a lot of parts. I think I will probably prime next as it will take at least a couple of sessions due to the amount of parts along with 4 separate skins.

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