Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

Posting on the the 2nd, but this covers the 31st and 1st. Spent New Years Eve doing odd tasks in the garage, and working on the toolbox kit. The first rivet I drove on the toolbox, for the latch, bounced like crazy, mangled the rivet, and left a big dent in the front of the toolbox. Better there than on the airplane. Also just practiced bucking rivets with all of the bucking bars, 426, 470, 3/32, and 1/8" rivets. Some were OK, some were poor. I think I figured out the air pressure was set too high and I'll try again tonight with 40-50 lbs of pressure. Slowly getting to know the new rivet gun.

Been fretting over whether to buy an air squeezer. Trying to squeeze 1/8" rivets with the hand squeezer is a real challenge. No way my daughter can do it. I have to support the fixed handle and put my full weight on the moving handle to get it done. A pneumatic squeezer was beginning to look mandatory. But if I can get good at bucking rivets, that will be good enough. The 4/32 rivets melt just as easy as the smaller rivets when put under the gun.
3 tenths spent setting up the HS jig.

On New Years Day, spent 4.2 fluting, deburring the spar/rib holes, tweaking the inboard ribs for the 11 degree angle, and preparing the HS901 right side skin for match drilling. Got to use some of the great tools I bought years ago from Bridge City Tools. Fluting the ribs was mainly a matter of checking with a straight edge and making minor tweaks. They were already nearly there, and this was much less trouble than expected.

Inboard Ribs

The reward after hours of filing and sanding - assembly!

Discovered that 200 clecoes is not nearly enough. Counted empty holes and got to 150 before stopping. Doesn't look like it, but you'll need more than 300 3/32 clecoes to do ONE HALF of the HS. Time for another Avery order.

A recognizable airplane part!

Discovered that I missed two holes when match drilling the front spar doublers. Easy enough to fix, just drill and deburr before putting the spar in the HS skin. I'll have to do the same for the left side when it's time.

That's the end of the holiday break build orgy. It was a lot of fun and I got a good start. Now it's time to settle into a routine. At 2000 hours, have to average 12 hours a week for 3.5 years to be on time. But a major constraint will be money. I'll have to clear off my credit card (including the $1000 washing machine purchased over the holidays) save for property taxes, and get a good start on the wing payment before ordering the wings. I expect to run out of HS work well before that happens.