Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Saturday, February 7, 2009

4.3 hrs, 120 rivets
Started this morning by cleaning the right tank skin and redoing the masking.
Then used the stripping wheel to roughen the tank ribs as was done for the left tank.
Washed the ribs again.
Then clecoed the ribs back into the tank skin, yet again.

About that time Ed Rupp, my riveting help, arrived. Used to work with Ed years ago at KMW/Andrew. We were having lunch yesterday when it came up that we were both pilots.
I mentioned a project, and Ed gets really excited: "Really! What kind?". Me, "An RV-9A."
Ed, "Oh, man, I've been researching Van's kits for a couple of years! Can I come over and see it?". Well, besides that fact that it's great having friends over, I can't imaging a kit builder who isn't happy to show off the project. And when you have rivets to drive, you're always on the lookout for help. "Sure, come on over. We'll learn how to rivet."

So we did a short course on sheet metal construction techniques. Ed's first rivets were way better than mine!

After lunch, we launched into riveting stiffeners to the left wing. That was 110 of the rivets.

Then with Ed (and Suanne's) help, we fine tuned the wing cradle and took the wing off the stand on to the cradle.

After Ed had to go, finished left rear spar skin riveting. The inboard 5 rivets are a bear, because of the spar doubler and interfering rivets. I had to grind down one of my bucking bars to get the job done right. It took a couple of attempts on most of those five rivets.