Many builders start on the rudder (vertical) tail section - this is one of the smallest sections on the aircraft, yet is very representative of building any other section of the ZODIAC. The rudder tail section can be purchased as an Introductory Starter Kit, or you can build your own rudder at a Zenith Aircraft Company factory workshop.
The rudder tail section is like a diminutive wing - it is made up of a center spar, with structural nose and rear ribs attached to the spar, and then covered by rear and front sheet-metal skins. In the kit, all the parts are supplied ready for assembly.
Following the step-by-step assembly manual, spar stiffeners and the internal sheet-metal ribs are positioned, drilled and riveted to the rudder spar. Once the internal rudder assembly is built, the rear skin is positioned over and drilled into the internal assembly. The rear skin is a single pre-formed piece.
The pre-formed nose skin is then wrapped around the leading edge ribs of the rudder assembly, and drilled and riveted into place.
The horizontal stabilizer tail section is built up of two spars and eight internal ribs, with reinforcement doublers on the spar for the spar attachment brackets.
The internal assembly is then covered with the pre-formed sheet-metal skin. The skin is wrapped tightly around the internal assembly, and drilled and riveted into place.
The elevator assembly is built from a single pre-formed skin with six internal ribs. A continuous "piano" hinge is inserted into the elevator skin closure and is riveted in place. An elevator electric trim tab is standard equipment, with the light tab motor mounted in the elevator.
The attachment brackets are then added to the stabilizer, and the elevator control horn is riveted to the elevator. The stabilizer is then trimmed to provide clearance for the rudder assembly.
Rounded fiberglass tips finish off the assembly, riveted to each end of the stabilizer assembly.
Tail Assembly Overview
© Zenith Aircraft Company: 2008-09-10