The RV-7A building log

This is sort of the main page of this site - it's specifically for RV building stuff, so all of the aviation stuff (even if it's RV-related) is confined to the Miscellaneous Stuff page. Hopefully, anything that's been done related to the project of any significance is detailed here.

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  • Picking an airplane and planning for it, Ordering Parts, Etc. - lots of the decisions reached during this time didn't have a particular date. If you want to see some thoughts on why I picked an RV and why I picked the RV that I picked, there's an explanation on why I wanted to build an airplane, and also one on why I picked an RV. Discussions about RV canopies, placement of the wheels, etc., can be found on the editorial page.
    • 31 October 2003 - the Preview Plans for the RV-7 show up on my doorstep.
    • 8 November 2003 - Attended the EAA "Intro to Kitbuilding" Sportair Workshop at the the Alexander Technical Center with my dad. This helps to get him excited about building an RV, which is good because I'm planning to use his garage. There's also a review of this workshop.
    • 19 Feb 2004 - mailed a check and order form to Van's Aircraft for the empennage. This will get shipped directly to Griffin, GA for the workshop there.
    • 24 Feb 2004 - Empennage ships from Van's Aircraft. Man, that was fast - only 5 days after I mailed them a check, and Alabama isn't really very close to Oregon.
    • 26 Feb 2004 - Empennage shows up in Griffin. That was fast, too. One week from putting an order form in the mail to empennage arrival.
    • 6 March 2004 - After a checkride with Ray Ledbetter, I find myself in possession of a private pilot's license. Now I don't have any excuse to not order the rest of the RV.
    • 24 March 2004 - I raid my piggybank and send the resulting money to Van's Aircraft, along with an order form for the quickbuild wings and quickbuild fuselage kit. According to Van's, it should show up sometime in July.
    • 1-2 May 2004 - my dad and I both go to the Aeroelectric workshop in Nashville, TN. In addition to the pictures, there's now a review of this workshop.
    • 5 May 2004 - two rather heavy boxes of Avery Tools show up in the mail. This is Avery's RV tool kit with a few clecos left out (as I'm building a quickbuild) and the 2x rivet gun upgraded to a 3x rivet gun.

  • Building the Empennage - the entire empennage process is going to take place at the Alexander Technical Center as I'm participating in their Quickstart Tail Assembly. Eventually there will be a review of the Alexander program.
    • 23 May 2004 - arrival at ATC and a tour of the place.
    • 24 May 2004, AM (4 hours) - kit inventory, organization, and work on the front and rear spar of the horizontal stabilizer.
    • 24 May 2004, PM (5 hours) - continued work on the horizontal and vertical stabilizer (match drilling everything, deburring, countersinking, dimpling, etc.), followed by taking it all apart so the parts can be primed before we rivet it together on Thursday.
    • 25 May 2004, AM (4 hours) - finish dimpling skins from yesterday, and work on the rudder and right and left elevators.
    • 25 May 2004, PM (6 hours) - drilling, deburring, dimpling, etc. of the right and left elevators and trim tab. Then we take it all apart to send to the paint shop for priming - all the parts we've worked on up to this point are going to the paint shop tomorrow morning.
    • 26 May 2004, AM - all the parts go to the paint shop. While they're there, we go visit the engine folks at Don's Dream Machines.
    • 26 May 2004, PM (5 hours) - parts are back from the paint shop. We start riveting spars together.
    • 27 May 2004, AM (4 hours) - riveting the skins onto the horizontal and vertical stabilizers so they're more or less done. Starting to back rivet the stiffeners on the rudder skins.
    • 27 May 2004, PM (5 hours) - work on the elevators and rudder, all of which get mostly done.
    • 28 May 2004, AM (5 hours) - finishing up - back riveting the rudder and putting the rolls in the elevators and rudder. The empennage is now done.
    • 28 May 2004, PM (3 hours) - general putzing around and loading as many RV parts as possible in a Honda Accord.


  • Shop Preparation - the rest of this has to take place in a garage, so it's time to get that ready for the rest of the kit that should be here pretty soon.
    • June-July 2004 - converting the garage into a workshop. This one pile of pictures covers painting, putting up lights, etc, etc.
    • 25 July 2004 - we get the air compressor unpacked. Not very exciting.
    • 28 July 2004 - got a small drill press, and we hung the elevators on the shop wall.
    • 29 July 2004 - got the rest of the empennage parts on the shop wall.
    • 30 July 04 - no pictures to show for it, but I registered an N-number today - N257S. This is easy to do now thanks to the new FAA website that lets you do it online. Also I mailed the check to Van's for the balance of the quickbuild kit.
    • 1 Aug 2004 - built a box for the air compressor.

