The RV-7A building log

This is the second log page. Splitting them up became necessary as it was just getting really large and not fun to deal with. You may be looking for the end of the first log page, which has more stuff on it . . . at least for now.

Jump to a Section:
  • Finishing the Wiring, Canopy Ponderings - unfortunately, it's not really ideal to work on the canopy and the wiring at the same time, so although there's minor putterings with the canopy, we won't make much progress until wiring (and other details) are closer to being done.
    • 15 April 06 (4.5 hours) - starting to think about canopy hinge blocks.
    • 18 April 06 (3 hours) - canopy frame drilling, labels and stuff show up from Chief Aircraft.
    • 25 April 06 (2 hours) - figuring out how to wire the transponder.
    • 29 April 06 (6 hours) - messing around with the flap motor, troubleshooting mid-fuselage woes.
    • 30 April 06 (3 hours) - transponder wiring, random painting, static line run.
    • 1 May 06 (2.5 hours) - Dynon and transponder talking to each other!
    • 2 May 06 (2 hours) - transponder in the panel (temporarily), drilling holes in the spar webbing, engraved parts are here.
    • 6 May 06 (6 hours) - air vents (and screens) are in, wiring the Altrak, running wires to rear of fuselage.
    • 7 May 06 (6 hours) - Altrack installed and working, mid-fuselage/rollbar riveting.
    • 8 May 06 (2 hours) - pondering the pictorial pilot.
    • 9 May 06 (1.5 hours) - wiring the Dynon remote compass, working on the pictorial pilot wiring harness.
    • 13 May 06 (5 hours) - running conduit, getting conduit punches, working on the prime/boost pump switch.
    • 14 May 06 (3 hours) - holes in the firewall, fuses, powering the panel up.
    • 20 May 06 (4 hours) - GPS and autopilot wiring, working on the cabin lights, tail wiring.
    • 21 May 06 (2 hours) - pondering the wiring, wiring wingtips, redoing panel stuff.
    • 22 May 06 (1.5 hours) - working on side covers (drilling, deburring, painting, etc.)
    • 27 May 06 (6 hours) - side covers, side lights, GPS wiring in for good, heat sink and diode adventures.
    • 28 May 06 (3.5 hours) - autopilot, GPS antenna wiring, all the instruments in the left side of the panel.
    • 29 May 06 (7 hours) - running wires from the front to the back, wingtip wiring, bus bar stuff.
    • 4 June 06 (2 hours) - wires, pitot tube arrives.
    • 5 June 06 (1.5 hours) - ponderings: figuring out screws to order for a few different parts, really.
    • 6 June 06 (1.5 hours) - mount for the primer solenoid, starting to ponder the cowl.
    • 9 June 06 (3 hours) - EAA tech inspection, wiring harness arrives, mounting stuff to the firewall.
    • 10 June 06 (8 hours) - radio putterings, GPS antenna mount, panel LEDs and primer plumbing.
    • 11 June 06 (3 hours) - putterings, improving the GPS mount. No pictures from today, didn't really get a whole lot done.
    • 13 June 06 (2 hours) - GPS mount, LED annunciators wiring harness.
    • 15 June 06 (2 hours) - subpanel brace for harness LEDs and wiring.
    • 16 June 06 (2 hours) - LEDs, intercom harness subpanel penetration.
    • 18 June 06 (1.5 hours) - intercom harness stuff.
    • 20 June 06 (2 hours) - fun with coax cable: wiring the radio antenna and transponder antenna.
    • 24 June 06 (4.5 hours) - work on center panel section, mounting warning lights, panel is complete.


