Tonight I’ve enlisted the help of my buddy Garet to help me with bending the elevator skin tabs to close out the trim tab area of the left elevator. There are several options when it comes to how to deal with these tabs. Some builders opt to cut them off and make a little rib to insert in the gap. Garet had good success with bending down the tabs on his RV-7A project so I wanted to use his system for the same good results.
He made some really nice oak forming blocks to match the shape of the elevator skin. One block goes on the inside of the elevator and the other on the outer surface. These are then clamped together against the table (see picture below). This makes this area of the elevator really solid and you can work the tabs more easily now.
Here is a better picture showing the inner and outer blocks.
We started working the tabs down with a block of softwood.
Once the tabs are a little bent down, approx. close to 45 degrees, we then switched to using a rivet gun, with the air pressure cranked way back, and started to slowly work the tabs down until they were bent to as close to 90 degrees as we could get them. This method worked really well for us.
Sorry, I forgot to take the after picture.
F1 Rocket Elevator Mods
The following are a few more pictures of the F1 Rocket mods needed to beef up the standard RV-8 elevators.
First is the spar to tip rib angle stiffener.
Here are some more pictures of the elevator skin stiffener for the spar/tip rib and counterbalance skin area.
Here is a picture of the stiffener added to strengthen the area where the left elevator root rib and elevator spar meet.
Here is an image of some of the doublers and stiffeners for the left elevator.
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