  • Unpacking the Quickbuild Kit, Inventory - since both the wings and the fuselage are showing up at the same time, there's going to be lots of of unpacking and organizing stuff before we can really get started. Also we've got to do the inventory.
    • 18 Aug 2004 (2.5 hours) - the wings and fuselage arrive. We get them off the truck and the lids off the boxes.
    • 21 Aug 2004 (7 hours) - starting to unpack everything. We get the fuselage on sawhorses.
    • 22 Aug 2004 (4 hours) - we get the inventory done (mostly) and get the wings in their cradle.
    • 23 Aug 2004 - we get the sawhorses trimmed down to a more reasonable level, as we built them too tall. Also we get the band saw set up.
    • 24 Aug 2004 (3 hours) - Inventory is complete (for real, this time) - we confirmed that we are not missing anything. Also, we have more fun with breaking down the quickbuild crates so that we have more room in the workshop. This is not really interesting enough for pictures or any sort of extended commentary.

  • Working on the Quickbuild Wings - even though there's still some stuff in the shop left to be done, we're starting to do what's left on the wings. This process is probably going to take much longer than necessary because we're just starting to use all this stuff for the first time.
    • 26 Aug 2004 (2.5 hours) - building shelves and organizing rivets. We started working on the aileron pushrods.
    • 28 Aug 2004 (6 hours) - more aileron pushrod related stuff.
    • 29 Aug 2004 (3.5 hours) - finishing some of the aileron pushrods. I know, we're taking a ridiculously long amount of time to get these done.
    • 31 Aug 2004 (2.5 hours) - more pushrod woes.
    • 1 Sept 2004 (2 hours) - fun with reamers and the aileron bellcrank.
    • 2 Sept 2004 (2 hours) - landing lights come in the mail, we get a die grinder and assorted stuff. Still working on the reamer/bushing/bellcrank stuff.
    • 3 Sept 2004 (2.5 hours) - conclusion of the reamer/bushing/bellcrank story.
    • 4 Sept 2004 - hosting an open house. We don't get any work on the plane done, but had a lot of fun introducing people to RV-related stuff.
    • 5 Sept 2004 (3.5 hours) - progress on the bellcranks and aileron brackets.
    • 6 Sept 2004 (5.5 hours) - productive day today - we riveted together the aileron brackets, modified the wing cradle so it's better, reorganized the shop so we can get to the wings easier, and started making a holder for the plans (they've been just sitting on the table until now).
    • 7 Sept 2004 - no work on the plane, but we finish up the stand for the plans.
    • 9 Sept 2004 (2.5 hours) - start work on the aileron farings and flap braces, and start riveting the aileron brackets to the wings.
    • 11 Sept 2004 (6.5 hours) - finish the aileron brackets and aileron farings.
    • 20 Sept 2004 (2.5 hours) - made the smaller aileron pushrods (again). Since we have done this before, this went faster the second time.
    • 21 Sept 2004 (2.5 hours) - pushrod riveting, bellcrank assembly and other wing stuff.
    • 23 Sept 2004 (1.5 hours) - RV rides and torquing the gas tanks.
    • 24 Sept 2004 (3.5 hours) - starting to install the leading edge landing lights from Duckworks. We cut the leading edge holes in the wings.
    • 25 Sept 2004 (7 hours) - finishing the leading edge holes and attaching the nutplates.
    • 27 Sept 2004 (3 hours) - mounting the landing lights. They're now done except for the plexiglass covers.
    • 30 Sept 2004 (2.5 hours) - working on the plexiglass covers for the Duckworks landing lights.
    • 1 Oct 2004 (4 hours) - finishing the right landing light
    • 2 Oct 2004 (6.5 hours) - finishing the left landing light. As this is the exact same procedure that we did yesterday, there are no pictures.
    • 9 Oct 2004 (2.5 hours) - just a puttering around day. We get one of the ailerons hung and the nutplates riveted to the pitot tube mount.
    • 11 Oct 2004 (2.5 hours) - another puttering day . . . no pictures. Both bellcranks are now on the wings, and we've painted the aileron hinge brackets (which involved taking an aileron off), so tomorrow we'll get both ailerons hung.
    • 12 Oct 2004 (2.5 hours) - both the ailerons get mounted, among other putterings.
    • 14 Oct 2004 (2.5 hours) - start working on the Gretz Aero pitot tube mount.
    • 16 Oct 2004 (6 hours) - upgrading the landing lights (55 W to 100 W), attaching the heated pitot tube mount. The wings are now done. Well, actually they're not done done, but they're as done as they're going to get for now.


