Spitfire in my workshop. David Glen BSc (Hons) MSc: Model Maker, Journalist David Glen

Empennage fixtures and fittings


Friday, 19th April, 2019

Fabric work on the rudder and elevators concludes with the installation of the several metal fixtures and fittings: principally the trim tab horns and rudder horns, with their respective push rods and push rod shrouds, and the taillight and its fairings.  Most of these small litho-plate parts are secured in position by tiny copper rivets impressed into slightly undersized holes in the underlying wood. This avoids reliance on glue, which would be ruinous in the event of spillage or seepage.  The channel-section enclosures ahead of the trim tab leading edges are also fitted at this stage.

It is with noting that the trim three tabs themselves are designed to be removable. Each is held in place by the friction of two brass pins where they telescope into embedded tubes in the rudder and elevators – a precaution against the eventuality of damage and the need for repair.


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The starboard elevator trim tab at the test fitting stage. The tiny holes for securing the push rod shroud can just be seen beneath the translucent fabric.
The push rod shroud after installation
The starboard elevator trim tab together with its tapering channel section enclosure ready to fit.
The much broader rudder trim tab with is tiny push rod. The control horn has still to be secured.
The streamlined rudder control horn and push rod.
Another view of the rudder horn complete with bolt that secured the streamlined fairing in place.
The Spitfire's tail light ready for installation between its two elegant fairings.
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Spitfire in my Workshop

A detailed and step-by-step account of the construction of a museum model masterpiece.