Friday, October 2, 2009

End of the fiberglass season

The morning temperatures sank in the 30s in flyover country this week, so I declared an official end to the Minnesota fiberglass season.

In the nick of time, then, I finished the last fiberglass tip in the tail section, the tip on the top of the rudder. I have to admit, there were some minor surface imperfections, but it's way up high there where nobody can get too close to inspect. Since I've spent all summer on fiberglass projects -- it seems -- you'll just have to excuse me for being tired of doing any more.

So tonight, I mounted the rudder.

This will allow me to get the tail light put on, set the rudder stops, and generally close things up.

I still have some concerns about bringing the tail light wires from the vertical stabilizer and into the rudder. Because I have a tie down bracket in the middle of the most-rear bulkhead, I had to come out of the vertical stabilizer down in a corner, and into the rudder fairing. You can't see it here, but the wires are covered with plastic tubing for extra support.

I don't know how much full deflection an RV requires from its rudder, but my concern is at full left deflection, the wires are "crunched" a little. I don't have any idea how that could be avoided other than enlarging the hole in the fairing and just let the wires sort of flop around there.

So what happens now? I've got the exhaust system put on the engine although I can't seem to get a socket set on a few bolts to torque them down. But I think I'll fit the cowling next, and also continue to work on wiring.

I've decided that I will have disconnects on all the wires to the wing to allow me to take the wings off without cutting wires. That gorgeous TruTrak harness that SteinAir made for me is going to have to go back for alterations.


  1. Bob...

    I know you want connectors - I felt the same way - for awhile.

    If you still have a little room for a counter opinion and it wouldn't bother you to change your decision - think about that in your lifetime, the wings probably won't come off. The break in the wire is just a place for corrosion to eventually start causing problems.

    Alternate scenario - leave a generous service loop so if you ever have to pull the wings you can tag the wires on removal and put the plug on for reassembly. You'll get the same result with better reliability until the time comes - if ever.

    FWIW - Sounds like you're making great progress.


  2. Stewart WilloughbyOctober 4, 2009 at 10:16 PM

    For the tail light wires on my 6, I plan on drilling a hole through the middle of the lower hinge bracket and glueing in a couple of inches of plastic tube to carry the wires back into the large hole below the bearing in the rudder. There is enough space for full rudder deflection without the tube touching the sides of the cutout.