Empennage

Finally after all the prep work I was able to order the empennage sub-kit. It was actually pretty easy and it only took 5 days to arrive from Oregon to Texas. It came packaged in two medium size boxes.

IMG_6290.jpg
Empennage as unloaded from the FedEx truck

After inspecting the boxes for damage I decided to open them and take a look at what was inside. It is really amazing how all the parts can fit on such a small pair of boxes.

IMG_6291.jpg
Box with all the big Aluminum pieces

Once everything was out, my wife and I spent around two hours and inventoried the parts. After everything was counted and in order only one small nut was missing. Van’s ask the builder to check the inventory within 30 days of receiving it to make sure that everything is right. If parts are missing they will get them to you.

IMG_6298.jpg
Bags of small parts

Everything was put back together, and will be stored in the next couple of days. I’m still waiting on some tools, and working on some small details in the shop before I can start the building process.

 

Factory Tour and Fundamentals Class

Last weekend my wife and I visited Van’s Aircraft and got a factory tour. I did not take pictures as I was enjoying the visit too much :). The tour basically reinforced my decision of building an RV. Everything we saw was perfectly arranged in shelves with immaculate clean floors and equipment, something really nice to see when you are about too put a lot of money into it.

IMG_6082.jpg
Van’s Aircraft Factory – Aurora, OR

We got to check and sit on the RV-9A, and also on the 7A as she wanted to compare the differences between tilt-up and slider canopies. I read a lot of comments about how the RV-14 is a lot roomier that the 9/7s, but at least for us that is not important as we are fairly normal regarding our size.

Weather did not cooperate with the idea of a demo flight which had to be abandoned, but I still got to buy the preview plans and I have been going through them. I have to admit that they are pretty well done. They may be a little bit confusing at the beginning, but after a couple of times I was able to get the idea of how to read them.

We used the rest of the day to drive around the area before heading south to Eugene to attend the fundamentals class at Synergy Air. The landscape is beautiful there, and the drive up to Mount Hood was totally worth it.

IMG_6162.jpg
Mount Hood, OR

The next day we arrived at the Airport right before 8am, and the class started promptly as scheduled. I have to admit that I had quite high expectations because I wanted to learn as much as possible. I haven’t bought my tools yet, but the information I got from the class allowed me to understand what each tool do, and how to use them making me feel more comfortable about the money I’m going to spend.

IMG_6223.jpg
Some of the tools we used during the class

We went through the practice kit that Van’s offer. We drilled, deburred, dimpled, countersinked, riveted, removed rivets, made mistakes, fixed them, etc. We learned so much that at the end of the day the decision was made, let’s do it!.

IMG_6226.jpg
Building the practice kit

I have to say thanks to our instructor Allen Nelson, and to Vaden Francisco, Synergy’s owner who came to bring us lunch, and check how we all were doing.

In conclusion, this was a really nice experience that I would recommend to anybody who may be interested in building an RV. It gives you the opportunity to see many things and get the confidence necessary to start a project this big.