  • Working on the Quickbuild Fuselage - this may morph into finishing stuff on the wings or working on finishing kit stuff, but I'll try to be organized enough to keep that separate.
    • 17 Oct 04 (3.5 hours) - reorganizing the shop to work on the fuselage instead of the wings, general flailing around to figure out what the next step should be. Not overly exciting.
    • 18 Oct 04 (2.5 hours) - working on elevator pushrods, etc. Pretty productive night!
    • 23 Oct 04 (7 hours) - finished the elevator pushrods and started working on the F-635 elevator bellcrank.
    • 24 Oct 04 (3 hours) - finished up the bellcrank, planning for the next step. Not overly exciting.
    • 25 Oct 04 (2.5 hours) - tie-down rings and starting work on the tunnel cover.
    • 26 Oct 04 (2.5 hours) - finishing the tunnel cover.
    • 28 Oct 04 - hosting the monthly TVRVBG meeting, first EAA tech inspection.
    • 30 Oct 04 (5 hours) - finishing the last screw/nutplate in the floorboard for the tunnel cover.
    • 4 Nov 04 (2.5 hours) - fabrication of seat parts.
    • 6 Nov 04 (5 hours) - among other things, drilling the seat back brace attachment to F-705.
    • 7 Nov 04 (3.5 hours) - riveting the F-705/seat back brace stuff.
    • 11 Nov 04 (2.5 hours) - seat back braces back from Don, we try to figure out how to assemble the seats. More head scratching than metal bending, but I guess some nights are like that.
    • 12 Nov 04 (3.5 hours) - drilling the top and bottom of the seat backs. Somewhat more productive.
    • 13 Nov 04 (9 hours) - drilling the rest of the holes in the seat backs, test fitting them in the fuselage.
    • 14 Nov 04 (3.5 hours) - seat backs riveted and put in the plane.
    • 15 Nov 04 (2.5 hours) - starting to work on the NACA vents and the rudder cable fairings.
    • 16 Nov 04 (2.5 hours) - continuing work on the NACA vents and the rudder cable fairings.
    • 19 Nov 04 (3.5 hours) - starting work on the brake pedals.
    • 20 Nov 04 (7 hours) - continued work on the brake pedals, starting thinking about the rudder pedals.
    • 21 Nov 04 (3.5 hours) - drilling the holes for the rudder pedal side mounts.
    • 22 Nov 04 - no pictures to show for it, but ordered the finish kit! At this point, I'm planning to go with a 180 HP O-360 from Mattituck (two magnetos, constant-speed prop, dynafocal 1 engine mount) . . . I guess we'll see if I stay with that configuration.
    • 28 Nov 04 (4 hours) - playing with a heater for the shop, attaching the brake pedals to the rudder pedals.
    • 29 Nov 04 (2.5 hours) - drilling rudder pedals.
    • 2 Dec 04 (2 hours) - starting to think about the steps - we get the hole drilled in the outer skin.
    • 4 Dec 04 (5.5 hours) - drilling more holes for the steps, visiting Scott Millhouse.
    • 5 Dec 04 (3.5 hours) - more work bending the steps, starting to work on the very back of the airplane. We test fit the horizontal and vertical stab for the first time.
    • 6 Dec 04 (2.5 hours) - no pictures to show for it, but continued working on bending the steps to match the fuselage curve, and started working on the F-824B Cover Plates.
    • 8 Dec 04 (2 hours) - match drilling the steps to the fuselage.
    • 9 Dec 04 (2 hours) - countersinking the steps, getting the bolt holes drilled, priming the steps.
    • 12 Dec 04 (3.5 hours) - riveting the steps, and beginning work on the rudder stops.
    • 19 Dec 04 (5 hours) - rudder stops, nutplates on the tail, starting the electric flaps.
    • 25 Dec 04 - Santa brings Oregon Aero Seats, among other things. No work on the airplane, though, unless you count sitting in it to try out the seats.
    • 26 Dec 04 (3.5 hours) - continued work on the electric flaps.
    • 29 Dec 04 - (1 hour) fabricating F-767, other miscellaneous stuff.


  • Quickbuild Fuselage, continued - nothing really different here, I just wanted to split this up into smaller sections. The first of the year seems a good place to do that.
    • 2 Jan 05 (3 hours) - work on the flap actuator covers, moving baggage and seat floors around.
    • 3 Jan 05 (2.5 hours) - fabricating F-767 (again), nutplates on the F-785S backrest brace.
    • 4 Jan 05 (2 hours) - fixing the "oops" on the F-785A backrest brace, putting the flap actuator cover together.
    • 8 Jan 05 (4 hours) - working on the rear tie-down ring, getting the last bulkhead (F-712) into the fuselage.
    • 9 Jan 05 (2.5 hours) - contemplating F-712, working on the control sticks/column.
    • 10 Jan 05 (2.5 hours) - getting the rudder stops on, riveting F-712 in, and driving a Mini Cooper.
    • 11 Jan 05 (1.5 hours) - finishing the rivets on the F-712.
    • 17 Jan 05 (1.5 hours) - planning, test fitting parts, starting a sawhorse.
    • 18 Jan 05 (2 hours) - finished the sawhorse (whee) and started messing around with fitting the top skin.
    • 19 Jan 05 (2.5 hours) - more messing around with the top skin.
    • 21 Jan 05 (3 hours) - a bunch of stuff shows up in the mail, we get the flap pushrods tapped, and finish drilling the forward top fuselage skin.
    • 22 Jan 05 (4.5 hours) - start dimpling the top skin, start getting control-system related stuff in the fuselage.
    • 23 Jan 05 (4 hours) - more stuff comes in the mail, flap brace, moving stuff around the shop. Lots of random stuff gets done, pretty much.
    • 24 Jan 05 (1 hour) - starting to think about mounting the empennage.

