RV-9A Construction Log
Constructed by David P, Columbus, OH
Unless otherwise noted, all construction activities are performed personally. Where help is required for a particular activity it will be so noted.
I received from Van's the first of two little practice projects, the first of which actually has 2 pieces to complete. The completed first practice project is seen below. Time approx. 3 hours.
Practice project 2 – the aileron shape, ready for assembly
The aileron shape completed except for flush riveting of trailing edge – awaiting back rivet set. Total time 8 hours
Designed and printed rivet gauges on Replicator 2 3D printer. Total time 2 hours.
I completed the toolbox project all in one day. Total time 10 hours.
Completed the aileron shape.Return to top of page
Inventoried empennage package. Everything found except large scale drawings. Called Van's and they will send them. Time 2 hours.
I clecoed front spar halves of horizontal stabilizer together with the front spar doubler. Deburred all the edges before assembly. Drilled all rivet holes to size. Time 8 hours.
Similarly clecoed both halves of rear spar halves with doubler after deburring, clecoed elevator hinges, and drilled all rivet holes to size.
Then I added ribs except for middle (inner) two and shim and connected front and rear spars. Drilled rivet holes to size. Total time 5 hours.
I completed skeleton of horizontal stabilizer. Built jig for applying skin to stabilizer. Clecoed skin to right horizontal stabilizer. Time 7 hours.
Drilled matching riveting holes with skin and skeleton. Disassembled, deburred all rivet holes and dimpled ribs. Spars are too thick to dimple for skin attachment so needed to be countersunk with microadjustable countersink. for the spar flange countersinks I countersunk to flush a rivet then added 7 thousanths to account for the dimple on the skin. Total time 7 hours.
Assembled skeleton and clecoed skin to left horizontal stabilizer, then disassembled and deburred, dimpled and countersunk all but skin. Total time 6 hours.
Dimpled skins for both horizontal stabilizer halves. Time 6 hours.
Primed skeleton of hozizontal stabilizer with NAPA 7220 self etching primer. Wearing of a filter respirator is imperative I think, as is good ventilation. Time 4 hours.
Primed inner skins of both horizontal stabilizers. Time 1 hour.
Began riveting the horizontal stabilizer: Joined halves of main spar and rear spars of horizontal elevator, with Joe Foley on bucking bar. Riveted nose ribs onto skin of left horizontal elevator. Also in attendance is Stephen Beavers, expert in construction and flight of numerous RV airplanes, including the RV-9A. Time 4 hours
The horizontal stabilizer nearly complete, with the exception of the most aft riveting left to complete. Time 6 hours.
The inner elevator hinge clecoed and ready to rivet together and bolt to horizontal stabilizer. Time 1 hour.
Finished the last rivets on the aft surface. Riveted together and bolted in place the inner elevator hinge. I used 50 inch pounds of torque. I found that the lock nuts required 29 inch pounds to turn on the bolt; the torque requirement for the 3/16th inch bolt is 20-25 inch pounds according to the table in section 5 from Van's. Time 2 hours. Total time for the horizontal stabilizer is 59 hours.Return to top of page
Assembled skeleton for vertical stabilizer. Total time 4 hours.
Clecoed skin to vertical stabilizer then match drilled all connections. Time 4 hours.
Dismantled vertical stabilizer. Deburred , dimpled, and countersunk as indicated parts of the VS. Time 6 hours.
Finished dimpling skins of vertical stabilizer. Time 3 hours.
Primed skeleton of vetical stabilizer, then clecoed. Ready to rivet spar of VS. Time 2 hours.
Riveted all skins and spars of the vertical stabilizer and riveted on the skin. Another component completed! Time 3 hours. Total time for the vertical stabilizer 22 hours.Return to top of page
Cut, trimmed and cleaned up edges of rudder stiffeners. Time 5 hours.
Clecoed rudder stiffeners to right rudder skin, then disassembled, drilled for rivets, deburred, and dimpled the right rudder skin. Time 4 hours.
Clecoed rudder stiffeners to left rudder skin, then disassembled, drilled for rivets, deburred, and dimpled the left rudder skin. Primed inner sides of rudder skins and stiffeners. Time 6 hours.
Back riveted the stiffeners to both halves of the rudder skin. Time 1 hour.
Assembled rudder skeleton for rivet hole drilling starting with bottom rib and rudder horn, then the top rib with the counterbalance assembly.
The first skin has been clecoed in place after completion of the skeleton. Time 7 hours.
The rudder is assembled and all rivet holes drilled.
The rudder was disassembled and all ribs, spars, and skins deburred, dimpled, and/or countersunk as necesary. All skeleton components then primed and ready for riveting tomorrow. Time 10 hours.
Riveted the rudder with the exception of the trailing edge and the last few rivets close to that edge. Joe Foley did the bucking as usual. Time 6 hours.
I screwed an 8 ft length of angle aluminum to the edge of my plywood table top leaving about 1/2 inch space for the clecoes. Then drilled via the trailing edge rivet holes thru the angle piece. I used T88 epoxy to glue the two skins and the AEX together, then clecoed it all together, including the aluminum angle. The edge appears quite straight. Time 3 hours.
I found that not all the edges stuck when I removed the clecoes, so I mixed some more and reapplied some dabs between the rivet holes and re-clecoed to the aluminum angle. Time 1 hour.
Removed the clecoes (again) and still found not all the edge was sealed. I expect the epoxy doesn't stick too well to the primer, or the primer is peeling off the aluminum skin. In any event I decided to go ahead and rivet the edge. Started with the middle and partially set every 10th rivet, then went back to do every 5th, and finally set them all. The trailing edge is complete and very straight. Yea! We (Joe on bucking bar) finsihed the riveting all around the rudder except for those closest to the trailing edge as we couldn't get the bucking bar in. I ordered some cherry max rivets and will finalize the rudder when they arrive. Time 3 hours. Total time for the rudder 46 hours.Return to top of page
Spent most of the day cutting, trimming, deburring and polishing edges of the stiffeners for the elevators. There are 30 of them altogether so it took a while. Then clecoed stiffeners to elevator skins, drilled and deburred rivet holes. Time 8 hours.
Dimpled all the stiffeners and started on the elevator skins. Time 6 hours.
Finsihed dimpling both elevator skins for the stiffeners. Assembled the counterbalance arms for both elevators for drilling, deburring and dimpling. Time 5 hours.
Primed all the skeleton pieces and inner skin of right elevator. Began riveting the skeleton together and finished drilling, deburring and dimpling the spar and rib rivet holes. Time 5 hours.
Finally finished deburring and dimpling the right elevator; it is now ready to rivet. Started clecoing the left elevator together for drilling, deburring and dimpling.
The left elevator with counterbalance attached for drilling. Time 6 hours.
Riveted all but the trailing egde of the right elevator with Joe doing the bucking. Time 4 hours.
Epoxied the trailing edge of the right elevator and clecoed to aluminum angle.
Drilled, deburred and dimpled the left elevator. Ready to rivet. Time 6 hours.
Started the trim tab - roughed inside for gluing in the foam stiffeners, which I cut out and shaped.
Dimpled and countersunk parts for the electric trim servo.
Made the jig to form the trailing edge of the trim tab. Time 7 hours.
Used the bender to shape the training edge of the trim tab, then formed the outer edges on each side. Time 3 hours.
Joe and I riveted the left elevator. It is completed with the exception of adding the hinge for the trim tab. We used tank sealant to add the foam ribs to the trim tab then clecoed and set it aside. Time 5 hours.
I drilled the rivet holes in both halves of the hinge for the trim tab then we riveted the hinge to the elevator and trim tab.
Attached both elevators to the horizontal elevator (one at a time) and drilled the holes to attach the elevator horn. All lined up easily and nicely with very easy travel and good balance. We have 22 degrees of up elevatror travel and about 32 degrees of down elevator travel for both elevators. Time 7 hours. Total time for the elevators 62 hours.Return to top of page
Spar and Rib Prep
Spent the day uncrating and organizing the wing and fuselage parts. Time 4 hours.
I spent the last two days inventorying the wings and fuselage. Only a few small parts missing; I sent an email to Van's and they will send them all to me no charge. Time 18 hours.
Built the cradle to hold the completed wings; put casters on so I can move it around easily. I have foam carpet padding to line the cradles with which I did not attach yet. Time 7 hours.
Finally started to build the wing! I made a little jig to hold the spar which works out nicely. Drilled and countersunk the left main spar to attach the plate nuts which screw on the fuel tank skin. Riveted the plate nuts then countersunk the holes for #8 dimples. Time 7 hours.
Just like yesterday drilled, countersunk, and attached plate nuts which hold the three access plates using #6 screws this time. Drilled, deburred and dimpled the access plates for the #6 screws. Time 6 hours.
Left the cold for a while to warm up.
Started on the right main spar. Drilled and countersunk all the rivet holes for all the plate nuts, then attached the plate nuts. Time 6 hours.
