08-01-2020 Empennage Riveted

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I’d picked up the empennage, slats, and flaps — a whole crate of parts — in a kamikaze run to San Antonio April 1st. Governor Abbott had declared a statewide pseudo-shutdown a few days before. I simply could not handle my parts being “mothballed” in a warehouse for a month. I mean, that would seriously ruin my schedule, mang.

I thought: I’ll have the stabilizer and rudder done by end of May, and I’ll have the slats and flaps done by end of July. Then I’ll pick up the rest of the plane at Zenith in August. And do a demo ride with Mr Dubbert if I was lucky.

In fact I finished the horizontal stabilizer on April 19th — right on schedule:

Horizontal Stabilizer Done

Stabilizer Finished

But the elevator which I started on April 22nd … well … I just now “finished” the elevator today. All kinds of delays happened: vacations, disruptions, outrage. The elevator though was the most interesting piece of the empennage. I took my time. A LOT OF TIME. In the end I learned about wiring and installing nut plates. I had to ask Roger at Zenith about a factory produced part issue. It took a lot of AC 43.13 review to figure out how to get the right pieces for the wiring and the inspection plate. Only once I briefly anguished: Why is this taking so long? What about my schedule???

But I realized: Rushing just prevents me from learning what I want to be learning. And from wiring (techniques, tools, materials) to appropriate ways of creating easily removable cover / inspection plates I sat down and did the fundamentals first. Voila:

ch750 elevator skeleton

But it’s not 100% — they’re still not connected, still material to remove from the elevator to clear the rear mount plate on the stabilizer.

I loves it though. I really loves it.