Wings 2
Fuselage 2
Fuselage 3
 Fuselage 4 

Baggage Compartment
Aft Seat Floors
Forward Seat Floors
Elevator Servo Bracket
Seat Backs
Forward Covers
Installing the Flaps
Landing Gear Mounts
Installing Cabin Systems
Installing Aileron Boots
Elev Servo Speed Control
Fuselage 5

Fuselage 6
Firewall Forward


Fuselage 4


Description of Task   Hours
  Baggage Compartment
8/28/07 Deburred and clecoed the rear baggage bulkhead.  Trimmed and deburred the forward baggage side covers.  Deburred and temp installed the baggage tunnel cover.
8/31/07 Disassembled the baggage floor and sides and scuffed.  Scuffed the baggage side skins.  Deburred the cabin seat skins.
9/1/07 I chemically treated the aft baggage side skins as well as the baggage floor sections and baggage tunnel cover using SanChem.  Next, I riveted the aft baggage covers.  I also blind riveted the baggage floors and riveted the platenuts for the center tunnel cover.
9/2/07 Today dimpled and riveted the platenuts for the aft baggage floor and the F-706 bulkhead.  I worked on the F-751 and F-652 corrugated baggage bulkheads.  I trimmed the F-652 to the correct radius and deburred.

I drilled and trimmed the slot for the shoulder harness cables.  Finally, I marked a line on the F-751 lower bulkhead where the F-652 upper bulkhead will fit.  I match-drilled and clecoed the lower bulkhead using the pre-drilled holes as a guide.  Holding the F-652 upper bulkhead to the line, I drilled and clecoed it in place.

I test fit the F-749 forward baggage side covers and clecoed in place.

9/3/07 Today I celebrated Labor Day by deburring the baggage bulkheads and riveting the many platenuts to the F-706 bulkhead.  It is times like this during the construction process that I am really glad I bought a particular tool.  The tool is the #8 Platenut Jig I got from Avery Tools.  With all the platenuts I have to install, it makes a tedious task much quicker and more bearable and every platenut is perfectly aligned.  Well worth the cost in my opinion.

The next step is to install the guide blocks for the shoulder harness cables.  I marked out the AL strip for the eight washers and cut with my snips.  I then drilled the baggage bulkheads and installed the guide blocks with LP4-3 blind rivets.

I then removed the aft fuselage top skins and riveted the F-707 to the support angle.  I also riveted the platenuts to the F-749 forward baggage side covers and temporarily installed.

I also drilled, deburred and riveted the aft F-656 bulkhead braces.  I also test painted the upper support ribs to get a feel for the hammered gray color... We'll see.


  Aft Seat Floors
  Next, I moved on to the seat adjustment hinges.  The plans simply say "Install the hinges" so I had to study the drawings and figure out what to do.  I cut six hinges 15 1/2" and deburred and marked for drilling to the seat pans.

9/5/07 This was a big week for parts orders.  I received my COM1 antenna from SteinAir, a Comant CI122 bent whip that will go on the belly near the left main gear leg.  I also received my transponder antenna.

I have already installed my servo bracket for the TruTrak AP in the wing but needed the bracket for the elevator servo.  Stein fixed me up. 

I also received my Airflow Performance fuel injection pump assembly as well as an Andair fuel valve.

I was able to drill the hinges for rivets using the drill press.

9/7/07 Continued work on the aft seat floors by drilling the hinges to the seats to #30 and deburred.  I then clecoed the aft seat floors to the cabin ribs.
  Forward Seat Floors
  I clecoed the F-939 and F-940 Forward Seat Floors to the seat ribs.  I fabricated the F-741A-L&R Tunnel Support Covers using the bandsaw and drilled the lower flanges to the aft seat floors.  I then fabricated the F-741B Tunnel Cover and drilled to the tunnel support covers and the forward seat floor.  I then took it all apart and deburred.
9/8/07 I spent most of the day chemically treating (SanChem) the aft and forward seat floors. 

I also alodined a lot of additional bits and pieces while I was at it.  I also installed platenuts on the outboard seat ribs, installed the aft bulkhead-to-longeron brackets, installed the shoulder harness brackets and riveted the F-741B tunnel cover to the support brackets.

I clecoed the aft seat floors and seat hinges and used LP4-3 blind rivets to install.  I also cut to length and bent the hinge pins that will attach the seat backs to the floor.  All went well other than my back is really sore from bending over the fuselage to install the 100+ rivets.

TruTrak Autopilot Elevator Servo Bracket Install

I was initially stymied when I attempted to install the servo bracket I received from SteinAir because the installation instructions show no dimensions for installing the bracket.


9/9/07 Thanks to fellow builder Mike Bullock, he had an instruction sheet from TruTrak which HAD the 2.80" dimension I needed.

