Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1.2 hrs
Prime servo bracket and other parts.
Dimple aft fuselage.
Getting close to done with prep work. Still need to work on the longerons, and final prep on the bulkhead slots for the longerons, but then it's time to put it all back together. Need to line up riveting help.

Tuesday September 29
1 hr
Match drill servo bracket and bottom skin.

Deburr and dimple 706 bulkhead.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Autopilot Pitch Servo Bracket

Finish deburring aft fuselage.
Match drill pitch servo bracket. Didn't say anything about it yesterdays terse log entry, but the drawings for the TruTrak pitch servo are wrong for the 9.

The problem is that the bellcrank bulkhead isn't built as shown in the TruTrack drawings. The flanges on both point outboard, not alternated as shown in the drawing. Not a big deal, but it does require drilling a few extra holes in the bottom of the 778 bottom skin.

If you plan on installing a TruTrak pitch servo, you can wait until later to install it. But do yourself a favor and don't set these four rivets (that I just drilled out) when building the bellcrank ribs.

Edge debur pitch servo bracket.
Cleco bulkheads and bracket to aft fuselage.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

4.7 hrs
Finish dimpling 470 skins
Remove, Deburr, dimple 623 baggage ribs
Countersink 904H plates.

Remove center section from aft fuselage.
Cut bulkhead flanges for landing gear clearance at front of 904 bulkhead.

Deburr and dimple 705 bullkhead
Deburr, dimple, skins and other parts around edge of center section.
Remove longerons from aft fuselage.
Start deburring aft fuselage.
Start laying out pitch servo bracket.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

3.6 hrs
Clean and prime front and baggage ribs, longerons, and bulkheads.
Remove right 470 skin.
Cut 1" hole.Finish 7/16 and 3/4" holes in 915 seat ribs.

Finish deburring both 470s.
Start dimpling 470s.
On the bike ride this morning, was riding down Lakeway Blvd and crossed the arrival end of 34 just as Phil Thompson's beautiful 7A flew over. Was looking up at the bottom of his plane on very short final. Wow! And there was an RV6 in the tie down area, built by Bill Truax.

You might know about the drought we're having in Central Texas. Here is the portion of Lake Travis off of Lakeway City Park. I'm standing in what's supposed to be 10 feet of water.

This is a wide stretch of water where a marina sits, and a floating restaurant, Johnny Fins. Don't know where the restaurant went. The lake has retreated to about 200 yards to the left. The level is 635' at the time of this picture. Normal is 680. I've seen the water covering the trees on the hill to the right.

This sign would normally be just underwater.

Friday, Sept 25
A few moments of deburring and pulling clecoes, but not enough to log.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

1 hr
Removed left 970 skin.
Stop drilled, dressed and deburred crack at aft lower corner bend.

Cut 1" hole for fuel line grommet.
Start deburring holes.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

1.0 hr
Deburr and dimple 722 and 724 ribs.
Drill snap bushing holes in 724s

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1.0 hrs
Finished countersinking the 972 bottom skin.
Drilled 1" holes in 9101s. Used a mongo unibit borrowed from Wayne. Drill press only, this thing requires a 1/2 inch chuck. Far superior results than what the hole saw would have done.

Removed 722 and 724 baggage side ribs from assembly. And also started the task of removing the hundreds of silver clecoes from the 970 skins.
For Monday, Sept 21
.7 hrs, 12 rivets
Installed nutplates on 684 gussets and 902 bulkheads.

Setup to countersink the 972 bottom skin. Got one side done.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

1 hr
Went for a bike ride this morning. On the usual stop at the airpark, Jeff K. invited me to go up for a spin. He has a vintage Bonanza. It's a nice flying airplane. We did a circuit around Lake Travis. I didn't get to log any time because I didn't even have any controls.
After riding home, got cleaned up and drove up to Georgetown to look at an engine. That took most of the afternoon.
Did manage to sneak in a hour on the kit:
Cleaned the rust off the steps and primed them.

Also primed the aux longerons and 684 gussets.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

7 hrs

Fit step kit, both sides, drill and deburr. Simple sentence, took 4 and a half hours. Lot's of bending, checking, sanding, cutting, etc. to get them fit good. They have started to rust. It comes off with sanding, but these need to get primed pretty fast after getting the fuselage kit.

Then continued disassembly and prep of the forward fuselage.
Deburr 684 gussets, 719 stiffeners, 713 aux longerons, 917 lower longerons.
Countersink 719 stiffeners.
Deburr firewall, countersink bottom flange.
Drill, deburr, and countersink 684 for nutplates.
Drill holes in 9101 to size.