  • Finish Kit - well, sort of. We're not really done with the fuselage at this point, but the finish kit has arrived. It'll be a bit jumbled from here on out, but we'll try to keep it organized.
    • 26 Jan 05 (3 hours) - finish kit arrives, inventory.
    • 29 Jan 05 - not much work on the plane, but the spinner shows up in the mail and we contemplate (among other problems) the F-680 problem that we're asking Mark Spry about.
    • 30 Jan 05 (3 hours) - getting the elevators attached to the horizontal stabilizer for the first time.
    • 1 Feb 05 (2.5 hours) - elevators drilled to the horizontal stab.
    • 2 Feb 05 (2.5 hours) - drilling the holes for the elevator pushrod, more empennage mounting activities.
    • 3 Feb 05 - stuff comes in the mail, tracking down clamps, more empennage putterings.
    • 4 Feb 05 (1 hour) - starting to drill the holes for the horizontal stab.
    • 5 Feb 05 (3 hours) - making and using a chip chaser, continued horizontal stab work.
    • 6 Feb 05 (3 hours) - hooking up elevators, pushrod, etc, visiting Scott Millhouse, started putterings with the vertical stab.
    • 7 Feb 05 (2 hours) - elevator stop holes, continued putterings with the vertical stab.
    • 8 Feb 05 (2 hours) - continued putterings with the fitting the vertical stab.
    • 11 Feb 05 (2.5 hours) - elevator stop on, F-781 riveted to vertical stabilizer, the vertical stabilizer is on.
    • 12 Feb 05 (4 hours) - the empennage is on!
    • 13 Feb 05 (2 hours) - planning for forward fuse stuff, messing around with the rudder pedal brace.
    • 14 Feb 05 (2 hours) - rudder pedal brace (F-6118), shop organization notes.
    • 21 Feb 05 (2 hours) - center airbox cover, getting the brake line bracket riveted to the firewall, playing with some of the forward fuse frame.
    • 22 Feb 05 (2.5 hours) - start messing around with the modular panel, the brake reservoir is on, working on rudder pedal brace.
    • 23 Feb 05 (2 hours) - drill panel frame, air box is coming together.
    • 25 Feb 05 (2.5 hours) - more panel work, making various and sundry parts.
    • 26 Feb 05 (5 hours) - more work on the airbox, started interior painting.
    • 27 Feb 05 - mostly planning day, limited putterings.
    • 3 March 05 (2 hours) - getting a dremel, starting to cut the landing gear holes.
    • 7 March 05 (2 hours) - wingtip lenses, working on getting the gear weldments into the fuselage.
    • 8 March 05 (2 hours) - more gear weldment work, putting together the fuel selector valve.
    • 9 March 05 (2 hours) - fun stuff shows up in the mail, gear weldment stuff, assorted little things.
    • 10 March 05 (2 hours) - wingtip lenses are getting much closer to being done, weirdness with the right gear weldment.
    • 12 March 05 (6.5 hours) - both gear weldments are in, more interior painting, wingtip lights.
    • 13 March 05 (4 hours) - yet more interior painting, right wingtip lens is finished, panel putterings.
    • 19 March 05 (4 hours) - panel lights show up, continued work on the left wingtip lens, nutplates on parts of the panel.
    • 20 March 05 (4.5 hours) - left wingtip lens is finished, starting the aileron trim.
    • 21 March 05 (2 hours) - aileron trim putterings.
    • 22 March 05 (1 hour) - how to not match drill the aileron trim handle.