I decided against drilling and riveting through the bottom skin so I added a second row of rivets near the bottom of the bracket.

I re-installed the bellcrank and the control rod.

I dimpled and installed the platenuts for the tunnel cover as well as the control access in each front seat floor.

  Seat Backs
9/12/07 Trimmed the F-638 Seat Back Brace, drilled the lightening holes and deburred.  I cut the hinge for the seat back braces and deburred.
9/13/07 Cut the F-637B angles as well as the F-637C angles and deburred.

9/14/07 Finished fabricating the angles and hinges for the seat backs and deburred.  Drilled the hinges to the seat back braces and deburred.

9/15/07 Finally drilled and assembled the seat backs and clecoed together.  This project took an amazingly long time but I tried to get these things right.  All in all I'm happy with them.  We'll see how they look after they are riveted together.

9/16/07 I scuffed and washed the seat back components and riveted the components together.  After both were assembled, I spray painted with the hammered gray enamel.

  Forward Covers
  I fit the F-982E Access Plate and F-982D Heat Baffle to the F-981C Center Cabin Cover and drilled to full size.  I disassembled and deburred the holes and components.  Dimpled for the rivets and platenuts.

9/17/07 I got a call tonight that my Father had died.  He had been slowly deteriorating for the past 9 months as a result of COPD in his home in Dale, Texas.  I spent the next week in Texas attending to his affairs.  I wish all of you could have met him.  He was a great person and my greatest cheerleader.  I will miss you Dad.
9/24/07 Riveted the platenuts on the F-982E forward cover and trimmed the F-982C center cover.  I am having to deviate from the plans in order to install the Airflow Performance fuel injection high pressure pump and filter system.  I am also replacing the standard fuel selector valve supplied in the Vans kit with the Andair fuel valve.

9/28/07 I drilled the center covers to the floor stiffener angles.  I riveted the platenuts to the aft cover.  Since I am installing the electric elevator trim, I will not need the bracket flange of the F-983A Fuel Valve Plate.  While the plans say that the flange can be cut off, this will leave a large gap at the forward end so I have ordered some stock T-3 2024 .063 sheet and will fabricate a new fuel valve plate.
9/30/07 I riveted the platenuts in the F-7115 and scuffed along with the other covers.  I then primed with self-etch.  I then deburred and dimpled the upper bulkhead flanges above the longerons. 

I began installing the Airflow Performance filter and high pressure fuel pump but had to stop due to not being able to find my tubing cutter.


  Installing the Flaps
9/30/07 I drilled the clevis ends of the flap actuator rod to 1/4".  I then drilled the flap actuator bearing end for safety wire. 

I drilled and cut the center bearing block and installed the flap actuator rod.


10/5/07 Tonight I snuck in a couple of hours and fabricated several brackets and angles for the flap mechanism including the F-766C Plate, the F-766D Spacer, the F-766B Angle, the F-767 Attach Plate and the F-785B Attach Angle.  I drilled and deburred the F-766A Flap Actuator Channel and the F-758 L&R Flap Actuator Brackets.
10/6/07 Riveted the F-766 assembly and test fitted it in the fuselage.  I tested the flap motor assembly and verified that it takes 7 seconds to run from full up to full down.  I attached the flap arm to the Wd-613-EF actuator arm and safety wired the bolt. 

Next, I assembled the motor in the F-766A channel and drilled the F-766B bracket.  After disassembly, I deburred and riveted the F-766B bracket  and re-assembled the flap mechanism.

I installed the F-785 Backrest Brace and clecoed the side covers and match-drilled.  I disassembled, deburred and riveted the platenuts.  Finally, I scuffed, primed and re-assembled.


  Landing Gear Mounts
10/7/07 Today I spent a couple hours organizing all the parts Vans ships in the various parts bags into assortment bins and labeled.  Hopefully I won't be wasting a lot of time looking for parts.

Terry Tibbits, a fellow EAAer and RV-9 builder, came by to help out.  I have heard from several other builders that it is much easier to route the fuel lines from the tanks to the fuel selector valve if you do it before the landing gear mounts are installed.  I also have been debating what to do about the F-983A Fuel Valve Plate.  I had cut off the forward section since I will be using electric trim, unfortunately, this leaves an ugly gap where the forward edge meets the F-983C Fuel Valve Cover.  My solution was to make another fuel valve plate out of .063 with a 1" forward lip.

Terry cut the plate, match-drilled and bent the lip with the sheet metal brake.  It fits perfectly with the Andair Fuel Valve.  Oh, did I mention that Terry is an A&P?  You're welcome to come by and help anytime Terry.

Next, before the landing gear mounts can be installed they have to be match-drilled with the landing gear legs.  The plans say to drill with a .311 bit... Whoever heard of a .311 drill bit?  We drilled to 5/16" and deburred.

