Elevators, Part 1

Well, it’s been a steady, but slow few months since finishing the horizontal stabilizer in early September.  Lot’s going on (all good!) and so I’ve been eking out hours to work through a component that is certainly more complex than those previous.  A common theme of the build so far.

I’ve begun working on the Elevator, which will attach to the horizontal stabilizer to control the pitch of the plane.  

Here’s how it works:

Elevators effect on pitch


And here is what it looks like for the RV-14A:

The elevators have separate left and right sections. On the left section there is a smaller movable control surface called the “Elevator trim” that is set during flight through a small trim motor to help keep the plane in a desired attitude and help with “hands off” flying. Frankly it just makes flying a bit easier when doing multiple things. There are trim tabs on the ailerons also which will be built when working on the wings.

There are a lot more components than used previously, along with some interesting fabrications.
After about two months of work, I’m about half-way through and about to start assembling the components to become the elevators.

It starts with doing some straight-forward fabrication of small parts like the ribs, then using them to mock up the actual elevators.


I got some great help clecoing from Grace 🙂




These foam ribs, cut out of blocks, are used on the leading edges to provide support and rigidity to the elevators.  They’ll get installed in Part 2 using some very sticky adhesive.  


These will be the outboard tip ribs for the elevators with lead weights installed as counter weights

Even Josephine hung out providing moral support and artistic contributions (alongside some artwork by Grace)

Here is the trim tab temporarily assembled so I can mark the leading edge wedge and then cut it to final size

The same trim tab opened up and getting ready for assembly.  The scuffed portions (non-shiny) are where the foam ribs will get installed and it’s all prepped for the adhesive to be applied.

And the girls again providing some company.


Finally, some time lapse video covering the first ~30 hours of the elevator assembly.


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