Countersunk all the plate nut screw holes for #8 screws and #6 screws (for the access plates). Still need to add the tie down bolts to the spar but need a tap and die set. So I started on the left rear spar, attaching and drilling out the reinforcement plates. Time 10 hours
Deburred all the holes in the reinforcement plates and spar as needed, then dimpled the spar near the plates. Countersunk some of the holes in the plates where needed.
Repeated the whole process on the right rear spar. Found I needed to dimple the outside holes of the spar and reinforcement plate for flush rivets as they are covered by the aileron hinge assembly later. Time 6 hours.
I cleaned then primed all the parts of both rear spars. Joe and I riveted the reinforcement plates to both rear spars. Then returned to work on the tie downs. We tapped the holes for the 3/8th inch ring bolts, then drill matched to attach it to the left main spar. Added the plate nuts which will attach the bellcrank brackets. Time 7 hours.
Finished the tie down bracket for the right main spar, then primed both of them. Bolted the tie down brackets to the main spar with the torque wrench, using 28 inch pounds of force.
Prepared the wing ribs - deburred all the edges and holes. Used the fluting pliers to flatten them out as needed, especially the bottom flanges of all the ribs. Time 4 hours.
Clecoed the spars and ribs of the left wing together, then drilled all the rivet holes to size. Disassembled and deburred all the holes. I enlarged one of the tooling holes on the ribs to 0.5 in to accomodate a grommet through which will run electrical wiring to the end of the wing. Time 4 hours.
Same as yesterday, except the right wing. I noticed that the "L" and "R" designations on the ribs is reversed for the right wing as the drawings only show the left wing. Time 4 hours.
Matched the stiffeners on the inboard upper wing surface to the upper inboard skins (where you step on the wing) and match drilled and deburred both sides.
Started to build the wing stands which are used in applying the skins to the wing. Time 8 hours.
Completed both wing stands.
Cleaned all the ribs for the left wing and primed them. Then I clecoed the left main and rear spars and ribs together. Now ready to rivet tomorrow. Time 12 hours. Total time 103 hours.Return to top of page
Left Wing Assembly
Joe and I first riveted the main and rear spars and ribs of the left wing. We moved it to the wing stand and clecoed the inboard and outboard main skins into place. Then we drilled all the rivet holes in those skins to size.
We clecoed on the bottom main skins and drilled all those rivet holes as well. Time 11 hours.
Clecoed the outboard leading edge skin to its skin and clecoed it in place on the main spar. More drilling rivet holes to size. Time 7 hours.
The weather finally warmed up! Spent most of the day removing the skins and J-stringers from the left wing. Lots of minor prep done on the wing skeleton - some rivets placed from spar to ribs and plate nuts to be added on the outer edge where the tank attaches. Time 6 hours.
Countersunk along the main spar for the skin attachment. Later I removed the leading edge ribs and deburred and dimpled them. Time 6 hours.
Added the plate nuts to the strip for connecting the outer edge of the tank.
Deburred and dimpled the main ribs, then deburred and dimpled the rear spar. After dimpling the rear spar I countersunk those holes for a better skin fit. Looks nice. Then I reprimed along the rear spar where the new countersunk holes are. Time 10 hours.
Dimpled the left inboard stiffener. Time 2 hours.
Riveted the doubler plate for the stall warning access panel. Time 3 hours.
Dimpled the bottom of the left leading edge skin. Used a dead blow hammer which seems to work quite well. Time 4 hours.
Dimpling the left bottom outboard skin. I beveled the overriding edge then sanded smooth. Time 5 hours.
Completed assembly of the stall warning sending unit. Time 6 hours.
Finally finished dimpling the bottom left wing skin. Time 4 hours.
Clecoed the feft leading edge skin to the ribs. Ready to rivet. Time 1 hour.
Riveted the aft 2 rows of the leading edge skin with the rivet squeezer. Need to buck the rest. Time 2 hours.
Finished riveting the skin to the ribs. Then clecoed the piece to the main spar and began riveting ribs to the spar. Time 2 hours.
Riveted the leading edge to the main spar. Time 1 hour.
Now that the left fuel tank in done (see below), attached it with bolts and screws to the main spar and leading edge. Then spent the rest of the day riveting top skins to the left wing. Time 8 hours. Total time 78 hours so far.
6/28/2016 and 6/29/2016
Spent most of the time fabricating the parts for the flap attachment bracket. There are 6 brackets altogether and each has 3 parts which rivet to the rear spar. I show the clecoed inboard bracket in the picture. Then I started to prepare the flap gap fairing - clecoed and drilled. Time 13 hours.
Deburred and dimpled the flap gap fairing, then similarly to the flap, drilled, deburred and dimpled the aileron gap fairing. Time 3 hours.
Riveted the flap attachment brackets to the spar, then drilled the reinforcement pieces. Time 4 hours.
After finishing riveting the flap brackets in place, we riveted the flap and aileron gap fairings in place. Time 3 hours. Total time 101 hours for the left wing to this point.
Finished assembling the aileron bell cranks and bolted them to the spar. Shown is the right wing which also has a special bracket and pushrod for attaching the roll servo for the autopilot. Time 6 hours.Return to top of page
Left Fuel Tank
Clecoed left tank skin to its ribs; place it on the main spar. Time 6 hours.
I cut out and deburred all the tank stiffeners, then clecoed them in place and drilled to size.
The tank baffle has Z angles which attach the tank to the main spar. I drilled them all and deburred for the left tank. Time 9 hours.
Clecoed the tank baffle and angle attachments to the rest of the left tank, which will next be attached to the wing for final drilling
Fabricated the 3/16th inch thick brackets from angle aluminum which attach inboard on the tank. Also fabricated the stiffeners which mate with them. Time 8 hours.
Clecoed the tank baffle to the left wing to drill out the attachment angles. Then we loaded the tank to the skin and match drilled for all the bolts which hold the tank in place. Also match drilled the inboard attachment brackets that I fabricated last week. Ended up the day priming the left aileron parts so we can rivet it this week. Time 7 hours.
Worked on the inboard fuel tank rib. Cut out the opening for the gas line and fuel gauge sensor. Riveted on the backing plate and plate nuts. Time 4 hours.
Match drilled the flange for the fuel cap. Also fitted the fuel drain flange to the bottom skin, and fabricated the little things that hold the fuel vent tube inside the tank. Spent the rest of the day disassembling the fuel tank and deburring all the rivet holes. Time 6 hours.
Made this scale for weighing the tank sealer at a 10 to 1 ratio. Made the purple parts on the 3-D printer. Balanced it with some left over lead weights. Time 5 hours.
DImpled the left tank skin. Used the #8 dimple die on the perimeter and the regular #30 die for the others. I bought the "tank" die but the fit with the regular die seems better when I overlay a sample .032 aluminum skin over the ribs. Time 3 hours.
5/17/2016 and 5/18/2016
Started assembling the tank. On the first day we sealed and riveted the stiffeners to the bottom surface of the tank and added the filler cap and drain flange. The second day we sealed and riveted 4 of the inner ribs. Time 7 hours.
5/23/2016 and 5/24/2016
Finished riveting and sealing the ribs to the left tank. Time 4 hours.
Installed the vent tube, then closed up the tank by sealing and riveting the baffle into place. Time 7 hours. Total time for the left tank 66 hours.Return to top of page
Right Wing Assembly
Primed the right wing ribs, then clecoed the skeleton together. Time 5 hours.
We riveted the right wing spars and ribs together, then attached it to the holding jig. I clecoed on the top skins and wing walk stiffener, then match drilled all the holes. Time 9 hours.
I inserted the J-stiffeners in their channel and drilled them to the top skin. Then I started on the bottom skin - clecoed it to the ribs and spars and match drilled all the holes. Time 8 hours.
Clecoed the outboard leading edge and ribs, then clecoed the assembly to the spar. Attached the fuel tank connector strip to its inboard edge then drilled all the holes. Time 5 hours.
6/25/2016 and 6/26/2016
Removed all the skins and J-channels from the right wing so they can be deburred and dimpled.
Finished countersinking all the holes on the main spar. Also, the rear spar needed to be both dimpled and countersunk. I also spent much of the day deburring and dimpling the leading edge skin and ribs. Time 17 hours.
I squeezed the aft two rows of the leading edge rivets, then Joe and I finsihed riveting the rest of the leading edge skin to the ribs. I was able to squeeze the rivets from the leading edge to the main spar, which is now completely installed on the spar. Time 4 hours.
Started deburring and dimpling the top skins. Time 3 hours.
Deburred and dimpled the outboard top skin. Time 3 hours.
After bolting the right fuel tank in place, the inner top right skin is riveted in place along with the doubler in the step area, and the outer skin is clecoed, ready to rivet. Time 6 hours.
Completed riveting the top skin on the right wing. Removed the wing from the stand and flipped it over into the stand so I could start working on the aileron and flap brackets. Time 6 hours.
Clecoed and match drilled the aileron and gap fairings. Time 3 hours.