  • Wing Mounting, Unmounting, Finishing - finishing up some odds and ends, getting the wings attached (then unattached), and then getting them to the airport.
    • 25 June 06 (2.5 hours) - holes in the forward skin, making the stick boot covers.
    • 26 June 06 (2 hours) - continued work on the forward skin, finishing up the stick boot covers.
    • 27 June 06 (2.5 hours) - more forward skin access panel work.
    • 1 July 06 (6 hours) - getting the wings attached. Wings are on.
    • 2 July 06 (4.5 hours) - setting the level of incidence in the wings, working on the wing root fairings.
    • 3 July 06 (2 hours) - more wing putterings, planning, rear spar attached.
    • 4 July 06 (5.5 hours) - putting the flap motor together, trimming the right flap, fitting the right flap.
    • 8 July 06 (4.5 hours) - corresponding work on the left flap, they are all done now.
    • 9 July 06 (6 hours) - wing root fairings are on . . . they fit, but still need nutplates, being dimpled, and all that.
    • 10 July 06 (3 hours) - trimming the wing root fairings - measuring, grinding, etc.
    • 11 July 06 (3 hours) - Dave comes over to help take the wings on and off for marking, working on the right fairing.
    • 22 July 06 (4.5 hours) - wings are off (until we go to the airport), planning, reorganizing the shop.
    • 23 July 06 (3 hours) - wing wiring, nutplates for tank/fuselage attach point, nutplates for wing fairings.
    • 24 July 06 (2 hours) - working on attaching the nutplates on the inboard edge of the wings (where the fairing attaches).
    • 25 July 06 (2 hours) - more of the same with the nutplates.
    • 30 July 06 (4 hours) - complying with a service bulletin, working with the fuel senders.
    • 26 July 06 (2 hours) - nutplates finshed up, finally.
    • 7 Aug 06 (10.5 hours) - buttoning up the wings (all sorts of stuff here, really) and getting them to the airport.


  • Working on the Canopy - there's some other stuff in here, but the main goal that we're working on at this point is getting the canopy frame built, the canopy cut, and all that sort of assorted stuff.
    • 8 Aug 06 (10.5 hours) - starting the canopy frame. Making parts, match drilling the skin, drilling the hinges.
    • 9 Aug 06 (7.5 hours) - more canopy frame work. Shaping the back rollbar, making spacers, forward clearance issues.
    • 20 Aug 06 (3 hours) - Dynon remote compass mount, front access holes.
    • 21 Aug 06 (1.5 hours) - more front access holes
    • 23 Aug 06 (2.5 hours) - working on the top forward fuselage skin, front access holes
    • 24 Aug 06 (1.5 hours) - cover plates for access holes.
    • 26 Aug 06 (6 hours) - canopy frame, take two.
    • 9 Sept 06 (7.5 hours) - more canopy frame and forward skin ponderings, adjustments.
    • 10 Sept 06 (5 hours) - empennage, forward skin cover plates.
    • 11 Sept 06 (2 hours) - empennage mounting (sort of), riveting access panel plates.
    • 14 Sept 06 (1.5 hours) - David Edgemon comes over to give us canopy advice, more shaping the canopy frame, drilling the holes.
    • 15 Sept 06 (1.5 hours) - forward canopy frame fits, finally!
    • 16 Sept 06 (7.5 hours) - canopy frame gets drilled, painted, is now ready to rivet.
    • 17 Sept 06 (4 hours) - canopy frame riveted, gas struts installed.
    • 18 Sept 06 (1.5 hours) - more canopy frame riveting, shim for canopy frame.
    • 19 Sept 06 (1.5 hours) - canopy frame completely together, shim works, finish putting tail parts on.
    • 22 Sept 06 (6 hours) - trimming the canopy, made the big cut!
    • 23 Sept 06 (4.5 hours) - adjusting the back window.
    • 24 Sept 06 (3.5 hours) - N-numbers, riveting the access panels.
    • 25 Sept 06 (1.5 hours) - tapping screws in the back window, riveting the rollbar to the rear bulkhead.
    • 3 Oct 06 (2 hours) - the back window is done!
    • 5 Oct 06 (1.5 hours) - bending canopy stiffeners, planning, ordering a bunch of parts.
    • 7 Oct 06 (6 hours) - canopy details, drilling the side skirts, N-numbers (take two), washers underneath the rollbar.
    • 8 Oct 06 (4 hours) - more canopy prep, side skirts prep.
    • 9 Oct 06 (2 hours) - more canopy frame prep - shims, canopy stiffener parts.
    • 13 Oct 06 (2 hours) - drilling the canopy frame.
    • 14 Oct 06 (4 hours) - canopy stiffener kit drilling, spacers for edges that don't fit.
    • 15 Oct 06 (4.5 hours) - side skirts riveted on, more stiffener kit drilling, painting parts.
    • 17 Oct 06 (3 hours) - mounting the ELT, and a bit of touch-up painting that there's really no good reason to mention.
    • 28 Oct 06 (5 hours) - starting to rivet the canopy frame, more touch-up painting.
    • 29 Oct 06 (3 hours) - finished riveting canopy frame.
    • 30 Oct 06 (2 hours) - canopy adventures. Pondering a gap in the frame, getting advice.
    • 31 Oct 06 (2.5 hours) - drilling out the canopy frame, canopy frame fitting.
    • 2 Nov 06 (2 hours) - spacers, putting the canopy frame back together.
    • 3 Nov 06 (5 hours) - canopy frame done. I forgot to take pictures, but it looks just like it did . . . except now without the gap.


