As usual, lots of other stuff going on today, including the monthly Houston RV lunch, which went pretty long since we had some out-of-town guests in attendance. But I made good progress on disassembly.
My initial plan for the spar replacement was to only partially disassemble the stab. I was figuring on leaving the forward main rib in place, and maybe the tip rib as well. It seemed easy to only remove what I absolutely had to to get that forward spar out. I started the morning by drilling out rivets on the aft main rib; in my initial plan, the next step would have been to drill out the blind rivets attaching that rib to the spar and the forward main rib. However, after looking inside the skin at this blind rivets, I started to reconsider:
Getting to those was going to be a bit of a pain, and it seemed like a good opportunity to do more damage while trying to get at those rivets. At this point, I’d gotten pretty comfortable with drilling out skin rivets efficiently, so I decided it was only a tiny bit more effort to just go ahead, drill out everything, and completely disassemble the stab. So that’s what I did. After an hour or so of work, I was back just a bare skin for one half of the stab:
Drilling out those blind rivets was far easier with this piece of skeleton liberated from the skin. And so now, the left half of the stab is completely broken down. Tomorrow, I’ll repeat this process for the right half of the stab. I think I might be able to get it done in about an hour.
It’s been kind of surprising how painless this disassembly has been. I’d expected to invest a lot more time in this. Looks like I’m going to have to figure out something else to work on once this is done and I’m waiting on the new parts. I have a couple items in mind, though…