After deburring, dimpling and countersinking as needed, primed then riveted the gap fairings in place. Time 6 hours.
Cut the aileron push rods to length and drilled the tubes and end caps. Ready to pop-vivet, then I will prime everything. Working on the parts for both wings now. Time 7 hours. Total time 82 hours.Return to top of page
Right Fuel Tank
Clecoed the fuel tank skin to the ribs. Time 3 hours.
Clecoed the baffle and Z-channel spar connectors to the tank then mounted it to the spar. Drilled all the connectors as indicated. Finally I removed the tank from the spar and match drilled the rivet holes. Time 8 hours.
Cut out the hole for the access panel on the inboard tank rib, then added the support ring and worked on the cover plate. Time 4 hours.
Match drilled the fuel filler opening as well as the drain valve. Time 2 hours.
6/22/2016 and 6/23/2016
After deburring and dimpling the skin and ribs, I reassembled the tank in the jig and started riveting with the Pro-seal. Time 12 hours.
We finished riveting in all the ribs and plates on the end ribs. Time 4 hours.
Bolted with Pro-Seal the plates on the inboard rib attaching the fuel line port and the fuel gauge. Also ran the fuel vent tube and connected it to its port. Time 4 hours. Total time 37 hours.Return to top of page
It's too cold to work in garage on wings so I have started on the ailerons. After deburring all the edges, I clecoed the reinforcement plates and ribs to both aileron spars. Time 3 hours.
I clecoed the leading edge skin on upside-down as instructed, to use as a guide for the attaching of the tubular conterweight for the aileron. Then I started to assemble the four aileron hinge brackets, which attach to the rear main spar. Time 5 hours.
Finished the assembly of the aileron hinge brackets; they are ready to prime and then rivet. I then started on cutting out and deburring the stiffeners for the aileron skins. There are 14 on each side. Once I had the first set done I clecoed them to the left bottom skin and drill matched them. Time 6 hours.
Cut out the other 14 aileron stiffeners and deburred them. Clecoed them to the left top aileron skin and match drilled them.
Removed all the clecoes and deburred and dimpled all the rivet holes in the skins and the stiffeners. I labeled all the stiffeners so I can rivet them in the same places as they were drilled. Time 6 hours.
Match drilled the stiffeners and right aileron skins, disassembled, deburred and dimpled all. Time 2 hours.
Assembled and riveted the aileron hinge brackets. Time 1 hour.
Back riveted the stiffeners to the aileron skins. Time 2 hours.
Clecoed the left aileron together. The skins have huge waves in them; I was able to flatten them with a 2x6 board and about 65 pounds of weight on the board. I then drilled the trailing edges together and clecoed into the table.
Disassembled the aileron for deburring and priming. Time 6 hours.
Started assembly of the right aileron - clecoed all the parts together and weighed down the skin to flatten it before drilling the trailing edge. Time 2 hours.
Right aileron parts primed and ready to assemble. Time 2 hours.
The completed right aileron. Time 4 hours.
Completed the left aileron assembly. Time 4 hours. Total time for ailerons 43 hours.Return to top of page
After fabricating both attach angles and spacers, I clecoed the leading edge ribs and hinge brackets to the left flap spar. Time 5 hours.
Clecoed the bottom left flap skin to the spar and into the table. I then drilled 5/8" holes thru the cleco holes so I could flip the flap over and leave clecoes in the skin. Time 3 hours.
Finished up clecoing the skins to the left flap; set it in the holes previously drilled in the table. Time 2 hours.
Clecoed the leading edges to the left flap. Match drilled all the rivent holes, then disassembled. Time 2 hours.
Finished the hinge hardware on the inboard side, then deburred, dimpled and primed most of the smaller parts. Time 6 hours.
Started the right flap - clecoed the hinge parts on to the spar and drilled the skin to the table.
Drilled holes in the table as for the left flap, then clecoed on the ribs and flipped the flap over into the holes. Time 5 hours.
Finished assembly of the right flap and did all the match drilling. Then disassembled for deburring and dimpling etc. Forgot to take a picture when it was all together. Time 6 hours.
Riveted the hinge parts together after priming.
Dimpled the ribs of the right flap and got them ready to prime. Time 6 hours.
4/2/2016 and 4/3/2016
Spent most of the day deburring and dimpling about a thousand holes on the flap skins. Same thing the next day including countersinking the spars. Time 12 hours.
Clecoed both flap skeletons together. Ready to rivet. Time 1 hour.
Primed both flap skins. Now ready for final assembly. Time 1 hour.
We riveted the left flap together, then started on the right flap. Should be able to finish both by the next day. Time 8 hours.
Finished riveting the right flap. Time 3 hours. Total time for flaps 60 hous.Return to top of page
It's too cold to be in the garage (4 degrees F this morning) so I decided to start on the fuselage. I fabricated a number of brackets that attach to the steel firewall, and clecoed everything to it. Time 6 hours.
Fabricated the stiffener for the aux fuel pump and drilled out and attached the motor mounts. Got everything clecoed to the firewall and drilled to size. Time 5 hours.
Took everything apart, deburred and countersunk all the stiffeners and plates. Dimpled the firewall and the insert. Time 3 hours.
Started riveting the stiffeners and plates to the firewall. Time 3 hours.
Finished riveting the firewall and its supports. Time 2 hours. Total Time 19 hours.Return to top of page
Started on the center spar. Drilled out holes for wiring grommets.
Clecoed the side brackets to the spar and drilled out all the rivet holes. Disassembled after that and deburred all the holes. Time 3 hours.
Finished the attach brackets for the control sticks, primed, and bolted to the center spar. Temporarily put the control brackets together and made sure all the bushings rotated freely. Time 6 hours.
Drilled the cover attach brackets to the spar and attached all the plate nuts. Fabricated the spar web stiffeners. Primed them. Time 5 hours.
Both Halves of center spar ready to rivet.
The completed halves of the center spar with side supports. Time 3 hours. Total Time 17 hours.Return to top of page
Started fabricating pieces for the F-705 bulkhead, which is located behing the seats.
The bottom part of the bulkhead, showing the stiffeners and some of the seat belt attach brackets. Time 6 hours.
Fabricated more pieces for the seat attachments on the upper part of the bulkhead. Time 3 hours.
The F-705 bulkhead completely assembled and ready to prime. Time 7 hours.
The top bar of the bulkhead primed and riveted. Time 3 hours
The other sides of the bulkhead riveted together. I will wait to complete the assembly till I get a little help as it is a little unwieldly by myself. Time 4 hours.
Completed the assembly of the 705 bulkhead. Time 1 hour. Total time 24 hours.Return to top of page
Started on the F-706 Bulkhead. Fabricated and clecoed the angle which will be riveted to one of the bellcrank support ribs. Time 5 hours.
The F-706 bulkhead drilled and clecoed; ready to prime. Time 4 hours.
Primed and ready to rivet. Time 4 hours.
Completed the assembly of the 706 bulkhead. Time 1 hour. Total time 14 hours.Return to top of page
Started on the aft bulkheads. Fabricated the bars which attach the stabilizer first. Time 7 hours.
This bulkhead has the rear tiedown bar attached to it, which needed to be tapped and tapered.
The last of the rear bulkheads ready to prime. Time 8 hours.
Primed and finished the riveting of the aft bulheads. Time 4 hours. Total Time 19 hours.Return to top of page
Began assembly of the aft fuselage. Clecoed the aft bulkheads to the bottom and side skins. Time 3 hours.
Trimmed both ends of the four J-stringers that run along the sides of the fuselage to shape and length. Time 4 hours.
5/4/2016 and 5/5/2016
Clecoed the very end piece to the rest of the fuselage and checked that everything was aligned. Drilled the J-stringers to the fuselage and clecoed them in place as I went along. Finally drilled all the rest of the holes. Then I dismantled the whole thing so I can start to deburr, dimple and prime the parts. Time 12 hours.
Deburred and dimpled the J-channels, rearmost bulkheads and bottom aft skin. Time 5 hours.
Deburred and dimpled the left aft skin. Time 3 hours.
Deburred and dimpled the right aft skin. Time 3 hours.
After priming everthing, I reassembled the aft fuselage with clecoes; will begin riveting tomorrow. Time 5 hours.
5/22/2016 and 5/23/2016
First riveted the bottom skin to the bulkheads, Then started on the side skins. Time 8 hours.
Finished riveting the aft fuselage. We don't go higher than the J-channel so the upper parts can be fit later. Time 4 hours. Total time for the aft fuselage 47 hours.Return to top of page
Started working on the seat ribs. Deburred and opened up areas where the controls will be. Time 4 hours.
Clecoed the seat ribs and the baggage ribs to the center spar and the 705 spar, then clecoed on the bottom center skin Time 3 hours.
5/26/2016 and 5/29/2016
I built a little frame to hold the center spar and clamped it to my work bench. Then I flipped the piece over (had to get my wife to help) so I could match drill all the skin holes to the spars and ribs. Time 10 hours.
