Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

7 hrs, 4 rivets
A painful day. My elbows are completely bruised from yesterday, and I kept hitting them again today. Wedged under the panel, fighting with nuts you can't see or reach in a 95 degree hangar is no fun at all. But the wings are on for good!

Finished installing main wing attach bolts. Torque to final settings.
A couple of notes that aren't mentioned in the usual list. For an A model RV, the gear leg weldment is in the way. So the bottom bolts are a major PITA to get started and to tighten. Torque must be applied from the bolt head on the aft side, there is absolutely no way to get a wrench on the nuts to tighten them.
The first note is to buy a 5/8" and 7/16" open end wrench and start grinding on them. Narrow the shoulders of the open ends so that there are thin fingers to hold the nut in place. You may have to cut the other end off the 5/8". I used one already cut.

Second tip - torque the big bolts on the bottom before putting nuts on the little ones. Otherwise you can't get a wrench on the big ones, even the new ones you just ground up.
Getting the bolts in is relatively easy (just don't put the bottom ones in too far before getting the nuts threaded on). For this reason, using the freezer, dry ice, etc. isn't really necessary. They will warm up to ambient before they're in too far, and moisture will condense on them. Just lube em up, wack em with a hard plastic hammer until you can get the rivet gun on them. The last inch or so will require painful, one-click-at-a-time ratcheting. Getting the nuts threaded on is a challenge. I had access to mongo cotton forceps, these were very useful.

Applied torque seal to empennage and wing bolts.
Replaced oil pressure led.
Attached right aileron.
Set last rivets in fuselage/armrest/center bulkhead.

I love being at the airport. Here's a view from the taxiway.

Lakeway has this pack of cubs in residence,

and attracts all sorts of traffic.