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Rudder 07-08 to 07-11

Used the squeezer to get the 470 rivets on the spar reinforcing plates.


And with a bit of manoeuvering the control horn assembly.

Back Riveting


First bit of back-riveting. Used rivet tape to keep all the little 426’s in place, but the TOP TIP is be very sure the target rivet is firmly on the back rivet plate. I was paranoid about this, as I’ve heard many horror stories about damaged skins.

Lots of rivets


JC5 on the stiffener surfaces.


Phew, no dents!

Pop Riveting


Made a little wedge tool as suggested by Vans to pull the pop rivets on the Shear Clips. This was needed since there is not enough clearance to get a straight pull on the rivets, and the wedge angles the rivet tool away from the skin.


3M Tape


As per the manual bonding the VA-140 TE with 3M F9460PC Adhesive Tape. Found a good source for this specialist tape on Amazon. Used a heat gun to warm it up a bit, since it was a bit chilly in the workshop and the tape specs suggested it needed to be warmer to ensure a good bond. The manual states you should leave the area where this fits un-primed and scuffed. I didn’t like the idea of this, because the back of the Rudder would have a non-primed area right on the edge. I did some trials, and reckoned I’d get a good enough bond having primed it. Also because I’m using an Aluminium angle to keep it all straight it’s probably not as important. Well, we’ll see won’t we?


Keeping everything straight by clecoing to the aluminium angle.


Closing the skins


No pictures of the process since it’s definitely a 2-man job …. thanks Tim! Worked out OK but be careful to place the shear clips against the stiffeners on the correct side prior to riveting the single rivet at the back! Didn’t spot one had swapped sides, and guess what! Once that single rivet is in it’s not possible to splay the stiffeners enough to sort the problem. The only way out was to drill out the blinking pop rivet, not easy. Luckily Vans had engineered 2 holes, but only used one. Yep, ended up putting the replacement pop rivet back in the other hole since getting the first one out had damaged the original hole.

Mass Balance

Mass balance attached with the nut plate. Manual doesn’t mention it, but some people have put locktite on the bolts … I did too.


One comment on Rudder 07-08 to 07-11
  1. Chris

    The mass balance attachment has changed. Mine is just bolted on whereas this is a much neater solution.

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