5/30/2016 and 5/31/2016
Turned the piece back over and clecoed on the front half of the center spar, then match drilled it to the skin. Attached the side pieces to the spar and drilled them next. Time 3 hours.
Disassembled the piece and deburred everything, dimpled the skin and skeleton, countersunk the spar itself through the skin where indicated. Time 7 hours.
Primed all the parts in preparation for assembly. Time 2 hours.
Riveted the seat ribs to the center spar and added the bolts as well. Time 4 hours.
We riveted the 705 bulkhead to the seat ribs, the baggage ribs to the bulkhead, and then riveted the bottom skin on. Finally clecoed the seat and floor skins on. Time 6 hours.
Riveted the plate nuts to the outside seat ribs on each side, then riveted them to the bottom skin. Time 2 hours. Total Time 41 hours.Return to top of page
Attaching the aft and center fuselage parts. I flipped the aft fuselge upside down on 2 sawhorses after sliding the main longerons into the aft fuselage. Joe and I bent and twisted the main longerons yesterday at his shop (with the big vise) but I forgot to get a picture. Then I flipped over the center part, slid the bottom skin of the center fuselage over the aft bottom skin and clecoed the two together.
Clecoed the forward skins in place. Time 12 hours including the work on the longerons.
Spent all day drilling about 300 holes connecting the main longerons to the fuselage. Also had to trim the longerons to the correct length. Time 8 hours.
Clamped the firewall in place on the end of the longerons, then added the front bottom skin. Remember the whole thing is still upside down at this point.
Drilled and clecoed the first of the front side longerons in place. This one runs diagonally. Time 8 hours.
The next side longeron in place and drilled. Time 3 hours.
Spent the last couple days working on the gussets in the lower corners. They needed quite a bit of bending and trimming in order to fit well. Time 10 hours.
Made the angle brackets which fit to the reinforcement plate where the fuel tank attaches to the fuselage, then drilled and clecoed the plate and brackets in place. Time 9 hours.
After deburring and priming, I riveted the angle brackets to the support plate, then clecoed the assembly back in place. Time 4 hours.
Started on the brake pedals. First clecoed and drilled the pedal assembly, then primed and riveted the parts together. Waiting on special long bolts from Aircraft Spruce to attach these to the rudder pedals. Time 10 hours.
Drilled the plastic attachments for the rudder pedals, then drilled the attachment holes in the angle along the fuselage wall. I made 2 extra sets of holes so that the pedals can be adjusted forward or aft as necessary. They are shown in the most forward position here. Time 8 hours.
Clecoed the cabin floor in place then drilled and clecoed the 4 floor stiffeners into place. I marked a centerline on the stiffeners then drilled through the skin into the stiffener while Joe held it in place. I later saw that the two inboard were not positioned correctly when I drilled them so they will need to be replaced. Ordered new ones from Van's.
Clecoed and drilled the hoizonatal and vertical angle supports for the walls of the baggage compartment. then clecoed and drilled one of the inner walls as shown. Time 5 hours.
Returned to completing the rudder pedals. I trimmed the middle rudder pedal support to fit the firewall and attached the plastic support. Time 3 hours.
Removed the rudder pedals from the cabin and fitted the actual pedals to their frame, and added the brake master cylinders on both sides. I added the optional springs which let the pedals return to their normal position after using the brakes. Time 5 hours.
Started match drilling all the rivet holes in the fron side and bottom skins. Actually had to remove the side skins and increase the bend in the side skin to have it slide nicely under the bottom skin. After rebending the fit seems nice. Time 4 hours.
More match drilling of the skins. Time 4 hours.
Finally finished the match drilling. Time 2 hours.
Finally received my replacement floor stiffeners from Van's. Drilled and clecoed them to the bottom skin, and drilled all the attachment points to the firewall and spar bulkhead. Time 4 hours.
Started dismantling the front fuselage to deburr and dimple and prime the parts, including the bulkhead pieces, bracing hardware and front longerons. Time 6 hours.
Drilled, deburred and dimpled the skins and bulkheads at the 905 bulkhead. Time 6 hours.
Countersunk the entire length of both main longerons. Time 5 hours.
Primed the front bottom and side skins, then riveted the doubler to the skin at the main spar opening.
Deburred and dimpled the aft fuselage skin where it is riveted to the main longeron. About ready to cleco the front skins back in place. Time 8 hours.
Riveted both of the side baggage ribs in place. Much easier now than when the side skin is in place. Time 3 hours.
Got help from Mike down the street with flipping the forward fuselage piece over and clecoing it to the aft fuselage.
Clecoed the front side skins in place. Time 6 hours.
Clecoed on the firewall and bolted it to the angle as shown. I then clecoed on the inner floor angles and will rivet them to the firwall and bulkhead before placing the floor skin. Time 6 hours.
Clecoed the floor skin in place. I also riveted the baggage ribs to the aft bulkhead. Now ready to rivet the skins. Time 5 hours.
I riveted and Joe bucked all the rivets on the floor in front of the main spar, and we also got the sides anterior to the main spar riveted. Time 6 hours.
We mostly completed riveting the side skins, except for along the main longeron.
Flipped the "canoe" right side up finally! Time 6 hours.
Started moving to the hanger. Put the wings in their cradle on Joe's trailer, and the crate containing the canopy in the back of the truck, then off to DLZ.
I constructed 2 jigs to hold the fuselage straight and level. Finished riviting along the main longeron except where the upper skins will attach. Time 7 hours.
10/18/2016 and 10/19/2016
After leveling the fuselage and clamping it to the jigs, clecoed the aft deck in place and match drilled it to the fuselage. Also needed to fabricate two spacer plates which sit between the deck and aft bulkheads. Deburred and primed then riveted in place. Time 7 hours.
Drilled and clecoed the side rails to the longeron, then added the gusset at the seat bulkhead. Removed them and deburred and primed. Now ready to rivet. Time 6 hours.
Riveted the side rails and gussets. Time 4 hours.
Drilled, deburred, primed, and installed the firewall gussets.
Prepared the seat harness brackets and drilled the attachment points. Bolts in place but not tight yet. Time 8 hours.
10/23/2016 and 10/24/2016
Trimmed and put the J channels in place for the top skin.
Clecoed on the top rear skins.
Clecoed the rear upper bulkhead in place.
Match drilled all the skins to the bulkheads and longerons, and then added the curved bracket near the front of the top skin. Time 14 hours.
Began installing the right step. Took a while as the hole in the skin needed to be filed to the correct size, and the mounting plate needed to be shaped to fit the skin. Time 7 hours.
Fitted the baggage floors and lower aft walls, then primed the steps and rivet sites. Time 3 hours.
Riveted the gussets to the aft 2 bulkheads and main longeron. Time 4 hours.
Spent most of the day deburring and dimpling the top aft skin. Time 6 hours.
Fabricated and riveted the seat attachments to the floor. They are made from piano hinge - there are 3 of them so the seat can be adjusted forward and back. Time 8 hours.
Deburred and dimpled the top forward skin. Time 4 hours.
Fitted the forward seat floors then fabricated and riveted the tunnel that sits between the seats. Time 8 hours.
Started on the baggage wall. Trimmed the curve on the upper piece then added the bearing blocks through which run the seat belt cables. Time 6 hours.
Fitted the baggage wall to the bulkhead and match drilled the connection points, then riveted the platenuts to the back of the bulkhead. Time 5 hours.
11/6/2016 and 11/7/2016
Started working on the forward fuselage. Added the heat vent and fuel line cover.
The plate on top of the rectangular box will be where the fuel selector switch is located. Time 10 hours.
Joe bucked rivets to attach the steps.
Now that the steps are in we riveted the baggage floors in place. These use pop rivets as there is no way to buck them. Time 5 hours.
I put on the lower side panels in the baggage compartment. The aft one is riveted on, but the forward panel uses screws and platenuts as it must be removable. Time 4 hours.
I riveted the seat floors to the ribs. More pop rivets. Time 2 hours.
Riveted the brackets for both 5 point seat belt attach points. All pop rivets in a narrow space so it took a while. Time 8 hours.
11/14/2016 and 11/15/2016
I built the seat backs. None of the parts are pre-drilled so it is a longer process that one would think. Time 16 hours.
Spent the day moving airplane pieces - everything except the fuselage - to the hangar at KDLZ while the weather is nice.
Bolted the flap actuator in place, then attached the motor drive which is located between the seats. All RV's have electric flaps. Time 8 hours.
Added the vertical support and the covers for the flap acutator. Time 4 hours.
Over the last few days finally got the landing gear supports bolted in. This required a fair amount of filing on the bottom skin to make them fit. Time about 10 hours. Total time for this section 320 hours.Return to top of page
Putting It Together
Fit Wings to Fuselage
Not too much to show for the past 2 weeks with Thanksgiving holiday and all. Plus I finally got the fuselage moved from my garage to the hangar. That and moving the tools and other parts has taken a while. I did order and receive the servo motors for the roll and pitch, and installed the roll servo. I ordered the black conduit from Van's to run in the wings and got the right wing done as shown. I had to enlarge all the holes from 1/2 inch to 5/8ths first tho. I also drilled another 7/16th hole in the ribs for the AOA probe tubing which runs from the pitot. Total time for all about 10 hours.