  • Back to the Wings - well, at least for a little while. We're gonna try to close at least one of these up before getting the wings attached to the fuse for the first time.
    • 23 March 05 (2.5 hours) - reorganizing the shop, planning, match drilling the bottom right wing skin.
    • 24 March 05 (1 hour) - TVRVBG meeting, autopilot stuff shows up in the mail, deburring the right wing skin
    • 26 March 05 (5 hours) - more wing skin adventures - dimpling, countersinking, drilling out tooling holes.
    • 27 March 05 (4.5 hours) - match drilling, dimpling, etc. for the left wing skin.
    • 29 March 05 (2 hours) - puttering around with the Pictorial Pilot servo. We're beginning to think about how to go about mounting it.
    • 31 March 05 (0.5 hours) - snuck home from work during lunch to prime a wing skin, clock (from Van's) and random parts (from Spruce) show up in the mail.
    • 2 April 05 (4.5 hours) - wiring the right wing, getting a conduit in.
    • 3 April 05 (2.5 hours) - more wiring in the wings, mapbox stuff, how not to drill the aileron trim handle, take two.
    • 7 April 05 (2 hours) - working on the map box. Not wings, exactly, but, um, whatever.
    • 8 April 05 (2.5 hours) - mapbox, starting to work on mounting the strobe power supply.
    • 9 April 05 (5 hours) - more mapbox and strobe power supply stuff.
    • 10 April 05 (4 hours) - futzing around with the sub-panel pieces, finishing the mapbox cutout.
    • 11 April 05 - Sam Buchanan comes over for the second EAA Tech Inspection. Lots of discussion, no metal bending.
    • 12 April 05 (2 hours) - trip to Home Depot to buy PVC tubing for the wings, finishing mounting the strobe power supply.
    • 21 April 05 (2 hours) - playing with new tools from Sun-n-Fun, finishing the strobe mounting power supply, almost done with aileron trim.
    • 23 April 05 (2.5 hours) - finished some details before closing up the right wing, starting to close up the right wing.
    • 24 April 05 (4.5 hours) - the right wing is closed up!
    • 28 April 05 (2 hours) - aileron back on, starting to think about mounting the flaps and panel stuff.
    • 29 April 05 (2 hours) - panel planning . . . taping pictures and circles to the panel.
    • 30 April 05 (5 hours) - right flap hinge pin, mounting the flap
    • 1 May 05 (3.5 hours) - finishing all sorts of details on the left wing - now we're ready to close it up.
    • 2 May 05 (2.5 hours) - starting to close up the left wing. This is just like closing up the right wing, so there aren't any pictures.
    • 3 May 05 (2.5 hours) - more working on riveting the last wing skin on, it's almost done.
    • 4 May 05 (2.5 hours) - the left wing is closed up! Also, started flap brace stuff.
    • 6 May 05 (2 hours) - flap brace and left flap are on, visitors to the shop.
    • 7 May 05 (1.5 hours) - starting to mess around with the wingtip lights.
    • 8 May 05 (3 hours) - adventures with the wingtip lights: painting, bondo, etc.
    • 9 May 05 (0.5 hours) - finishing up the wingtip lights.
    • 12 May 05 (2 hours) - more wingtip lights, messing around with the wingtips mounting and lenses.
    • 13 May 05 - Dynons and the radio show up in the mail.
    • 14 May 05 (5.5 hours) - mounting the left wingtip.
    • 15 May 05 (3.5 hours) - mounting the right wingtip, working with the map box.
    • 17 May 05 (1 hour) - temporary harness for the Dynon EFIS.
    • 18 May 05 - (2 hours) looking at gear weldments.
    • 19 May 05 - TVRVBG meeting at DCU, messing around with the Dynon Engine Monitor.
    • 22 May 05 (2.5 hours) - wingtip nutplate attempts, installing the wingtip ribs.


  • More Fuselage Stuff - starting to think about getting the plane on its own two feet (well, three feet - eventually), plumbing, wiring, and panel work. Still some stuff to finish up on the wings, but most of that is behind us.
    • 25 May 05 - organizing stuff, complying with a Dynon service bulletin.
    • 29 May 05 (7 hours) - new rudder stops, empennage back off, static system plumbing.
    • 30 May 05 (5 hours) - both landing gear weldments drilled.
    • 31 May 05 - (2.5 hours) - Gear weldment, stick controls mechanism.
    • 1 June 05 (1.5 hours) - Hobbs meter, intercom, and fiberglass stuff show up in the mail, cleaning the fuselage to prep for painting.
    • 2 June 05 (1.5 hours) - pulling rivets (more prep for painting), cutting hole for Hobbs meter.
    • 3 June 05 (2 hours) - prep for interior painting. Masking, etc.
    • 4 June 05 (5 hours) - fuselage interior painting.
    • 5 June 05 (6 hours) - touch-up work on the interior paint, getting the landing gear weldments in and the gear legs on.
    • 6 June 05 (2 hours) - cutting the instrument holes in the panel.
    • 7 June 05 (1.5 hours) - finishing the panel cutting, aluminum vents show up in the mail.
    • 8 June 05 (2 hours) - yet more holes in the panel, Dynon flush mounting stuff.
    • 9 June 05 (2 hours) - continued panel work.
    • 10 June 05 - pictorial pilot shows up in the mail, random pictures at work.
    • 11 June 05 (6 hours) - more panel, fuselage work.
    • 12 June 05 (4 hours) - planning gas lines and trying to learn how to use the flaring tool. Made lots of scrap . . . no pictures, hopefully practicing today will pay off with real work later.
    • 14 June 05 (2 hours) - getting the airspeed and VSI mounted.
    • 15 June 05 (2 hours) - Hobbs, CO Guardian mounted, started work on the ELT.
    • 16 June 05 (2 hours) - rudder cables, ELT mounting, intercom in the panel.
    • 18 June 05 (3.5 hours) - the panel is more or less together, at least for the first time . . . well, except for the radio stack, which isn't together at all.
    • 19 June 05 (1 hour) - Happy Father's Day! Knocking together a stand for the panel, painting the panel.
    • 21 June 05 (1 hour) - visitors to the shop, painted panel put together.
    • 24 June 05 (2.5 hours) - starting the brake lines, starting the wingtip nutplates.
    • 25 June 05 (5 hours) - nutplates are in, wingtips are on (finally).
    • 26 June 05 (4 hours) - gas vent fittings, brake lines.
    • 27 June 05 (2 hours) - panel stuff: getting the vents attached to the frame, figuring out the subpanel.
    • 28 June 05 (2 hours) - more work figuring out the subpanel, some forward fuselage stuff.
    • 30 June 05 -
    • 2 July 05 (7 hours) - map box reinforcements, more fuselage stuff (rudder stops, shoulder harness cables, rudder cables and farings).
    • 3 July 05 -
    • 5 July 05 (2.5 hours) - shop modifications, the project now has a mascot, and starting to think about the forward wing/fuel tank attach brackets.
    • 6 July 05 (2 hours) - working on the forward wing attach points.
    • 7 July 05 (1 hour) - more wing attach putterings, contemplating the oops froforward fuse subpanel ribs. yesterday.
    • 8 July 05 (2 hours) - riveting the wing attach brackets.
    • 9 July 05 (4.5 hours) - starting to think about the rollbar . . . making parts.
    • 10 July 05 (4 hours) - making more parts for the rollbar, figuring out how to trim the skin where the rollbar attaches.
    • 12 July 05 (1.5 hours) - rollbar putterings.
    • 14 July 05 (1.5 hours) - more rollbar stuff - finally the main part is starting to come together.
    • 16 July 05 (6 hours) - more rollbar work (match drilled, clecoed together).
    • 17 July 05 (6 hours) - even more rollbar work (countersinking, painting, riveting the front half).
    • 18 July 05 (2 hours) - rollbar is finished (but not attached), starting to work on the subpanel.


