Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Saturday, October 31, 2009

5.5 hrs, 75 rivets
Finish filing and deburring canopy decks. Fit and match drill 921A decks. I haven't found where these are done in the instructions, and one builder mentions working on them at this stage. Bend the tabs on the 921B's to fit the 921A's. Finished countersinking all 921 canopy deck parts.

Deburr longerons and firewall stiffeners for 695 installation. Deburr longerons for 921 installs. Countersink longerons for 757 gussets. Deburr 757 gussets.

Remove and deburr 714 aft deck, longerons, 710C spacer, 711E spacer, and 711D angle.

Scuff, clean, and prime all those parts.

Rivet 711D angle to bulkhead.
After letting the primer set, started riveting.
Rivet 714 aft deck and spacers

Rivet 757 gussets to 705 bulkhead and longerons.

Also trimmed the SafeAir static ports to fit around the bulkheads. Scuffed the skin and the static port. Will use ProSeal to install these.

Friday, October 30
2.5 hrs
Not sure how, but managed to forget logging and posting last night.
Match drill 695 gussets.

Disassemble and deburr.Match drill shoulder harness anchors. Deburr.

Start disassembling 921B canopy decks. File right side to match the skin counter. Start countersinking canopy decks.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2.0 hrs
It's strange having to look at the directions again. For so long all the action centered on one sentence in the narrative, and drawing 28 was all that mattered. No longer! I have to pay attention again, and I get to check off steps on a daily basis.

Fit 757 canopy gussets and match drill to side rails, 905 bulkhead, and longerons.

Layout 695 forward gussets and drill 1/8 holes.
Clamp to longerons and firewall.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2.0 hrs, 8 rivets
Finish last aft fuselage rivets.
Fab 710C and 711E spacers.
Relevel fuselage and install aft deck

Final drill aft deck

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Canoe Rolled!

.6 hrs
Didn't flip it over last night because I wanted to look at the gear weldment fit. An initial test showed it to be off far enough from going into the hole in the 972 skin that I thought some creative dremelling would be needed on the 972 cutout. A review of builders pages didn't reveal any difficulty on anyone else's part.
But then I discovered why the 982B cover support brackets are installed with screws (I was wondering about that back when they were first installed). After removing the brackets, the gear weldments slid almost completely in (with a little finagling around a nutplate). Discovered I had the same problem reported by almost everyone with the bottom inside weldment flange not fitting between the 972B stiffener and the spar.

So I am satisfied that the weldments will fit with no cutting of the 972 skin. In other words, the hatched cutout on drawing 34A worked perfectly for me.

Katrin arrived and we flipped the fuselage over. This would be easier or safer with 3 people, but we managed. Set in the seat skins and Katrin was officially the first person to sit in N207LT!

Then spent a few minutes getting it leveled out for installing the aft deck. Looks like it's going to work perfectly, with just centering the 714 deck all that's needed to bring all the levels to 0.0!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Quick build fuselage!

1.8 hrs, 167 rivets
I have a quickbuild fuselage kit!
Mark came over to help, and we knocked out the last rivets.

Finished forward bottom skin to firewall flange rivets, 970 skin to longeron rivets where they were obscured by the 905 bulkhead.
Riveted 925 and 926 baggage ribs to 970.
And finished riveting 970/706 bulkhead/aft fuselage rivets.

It's a canoe! We could have flipped it, but I want to mess with the main gear weldments and the holes in the skin. A quick trial shows these aren't close to going in, and some trimming on the 972 will be required. This is best done upside down.

Still need to rivet the steps.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

4.5 hrs, 217 rivets
My longest break from building since Oshkosh, and the lightest week for almost a year. Kinda stuck waiting for riveting help, but also ramped up the training volume for the most swimming, running, and biking in two years!
But today I had help lined up. The first shift was a no-show, I hope he found something much more exciting than two noisy, stressful hours in my garage!
But Orion came out for the second shift and we cranked out some rivets, nearly completing the forward section riveting.
Also got some edge deburring done on upcoming parts, such as the aft bulkhead gussets, 921A canopy decks, shoulder harness anchors, and the 751 baggage bulkhead cover.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1.3 hrs, 55 rivets
More help from Mark. We knocked out the two lower longerons on both sides, and then started the 925 baggage bulkheads. Just the bottom two rivets there.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

1 hr, 21 rivets
Katrin came home after work and helped me for a little. We set the rivets for the right forward bottom longeron. Van's rivet callouts are a little short.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

4 hrs, 112 rivets
Absolutely perfect building weather. Blue, CAVU skies, warm enough for shorts, but cool enough to not sweat. If it was like this all the time, we'd be overrun with people.

Rivet bellcrank.
Finish dimpling armrests. Had neglected to dimple the holes that cleco to the 970 skins.
Prime armrests and 904K spar caps.
Finish riveting most of aft fuselage.
Finish riveting 905 bulkhead to 970 skin.
Squeeze 970 to longeron rivets
Rivet armrests, cleco into assembly.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

3.5 hrs
Fit 904K center spar caps and final drill.
DeburrFinal drill 920 armrest to 904 spar. Deburr.
Drill armrest reinforcement clips. Deburr, countersing, and dimple.
Cleco forward bottom skin to assembly.