Began installing the bracket for the pitot/AOA indicator. Glued the paper template to the skin then drilled out the hole for the bracket in the lower skin on the left wing. Time 3 hours.
Finished the bracket install for the pitot/AOA, including drilling for the little bracket which holds it to the rib. Time 2 hours.
Drilled and tapped the bracket and pitot to connect the two. I used a tap for 6-32 bolts which I ordered from Micro Fasteners. Also formed the tubing ends after putting on the connecting hardware. Time 2 hours.
Decided to move the conduit to a different location in the wing where I get a better fit. So after removing the prvious conduit I placed this in both wings. Time about 6 hours for both over a couple days.
Fianlly ready to fit the wings to the fuselage. With much help from Joe Foley and Steve Beaver, both wings slid into the center spar quite nicely. It is starting to look like an airplane! Time 4 hours.
After countersinking the static ports and dimpling the skin, riveted the static ports on both sides of the plane. Time 2 hours.
Bolted on the flaps in preparation to attach to the flap controller. Joe is holding the wing tip in place so we can see what it looks like. Time 4 hours.
Now the aileron is connected along with the pushrod connection. Time 5 hours.
Spent several partial days getting the flaps attached to the controller just right. Took a long time to make the holes in the fuselage for the control rod to go thru. Total Time 10 hours. Total time for this section 48 hours.Return to top of page
Fuel and Brake Lines
With the wings still attached I wanted to fit the fuel lines and the fuel vent lines. The first part of the vent line is short and 1/4" diameter so pretty easy. The 3/8" diameter fuel line itself was much more difficult to bend and fit. They run from the tank to the fuel selector valve (shown upside down in the picture). Total time about 12 hours over 2 days.
Now that the wings are off it is easier to get to the fuselage. I fitted the rest of the fuel vent lines over 2 days. The left side is shown in place altho the Adel clamps are not on yet. Total time 7 hours.
Finished installing both fuel vent lines with the Adel clamps in place. On the flare fittings I used Permatex 56521 thread sealant which Steve Beaver recommended and let me use. Thanks Steve. Time 3 hours.
Attached the fuel selector valve to its mounting plate, which I previously painted with about 4 coats of white epoxy paint. Then I started on the brake lines. The one shown runs from the firewall to the left strut. Time 5 hours.
Ran the right brake line; tied both together with zip ties. I put a few pieces of polyethylene tubing over one of the lines so they wouldn't run together. I also stuck 1/4" sound proofing foam sheet to keep them off the floor. Time 6 hours.
I decided to install a flap positioning switch to let me set the flaps at 10 or 20 degrees, or full down position. Attached that to the flap actuator and bolted the electronics to the vertical structure. The picture makes it look like there are 2 of them but it is just a reflection from the cover panel. Time 2 hours.
Installed the rudder and brake pedals. Placed some lightening holes in the center bracket before riveting it in pkace. Time 3 hours.
Drilled the firewall then bolted the brake fluid reservoir in place. Time 1 hour.
Attached the brake lines to the pedals and reservoir. Time 4 hours.
Now that the seat floors are in I can install the arm rests. Dimpled and primed them first. Also drilled the covers for the vertical spar supports. Time 4 hours.
Riveted the arm rests in place. Will leave the covers off for now. Time 1 hour.Return to top of page
Finishing the Wings
I ran the pitot and angle of attack tubing thru the left wing in preparation for closing the wing. The white wire is from the stall warning mechanism. Time 1 hour.
Riveted the bottom inboard left skin in place. Joe riveted while I bucked as my hands and arms are smalled so easier for me to get in the tight spaces. I primed the outboard skin just before I left. Time 6 hours.
Riveted the bottom outboard left skin today. Notice the pitot tube bracket which had to be placed midway during the riveting. Time 6 hours.
The completed left wing! Time 4 hours.
Started on the right wing - Riveted the inboard bottom skin, and primed the outboard skin before leaving for the day. Time 6 hours.
The roll servo for the autopilot is in the right wing so I want to wire it before putting the rest of the skin on. Dynon uses D-sub connectors so I spent the day connecting them to the cable they supply. Time 5 hours.
Attached the male D-sub connector to the servo, then ran the servo wires from the servo to the wing root. Now ready to finish the skin.
Riveted more than half the remaining bottom skin. Time 6 hours.
Finished the wing rivets. Both wings are now complete, except for adding the wing tips later. Time 3 hours. Total time for this section 37 hours.Return to top of page
Fitting the Tail
Began bolting the hrizontal stabilizer to the fuselage. Time 4 hours.]\
Got the vertical stabilizer lined up and temporarily bolted into place. Also placed the push rod for the elevators in place and measured. Time for both days about 10 hours.
After deburring all the drill holes, bolted the horizontal and vertical stabilizers in place. Time 3 hours.
Finally got all the Heim joints lined up and placed the rudder. It swings freely and has a little more than 35 degrees deflection on each side, which Van's says is the minimum. Then I fitted the rudder stops to the fuselage. The forward holes use pop rivets, and countersunk in back. Time 6 hours.
Drilled the fiberglass tips for the stabilizers, then countersunk the fiberglass holes. They still need a little trimming in order to fit well. Time 3 hours.
I replaced the elevators so I could trim the tips to fit with them. Time 1 hour.
Trimmed, drilled, and countersunk the fiberglass top of the rudder. Time 4 hours.
4/25/2017 and 4/26/2017
Then fitted and drilled the bottom of the rudder. It could be riveted in place but I decided to use bolts and nut plates so it could be removed if necessary.
I clecoed all the fiberglass end pieces in place to be sure the rudder and elevators move freely without anything rubbing. All good. Time 10 hours.
I had to remove the tail section in order to fit these little pieces which seal the area of the fuselage below the horizontal stabilizer. I hated doing it. Then I had to remove all the rivets which will be replaced with screws where the clecoes are. But first I had to tap the main longeron for the #6 screws. Time 8 hours.
I screwed the pieces in place then set the hozizontal elevator back in place. I ran a line 1/4" below it on the trim pieces. That way I know how much to trim off for the rubber seal to fit. Time 2 hours.
I drilled a 1" hole in the fiberglass bottom rudder piece for the aft light, then tapped the 4-40 screws holed which hold the light. After putting Romex connectors on the 4 wires, I attached the light with 2 4-40 screws and a bead of RTV silicone. Seems like a good fit after curing. Also needed to drill and countersink the attach holes - it can be riveted to the rudder but I decided to use screws and plate-nuts so it can be removed in the future if necessary. Time 6 hours.
Ran the electrical wire for the aft light. Time 2 hours.
I placed the rubber channels that go between the horizontal stabilizer and fuselage, then bolted the HS back in place. After putting the elevators on, I screwed in the servo plate for the trim tab.
Ran the wires through the elevator and into the fuselage. Time 4 hours.
I made the D-sub connector for the trim wires and connectoed them. I used cable ties and stick on things to hold the conntector in place. Time 2 hours.
Trying to get all the wiring I can done before riveting the top skins. I ran the wires for the elevator trim to the front of the cockpit, and finished connecting the forward bellcrank push rod and autopilot servo connections. Also made the D-sub connection and ran those wires up to the cockpit as well. I primed the under surface of the top rear skin and clecoed it in place ready to rivet. Time 5 hours.
I rerouted the servo wires and attached the d-sub connector to the rib, then tied all the wires together.
Bolted the vertical stabilizer back in place. Time for the day 5 hours.
Started on the empennage fairing. First needed to do a fair amount of trimming to fit the piece, then match drilled through the fiberglass and into the pre-existing holes in the VS and HS, clecoing as I went. Still need to put on plate nuts and countersink the fiberglass. Finally ready to rivet the rear top skins. Time 6 hours.
Joe and I got most of the top skins riveted. Time 6 hours.
We finished the riveting of the top rear skins. Time 1 hour.
I had to crawl back in the fuselage to bolt the seat harness cables in place. Should have done it while I was in there bucking rivets! Time 2 hours.
Connected the rudder cables to the pedals. First cut the steel strip connectors and drilled the correct length. Time 3 hours.Return to top of page
2/23/2017 to 2/25/2017
Started on the forward deck - clecoed the supports and instrument panel into place after first forming the angles which attach to the instrument panel with plate nuts and bolts. Then clecoed the skin in place. Time 10 hours.
Fabricated several brackets which tie the supports and instrument panel together. Time 5 hours.
Match drilled the skin to the underlying structures. There were no pre-drilled holes in the firewall flange, so these had to be drilled as well. Then I removed the skin and dimpled all the holes in the skin and structure. Time 7 hours.
