Starting construction on the horizontal stabilizer.

The Van's kit is, as already mentioned on this site, excellent! If we had to bitch about something up til now, then it would be the paper stickers on different parts that are a pain to remove. Even with white gas it's a real PITA and worst of all, the time spent is totally unproductive.

Finally we finished painting the VS parts, which we'll rivet together soon.

The VS ribs completely painted as well.

Starting the construction on the Horizontal Stabilizer. This is the rear spar assembly being match drilled. We spent a lot of time preparing, filing, sanding and finishing the HS-609PP main doublers.

Then drilling out the center elevator hinge assembly.

The smarttool digital angle finder from Avery is definitely worth the investment. The HS-710 and HS-714 spar stiffener ends have to be bent to 6° after being tapered according to the plans.

Very simple and a lot easier than expected, just a couple of pieces of wood clamped around the pieces.

Looking good.

Also, for the front spar, the HS-702's have to be trimmed back for bending, since they were designed for RV8's. The tool used is called a "hand nibbler". It works very well to get a rough shape. The spars then had to be filed and sanded.

The plans call for "relief notches" at the bends. They have to be made with a 1/4" unibit, after a #30 pilot hole has been drilled.

Well the first oops, the relief notches turned out to be a little more inwards than suggested by the plans... The plans call for approx. 5/32" depth from the flange. Ours now have 10/32" each. A quick email to Van's builder support (reply within less than a day!) assured that this was not a problem, and the HS-702 were just fine like that.

That's how the assembly of the front spar will look like in the end. Of course the HS-710 is missing in this picture, but fits just as well.


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