The posts aren't very creative. Neither are the building chores. Actually, I'm having to do some creative construction on the armrests, but I'm chomping at the bit to have the fuselage riveting done so it can be flipped.
The instructions say very little about the 904K. So I'm having to look at other builders pages to see when they did them. I decided to drill them today, but installing will happen later. The instructions say the armrests are installed after the seat floors are done. I haven't figured out the dependency yet. I see how several builders riveted the armests in, but didn't yet install the 904Ks.

Friday, October 16, 2009

1.2 hrs
Started fitting the armrest reinforcement clips.
Also fabbed some .063 shims to fit between the bottom skin and 925 baggage bulkheads.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1.4 hrs
Fabbed the backing plates for the steps. They look different because the steps are a bit different, and that's because the curve is a bit different on both sides.
Also removed the one BAD rivet set the night before. Started making a backing plate for the forward edge of the step - this plate would also go in between the 970 and the baggage corner rib. But I need to get some expert advice on how to repair the mess on the 970 skin. I'm tempted to just put a 470AD4 rivet there and call it a day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

1.5 hrs, 65 rivets
Got some help riveting, Mark Goldberg came over. We knocked nearly all of the center bottom skin rivets, and the last rivets on the lower edge of the aft 970 skin. These are tough to set. The flush set can't get at some of them, and curls the bottom skin over on others.
We also worked half way down the 905 bulkhead on both sides. One more session like that, and then it's time to work on the forward section again.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

.9 hrs
Finish countersinking arm rest reinforcement angles.
Dimple armrests.

Final drill elevator bellcrank.
Drill hole for autopilot servo attach.
Deburr bellcrank parts.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1.5 hrs
Deburr 904K caps. Wanted to get those done in order to test fit the armrests and angle clips.
At least for the left side, by happy accident, the hole I predrilled in the angle clip exactly lines up with the existing hole in the 904 cap.

Deburr armrests and reinforcing angles.
Start countersinking armrest angles.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5.5 hrs, 116 rivets
Started by fabbing reinforcing angles for the 920 armrests. Chose to use .125 3/4 x 3/4 angle. Realized that the corner needs radiusing to nest with the armrest nicely. Considered sanding for about 10 seconds, decided that the right way to do it was with a router. Got down the old router and killed all the spiders on it, cranked it up and decided it was nearly junk from sitting for 15 years. Plus my project built router table was covered in junk. And I've been wanting a new router table. So off to Home and Aircraft Depot we go! Decided on a low end table that included a 1.5 HP basic router. It worked great. Used my old carbide bits which don't seem to mind aluminium at all.

Then the Bro' in Law came over and helped with riveting. We cranked 'em out:
Finish riveting 970 to 915 ribs.
Finish riveting baggage ribs to 706 bulkhead.
Finish riveting 976 bottom skin to aft fuselage.
Start riveting aft edge of 970 skin.

After John left, spent a bit more time on the armrests, laying out and drilling the rivet holes.
Also fabbed some simple angle clips to support the ends of the reinforcing angle.
Was about to start drilling the angles to the bulkheads, but decided to stop there for the day and look at the plans. Glad I did. There's a cap that goes over the 904H bulkheads that has to be factored in. I'll leave the support angle clip drilling for later.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

4.5 hrs, 182 rivets
A bunch of rivets on the 970 skins, all solo. Knocked out both sides of the 904 bulkheads, a few of the 915 seat rib rivets, and many rivets forward of the 904s. A few left I can do alone, but help is really needed.

Friday, October 9, 2009

1.2 hrs, 50 rivets
Rivet nutplates to 724 baggage side ribs.

Start riveting 970's to the fuselage.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1.4 hrs, 12 rivets
Fit middle 972B stiffeners and 972 bottom forward skin. In the process, discovered why the bottom forward rivet on the 904 bulkhead is a blind rivet. I had pre-riveted this along with the other 970/904H inner rivets. Doh! The 972 skin goes there. Once the 970 is installed, a blind rivet is the only way to do that last rivet. To add insult to injury, the narrative even mentions it. Double Doh!
So I had to drill out two rivets, one on each side. Bunged up the first one pretty good. On the second, I remembered a rivet removal drill attachment I bought at Oshkosh. Got it out, setup, drilled out the second rivet. Quick, painless, perfect. Money well spent. I've drilled out a bunch of rivets recently and keep forgeting about this. It'll stay out and visible for the rest of the fuselage riveting.