3/3/2017 and 3/6/2017
Attached the air vent outlet brackets to the fuselage and instrument panel but forgot to get a picture. Then pop riveted the vent intake openings to the skin after sealing with a line of RTV high temperature silicone. I had to fabricate the little square washers which support the shop head of the rivets. Time 9 hours.
Started on the firewall attachments. I drilled out some rivets which are repaced with nut plates to attach 3 hose clamps. Then drilled a lot of holes in the firewall and stiffener plate which will hold the master and starter relays. Time 6 hours.
Started on the battery box. First drilled 8 two inch diameter lightening holes in the front and back of the box, then match drilled the angle support brackets to the box. Time 6 hours.
Finished the battery box - riveted the mounting brackets to the sides of the box. Then added the nut plates and fabricated the top bar which holds the battery in place. Attached the unit to the firewall. Time 5 hours.
Riveted the insert box which fills the big hole in the firewall. Spent the rest of the day drilling holes in the firewall for control cables and the cabin heat vent. Also got ready to rivet the gascolator bracket to the firewall, which is on the inside. Time 6 hours.
Joe came over and we riveted the insert box to the firewall. Also bolted on the master and starter relays, and the cabin heat control to the firewall. Riveted the gascolator bracket to the other side of the firewall as well. Time 4 hours.
Decided to run the rudder cables down the inside of the fuselage. They are clamped in place thru a plastic tube just before exiting the rear of the fuselage. Time 2 hours.
I got a set of these covers from Aircraft Spruce - had to round the front corners to clear the bolt head, then drilled and pop riveted them in place. I put a little RTV silicone on first to help keep out water. Time 4 hours.
Bolted the gascolator to the firewall after putting on the drain valve. Then fabricated the fuel line which runs from the boost pump to the gascolator, and got that inplace inside the firewall. Time 4 hours.
Drilled the six 3/8" holes in the firewall for the engine mount, and temporarily bolted it in place. Time 2 hours.
Riveted the forward rail in place, then I spray painted both rails. Time 5 hours.
The painted rails.
Added a few oil and fuel lines to the firewall in preparation of putting the engine bracket on. Time 1 hour.
Bolted on the engine bracket. Still need to torque the nuts and place the cotter pins. Time 1 hour.Return to top of page
Started on the electric alileron trim. Fabricated and put plate nuts on the little plate which holds the mechanism. Also had to drill out 2 plate nuts on the seat ribs and drill more attachment holes. Time 4 hours.
Temporarily installed the plate on the seat ribs, then drilled the holes for the servo motor. Still need to attach the D sub connector to the wires, then will complete the instllation. Time 2 hours.
Connected the electrim elevator trim to the trim tab. Had to shorten the metal linkage to make it fit. It finally got warm enough that I could open the hangar doors. Yea! Time 2 hours.
Temporarily replaced the empennage on the fuselage to check for wiring placement for the electrim trim and the tail light. Time 1 hour.
I finished installing the electric aileron trim. The springs connect the trim to the control column. Time 2 hours.Return to top of page
Drilled the bolt holes for attaching the roll bar to the rails. Also fabricated some little alumuminun plates which fit beneath the rails. Time 6 hours.
With the roll bar clamped in place, I trimmed and started drilling the matching holes for the roll bar support. Time 4 hours.
Joe came over so we riveted for a while, mostly the upper forward fuselage ribs. This will make the supporting bracket for the roll bar more stable where I need to drill the forward holes. He also helped paint some of the inside bulkheads which will not be covered by carpet. Time 6 hours.
Finished drilling the holes for the roll bar support (not bolted in yet), then riveted the canopy slide which lets the canopy slide back. I clecoed the upper back skin on and then taped the slide in place. Time 7 hours.
Finally got the roll bar bolted to the side rails. Fortunately I had a small enough wrench to hold the nut below the rail in order to torque it down. Temporarily bolted on the roll bar support - it can't be fitted permanently until the forward top skin is on. Time 3 hours.
Drilled the canopy slider rail to the fuselage after many measurements and remeasurements to make sure everything is lined up and parallel. Time 2 hours.
Drilled the rear slider track to the fuselage skin after adjusting it to be sure the canopy frame sits 1/16" below the skin. It is now about time to cut and fit the plexiglass canopy, but I will wait till it is warmer in the hanger, which apparently the plexigalss likes. In the meantime I will work on the tail section. Time 2 hours.
Now that it is hot in the hangar (93 today), I started trimming the canopy with an electric die grinder with the 3" wheel Van's sent. My compressor is not big enough to run the grinder with that, but the electric one works well. Practiced by cutting off the lower flanges first, then fitted the canopy frame and drilled the hole for the canopy release. The frame is used to make the "big" cut, which separates the sliding canopy from the windshield. It is marked and ready to cut. Time 7 hours.
Made the "big" cut today with Joe's help holding the pieces while I cut. Sanded the edges after and hopefully nothing will crack. Taped the edges to help hold the shape after cutting. Time 5 hours.
I trimmed the sides of the canopy to fit below the side rail and get ready to rivet to the frame. Time 3 hours.
After trimming the back of the canopy to fit better, I clamped it in place and began drilling the canopy to the frame, clecoing as I went.
Finished drilling the canopy to the frame. After that I spent the next couple days trimming it to the correct size - above the side rails and 1" behind the back part of the frame. Then I smoothed all the edges, first with sandpaper working up to 400 grit, then with super fine and ultra fine steel wool. Total time 17 hours.
Started on the windshield. There are no good guidelines as to where to cut so I cut a bit at a time to get a reasonable fit, then trimmed more till there were only small gaps between it and the skin. Time 6 hours.
Over the last 4 days completed trimming and fitting the windscreen and sanding and polishing the edges of the plexiglass. I made the aluminum clips which hold the windscreen to the forward skin; drilled and clecoed them in place - they will later be hidden once the fiberglass is laid up over it. Finally drilled and clecoed the windscreen to the roll bar. Total time 16 hours.
I enlarged then countersunk all the holes for the rivets that hold the canopy to the frame. Time 2 hours.
Drilled the holes for the bolts holding the frame to the track wheels. Time 1 hour.
Assembled the canopy lock handle. I had to trim both the handle and its channel in the canopy frame to get the length correct. Still need to trim the latch once the canopy is completely fit. Then drilled the windshield holes to size and countersunk them. Also tapped the roll bar for the screws. Time 6 hours.
8/30/2017 and 8/31/2017
Attached the brackets for the rear canopy blocks to the fuselage. Then drilled the holes in the blocks for the pins, and finally when the fit was good drilled the blocks. Time 12 hours.
9/6/2017 and 9/7/2017
Bolted the top slider rail to the fuselage, then started on the canopy side rails - drilled the canopy frame side bars to attach the side panel and support brackets. Time 12 hours.
Finished drilling the canopy frame for the side panels. Placed it back on the fuselage with the canopy and drilled the canopy sides to the panels. I had to trim and resand the canopy a bit fot a good fit. Joe came over and helped as I needed him inside the cockpit for counter pressure. Time 6 hours.
Countersunk the canopy then drilled the canopy holes to 5/32" for the screws on the sides. Then countersunk the canopy frame to accept the dimples on the side panels. Time 6 hours.
After cutting out the rear canopy panels with the band saw and cleaning up the edges, Joe and I bent and twisted them into shape to fit the fuselage. When the fit was good, I drilled and clecoed both pieces to the canopy. Time 4 hours.
Continued to refine the fit of the back canopy panels. Trimmed the bottom and front edges and started drilling them to the side panels. Time 4 hours.
Finally finished drilled the back panels to the sides. Then took everything apart and cleaned up the holes and dimpled as needed. Then drilled and dimpled the "doghouse" which connects the pieces at the top rear of the canopy. Canopy is now finished except for the final rivets and screws. Time 7 hours.
Removed the canopy and riveted the inner brace to the frame first, then riveted the side and aft panels in place. Finally used bolts and nuts to secure the bottom of the canopy to the frame. Set the canopy back on the fuselage. Time 4 hours. Total time 148 hours.Return to top of page
Started putting the wheels and brakes together. The blue bracket which holds the fairing partially covers the brake attachment. I e-mailed Van's - The piece needs to be trimmed to allow the brake to fit, as the bracket was originally made for Cleaveland Brakes, but now they are using Matco. Time 5 hours.
Assembled the left wheel. I had to dissasemble the wheel to place the tube, then after reassembly grease and fit the bearings. The end of the axle then needs to be drilled to fit the cotter pin which holds the end cap in place. Time 6 hours.
Repeated the process for the right wheel. Time 4 hours.
The halves of the main wheel fairings need a fair amount of sanding on the connecting edges in order to fit together nicely. Then I drilled and clecoed them together. Time 6 hours.
Assembled the nose wheel and fork assembly. Forgot to get a picture. Time 6 hours.
Time to put the gear on! Joe and I attached a tow strap to the engine bracket to get the front up in the air high enough to get the gear in.