  • Continued Forward Fuselage - not really a reason to split this up other than it's easier to browse this if is split up into smaller sections. We're still working on plumbing and wiring in addition to forward fuselage stuff. Hopefully, we'll be finishing the fuselage-related stuff here.
    • 20 July 05 (2 hours) - redoing the fuel vent lines, working on the subpanel.
    • 2 Aug 05 (3.5 hours) - subpanel in the plane (sort of), microphone jack mounts.
    • 3 Aug 05 (2.5 hours) - starting to mount the rollbar, working with brake lines.
    • 5 Aug 05 (2 hours) - more with the microphone jacks, more with the brake lines.
    • 6 Aug 05 -
    • 7 Aug 05 -
    • 8 Aug 05 -
    • 9 Aug 05 (2 hours) - more panel and elevator trim putterings . . . nothing really photoworthy.
    • 12 Aug 05 -
    • 13 Aug 05 (3 hours) - mounting the remote compass, bending the rollbar, getting the GPS.
    • 14 Aug 05 -
    • 15 Aug 05 (2 hours) - drilling the rollbar mounts.
    • 17 Aug 05 (2 hours) - prepping for the meeting tomorrow - panel is in, empennage is on.
    • 18 Aug 05 - hosting the monthly TVRVBG meeting at the shop.
    • 20 Aug 05 (2.5 hours) - rollbar mount, panel frame, elevator trim.
    • 21 Aug 05 (2.5 hours) - more panel frame stuff, rollbar is on.
    • 23 Aug 05 (1.5 hours) - more putterings with the rollbar and trim . . . nothing really photoworthy.
    • 27 Aug 05 - hamburgers in Pell City, getting a bearing packer.
    • 29 Aug 05 (2 hours) - rollbar brace, gas tank drain fittings.
    • 30 Aug 05 (1 hour) - bottom rudder fairing.
    • 31 Aug 05 (2.5 hours) - starting to work with the canopy latch handle.
    • 1 Sept 05 (2 hours) - starting to work on the wheels and tires - progress on the nosewheel.
    • 2 Sept 05 (2 hours) - main tires/wheels are together.
    • 3 Sept 05 (4.5 hours) - more work on the wheels and tires - mainly the nosewheel mechanism, which is now all together.
    • 4 Sept 05 (1.5 hours) - sitting on the main gear.


