- em·pen·nage | \ ˌäm-pə-ˈnäzh
From the French word empenner meaning "to feather an arrow"
In plain English - the tail section of the airplane consisting of the
horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, elevator and rudder.
The Van's Aircraft RV7A is constructed from front to back in four
sections, the empennage, wings, fuselage, and firewall forward
(powerplant and propeller).
So it begins......
Here are the empennage parts laid out:
First task - HS-609, Horizontal stabilizer rear spar stiffener.
You get two very raw pieces of aluminum, and have to shape and finish
them equivalent to a "400 grit finish". After about a useless ten
minutes with a file, I got out the orbital sander and multi-tool.
Next is the first rivetting job. VA-146 Elevator support
bearing. Also the first priming job. I've chosen to prime
all the parts inside and out before final assembly. Its optional
for Alclad parts, but given this aircraft could be parked in coastal
areas, I'm taking the extra steps now to avoid corrosion issues
later. I taped over the bearing pressed in the center of VA-146
and will leave that until final assembly to protect the bearing from
dust and metal chips.