Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This entry is for yesterday, Tuesday, December 30.

1.9 hrs, 44 rivets.
Riveted the rear spar to the wing frame. Some of the longer rivets on the inboard end are called out a bit too short. For instance the AD4704-6 rivets that attach ribs 3, 4, and 5 to the spar and doubler, really should be 6.5 in length. The 6's as called out on the plans just barely work, but 7's are too long. A better idea would be to cut 7's down to 6.5 And there are 7s and 8s that have the same issue. Time to get a rivet cutter.

Actually flew today! Got a landing in at Lakeway and then flew to Brenham for lunch. Met Mike Torbett. We didn't fly together because I was in a 152 and he was in this:

Mike Torbett and his Panzl

Brenham was a beehive. I still find a crowded traffic pattern to be a challenge. As we were walking into the diner, everyone was oohing and aahing over the Panzl. On departure, I left first, with him next. I could hear everyone going (appreciatively) nuts on the radio as he did a high performance climb (after it was requested by the audience). After departing, Mike caught up and flew with me for a little, close to his stall speed.

Hamburger at the Brenham Airport Diner: $200. First formation flying: Priceless!

Monday, December 29, 2008

3.5 hrs, 168 rivets
Started by dimpling the left leading edge skin. Just as this was finishing up, Jim and Brenda Robillard arrived. Jim asked if he could help when we were at their house before Christmas, so I invited him over to do some riveting.

We got to work on the leading edge skin and spars. There were a few tricky spots, but we worked through them, and viola, one each leading edge ready to install on the spar. Now Jim is trained in the craft of riveting.

Thanks Jim!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

5.5 hrs, 116 rivets

Finally started riveting on the left wing structure. Started by riveting nutplates to the tank attach strip.

Then got out the gun, and riveted 14 ribs to the main spar. Also reattached 6 nutplates that were drilled out yesterday. And finished by squeezing the forward spar/rib rivets that are covered up by the tank skin.

Figured out that I could squeeze the top and bottom spar/rib main rivets, at least until the spar reinforcing channels got too tall. But by then, the spar channel made a nice guide for the bucking bar.

It was cold in the shop, and it made for a long day. My hands are sore from all that riveting.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

5.4 hrs
Today was spent on final prep of the left wing spars. All the #40 holes on the main spar are countersunk. The compressor would kick on after about 15 holes, I would continue till the next rib attach point and then give the countersink bit and compressor a break by working on the rear spar.

Deburred all the #40 holes on the rear spar during these breaks. When the main spar was completely done, so was the rear spar. Then dimpled the rear spar, and then used the deburring bit to slightly ream out the dimples for a better skin/spar fit.

Lastly, primed all of the countersink cuts on both spars.

It doesn't sound like that much work when typed up like this, but it took quite a bit of time.

Tomorrow the rivet count goes up!

Friday, December 26, 2008

4 hrs today
Spent today fabbing reinforcement angles for the spar. Won't go into any details, but these were prescribed by Van's technical support.

Got about 6 hours over the previous three days. Finished edge deburring all wing skins. Didn't take very many pictures, because the subject is kinda boring. And there's plently of pictures of dimpling and edge finishing from the empennage. Still need to edge deburr the flaps, ailerons, and right leading edge skins. But assembly of the left wing is imminent.

Almost forgot. Simplified the fuel tank leak check setup. Used a simple string, wound tight to secure a balloon to the fuel pickup line. Then a piece of Safe-Air tubing flared and cinched down to the vent line made a good fill up tube. Used a 3/16 bike wheel bearing to seal the tube. A little spit, and it's a perfect seal. The balloon still was deflating so sprayed some soapy water, starting on the inboard rib since that's where the high probability areas are. Instantly, bubbles formed from the BNC connector. Put a small balloon over that to seal it up and no more leaks! Now I just have to figure out why the BNC is leaking and what to do about it. That will wait until the right tank is under construction, which should be about the end of January.

Monday, December 22, 2008

12.2 hrs since last post
Haven't been posting, but have been working on the kit.
Finished deburring all wing skins.
Also primed all left wing ribs, stringers, etc..
Next up is final assembly of the left wing. But we are in the middle of winter here in Texas, and it's frickin' cold in the garage. So spending as much time as I can stand doing prep work.

Used the Sherwin Williams 995 self etching primer with the 997 reducer to prime parts this time. The 988 rattle can is way more convenient, and dries much faster. But with so much surface to cover, using the gun is the only sane way to go. Results turned out so-so, very inconsistent. Needs lots more practise with the HVLP gun to get really good. Tried laying the parts on the ground and hanging them up, and decided I like them on the ground better.

Had to rush priming just a bit, since weather was about to change, and life was calling, asking me to do other things.

It's supposed to warm up a little tomorrow, and then I can start riveting. Otherwise, I'll start prepping right wing parts!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

6.6 hrs since last post
Due to a busy week and cold weather, haven't been in the garage much. But tonight got the heater cranked up and put in 1.6 hours.
Finished edge deburring top outboard skin. Used one of the tables to hold the skin. Put cushions from the patio furniture (which is wintering in the garage) under the skin to raise it up nearly level with the deburring wheel. This had the side benefit of a nice low friction, scratch proof surface to slide the skin over while working the edge down the wheel.

Next, feathered the leading edges of the inboard/outboard skins where they overlap. This is going to take a little more fine tuning to get just right.
Then started dimpling, starting with the wing walk doubler. After dimpling, then priming and final assembly.

Also put in 5 hrs over the course of 3 days the previous week. All of it was skin deburring and edge cleanup.

Monday, December 8, 2008

1.1 hrs
Dimpled all leading edge ribs. Then dimpled the left wing main ribs.
Finished by dimpling the stringers. Missed drilling one hole on the inboard stringer, so got out the skin, clecoed, and match drilled. Then deburred and dimpled. The inboard skin is next up anyways.

It suddenly occurred to me while dimpling the ribs how to eliminate the fisheyes. Just stick a piece of tape to the male die, so that the tape is touching the work, not the outer rim of the die. It worked great, and seems to last for quite a few dimpling operations.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

6.7 hrs since last post.

Out sick all week. Doctor said it wasn't strep, but sure felt like it. Hard to build when you're drugged.
But did manage to get in a couple of hours deburring ribs during the week, and today, got in 4.5 as the fog lifted a little.

Today finished deburring the main ribs, then used a unibit to cut the 3/4 inch hole for electrical wiring conduit in each main rib.

Mixed up a small batch of proseal and finished closing up the left tank by installing the inboard access plate. An initial leak check proved unsuccessful. The balloon deflates in about 2 hours.

Drilled the tank leading edge attach strip for nutplates, dimpled the strip and the nutplates. Used a deburring tool to cut the nutplates a bit deeper for a better match on the dimples.