When trying to fit the mounts through the hole in the floor we quickly discovered they would not fit.  I had cut the holes way back when I was deburring the floor skin and the plans state that the hole will need to be "tweaked" in order for the mounts to fit.


10/10/07 Tonight I worked on trimming the holes in the bottom skin where the gear mount exits using the Dremel tool.  I would trim a small amount, deburr the hole and test fit, then trim some more, deburr and test.  I finally got the mounts to fit but saw that the attach points that bolt to the spar was interfering with the floor stiffeners.  these will need to be trimmed and then I will need to see how they fit.  This is a tedious process but the landing gear mounts have about 10 bolts that pass through them so the fit must be perfect in order for the holes to align correctly.
10/12/07 I used the Dremel to grind the floor stiffener to allow the landing gear mount to fit flush against the spar and side skins.

Before I mount the gear leg mounts permanently I will install the fuel lines which route through the gear legs.


  Installing Cabin Systems (Brake Lines, Fuel Tank Vent and Fuel Systems)
10/12/07 I began the process of installing the fuel lines by straightening a length of 3/8" AL tubing and cutting two sections 36".
10/13/07 I received a shipment from Abby at Flightline Interiors a few days ago.  I had ordered some firewall insulation blanket as well as the aileron boots.  I cut the pattern for the attachment ring out of some scrap .040 and cut the inside using my saber saw.  After deburring, I drilled to the fuselage and installed platenuts on the rings.

10/14/07 I had been having the fuselage sitting on two plastic milk crates so I covered a piece of 1x12 with carpet and placed it on the milk crates.  This will help protect the bottom skin and allow me a stable platform for crawling inside the fuselage.

While taking a break, I decided to shoot a few forward covers with the Rustoleum hammerite paint.

I installed the left fuel line by first bending the 3.5" "jog" and then running the tubing through the landing gear mount, then the small cover bracket, then through the cover bracket riveted to the spar.  I then slid the outboard section through the hole in the fuselage and slid the gear leg mount into place.


  Riveting Bottom Wing Skins

In preparation for fitting the wings to the fuselage, I need to finish a laundry list of details on the wings including installing the Gretz pitot line and electronic control unit (ECU) as well as pulling the various wiring and antenna coax.  Details can be found here.

10/27/07 I took some time off from building since my Mom and Aunt came to visit from Texas.  Tonight I jumped back at it and ran the rudder cables.  I took another builder's advice and ordered some cable protective covers from West Marine.  The covers are 5/16 diameter and wrap around the cables to prevent chafing.

I also installed the right fuel line from the tank through the gear mount to the fuel selector.  I then got a good start bolting in the gear legs.  The Plans call out AN4-12A bolts through the gear mounts but even with thin washers there is not enough thread showing past the nut.  I used AN4-13A bolts and the problem is solved.


10/28/07 I needed to get the gear mounts installed so I could work on the wing wiring.  I bolted the mounts to the center section first and then drilled and back-drilled the side attachments.  The bottom bolts through the center section were tough to reach but I used a long hemostat clamp to get the washers and nuts started.

One hole on the side brackets was obscured by the bulkhead flange so I just drilled through it.  These holes are drilled in assembly so once they were drilled (#30) and opened to full size (3/16"), I was able to install the AN3-6A bolts.

Finally, I back-drilled the five lower mount side attachment holes and installed the bolts and torqued.

I will be jumping over to the wings now but will be back in a few days.

11/3/07 While waiting on my riveting partner, Terry, to arrive to rivet the wing bottom skins I worked on several tasks.  I also started dimpling the aft top skin.

Elevator Servo Speed Controller Switch

I began fabricating a bracket for the micro switch near the flap actuator rod that will control the Ray Allen servo speed control module.  The design is pretty simple and will use an Adel clamp around the flap actuator rod which, when the flaps are fully retracted (as in Cruise Mode), will activate the switch which is connected to the servo speed controller.  The result is that the elevator trim servo will run at about half the speed it does when the flaps are deployed (as in Landing Mode).

I had ordered the lever switch from Aerocraft Parts and Avionics so with the Adel clamp installed all I needed to do was fabricate a bracket to hold the lever switch.  I used a scrap piece of .063 1.0x.75 AL angle and drilled for the switch as well as platenuts for attaching to the back of the F-905 bulkhead upright.


11/9/07 I drilled the bracket to the F-904 and attached the micro switch.  It will be several months before I can wire and test this thing.

11/4/07 Today Ben Bierbaum came up to help me finish riveting the bottom skin on the left wing.  While he was here, Dan Miller, a local pilot and homeowner stopped by so we moved the fuselage sideways so I can mate the wings.


Total Hours this Page


Total Hours Fuselage (as of 11/4/07)

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