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Tue 22 November 2005

Whilst continuing to wait for other parts to be delivered and with some fibre-glass confidence from a couple of days ago, we found something new to focus on. All the empennage tips are made from fibre-glass and need to be blind-riveted to main structure. After completing the drilling we counter sunk the tips and dimpled the appropriate locations.
The inside of the elevators ribs in particular are very tight with the tips. 'Next time' I would trim them back before riveting. We just reshaped the tips slightly and moved on....
Then I masked up all the edges 1/2" away - this will be used to feather the micro-balloons down to provide a neat straight edge. I used a piece of masking tape as the base layer and electric tape as the main 'protection'. A good scuff / sand roughens the surfaces to help the silica / epoxy past stick. I also trimmed the forward edge of the lead counter weights which had been missed to date.
We worked on all three tips at the same time - the top rudder and the two elevator tips (outboard).
Then with a silica/epoxy paste mixed and smeared over the contact surface it was cleco and pop-rivet everything. We found the pop-rivets need a bit 'extra' for counter-sinking to get a better flush finish.
After an hour or so everything was complete and the epoxy was starting to harden pretty quickly. There is definitely a point in the process when it is the 'right' time to stop.
With the elevator aft most rivets we ended up using AD3 blind rivets - even then it was really tight.
Carl Morgan