  • Firewall Forward Stuff - there's still lots of fiberglass work to do on the canopy, but at least now we've started on the baffles, spinner, and all that sort of stuff.
    • 4 Nov 06 (8 hours) - prop mounted, working on the spinner, building the filtered air box, and starting the baffles.
    • 5 Nov 06 (5 hours) - more spinner work, painting the canopy frame, among other things.
    • 9 Nov 06 (2 hours) - oil cooler pondering, mounting the ELT antenna.
    • 10 Nov 06 (1.5 hours) - oil cooler and spinner plates.
    • 11-12 Nov 06 (7.5 hours) - more spinner plates, more making oil cooler mounting parts.
    • 18 Nov 06 (6 hours) - canopy, panel, back fairing.
    • 19 Nov 06 (3.5 hours) - primer, canopy glass, finishing the spinner back plates. Done with those, finally.
    • 20 Nov 06 (2 hours) - canopy glass, back fairing.
    • 27 Nov 06 (2 hours) - more of the same canopy glass, sanding and fitting the back fairing.
    • 30 Nov 06 (2 hours) - more of the same canopy glass and the back fairing.
    • 1-2 Dec 06 (3 hours) - sanding, layups, FWF wiring, holes in the firewall.
    • 3 Dec 06 (3 hours) - layups and sanding
    • 2 Dec 06 (2 hours) - more layups and sanding
    • 9 Dec 06 (5 hours) - battery stuff, FWF wiring, and another fiberglass layup.
    • 10 Dec 06 (4.5 hours) - final layup with finer glass, diodes, new screws in the spinner.
    • 17 Dec 06 (4 hours) - engine probe ponderings, canopy latch.
    • 26 Dec 06 (3 hours) - more wiring, canopy stuff. Rear tail fairing is attached and drilled.
    • 28 Dec 06 (2 hours) - more wiring, canopy stuff, and more tail fairing stuff.
    • 29 Dec 06 (2 hours) - magneto wiring, more of the same fiberglass work, too.
    • 30 Dec 06 (5.5 hours) - magneto wiring done, playing with the oil sensor, installing armrests, fixing the starter diode.
    • 31 Dec 06 (2 hours) - more firewall forward wiring, more putterings with the tail fairing.
    • 6 Jan 07 (9 hours) - tail fairing - installing the nuplates, more firewall forward wiring.
    • 7 Jan 07 (3 hours) - firewall forward wiring, nutplates on parts of the tail.
    • 8 Jan 07 - no plane work, we're watching football. OSU loses to Florida. What's up with that?
    • 9 Jan 07 (2 hours) - tail gap fairings, more wiring.
    • 11 Jan 07 (2 hours) - carb temperature wiring, playing with the Dynon.


