<August 8, 2005>

Bent the Rudder Leading Edge

Well, this was a pain in the arse! I am just glad its over. My buddy Jeff (non-pilot, not-builder) came over to assist, which was good because it was definately a two-person job. I did as the plans said, I taped a 3/4" pipe to the flange and rolled while pressing down and away from the spar. However I bent it in sections rather than all at once. It came out pretty good, overall I am pleased, but I did end up with a bit of a sharp bend at the very bottom of the rudder. It just doesn't seem like there is enough metal to make a good bend in this area, and from the pictures I have seen, other builders run into the same issue here. We rolled, and then headed in for dinner and a beer. Oh, almost forgot, before I started bending, I made sure to use the edge-forming tool on the flat edged rudder flange, so that the seam will lay flat when riveted.

I decided to roll the rudder in sections. I think it was probably easier that way but who knows. Here is what the top section looked like after bending.

Onto the middle section. I stuck with the directions and taped the entire length of each flange.

The finished product and Jeff... Say hi Jeff! The bottom section was the most difficult, and I did end up with a little bit of a crease at the spar, but I really can't see how I could have done any better with this. I will do some hand work tomorrow and see if I can smooth it out. Jeff was hungry so we called it quits here and fired up the BBQ for some burgers.