We put the nose wheel in first and got it bolted in place, Then the mains. We actually needed a third person: one to hold the plane steady, one to hold the gear in place, and one to slide the bolt in place from inside. Fortunately Joe Staughsbaugh was around and gave us the help we needed. Time 7 hours.
Resting on the gear for the first time. We have a cart under the tail because without the engine it just barely balances on the nose wheel.
I built a stand for the aft end of the plane to keep it horizontally aligned. Time 2 hours.
Formed the brake line for the right wheel and got it in place. I didn't have enough 1/4" aluminum tubing for the other side so ordered more from Aircraft Spruce. Time 4 hours.
Started on the fairing for the right leg. First cut out the template from the plans and copied the shape to the fiberglass fairing.
Got my aluminum tubing from Spruce so finished up the brake line on the left side. Time 4 hours.
After trimming the fairings to size, the trailing edges of the leg fairings are connected with hinges. Holes in the fiberglass had to be drilled and countersunk, an the hinges had to be drilled and deburred. Then I hand squeezed the rivets on both sides of both leg fairings. Time 9 hours.
I lined up the fairings as described in the manual and attached them with hose clamps on top. Final fitting is with the intersection fairings later. Time 3 hours.
Built a support to get the wheels off the ground. Van wants the legs and wheels to be in flight postion for all these adjustments I guess. Joe then helped me get the plane on the stand using the engine hoist like when we put the legs on. I made the stand 30" tall; the wheels sit about 1 3/8" off the ground. After the picture we had to place a 4" spacer on the rear stand to make the longeron hprizontal. Time 6 hours
Started on the wheel fairings. First had to do a fair amount of trimming - enlarged the wheel opening and opened a space for the axle and brake ling to come through. Then dilled and clecoed to the outer support bracket after lining up the fairing. The wooden block on the tire gives a 1" clearance to the tire. I made an offset centerline on the floor to make sure the fairing is aligned with the axis of the plane. You can see the string on the floor. Time 7 hours.
6/9/2017 thru 6/12/2017
Continued working on the wheel fairings. Joe and I built up the insides where the bolts go with 2 or 3 layers of fiberglass cloth, and as the picture shows, had to build up about 1/4" with epoxy mixed with fiberglass flox. Total time for the days about 17 hours.
Assembled the right wheel fairing. Now just have to trim the bottom so it clears the wheel (blue line), then put on the plate-nuts. Time 5 hours.
6/15/2017 and 6/16/2017
I re-checked the alignment of the leg fairing to make sure it is parallel with the axis of the plane. Hard to see but the aft end of the fairing is centered between the two strings which run fore to aft and parallel with the plane's axis. Mostly finished both sides except for a few more plate-nuts on the brackets. Total time for both days 10 hours.Return to top of page
After a bit of confusion with Lycoming and UPS, the engine is delivered! I covered it back with plastic and closed the box to keep out humidity as not quite ready to work on it.
With the help of Steve Beaver and Ron Kidd we got the engine installed on the mounts. I will let it settle in for a day before completely tightening the bolts. Time 3 hours.
Tightened and put cotter pins in three of the four mounting bolts. I need to get or make a smaller wrench to tighten the fourth bolt which I will do tomorrow. Time 2 hours.
Drilled the holes for the throttle and mixture cables and mounted them. I will also putting the carb heat and cabin heat cables on this plate. Time 2 hours.
I connected the oil breather tube to the top of the engine with hose clamps. Time 1 hour.
Joe helped me make all the hose connections for the fuel lines among the gascolatore, fuel pump, and carburetor. Then we attached the bracket for the alternator and the alternator itself. I wired the nuts for the alternator bracket. Time 4 hours.Return to top of page
I started on the engine cowling, which is held in place by a ring of piano hinges around the edge of the firewall. First drilled one side of the hinges to the firewall flange. Time 5 hours.
First I clecoed the top forward skin in place to make sure the firewall was in its final position and stable. Then drilled the remaining hinges around the top. Time 4 hours.
Spent the last few days getting the cowl hinges drilled and placed. Made .020" shims which fit between the hinge and the firewall all around so the cowl is flush with the fuselage eventually. Total time 15 hours.
7/14/2017 and 7/15/2017
Cut out the opening for the oil door, then marked the cut line for the back edge of the cowling, which coincides with the front edge of the firewall. I lined up the front of the cowl with the spinner plate and 1/8" below it to allow for the engine to sag a little. The piece of cardboard maintains the 1/4" space between the cowling and the spinner. Then I cut off the back edge of the cowling and sanded the edge smooth to fit. Time 9 hours.
Turned my attention back to the cowling now that the canopy is done. Sanded the front of top and bottom cowlings so the flanges fit, then drilled holes for the connectors. Put the top cowling back on the fuselage so I can line up the bottom part with it. Notice I had previously drilled the top cowling to the hinges - I drilled about 9/16" from the back edge of the cowling which hit about the middle of the hinge. Time 3 hours. Time to drill the top cowling 2 hours.
I taped and clecoed the lower cowling in place, then marked the bottom for trimming, then cut and sanded for a good fit of the bottom.
I marked and trimmed the sides of the lower cowling. Time 6 hours.
Once I had a good fit all around, I drilled the bottom and sides of the lower cowling and clecoed it in place. Then using the bottom edge of the upper cowling as a reference, I marked and trimmed the upper edge of the lower cowling to fit. Time 6 hours.
10/12/2017 and 10/13/2017
I drilled and clecoed the connecting hinge to the lower cowling first, then to the upper cowling. Time 7 hours.
10/17/2017 and 10/18/2017
Started on this bracket which holds the bottom of the lower cowling where the nose strut goes through. It bolts to the strut and the fuselage. Finished it the next day. Time 6 hours.
Countersunk all the holes in both cowlings for the rivets which hold the hinges. The hinges also need to be epoxied in place so I drilled holes along the length of all the hinges to increase the bonding area. Time 7 hours.
These baffles need to be epoxied on the upper cowling to improve airflow over the cylinders. They are attached once the cowling is in place to prevent any chance of distorting the rest of the cowling. Time 1 hour.
Riveted and epoxied the hinges to the fiberglass cowlings with help from Joe. Then put them in place on the fuselage so they would set in in the correct position. Time 6 hours.
Fabricated this part which holds the top cowling pins in place. It will be riveted to the firewall. Then I stated on the oil door. First trimmed the edges to fit within the flanges on the top cowling. Time 3 hours.
Fitted the hinge to the oil door and cowling, then drilled and clecoed it in place.
I riveted the hinges to the fuselage for the bottome cowling. Can't do the top yet as I want to be able to remove the top skin to work on the panel. Then I put on the plate nuts which hold the top and bottom cowl. The plans call for a line of three nuts but the inner one is too close to the starter gear so I left if off. Time 5 hours.
Started on the airbox which holds the air filter and connects the air intake on the cowl to the carbutetor. First I fluted the top piece so it is flat. It is bolted to the plate which bolts to the carbureator. This piece needed some trimming to fit flush on the bottom of the carbureator. Time 3 hours.
Drilled the holes in the airbox top to bolt it to the plate. The marks show that it had to be turned a little off center to line up with the intake hole on the cowling, since the carburetor is off the centerline. Time 3 hours.
The bolts holding the airbox on go to plate nuts, which also hold the angled brackets which hold the air filter in position. I needed to fabricate these as well. Time 6 hours.
Since part of the carburetor sticks down into the air filter, I had to cut a space for it which I then filled with RTV sealant. I put grease on the carburetor so the stuff wouldn't stick to it. Clamped the filter to the airbox till the RTV hardens. Then I riveted the hinge to the oil door. I also used some structural epoxy between the hinge and the fiberglass just to be sure. Time 3 hours.
I clamped the filter between the airbox top and the fiberglass bottom, compressing it by about 1/16". Then drilled and clecoed the two parts together. I then had to bend the neck of the airbox down about 1/4" so that the opening would line up vertically with the opening on the cowling. After bending I finished drilling the neck rivet holes and started on the opening for the carb heat. Time 7 hours.
Trimmed the fiberglass edge a little above the top, then spent most of the day making the hinged door for the carb heat. The door needs to block the entrance to the neck opening pretty exactly, so lots of trial and error and small adjustments. Then cut the upper opening similar to the door; the door overlaps it a bit to make a seal. Time 8 hours.
Drilled and clecoed the steel lever which turns the carb heat on and off. Countersunk and dimpled for the rivets. Then I started on the bypass door which is used if the normal air duct is blocked. Cut the oepning then drilled and clecoed the metal piece. Sealed it with RTV sealant and riveted it in place. Time 6 hours.
Attached the bypass door and the Adel which holds the cable. I was careful to make sure the plate nut holding the Adel will not interfere with the air filter, which I outlined on the box.
Riveted the carb heat door mechanism in place, then the top to the airbox. Finally bolted the entire structure to the carburetor. Time 5 hours.