  • Cowl, among other stuff - we're getting pretty disorganized here, as we're trying to finish up the canopy, the baffles. Now we're starting the cowl, too . . . at this point, after starting the cowl, there isn't any big part that we haven't started. Still lots to finish, though.
    • 12 Jan 07 (9 hours) - baffles are now pretty much together, starting the cowl.
    • 13 Jan 07 (4.5 hours) - cowl is attached, tail gap fairing putterings.
    • 20 Jan 07 (5.5 hours) - more FWF wiring, clips everywhere, pondering the oil door.
    • 21 Jan 07 (4.5 hours) - cowl stuff, oil door, more FWF wiring.
    • 22 Jan 07 (2 hours) - oil filler door, FWF wiring, making chili.
    • 23 Jan 07 (2 hours) - more FWF wiring, oil door now fits and is glued together.
    • 27 Jan 07 (4 hours) - more FWF wiring and pondering the oil door camlocks.
    • 28 Jan 07 (2.5 hours) - pinhole filling, battery strap, FWF wiring
    • 29 Jan 07 (2 hours) - painting the fiberglass layup on the canopy, FWF, primer wiring
    • 30 Jan 07 (3 hours) - canopy, hooking up the right CHT and EGT probes.
    • 2 Feb 07 (2 hours) - redoing the subpanel hole for the Dynon, starter light, more FWF wiring.
    • 3 Feb 07 (6 hours) - pitot/static plumbing, playing with high build primer, oil pressure sensor wired up, Nulite wiring.
    • 11 Feb 07 (4 hours) - manifold pressure sensor, wiring cleanup, move GPS antenna
    • 12 Feb 07 (2.5 hours) - more wire cleanup, GPS mounting stuff
    • 13 Feb 07 (2.5 hours) - GPS done, Dynon firmware update, big wires, connectors
    • 17 Feb 07 (7 hours) - more random wiring stuff, ELT wiring
    • 26 Feb 07 (1.5 hours) - more wiring in the back
    • 27 Feb 07 (2 hours) - wires in the back are finished out, flap motor work.
    • 3 March 07 (7 hours) - loads of baffle progress, cowl fitting. Steve and Greg helping.
    • 4 March 07 (3 hours) - baffle cleanup, trimming. Greg helping.
    • 8 March 07 (2 hours) - cap for tach sender, redoing canopy latch, cotter pins.
    • 10-11 March 07 (10 hrs) - working on the ground cable, more cowl/baffle fitting.
    • 12 March 07 (2.5 hours) - working on the canopy latches.
    • 13 March 07 (1.5 hours) - canopy latch done, painted empennage fairing.
    • 15 March 07 (1.5 hours) - filling holes in the empennage fairing, canopy latch together and painted, tested.
    • 16 March 07 (2.5 hours) - replaced spiral wrap, current limiter stuff.
    • 17 March 07 (4 hours) - current limiter wiring done, tail fairing stuff, starter cable.
    • 18 March 07 (4 hours) - oil breather, 2 of 3 blast tubes, rudder wiring
    • 19 March 07 (2 hours) - oil breather tube, rudder fairing nutplates.
    • 20 March 07 (2 hours) - rudder stuff. Happy Birthday, Dad!
    • 24 March 07 (6 hours) - wiring in the back, nutplates on the rudder, more random odds and ends.
    • 25 March 07 (4 hours) - blast tubes, templates for insulation, manifold pressure hooked up, Dynon EMS sent back to factory.
    • 26 March 07 (2 hours) - trim tab safety wire, heat shield temlate, finish wiring, primer stuff
    • 27 March 07 (2 hours) - noodling, planning, ordering parts
    • 30 March 07 (1.5 hours) - routing wires, firewall insulation, primer lines
    • 31 March 07 (7 hours) - cowl, primer, plumbing. This was also the day we had originally planned to move to the hangar.
    • 1 April 07 (4.5 hours) - steps painted, epoxy layer/pinhole filling on the cowl.
    • 2-3 April 07 (4 hours) - more cowl detail, sanding, first layer of paint, etc.