Once it was clecoed in place (to line everything up and make sure it all still fits well), turned around and removed the 972 skin in order to rivet the middle 972B stiffeners to the assembly. You would think the pneumatic squeezer would be OK. But no, for some reason it decided to be wimpy and not squeeze the rivets at all. The hand squeezer could really only reach two of the 12. So I had to buck the rest, which required crawling under and into the forward section, in tight quarters. I guess I better get used to it. Those 12 middle 972B end rivets look deceptively easy. Don't be fooled, they're a pain in the patoote.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1.2 hrs, 2 rivets
Rivet 719B angles and longerons to firewall. I was wondering about rotational alignment, so the other forward longerons were also clecoed in place. That gave me a reference to get the 713 longeron lined up nicely. I then installed the firewall with all these parts clecoed on.

Cleco forward fuselage structure and firewall to 970 skins.
Got about halfway done clecoing the firewall to the skins wondering why it looked funny. Realized I hadn't dimpled the firewall yet. So took a bunch of clecos back out and used the vise grip dimpler to get all three flanges on the firewall.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

1.3 hrs, 16 rivets
Rivet gussets to firewall.

Rivet 9101 to 902, drill and prime 7/16 holes.

Cleco left 970 skin to fuselage.
That's almost the last bit I can do solo. About another hour, and it's riveting time.

Monday, October 5, 2009

1.1 hrs, 42 rivets
Rivet left 915 rib to assembly. That concludes riveting the seat ribs to the bottom skin.

Also riveted part of left side of bottom skin to aft fuselage. Next up is clecoing the left 970 skin in place, and then fitting the firewall and forward structure.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

6 hrs, 119 rivets
Got some help today, from Kurt Goodwin. He responded to my call for help on the Lakeway airport mailing list. We did the basic riveting class and then we got a few odd rivets set. He helped me get the center section moved and in place on the fuselage assembly.
Thanks Kurt!
After he had to go, I continued on with the remaining items I can do with just one person.

Start riveting 623 baggage ribs to bottom skin.
Cleco center section to aft fuselage.
Cleco baggage ribs to 706 bulkhead.
Start setting rib/bulkhead rivets.
Start setting center section bottom skin to aft fuselage rivets.

Rivet 904H doublers to 970 skins. Used the pneumatic squeezer for this. I'm starting to like it. It's good for doing a slew of 1/8 rivets when there is easy access. But still using the hand squeezer for many rivets, including all of the 3/32 rivets.

Rivet right 915 rib to bottom skin and 905 bulkhead.
Cleco right 970 to assembly.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

5.0 hrs, 112 rivets
And so the rivet count starts going up. It sure is good to make serious progress again. It's been almost 8 weeks since any major sub assemblies got put together, but I've been putting in about 15 hours a week the whole time.

Finished countersinking longerons.
Cleaned and primed longerons. I was trying to finish this task before the expected rain. I had just finished and went outside to see if I still had time to paint when the first sprinkles started. So the priming was done in the garage.

Looked at what need to be done next on the aft fuselage. Installing the ELT mounting bracket would be much easier now rather than later. Got out the ELT, and looked at the mounting hardware. It was these cheesy stainless steel screws and nuts. No lock washer, no aircraft nuts. It took about 2 minutes to realise that #8 screws and nutplates were the way to go. So installed the nutplates on the ELT mount and then used pop rivets to rivet the ELT mount to aft fuselage.

Riveted pitch servo bracket to bellcrank rib.

Cleco 706 bulkhead to aft fuselage.
Rivet bellcrank rib to 707 bulkhead and bottom skin.

Rivet servo bracket to bottom skin.
Cleco longerons to aft fuselage.

Start riveting longerons to aft fuselage.

Friday, October 2, 2009

2.0 hrs
Decided to drill and dimple for the aft fuselage cover plates. Also dimpled the nutplates, but didn't install yet. That can be done after the longerons are riveted in place.

Continue countersinking longerons. Mostly done. Tomorrow they get cleaned up and primed, and then the great fuselage riveting binge begins.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

1.5 hrs
Wow. October already. Aren't there a couple more days in September?

Started by doing some final cleanup on the longeron slots on the aft fuselage bulkheads. Some of them were just a bit too tight, and I don't want them wearing a hole in the longerons.

Then started prepping the longerons. Deburred the insides, then got about a third of the way countersinking both of them. Should finish tomorrow.

Looks like it's going to rain for the next few days.

I've been starting to research the electrical system. Spending a few hours a week (not logged) enumerating the airframe wiring needed. Trying to get a feel for how much and what kind of wire will be needed. One estimate is for 90 feet of RG-400 coax. Figure it's a 20 foot run from the instrument panel to the wing tip. Then factor in 2 nav antennaes, (planning on 1 Bob Archer, and prewiring for the second), 2 comms (inboard inspection panels), ELT (already have that cable), transponder (left rear center section floor), 2 GPS pucks (short runs). Add in some extra for the whatever's, and I'm at 90ft.
Was advised against the Van's wiring kit, and it looks like good advice. Probably should go with a modified Stein Air kit ($500), but I might just buy it all separate. The SteinAir harness that came with the TruTrak I bought is a work of art. I aspire to match that quality when putting together my harnesses.