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  #1  
Old 02-23-2020, 03:27 PM
mfalcon mfalcon is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Glasgow, UK
Posts: 6
Default Elevator damage

Hi all,

We've had some minor damage to our port elevator due to a pole falling from a hangar roof. Thankfully the damage appears relatively minor (it initially appeared there was no damage), but there is a crease in the lower skin next to the trim tab and a small crack. Any hints or suggestions on how best to deal with the crease (we'll be stop drilling the crack), or do you think replacing the elevator skin completely would be best? Will be speaking to Vans support for advice too...





Cheers,

Michael
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2020, 06:15 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,283
Default

You may need to put a patch over that area after you straighten it up a little. This would obviously be done with pop rivets and the same gauge material that is on your elevator now (.016 or .020). You might have to add some weight to the tip of your elevator counter weight, and these elevators should be balanced separately. This, of course, will be cleared with Vans first, but since it looks like it’s on the bottom, you’ll probably be the only one that notices.
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SH
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019 Flying
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
JAN2020
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2020, 06:35 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,283
Default

Here’s another idea - also to be cleared with Vans.... take the trim tab off, and it would be easier to fix if you removed the elevator and put it on a bench. Carefully remove the end “rib” on the elevator, made by bending the elevator skin tabs, with a dremel tool. That will give you access to the inside of the elevator trailing edge area where the skin is damaged. Then straighten this area back to as close to original shape as you can. This might be good enough, but I would suspect that You would still need a patch because of material embrittlement in an area that takes a beating from prop pulses and turbulence. This would be easier to accomplish if you can get to the inside of that area for dimpling for countersunk rivets. You would need to drill out a few of the pop rivets that are just forward of the damaged area to be used on the patch. Then you fashion a new rib to replace the bent one you cut out. Use blocks of wood cut to the V-shape of the new rib with rounded edges, and pound it out the old fashioned way. I did this on the elevators I made in the very beginning because it was difficult to get a nice crisp bent edge and perfect fit by bending those tabs down - although I tried.
Good luck. Sounds like a fun project for the cold weather. You could do this at home in your heated house.....
__________________
SH
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019 Flying
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
JAN2020
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2020, 02:52 PM
MGRVAwesome MGRVAwesome is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Seattle, Wa
Posts: 51
Default Only surface damage...?

Sjoe. The worst of this is "not knowing". Not knowing how hard that pole really fell. Not knowing if it's only the elevator that's damaged. Not knowing if it's only surface damage or maybe you should also inspect, ribs, elevator horns, control tubes, HS spar etc.

I had a line of "non-structural" rivets in the tail of my RV-7 which I knew wasn't formed properly but still passed inspection. I eventually replaced and did the job properly after flying for about 50 hrs with this niggling little voice in my head every time I pulled a little bit of G's. Those tail feathers are VERY important for continued safe flight. You don't want there to be any doubt while you're up 10'000ft. Just saying. Be sure and be safe.
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  #5  
Old 02-26-2020, 01:35 PM
mfalcon mfalcon is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Glasgow, UK
Posts: 6
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Thanks for the thoughts - Vans have suggested a simple repair should be sufficient. but we'll be doing an internal inspection with an endoscope just to double check the internal rib/spar. Fingers crossed we can get this complete this weekend, and get back in the air!
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