  • Moving to and Working at the Hangar - hopefully this will be the last part of this little log page that describes my relationship to an airplane that is not yet in the air. I guess we'll see.
    • 5 April 07 (8 hours) - move to the hangar!
    • 7 April 07 (6 hours) - wings are on, Rod visits and helps with the wings, and starting to get organized. The first shelf arrives.
    • 9 April 07 (4 hours) - more shelves and a cabinet going together.
    • 10 April 07 (2 hours) - shelves get organized, attaching the vertical stab.
    • 15 April 07 (4 hours) - elevators getting attached, rudder wiring.
    • 16 April 07 (2 hours) - starting to mess with the rudder, the eleveator trim tab goes together, playing with rudder wires.
    • 17 April 07 (2 hours) - mounting the empennage, mounted rudder fairing
    • 19 April 07 - radio, bogey bar show up in the mail.
    • 21-22 April 07 (9.5 hours) - worked more on wing bolts, carb heat muff, got Dynon EMS back with new firmware!
    • 23-24 April (4 hours) - more work on the wing bolts.
    • 28 April 07 (5 hours) More work on wing bolts, heat muff, help from Tim Strauss.
    • 29 April 07 (4.5 hours) Connected Dynon to GPS, worked on heat muff-FAB
    • 5 May 07 (4.5 hours) right wing bolts DONE, left wing almost done.
    • 6 May 07 - putting a bike tire in a storm drain and breaking my arm as a result.
    • 19-20 May 07 (5 hours) - the left wing bolts are done, finally.
    • 26 May 07 (2.5 hours) - working on right wing wiring.
    • 27 May 07 (3 hours) - more fuselage to wing wiring. Pretty much the same stuff.
    • 28 May 07 (3.5 hours) - AOA plumbing, even more wing root wiring. Just about done with this.
    • 9 June 07 (3 hours) - FAB safety wire, aileron stop contemplation, messing around with the pushrods.
    • 16 June 07 (4.5 hours) - puttering with aileron stops, mounting the ailerons and flaps.
    • 17 June 07 (4 hours) - attaching the left flap (for good)
    • 19 June 07 (1.5 hrs) - more flaps: same thing, right flap.
    • 23 June 07 (7 hours) - messing around with flaps (a bit more), working on the ailerons, safety wiring random things, and introducing a prospective RV builder to the project.
    • 7 July 07 (5 hours) - gas lines, getting a fan, stuff.
    • 14 July 07 (5 hours) - control system - rudder, elevator, ailerons. Also it finally rains.
    • 15 July 07 (2 hours) - ailerons done, new pushrods.
    • 11 August 07 (4 hours) - rudder fairing fixed, gas line installed.


  • Now that the Arm Is Better, Mostly - a bit of finishing up, here, but really, we're about done here.
    • 14 September 07 (2 hours) - lower cowl work.
    • 15 September 07 (5 hours) - testing the tanks, charging the battery, more cowl work.
    • 16 September 07 (3.5 hours) - more cowl work, empennage fairing, investigated how to do the gas lines.
    • 29 September 07 (5 hours) - top cowl, aft fairing, removing the nose gear leg to have it sent off.
    • 30 September 07 (2 hours) - cowl work, gas line contemplation.
    • 6 October 07 (3 hours) - more lower cowl work.
    • 20 October 07 (3.5 hours) - cowl work, using new paint for the cowl.
    • 3 November 07 (3 hours) - front gear/tire is now back on.
    • 9 November 07 (4.5 hours) - gear leg cotter pin for the left tire.
    • 10 November 07 (5 hours) - gear leg cotter pin for the right tire, GPS antenna, AOA/Pitot tubes connected.
    • 16 November 07 (3 hours) - Stan stops by to work with the crankshaft plug, lower cowl camlocks, cowl prep.
    • 17 November 07 (8.5 hours) - working with Steve: Ram air fiberglass work, lower cowl brace work, alternate air completion, FAB completion, air filter installed, gas lines completed, oil quick drain installed, upper spark plugs installed, oil filled, brakes filled.
    • 19 November 07 (1 hour) - pondering the alternator belt, cleaning up the air intake and GPS antenna.
    • 29 November 07 (5.5 hours) - lots of seemingly random little stuff trying to prep for the FAA inspection.
    • 30 November 07 (4 hours) - weight and balance, crankshaft plug back in, FAA inspection.
    • 1 December 07 (7 hours) - getting panels on, lots more little stuff, first engine start.
    • 8 December 07 (7.5 hours) - data plate, wing root fairings, timed the mags.
    • 9 December 07 (6 hours) - flap covers, cowl work.
    • 10 December 07 (2 hours) - cowl nutplates.
    • 29 December 07 (5 hours) - wiring stuff.
    • 30 December 07 (5 hours) - front floor stuff.
    • 1 January 08 (4.5 hours) - started riveting front skin.
    • 5 January 08 (5.5 hours) - finishing riviting the front skin, software update on the Dynon.
    • 6 January 08 (5 hours) - aileron trim, reworking some firewall forward wiring.
    • 7 January 08 (3 hours) - seat pans, air intake.
    • 8 January 08 (2.5 hours) - seat pans in, fixing cowl nutplate.
    • 20 January 08 (1.5 hours) - playing with the Dynon - uploading checklists.
    • 26 January 08 (5.5 hours) - RTV wires in the firewall, altitude hold bracket, spinner on, cowl together.
    • 28 January 08 (2.5 hours) - baggage compartment back wall in, baggage compartment carpet in, seat belts, seats in.
    • 2 February 08 - wheeling it out and taking more pictures. It's pretty much done.

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