Chapter 2 - Fabricating the Tail

Section 2 - Vertical Stabilizer

Installing the Leading Edge

Once the antenna is installed and the foam is smoothed to match the shape defined by the ribs, but before we can skin the vertical stabilizer we need to install the leading edge. 

The leading edge is made from blocks of the 2 lb. urethane foam 2” X 1.5”.  There blocks are bonded into place between four templates that help us properly shape the leading edge.  Print these out (VERT_LE.pdf) on an A size piece of paper and make the four parts from scrape ¼” foam that has a layer of cured BID on each side. You should have some scrap left over from making your ribs.

Verrtical Stabilizer Leading Edge Templates

Referring to the following photo draw lines on the front size of the vertical stab leading edge spar to transfer the location of the four V ribs.

Vertical stab front spar and Vribs

Position the four Glassed foam templates to align with the Vribs.  Bond them into place so they are 90 degrees to the leading edge spar (unlike the Vribs themselves).  You can use superglue or a mixture of 5 minute epoxy and flox to hold the four template pieces in place.

Templates bonded into position on leading edge spar

Now bond the blocks of 2 lb. urethane foam between the templates.  Once cured, shape the leading edge to the templates.