Tag: Elevator

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Elevator Done!

Riveted the elevator together: Trimmed the L angle connecting the upper and lower horns:   I adjusted and attached the servo to the trim tab, as well as used a 9V battery to test its movement up and down. The rod and assembly can safely clear the hole, and nothing catches or drags. I mounted the servo motor, double checked everything, and the elevator is done!

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I tapped the hinge pin out an inch or so and trimmed it about a half inch shorter, then put it back and put holes on both ends of the barrel to put safety wire through it. The twisted safety wire on both ends of the hinge will ensure it doesn’t come apart. I riveted together the skeleton, then clecoed the skins onto it on both sides, and clecoed the horn assembly.

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Everything taken apart, deburred, and mating surfaces scuffed up. I also drilled out holes for zip ties to hold the wires leading to the trim tab servo. It will have two ties on each hole: 1 secured to the spar, and the other between the first tie and the wire. This should help prevent chafing

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The edge of the nose skin needed to be trimmed back, and after a half hour I was getting increasingly frustrated with the wavy results. I had similar problems getting straight and smooth cuts on the rudder nose skin using snips at the Zenith factory, and the guys there assured me it wasn’t just bad technique - it’s an inevitable result of using snips. I remembered a thread I had read online previously about a miracle cure, so I thought I’d give it a try.

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I soldered the trim tab servo to the cable that will carry it to the fuselage, and put some heat shrink tubing on each wire and over the bundle. The rod also need to be cut shorter. The trim tab servo is now ready for installation  

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I attached the hinge to the trim tab, using 0.016 shims for spacing to keep the hinge barrel from rubbing against the trim tab. When attaching the assembly to the elevator, the shims kept falling out so I taped a bunch to the trim tab channel so it could be positioned more easily. Then I drilled and attached the hinge to the elevator. I then positioned the servo on the underside of the top of the elevator skin and drilled it into place.

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All of the holes on the elevator are now drilled out to final size, and I took the nose skin off to make it easier to flip it over repeatedly. I got the upper horn, lower horn, and horn angles attached. Here you can see the bottom of the horn angle was filed to line up with the lower horn. I cut an L-angle to connect the rear of the upper and lower horns to the rear channel and to each other.

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Over the past few days I’ve gotten the trim tab channel positioned, drilled and clamped, and trimmed so the tip ribs fit over it. Tonight, with Cara’s help, we taped the nose skin in place on one side of the elevator, then drilled and clamped it. Next time we’ll do the other side.

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Mark A. Stratman

Mark (& Cara) are building a Zenith CH 750 STOL aircraft, and this site shows the progress and acts as a builder’s log for the FAA airworthiness certificate.

Feel free to contact Mark at [email protected] or visit stratman.pw.


Illinois, USA