  • Prep for Painting the Empennage and Wings - we've got a new goal, now: trying to get ready to paint the wings and empennage in a few months. Also, we're getting ready for an engine showing up in a couple months.
    • 5 Sept 05 (5 hours) - adventures in fiberglass: starting on the empennage tips.
    • 6 Sept 05 (1.5 hours) - more work on the empennage tips. I forgot the camera, so we'll take pictures of what got done tomorrow, which is going to be more of the same anyway.
    • 7 Sept 05 (6 hours) - more messing around with the empennage tips. Top of rudder, horizontal stab are done, progress on other things.
    • 8 Sept 05 (2 hours) - more stuff with the empennage tips.
    • 10 Sept 05 (1 hour) - rudder and horizontal stabilizer fairings.
    • 11 Sept 05 (5 hours) - finishing some fairings, finishing the drilling on the rollbar and then painting it.
    • 12 Sept 05 (2 hours) - more rollbar stuff.
    • 13 Sept 05 (1 hour) - rudder fairing, figuring out the clothes hanger bar.
    • 14 Sept 05 (2 hours) - more canopy latch stuff.
    • 18 Sept 05 (2 hours) - trimming the wingtips, starting to fill in various empennage tips.
    • 19 Sept 05 (1.5 hours) - adventures with Super Fil and the empennage tips.
    • 24 Sept 05 (2 hours) - Super Fil and prep for painting for the empennage tips, messing around with the rudder light.
    • 25 Sept 05 (4 hours) - more Super Fil prep work, continuing to mess around with the rudder light.
    • 26 Sept 05 (2 hours) - even more Super Fil and rudder light work.
    • 27 Sept 05 (2 hours) - continued Super Fil and rudder light work. Really, we're getting close to being done with this.
    • 29 Sept 05 (1.5 hours) - rudder light is in, some fiberglass work on one of the elevators.
    • 2 Oct 05 (4 hours) - foam in a wingtip, attaching one of the plexiglass position light covers.
    • 3 Oct 05 (2 hours) - digging out the foam (yeah, that didn't work), attaching the other plexiglass position light cover.
    • 4 Oct 05 (2 hours) - attaching empennage parts and checking clearance.
    • 8 Oct 05 (2 hours) - parts arrive in the mail, different attempt at foam in the wingtips.
    • 9 Oct 05 (4 hours) - wingtip work, fabricating the clothes hanger bar.
    • 10 Oct 05 (2 hours) - more wingtip work, canopy latch handle.
    • 12 Oct 05 (2 hours) - seats show up from Oregon Aero, finishing fiberglass work on the wingtips.
    • 15 - 16 Oct 05 - attending the EAA "Painting and Finishing" Sportair workshop in Griffin, GA.
    • 20 Oct 05 (1 hour) - riveting wingtip ribs in, planning for firewall/engine stuff.

  • Getting Ready for the Engine - well, actually, this is a bit of chaos here of finishing up a couple of things we were trying to get done before working on FWF stuff. Mostly, though, we're going to try to get the engine hung pretty quickly.
    • 22 Oct 05 (5 hours) - canopy latch, painting wingtip recesses, cutting firewall holes, riveting the clothes hanger.
    • 23 Oct 05 (2 hours) - painting, wingtip lights, altitude hold mounting brace.
    • 24 Oct 05 (2.5 hours) - conduit in the tailcone, altitude hold bracket stuff.
    • 25 Oct 05 (2.5 hours) - finishing altitude hold stuff, getting ready to rivet the top rear fuselage skin.
    • 27 Oct 05 (.5 hours) - tech inspection, fun with clecos and the top rear fuselage skin.
    • 28 Oct 05 (3.5 hours) - riveting the top rear fuselage skin.
    • 29 Oct 05 (5.5 hours) - rollbar work, exhaust pipes show up in the mail.
    • 30 Oct 05 (5 hours) - FWF inventory, attaching the rollbar, and working on the baggage compartment floors.
    • 1 Nov 05 (2.5 hours) - working with cabin heat, starting to mess around with the battery box.
    • 3 Nov 05 (3 hours) - engine arrives, work on brakes/rudder pedals.
    • 5 Nov 05 (4 hours) - brake lines, gascolator brace, relay doubler.
    • 6 Nov 05 (4 hours) - gascolator brace and relay doublers are on, messing with the fuel/oil transducer.
    • 11 Nov 05 (4 hours) - transponder, the altitude hold arrives, messing with the firewall recess and NACA vents.
    • 12 Nov 05 (6 hours) - gascolator on, grinding a nutplate, gas lines.
    • 13 Nov 05 (3 hours) - nutplates, firewall recess.
    • 14 Nov 05 (2 hours) - making a mess with proseal, firewall recess on there, relays attached.
    • 22 Nov 05 (2 hours) - battery box hooey, borrowing an engine hoist.
    • 23 Nov 05 (2.5 hours) - attaching engine mount to fuselage, nosewheel to engine mount.
    • 24 Nov 05 (6.5 hours) - nosewheel and engine mount on, battery box finished, more firewall-related stuff.
    • 25 Nov 05 (3.5 hours) - hung the engine.
    • 26 Nov 05 (5 hours) - put the brakes and wheels together, took the engine off and rehung it due to some rather poor planning.
    • 27 Nov 05 (5 hours) - carb, exhaust pipes, getting back to canopy latch work and reorganizing the shop.