Started fabricating the fiberglass tube which matches the air box to the air inlet on the cowling. First used Bondo to attach a foam block to the inside of the cowling, then hollowed it out to match the intake on one end and the air box on the other. Then laid up 3 layers of fiberglass to make the tube. Time 3 hours.
I let the fiberglass cure for a couple days, then cut away the foam block and Bondo. I laid up another layer of fiberglass inside the cowling to firm up the attachment point. Also smoothed on a layer of epoxy along the surface of the tube to smooth it out. Time 3 hours.
I spent the last couple days working on the hose attachment from the air box to the heat box for the carburetor heat. Trimmed the two brackets and the the hose bracket, then drilled and clecoed all together and to the heat box. Time 10 hours.
Riveted the hose bracket to the heat box. Time 1 hour.
Cut and riveted the rubber pieces which allow the air box to fit with the cowling. Time 3 hours.
The plate which holds the airbox is bolted to the carburetor - the bolts need to be safety wired. Time 2 hours.Return to top of page
I started on the engine baffles which direct air over the engine for cooling. First deburred the metal edges and holes and riveted on doubler plates, which hold the attachment bolts. Time 2 hours.
More preparation of the baffles and riveting doubler plates and bracing. Time 6 hours.
11/27/2017 and 11/28/2017
Started assembling the left rear baffle which also holds the oil cooler and so requires additional components. Time 6 hours.
Finished riveting the left rear baffle and fitting to the engine. Lots of trimming required for the correct fit with respect to the upper cowling. Similarly fitted the right rear baffle, and bolted 2 brackets to the engine which hold the front and rear baffles. Time 8 hours.
Trimmed the right rear baffle to fit to the cowling, and started fitting the forward side baffles. Time 3 hours.
Added the front baffles which direct the air from the inlets on the cowl. Time 4 hours.
12/5/2017 and 12/6/2017
Several bends are required to make the openings match with the baffles. Time 6 hours.
I finished the shaping of the front lower baffles and riveted the parts together. Time 4 hours.
Started on the front baffles. Time 3 hours.
Fabricated the conical gussets which match the shape of the cowling, then riveted the right one in place. Also made the three right angle brackets which support the front baffles. Time 5 hours.
Finished the left gusset and mostly riveted it in place. Time 4 hours.
Spent the day matching the top of the baffles to the top cowling, trying to leave about 3/8" space for the rubber seal. Time 5 hours.
Made the holes in the back baffles for the spark plug wires to pass thru and bolted on the grommets for them. Time 3 hours.
Made the hole for the air intake to the heat box and riveted the hose attachment in place. Time 3 hours.
Started cutting and riveting in place the rubber strips that seal the baffles and the top cowling. Time 6 hours.
Continued attaching the rubber baffle strips. Time 4 hours.
I ran the spark plug wires through the baffles and brackets which secure them, then bolted the oil cooler in place. Time 2 hours.
Attached the oil cooler tubes between it and the engine. Time 1 hour.
I needed to fabricate and tap threads onto the four rods which secure the bottom of the baffles around the cylinders, then bend them to fit. Time 12 hours over a few days.
Missy came up and helped me and ran a bead of RTV sealant along the bottoms of the rubber parts. That produced a nice seal along that edge. Time 3 hours.
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The heat muff wraps aroung the exhaust pipes. The straps needed to be bent to fit nicely. Time 1 hour.
Joe helped me get the exhaust pipes temporarily bolted on. Then we started attaching the brackets which hold the pipes up to the engine. Time 6 hours.
The combined steel tubing and rubber tubes support the exhaust pipes. I needed to flare the ends of the steel tubes so the rubber tubing would be secure with the hose clamps. Time 6 hours.
Joe helped me remove and replace the exhaust pipes while adding the heat muff. Then we installed the hoses as shown. I finished tightening up the exhaust supports as well. Time 3 hours.Return to top of page
Wing Tips and Lights
9/26/2017 and 9/27/2017
Started on the fiberglass wing tips. I bought AeroSun landing lights and position lights/strobes, but for my plane one needs a conversion kit to fit them. I first made a cut out on the outer leading edge of both tips to fit the new piece. Then I cut holes in the new piece into which the landing light will fit. Ron Kidd came over and helped with fitting the pieces and the glue up. Held the parts together with clecoes. We strenghtened the epoxy with fiberglass strands and glued up the left side. Total time 10 hours.
Trimmed the right side to fit and glued it in place. Notice I put plate nuts in the corners to hold the clear tip lens. Time 5 hours.
10/16/2017 and 10/17/2017
Ron Kidd came over and helped me lay up the fiberglass. We put two layers on the inner sides and a single layer of glass on the outer side. Time 7 hours.
Started on the tips for the elevators. I drilled and countersunk the fiberglass and dimpled the elevators, then pop-riveted them in place. Did the same for the top of the rudder. Time 5 hours.
Fitted and pop-riveted the top of the vertical stabilizer. I also needed to fabricate a piece to obliterate the opening in it. I used my 3-D printer to make it from ABS plastic and held it in place with 3/32 pop-rivets. Time 6 hours including printing the blocker.
Fitted and riveted the tips of the horizontal stabilizer. Similar to above, I made ABS plastic pieces to fill the holes, and pop riveted them in place. Time including the printing of the pieces 9 hours.
I need to ground the external casing of the tail light, so I bought a long bolt and threaded it far enough to add two nuts, then attached the ground wire to that. Time 1 hour.
I found that the cable to the tail light rubbed when moving the rudder, so I moved the opening to a lower position at the back of the fuselage, which seems to have solved the problem. Also had to make a new opening in the fiberglass tip and seal the old hole with fiberglass. Time 6 hours.Return to top of page
I built this platform so I could work inside the cockpit without a ladder or climbing inside. Time 4 hours.
Drilled holes in the sub-panel to attach the Advanced Control Module (ACM). Time 1 hour.
Tempoarily placed the instrument panel. Had to make a cutout in the center of the sub-panel to fit the GPS receiver and audio panel. Time 6 hours.
I installed nut plates on the bottom of the instrument panel to attach the engine cables. It is upside-down in this picture. Time 2 hours.
I installed the grips so that I could run the wires from them to the panel. First had to trim the sticks quite a bit to the correct height, then run the wires. Time 3 hours.
Drilled holes in the sub-panel then attached the transponder and com modules. Also drilled holes in both air vent inlets for the OAT probes. Time 2 hours.
2/26/2018 and 2/27/2018
The ADAHRS units - one for each EFIS - need to be completely level to work properly, so I fabricated the platform which is bolted to the supports as shown. I didn't rivet it in place in case I need to get to the parts from below someday. I made a similar platform to hold the EMS-220 module and bolted in in place as well. Time 10 hours.
Attached the pressure transducers for oil and fuel pressure. Time 1 hour.
Placed the cylinder head temperature probes and exhaust temperature probes. The cylinder head probes just screwed into the engine, but I needed to drill holes for the exhaust probes then hold them in place with the hose clamps as shown. Time 2 hours.
Drilled holes in the top of the turtle deck for the GPS antenna. Time 1 hour.
Drilled a 1" hole in the firewall and bolted the steel pass-through in place. It will be lined with insulator as well. Time 2 hours.
Ran the wired from the OAT probes to the ADAHRS units. Secured the wires with zip ties. Time 2 hours.
I ran the static line beneath the canopy rail and to the ADAHRS unit, then placed a splitter and conntectd the lines. Time 1 hour.
3/5/2018 and 3/6/2018
Stated running the many wires which connect the engine to the EMS-220. Time 7 hours.
Bolted the grounding cable from the battery to the firewall. Time 1 hour.
Joe helped me bolt the GPS antenna in place while I tightened the nuts inside, then ran the wires to the front of the cockpit. Time 1 hour.
I drilled holes in the top of the cabin for the other GPS antenna, which goes to the IFD-540. Time 1 hour.
I mounted the shunt to the firewall, and made a right angle bracket to hold the 60A breaker from the alternator. The breaker is behind the wires so difficult to see. Time 6 hours.
I used mini-Molex connectors for the wires from the oil and fuel pressure transducers to the ACM. First I needed to splice 4 of the wires common to both together.
I drilled the holes in the floor for the com antenna. Also shown are the D-sub connectors for the cables for the wiring from the control sticks. Time 6 hours.
I made the wire bundles and put on connectors the the elevator trim and aileron trim. I ran the wires from the elevator trim to the ACM as shown. Time 6 hours.
3/27 and 3/28/2018
I installed the antennas for the transponder, navigation and comm transduders. Also attached D-sub connectors for the wires to the roll servo in the wing.
I needed to drill more holes in the spar web for all the wires. Total time 9 hours.
Continued running wires from the controls and attaching - at least temporarily - to the ACM. Time 4 hours.
I made this bracket from 2" x 2" aluminum angle to hold the fuel flow transducer, which is supposed to be upright and horizontal. I will rivet it in place when Joe is around to buck for me. I also started on th R-58 antenna cables today. Time 6 hours.Return to top of page
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