Made a Decision on the Rudder

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Disclaimer: My favorite tag for today’s post is “Boo Boo boom boom airplane go fly.” Read on.

Well, after much soul searching, and some really helpful advice from VAF (thread here), I’m going to drill out the skins, inspect for any internal damage and rebuild the larger rudder.

Favorite quotes from the thread:

  1. I did the SAME EXACT THING as you did
  2. I dropped a completed fuel tank while moving it from one storage location to another.
  3. My two year old daughter says “Boo Boo boom boom airplane go fly” while looking at your rudder. I am so proud!
  4. I forgot the fiberglass tips were on and unsecured. He picked up one end and –crash!
  5. I banged up my rudder too.
  6. Don’t feel bad – I had to build a whole second set of ailerons when I built them both backwards, at the same time (DOH!)
  7. Your new rudder will be better than the old one.

Although I got my hands on a set of RV-8  rudder preview plans, and a lot of the parts are common, I just don’t want to mess with doing a large flight test spin program just for aesthetics. It just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

While I could probably say I’m not going to intentionally spin the airplane, I probably will want to at some point, and I’m really worried about having a botched aerobatic maneuver (too slow during a hammerhead turn), and falling off into a spin from which I’ll have a hard time recovering. In that case,  I’ll want the bigger rudder.

Also, I would feel guilty ever selling the airplane, especially if (god-forbid) anything ever happened to a later owner.

So, rebuilding the larger rudder it is. And besides, my trailing edge is going to be perfect this time.

But, in the meantime, I want to set the new standard in “finished empennage pictures.” Maybe this new standard will keep someone else from damaging their airplane for the sake of a stupid picture.

Done with the empennage!

Now where is that wing kit?

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2 Responses to Made a Decision on the Rudder

  1. Emily says:

    Good recovery! I was so sad for you after yesterday’s post!! Way to sleep on it, do some research, and move on. While I love #3 as well, I feel very good about #7 – you will make it even better this time!
    Love, Em

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks, em.

    The most interesting thing for me was that once I admitted dropping the rudder on the forums, everyone seemed to come out of the woodwork and admit they had all done the same thing with one part or another. It made me feel much better.

    I’ve also had offers for some free replacements, too. There are some crazy nice people out there.

    Now I just need to learn not to do stupid things anymore. Like that will happen…

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