Two for the price of One

I didn’t get a chance to do a blog post yesterday due to social obligations. Rest assured that I did get to work on the Ez, even if it was only about 4 hours. I spent most of that time prepping the winglets and rudders for their spar layups. I was hoping to get the layups done, but between having less time than I thought I would, and taking more time to prepare, I didn’t push it. Turns out that was a wise choice. So yesterday, we ended with the winglets and rudders ready for layup, and in position to be able to work on them.

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Today I started by finishing the clean up from yesterday, and cutting glass. I had quite a few pieces to cut. Each winglet and rudder get a 3 ply layup of BID fiberglass. Then there are an additional 2 plies over each hinge and bell crank location. Then it was time to get mixing.

The plans for the high performance rudders do not give much guidance on how to glass these spars. There are many corners and each cross section is basically a “U channel.” I attempted to lay each ply up in a single piece but soon abandoned that idea. It is simply too hard to get the plies to lay down properly. So I decided to do each ply in 3 piece, overlapping 1″ for each piece. I figured if this was ok for a future repair, it is good enough for the original structure. It worked much better and I was happier with how it turned out.

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One thing to note was that these layups took much longer than I anticipated. It was 2+ hours to do all three plies, plus the reinforcements per winglet or rudder. Total it took me about 9 of my 11 hours in the workshop to layup both rudder and both winglet spars. There were a few breaks in there, including dinner, but most that time was working steadily. The rudders were easier, but still required about 2 hours each.

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One thing that didn’t help laying up on the first winglet was I had the wing on the floor. I was working from a rolling shop chair and from kneeling on the ground bending over the winglet. That was hard on the back and other parts of the body. It was annoying, and produced results that were adequate, but not as nice as I would like. For the second winglet and for the rudders, I got them up at waist height, and the product was much superior, and my body was happier. Be sure to find comfortable places to work!

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Anyways, the good news is all the winglet aft spars and rudder spars are now done. Soon enough we will have hinged rudders. I didn’t make my goal of priming the wings today, and may choose not to prime tomorrow as well. I want to build the supports that will hold the wings for priming, but think there is a better order for me to work. So tomorrow, I may work on contour sanding the bottom of the canard, the elevators, and the epoxy wipe on the ailerons. There is light at the end of the finishing tunnel… is it a train or sunlight?

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