Swinging Ri… Rudders

Today was one of those days when the weather was so nice outside that time just flew by with the doors on the Garaggio open. In fact it flew by so quickly that I only completed a little over half of what I set out to do today. No worries as everything I got done today turned out better than I thought.

I also got the opportunity today to chat with some friends, new and old about Long Ez’s. It is quite energizing talking about building with other people who either have been there before. It is likewise fun with builder who are in a phase of building you have been through, making decisions you have had to make before. Today was rudder pedal with Ryan, Blended winglets with Bruce, and our progress in our respective daily workshop sessions with Nate. Builders are a cool group of people, and these guys keep the motivation bank full!

Anyways, my work session started with contour sanding the epoxy wipe on the wings. I did a bit more on the right wing and it is pretty much there. I also did a lot of work on the left wing and am at least 95% of the way there on this one. I will hit both of them one more time with 120 or so. I also should fill a couple of outstanding low spots with either glazing putty or micro light. There are just a few worth addressing at this stage, and then a few more after the first round of primer.

Then I switched gears and decided it was finally time to cut out the rudders. I needed a break from the constant sanding and contouring. I was intentionally waiting to do the rudders until I was close to done with the finishing work. I kind of wish I would have done the ailerons that way too. It is way easier to finish an airfoil surface when you don’t have screw heads and hinge in the way. For those of you who are at this stage, don’t cut them out, finish the wing panels first.

So first thing I did was make the hinge sections that we would need for each rudder. There are 3 sections on each surface. So Those were cut, filed, deburred then the screw and rivet holes were laid out and pilot drilled.


This allowed me to align the hinge sections in their places all aligned to each other. They were then pilot drilled to the winglet and rudder. This located both halves of the hinge to ensured bind-free operation. I also checked to make sure that the nav/strobe light will clear the rudder.


Once the hinges were located, I used my Soni-Crafter (Fein) saw to cut the rudder out. I used a metal yardstick as a fence to keep the saw going straight. It was pretty easy to do and be accurate. Though I did catch myself wandering a few times. Not far though.


All that my saw deviations did was require me to hit it with a sanding block and widen the gap ever so slightly. It may need a bit more work but we are close, and we will finalize once the spar is in.


I am quite happy with how the rudders came out. They are already swinging on the winglets right now with the hinges clecoed in place on the exterior. Next will be building the spars and actuation hardware. This is the last control surface, and really the very last structure that needs to be built, and I should be done with it sooner than later. More tomorrow.




2 thoughts on “Swinging Ri… Rudders

  1. I don’t understand how the rudder cables and bell rank hook up inside the wind tip to actuate the rudder, keep us posted on that please? Bruce Hammer

    Sent from my iPad

    1. Will do Bruce. I actually have jack Morrison’s drawings on how he did it. There is a conduit that is buried in the wing from the wing root through the blend. I will be exposing the rudder end of this today.

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