Friday, September 18, 2009

2.0 hrs, 64 rivets
Took the day off work to spend some time on the kit and go flying!
Primed floor stiffeners, 902 bulkheads, 6118 rudder pedal brace.
Deburred 9101 parts.
Riveted brake pedals together. Used the pneumatic squeezer on these -4 rivets. The new squeezer is growing on me. I've been struggling with elbow and wrist injuries for a while. I'm blaming the bike instead of the squeezer, but I don't think the hand squeezer is helping. Oddly enough, the pneumatic squeezer is bugging my shoulder because of the odd motion required by the thumb to push the safety up.
Used the hand squeezer to rivet nutplates to the newly primed 902 bulkheads.

Had to stop for a work related call, ride the bike, and then get ready for flying. In the afternoon, flew with riveting buddy Ed Rupp to Smithville. Landings were acceptable, didn't mess up on the radio too bad. Goofed up the traffic pattern after the first landing, but there was no one there to irritate with sloppy flying. Austin approach was hopping. All the jets were coming in for the Texas Tech game.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

1.5 hrs
Dimpled the 972 skin. Borrowed an Avery C-frame dimpler. Results are just a bit better than what I get with the DRDT-2.

No building last night, went to the AOPA safety presentation. Bill Gunn was the speaker.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

.7 hrs
Countersunk the floor stiffeners.

Setup to dimple the bottom skin, but the DRDT-2 just isn't doing a good job with that
thick material. Need to borrow an Avery dimpler.

Monday, September 14, 2009

1 hr
Deburred 972 bottom skin. Dimpling that .040 material is going to be difficult. I'm going to try and borrow one of those Avery impact dimplers.
Removed and finished deburring floor stiffeners. Made up a dimpling/countersink gauge from 040 that will be used to get the floor stiffener countersinks just right.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

5 hrs
Finished fuselage preassembly steps. Looked over the drawings one more time to see if there was anything still needing drilling. I'm sure there something still needed attention, but I got most of it.

Final drill baggage compartment ribs and side covers.

It's a good thing I had help. I put the chair cushion on the floor and the cat assumed it was for her.

Drill 902 and 722 bulkheads to longerons.
Match drill 917 lower longerons.
Start drilling holes for wing fuel/electrical connections.

I chose to cut an extra hole in the rib/skin both in front of the main spar, and behind. The extra hole in front is for the fuel gauge sender electrical connections. I couldn't figure out how else the wires were getting past the skin, so I added another hole. The aft hole, behind the main spar is about where the electrical conduit comes out on the wing. There's only about an inch clearance in the final assembled position, and I wanted a straighter shot. I'll run pitot/AoA lines through the forward hole, which is the one spelled out in the plans. There's even a pilot hole for it.

Countersink the holes for the fuel tank attach bracket screws. Got to use the #12 countersink bit. Arrr!

Finish drilling bottom skin to 904 bulkheads.
Begin disassembling.
Deburr and dimple baggage compartment floors and sides.
Start deburring floor stiffeners.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

2.7 hrs
Finish drilling floor stiffeners.
Finish deburring 722, 724 ribs, and 949, 950 baggage side covers.

Used tin snips and the belt sander to trim 949 covers.

Finally used the snips purchased as part of the tool kit back when it all started. Haven't used these very much at all, since the band saw does a superior job of trimming most material. But the geometry of these parts are such that they don't fit in the band saw. It took me about 5 minutes of pondering "How the hell am I gonna cut these?" to remember, " Oh, yeah. Tin snips."

Start clecoing 722 and 724 to 970 skins.

Friday, September 11, 2009

1 hr
More match drilling of the floor stiffeners. The girl stopped by after work and helped me set the two outboard stiffeners. Now I just have to finish drilling all the holes.

While waiting for her, started edge deburring on the 722 and 724 baggage compartment ribs. Should finish up all the drilling and fitting this weekend. Then it'll get disassembled, deburred, primed, and put back together.

Then I'm going to need lot's of help riveting.

Last night no time on the kit. But it was for a good cause -the EAA187 meeting. The guest speaker was Stu McCurdy, discussing the logistics behind the 37 ship flyover at Oshkosh.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1.2 hrs
Started match drilling the floor stiffeners. This is a pain, crawling in and out of the upside down cabin a hundred times. It's also very hard to do solo. Add 95% humidity and there was only so much I could take.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1.1 hrs
Remark and redrill left brake pedal side brackets. These brackets now have two holes, but the second set of holes is not going to be a problem. New brackets are cheap, but there's not really a need to redo them.
Remove rudder pedal assembly. It'll get stored for a short time before final installation.

