Off to the Races

Vans Practice Kit and Starting the Vertical Stabilizer:

Every year, gearheads from around the world congregate at the Circuit of the Americas track for Moto GP.  My best friend, being one such gearhead, came to Austin to enjoy the races and experience the area.  While he was here, we ended up heading to the hangar to try our hand at building some airplane (practice) parts.  We ended working through to step 6 of the practice kit, attaching and match drilling the skins to the 7 before it was time to head back.

The following week, I spent a few hours making some more progress on the kit, rounding out the build by wrapping up just before riveting the flanges and trailing edge.

I also ordered a few more parts, and finally embedded a back rivet plate into one of the workbenches

I've been holding off on picking up a back rivet plate only because I hoped I could source a cold-rolled steel plate locally.  As it turned out, the ease of simply ordering one online outweighed the inconvenience of tracking down a metal supplier.

Last weekend, I finally finished up the practice kit.

New Tools, AZKO Primer:

Looks like I've chosen my side in the great primer wars; AZKONobel's 463-12-8/CA-116.  I'm planning on wet abrading the internal parts, drying and cleaning with acetone, and priming with epoxy.

Lacking a local supplier, I ordered the primer from Aircraft Spruce.  Shipping was pretty fast, but the 463 can was damaged in shipping.

A small amount of the paint leaked, but hammering on the lid sealed the can again.  When I begin using it I intend to use Mixing Mates to store and seal the cans, so I'm not terribly worried about the lid.

I also picked up another rivet gun (3x this time), and a harbor freight HVLP gun.

Vertical Stabilizer:

Then, with my newfound confidence, I finally started the vertical stabilizer.  I was able to progress through to page 06-04, step 3; drilling the skin before final deburring and priming.  More photos of the priming and riveting process to come!  In addition, I'll need to fabricate a stand to store the horizontal and vertical stabilizers, as well as the elevator and rudder before the tailcone is assembled.


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