Right Elevator

The right elevator was the hardest part to build so far. Now that I’m working on the left side things are going a lot better, and easier. Just for future reference, theseare things that I learned that makes it simpler:

  • Dimples on the skin to spar area are not nice and resulted in my worst looking rivets so far. For the second elevator I asked my wife to help by holding the skins while dimpling and results are really good.
  • It was hard to rivet the stiffeners and spars. I found that the easiest way was to open the skin at least 90 degrees, and hold it from the outside (it is not going to break). Once you do it that way, and have better dimples results are good.
  • Riveting the counterbalance ribs to the main spar is a lot easier when the skin is still open. I got all but two rivets on both skin to spar and skin to ribs done pretty easy.
  • Trailing edge came up pretty similar to the rudder. Nothing really bad, but not as good as I would like.

The elevators are pretty simple assemblies, but require a lot of attention to detail, and it is pretty easy to make mistakes. In the future I may re-do it, but overall I think is OK.

And…….

 

 

Felt pretty cool getting to test fit the elevator on the horizontal stabilizer. šŸ™‚

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Some of the tools we used during the class

We went through the practice kit that Van’s offer. We drilled,Ā 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!.

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Building the practice kit

I have to say thanks to our instructor Allen Nelson, and toĀ 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.