The initial concept for the vertical tail surface was based upon the conventional tail design option for the Cruiser aircraft. The large wing area that I was forced to for LSA compliance necessitated a considerable increase in vertical tail surface. To keep the vertical tail size within reason the rudder was extended below the fuselage bottom surface and a ventral strake was added. That ventral strake also provides for the tail bumper and a tie down point.
1) A side view of the aircraft which shows the overall appearance. location and size of the ventral strake.
2) The details of the ventral strake construction. Most of the structure is 1 1/2" thick hardwood and the rest is filled in with Last-A-Foam. All of the outer edges are rounded over to a 3/4" radius. The tail bumper is 1" thick Phenolic with a skid plate made from 0.090" 4130 steel plate. Both the skid plate and the bumper are designed to be replaceable.