Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1.8 hrs
Had grand ambitions of a couple of countersinks and then spot priming the spars. But not to be.

After all of the tank #8's and inspection plate #6's, there are three more items that require big cuts and countersinks. Those are the tie down bars (#12 holes match drilled through the spar), the center section attach platenuts, and the 3 inboard tank attach platenuts. I want to do all of those cuts, and then the spar can be primed. There's more drilling to do, but that's all of the spar countersinking. It''s not yet time to install the tank attach platenuts, just countersink and prime the rivet holes.

So tonight I fabbed the wing tie down bars including tapping to 3/8-16 threads and the first alignment hole.

Also pulled all of the assorted parts that get assembled next. It's a challenge to find all the parts in the correct subkits.
But now that those are all organized, just 36 #40 countersinks, 16 #12 holes, and then it's prime time. Should be working on ribs this weekend.

Monday, September 29, 2008

1.8 hrs
Finished countersinking #8 holes on both spars.

Glad that's done. Now to prime, and then rivet the platenuts.

Don't you hate it when 777 and crash are in the same sentence?!?
I've been worrying that there may be no economy left by the time I should be finished with the kit. And if there is, will there be any avgas?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

3 hrs.
Made up countersink guides using a scrap piece of aluminum cut from the angle used for the HS (the very first bit of cutting on the HS). Drilled a #30, and then two #40's to make a simple jig. Used 2 AD4263-4.5 rivets as guides to align on the spar, then clamped it in place. Then used the #30 countersink to cut the holes for the screws. Did all of the #6 holes this way, both spars.

Did one side of one spar with the same jig. Then made another using a #27 hole and the #6 platenut jig to get the holes lined up perfectly. Of course used the #6 countersink cutter, which works great with this jig on the #8 screws. About 3/4 of the way done countersinking one spar. Very happy with the quality of results. Very little chattering, and perfectly smooth countersinks. Used Boelube to help the cutter out. Just rubbed the stick over the holes which shaves off a bit of the lube.

Setup for this method takes a little bit of time. Thought about making a jig with 3 or 4 locations to do several countersinks at once. This might work for the access plate #6 countersinks. But it seems that the number 8's have variable spacing, so a multihole jig just won't work. Oh well, one at a time gives the cutter a chance to cool, and the compressor a chance to catch up (neither one seems to be a constraint, but it's good to have some margin).

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Final prep work prior to countersinking spars. After such a long layoff, I was almost afraid to cut into the spar, finding all sorts of tasks that amounted to delaying the countersinking. Built a quick pair of spar cradles to support the spar during countersinking. Yes, that's recycled crate material! The pine sideboards are nice and soft and don't scratch the spars. No carpeting or felt is required.

Using the highly scientific method of holding the drill at an angle that felt comfortable, I measured the tilt at ~30 degrees. So I use that to layout the form, cut it out on the bandsaw, and cleaned it up on the sander. These work great! I can't imagine having to hold the drill horizontal or vertical for all those countersinks. With this setup I can just lean into the work in a natural way with almost no fatigue.

Spent about 2 hours charged to misc on all the various prep tasks.
After lunch, couldn't put it off any more, and started with the #40 to final drill all of the platenut rivets on both spars.

Then setup the #40 countersink, and countersunk all 148 platenut rivet holes. Deburred the insides.

I'm trying to decide if using the platenuts as a countersink guide is superior to using some other sort of guide. I'd like to prime all of the cuts at one time, and installing the platenuts first gets in the way and forces two priming passes. Also, all the shavings from countersinking will get into the platenuts.
Tried one platenut for one of the #6 access panel screws. This worked OK, but I'll try another method, using a backing plate with a drilled hole before commiting.

2.3 hrs of actual wing build time!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Finished inventory. Accounted for and stored all bagged hardware into storage boxes.
1.5 hrs.

That's a lot of rivets. This is gonna be fun.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1.4 hrs spent on wing kit inventory. Worked through the miscellaneous bag and verified all bags were there. But still need to do a detailed inventory of the hardware in each of those 37 bags. About half of them are rivets, and they don't need counting, but it's now clear why some builders are claiming 7 hours for the inventory.

Also spent about .5 hrs finishing tear down of the long crate. Those things have a lot of staples in them. I have blisters from pulling them all out.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wing Kit Arrives!

Recieved the wing kit.
Unpacked, and inventoried most of it, all but the miscellaneous bag. The long crate was slightly banged up, fortunately all the contents were intact. The big crate was this side down. I wonder if those shippers do that sort of thing on purpose. But again, all the contents were in good shape.

Spent four hours unpacking and taking inventory. The most time consuming part was partially deconstructing the long crate. The skins are a problem. The skin crate seems like the best place to keep them. But I don't have any good place to keep that crate. Hmmm.

1 hr of misc for the crate tear down, 3 hrs of unpack and inventory.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Wing kit has shipped!

Got a call Wednesday at work. It was the shipping company checking to make sure someone would be at home on Monday, 9/22, to sign for (and pay the COD freight charges) the wing kit.

Woo Hoo! Looks like I'll be working from home Monday, until the delivery arrives.

Over the past two months I added about 20 hours working on the fiberglass parts for the empennage. They're all mostly ready for riveting except for the rudder tip. That will wait for final assembly. Reasonably happy with how the work turned out when using the materials and methods described by Jim Andrews. After a couple of years of fiberglass work, I might start to get good at it. And it's not as bad as I thought it would be, except for the sanding.

Various packages arrived from Avery and Aircraft Spruce with misc. small tools and bits in prep for the wings. Chose to get Alumiprep and Alodine from AS to prime the spar countersink cuts. Also found a good set of bandsaw blades at Sears so the saw is ready to go.

The wing crates should include an extra E-714 elevator counterweight to replace the one I overcut.
It will also contain an extra piece of longeron angle for Fred Magare.

Spent about 8 hours putting together a wing jig. Roughly copied Smitty's design, but I chose
to use turnbuckles for fine adjustment of the spar support boards. I may cut longer spar supports so that I can work on both wings at once.

Now just tidying up the garage and chomping at the bit.

The empennage took 232 hours for me.