  • Forward Fuselage, Installing the Panel, some FWF stuff - now that the engine is on, there's lots of work on the forward fuselage, work on the radio stack, and some random engine-related stuff we'll attempt. Need to starting thinking about the wiring pretty soon.
    • 4 Dec 05 (2 hours) - oil cooler arrives, canopy latch, battery box top.
    • 11 Dec 05 (3 hours) - forward fuselage/panel attach point putterings.
    • 12 Dec 05 (2.5 hours) - subpanel/forward fuselage work.
    • 13 Dec 05 (2 hours) - match drilling more forward fuselage parts.
    • 17 Dec 05 (3 hours) - cutting access panels in the forward fuselage skin.
    • 18 Dec 05 (2 hours) - subpanel holes cut for switches, etc., figuring out the orders, groupings, etc.
    • 24 Dec 05 (4.5 hours) - panel, seat ponderings, work on air vent mounting, subpanel side panels.
    • 30 Dec 05 (1.5 hours) - alternator mounted, more stuff shows up from B&C.
    • 31 Dec 05 (3 hours) - alternator putterings, random forward fuselage stuff.
    • 1 Jan 06 (2 hours) - brakes lines finished up, getting switches in the subpanel, playing with LEDs.
    • 2 Jan 06 (3 hours) - starting magneto timer assembly, stick grip, countersinking the panel.
    • 8 Jan 06 (2 hours) - finishing the magneto timing tool, ordering air compressor parts.
    • 13 Jan 06 (1 hour) - fixing the air compressor.
    • 14 Jan 06 (2 hours) - CHT and exhaust temperature probes.
    • 15 Jan 06 (2 hours) - heat muff, starting to mess around with scat tubing.
    • 16 Jan 06 (1 hour) - manifold pressure hose attached.
    • 20 Jan 06 (2.5 hours) - carb temp sensor, starting to think about the radio stack, and labeling the subpanel.
    • 21 Jan 06 (6.5 hours) - subpanel labeled, more forward fuselage work.
    • 22 Jan 06 (4 hours) - scat clamps, messing with the panel, helping Scott put the wings on his RV-9A.
    • 23 Jan 06 (2.5 hours) - subpanel clamp adventures, taping the brake lines, FWF gas lines.
    • 24 Jan 06 (1.5 hours) - starting the radio stack (among other less interesting things).
    • 28 Jan 06 (5 hours) - radio stack is all in one piece!
    • 29 Jan 06 (3 hours) - oil pressure switch, working on the top section of the radio stack.
    • 4 Feb 06 (1 hour) - cutting subpanel holes for the radio stack.
    • 5 Feb 06 (2 hours) - center subpanel section parts riveted on.
    • 6 Feb 06 (2 hours) - working on the front forward skin, contemplating electrical stuff, adding nutplates.
    • 7 Feb 06 (2 hours) - pondering fuse blocks and the overvoltage protector.
    • 10 Feb 06 (2 hours) - attaching the fuse blocks (finally), match drilling forward fuselage.
    • 11 Feb 06 (1 hours) - painting forward fuselage parts.
    • 12 Feb 06 (4 hours) - forward fuselage drilled, subpanel label work.
    • 17 Feb 06 (3.5 hours) - prop shows up in the mail, dimpling, deburring, prepping the forward fuselage area for riveting, playing with LEDs.
    • 18 Feb 06 (8 hours) - switches back in subpanel, forward fuselage/subpanel area riveted together, starting to attach parts for the electrical system.
    • 19 Feb 06 (4 hours) - panel frame in the fuselage for good, running the cabin heat cable.

  • Starting Wiring, More Forward Fuselage/Panel Work - finally starting the wiring. Eventually need to start thinking about the canopy, here.
    • 20 Feb 06 (2.5 hours) - starting the wiring, running the control cables.
    • 25 Feb 06 (6.5 hours) - wiring, hooking up the control cables.
    • 26 Feb 06 (3 hours) - map box door, more wiring.
    • 27 Feb 06 (3 hours) - more wiring, playing with labels, figuring out how to bend PVC pipe.
    • 28 Feb 06 (3 hours) - air vents, conduit under the baggage compartment floors, more wiring.
    • 1 March 06 (3 hours) - conduit under the baggage compartment floors (again), air vents, mounting the wigwag.
    • 3 March 06 (3 hours) - wiring, mounting the wigwag.
    • 4 March 06 (7.5 hours) - more wiring, getting the controls together.
    • 5 March 06 (3 hours) - running conduit, riveting the left baggage floor.
    • 11 March 06 (2 hours) - other baggage floor, wiring the clock.
    • 12 March 06 (4.5 hours) - rewiring the clock, LEDs in the panel, and baggage floor nutplates.
    • 14 March 06 (2.5 hours) - more controls in, Altrak servo, finishing conduits.
    • 18 March 06 (3 hours) - attaching the glove box door to the glove box, more wiring work.
    • 19 March 06 (4.5 hours) - making sure the GPS can dock nicely in the panel.
    • 20 March 06 (2.0 hours) - stripping the panel, messing around with the glove box.
    • 24 March 06 (2.5 hours) - panel prep, Altrak switch wiring.
    • 25 March 06 (8 hours) - Dynon relief holes, panel prep, painting the panel.
    • 26 March 06 (4 hours) - panel back together, more wiring.
    • 30 March 06 (2 hours) - altrak mounting, baggage side panels.
    • 31 March 06 (3 hours) - Dynon wiring, riveting baggage panels.
    • 1 April 06 (5 hours) - baggage compartment stuff, wiring, playing with loctite.
    • 2 April 06 (4.5 hours) - more wiring stuff, playing with LEDs.
    • 10 April 06 (2 hours) - wiring nulites, Dynon external temperature probe.
    • 11 April 06 (2 hours) - antenna stuff, wing wiring.
    • 12 April 06 (2.5 hours) - mounting antennas, wing wiring, nulites are lit!
    • 13 April 06 (1 hour) - antennas are on.

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