Sonex 1404

Posts Tagged ‘rudder

I finally decided to prime the inside of the rudder skin. I also got a can of ACF-50 from Wick’s and decided to spray it on…just in case. A belt and spenders approach as they say.

The rudder went together fairly quickly. I had to grind down my hand rivet-puller so that I could reach the rivets close to the base of the rudder horn. Pulling the rivets was not fun though, so I fabricated a little piece of aluminum with a hole in it and an angle on one surface. I got the idea from an EAA Hints for Homebuilders video, and it works like a charm.

I finally have something that looks like it belongs on an airplane!


While I wait for the hardware from Wicks, I realized I had all the parts needed to start assembling the rudder. I also wanted to use the new Chicago Pneumatic drill I bought from Amazon. I am sick of the cordless drill that I use now. It is too heavy, too slow and consequently wanders all over the place.

I first drilled the pilot holes where the ribs and control horn go. The hinge half was then aligned, drilled and clecoed to the skin. The control horn and top rib went together easily, but the one in the middle was a bit of a pain. I however, prevailed at the end.

I now need to deburr and possibly prime the inside of the skin. I’ve ordered a can of ACF-50 from Wicks which is what Kerry at Sonex recommended when I asked him about corrosion protection at the workshop. The Duplicolor primer works well on small parts, but I don’t want to try using it on large surfaces.


I picked up the Sonex tail kit at the builders workshop in early February 2010 and started off the build in earnest only about a week ago. I would have started earlier but for the fact that every attempt at progress highlighted the lack of a particular tool. A drill press once, a band saw the next time, and a bench vice another.

I finally finished the rudder drive horn assembly today. The most challenging part was the bend in the machined piece which I achieved with the help of some bolts in a vice. The rest of the assembly was straightforward.

As it turns out, I’ve started with the plan SNX-T13. I picked it because it seemed the simplest, but who knows, 13 might turn out to be lucky too.