Clecoed 972 forward bottom skin back onto fuselage.
Deburred ends of 972B floor stiffeners. Tomorrow those will get match drilled, and the rest of the forward fuselage gets match drilled.

Post Edit: If you're building an A model, do yourself a favor here and do a quick test fit of the landing gear weldments. You will probably notice that the inside bottom flange of the weldment will not fit properly because the 972B stiffeners are too close to the spar. Trim a notch in the 972B to get the fit right, and save yourself a headache later when it's time to bolt the weldments in.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Put on the brakes!

6.7 hrs
Went out this morning to do a couple of items, looked up, and it was 1 o'clock. Missed going to a bbq at friends house. Dang. Letting the kit control too much of my life.

Pulled all brake pedal hardware. Lot of little nuts and bolts, and by now you have to be creative about where to find them. The mysterious bag 619 is listed only as "spare assembly hardware". When low on 960-10L thin washers, you can find them in 619.

Preassemble master cylinders, mark and drill the 6117A brake side plates. I have a feeling I get to do this again. I drilled the side plates to get the brake pedals to the same relative position with the rudder pedal frames. But I realized later that this is not going to work.

Fit the the rudder pedal frames to the 6116 bearing blocks.
Fit to the aux longerons.

Remove aux longerons, match drill for bearing blocks. Reinstall the aux longerons and then bolt the pedal frames and bearing blocks on. It fits! The right pedal is a bit tight, but that'll get worked out in the wash.

Trim 6118 rudder pedal brace. Fit 6118 to firewall and match drill.

Cut 6115 bearing block in half, match drill to 6118 brace. Then bolt it on. About this time I realized that when the bottom of the rudder pedals are lined up as they would be for a neutral position, then the right and left pedals have different angles with respect to your feet. Since I lined the brake pedals up with the rudder frame, then my current setting for the brake pedals will be different between left and right foot. That's why I think I will need to redo two of the 6117A brake pedal side plates.

Tomorrow I'll have to assemble it and see how far off it is.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

7.5 hrs, 4 rivets
Actually got to set some rivets today. It's been over three weeks since the last rivet.

Primed the 9101, 996B and 996C parts. Riveted them together and clecoed back on to the forward fuselage. Match drilled the 9101/713 aux longerons, and drilled couple of holes in the 9101/917 lower longerons just to hold things in alignment.

Then started on the brake pedals. Edge deburred all the parts, and made the angles. Match drilled everything, deburred, and countersunk. This all took quite a bit of time.

Then started fitting the brake pedals to the rudder pedal frames.

Here's where I learned something. I had bought AN3-56 bolts at Oshkosh. They were put into service here. Except that they weren't quite right. They would not fit the AN3 nuts that come with the kit, and they wouldn't go through the holes drilled in the rudder pedal frame. The threads were right, but they were just a touch too big in spots.

I noticed that they had an X on the end. Not sure what that means, but if it's like golf balls, then these are factory rejects. These were purchased from one of the small tent vendors in the flea market area at Oshkosh. Hmmm, so they deal in factory 2nds..... In some cases what they provide might be perfectly usable. But I spent about 2 hours trying to get those bolts to fit. Should have quit right away and just ordered good bolts from Aircraft Spruce. I managed to make them work, but I learned a lesson in the process.

After all that, I was a bit too pissed off to enjoy how cool the rudder/brake pedal assemblies look!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

3.7 hrs
Finish fitting 9101.
Drill 9101 to 902 bulkheads.
Make spacer for right bulkhead/9101 gap
Finish fitting 996B spacers
Make and fit 996C angles
Drill 996C and B to 9101.
Countersink 996B
Pull brake pedal parts.

Friday, September 4, 2009

.8 hrs
fitting 9101 and 976 spacers

Thursday, September 3, 2009

1.7 hrs
Finish deburring 9101's, aft canopy deck, bellcrank parts.

Start fitting right 9101. Lots of edge radius work required for this.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1.3 hrs
Got a couple of presents today.
My new autopilot! It's a DigiTrak II-VSG. Two servos, mounting brackets, and a SteinAir wiring harness.
Thanks, Stein!

Match drilled the 902 bulkhead, drilled for the nutplates and rudder cable bushings, deburred.

Started edge deburring a few more parts, starting with the aft canopy deck.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

.7 hrs
Very light day in the garage. Did get to fly this morning.

Fit the 902 bulkheads and adjusted square to the centerline. Clecoed in place.
Then pulled some of the upcoming parts, like the 9101 and 996 spacer stock. Bag 1982
is in the bottom of the parts bin and it's always a challenge to find it.