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Sunday, March 30, 2014


03/30/2014 21.5 hours, 342.5 hours Total Time.

I haven't posted in the last month, but I have made progress on the airplane. Since my last post near the end of Feburary I've put 21.5 hours in on the project. I haven't taken a lot of photos primary because the right wing has been a repeat of the left. I have completed:
- Inboard Wing Doubler
- Outboard Hand Grab
- Wingtip close out
- Fairing Prep
- Flaperion initial build

A picture of the wing wing upon completion of the inboard wind doubler. Lower left hand picture
Preliminary work on the longeron....

Wingtip fairing extension. Wingtip position light will reside here someday.

Left and right wing are ready to have the fairings attached. Have ordered engine sealant to go around fairing, and then rivet and light installation.

 Both wings are now in their cradle and final wing work will focus on the longerons.
It has been a very long time since the workbench has been cleared off.

Final job is to complete the longerons. 
 Fuselage kit was ordered in February- hopefully I have two or three weeks to finish the longeerons before beginning the new kit inventory.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wings - 19

2/23/2014 7 hours, 321 hours total.
Work continues on the right wing. I tested the landing light and verified continuity of all conductors. Additionally, I installed the outboard and mid upper wing panels.

To test the landing light I used two 9v transistor batteries connected in parallel. I used test leads with alligator clips on each end. I used the skin of the aircraft for ground and then attached the positive clip to the appropriate contact at the wing root connector. Both modes, on and pulse worked just fine.
 After operation of the landing light was verified I preped the outboard and mid upper skins for installation. Again, this included deburring, sanding, priming and finally riveting to the wing structure.
 All closed up- next week I'll close out the tip.
Builders Note:
Right now I have a total of 321 hours logged on the project. 142 hours for the tailcone and 172 hours on the wing. Since I didn't complete all installations on the tailcone, I'd guess I probably have 50 hours work remaining on the tailcone and probably 50 hours left on the wings. So my estimate is that both assemblies will take about 420 hours to complete. Van's estimate for the entire aircraft is 700 to 900 hours. I'll definitety be closer to or over the 900 hour mark.

I'd be interested to hear from any builders out there and what your totals are. It's not a competition, I'm only trying to judge progress. I don't believe I'm taking any short cuts, but my total hours seem low.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Wings - 18 Landing Light Installation

6 hours, 314 hours total. Man, tough couple of days with the installation of the landing light. Finally finished with a lot of consultation. This was not an easy task, in my opinion.

First task was to assemble the landing light ribs. Pretty easytasking. Installation of the gorunding wire, grommets and doubler plate/
 View from the rear after probably 5 hours of frustration. The instructions say to install using AN3-3 bolts and 'aeroled washers'. I found the bolts but could not locate the washers. I searched through the kit and found a packet with the washers and two allan head screws. Aw, I decide, this is probably what I need to use. Wrong. Soon as I attempted to tighten the screws the allan wrench would slip. I couldn't get the screws to tighten down. Next morning after doing some research I discover that Van's doesn't use the screws that come with the kit and instead provide the AN3-3's.....because of space limitations.

Next morning I attempt the install one more time. Still couldn't get the light tightened with the provided hardware. I then decided to switch out the AN960-10L washer with a AN960-10 and presto. it worked!!

I honestly do not know how you would install once the wings were covered.

View form the rear after installation. Instructions say tie wrap as necessary- I just followed the pictorial in the Van's instructions.

 One hour later, lens installed!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wings - 17

15 hours, 308 hours total
02/09/2014 - Another productive weekend. I was able to get 15 hours in between Friday and today.

Friday I cleco'd the W-1201-1202 and 1203 panels to the top-side skeleton. Only the first five leading edge rivets are installed at this time.

 This is a good view of the main spar, ribs and cleoco'd top skin.
 After the leading edge rivets were installed, I installed the two flaperon support brackets/hinges, parts W-1216B. Some of these rivets are difficult to install because of their location near the rear spar assembly.

 Following the installation of the two flaperon hinge brackets I installed the W-1201 inboard upper wing skin. This skin alone has about 400 rivets. The white stripe is primer overspray that will be cleaned up later.
 I still need to install the wing walk doubler plate on the inboard skin.
 The right wing houses the landing light. An option I chose to install. A template is provided to mark the location of the hole that needs to be cut in the outboard panel. This took awhile and a lot of patience. I used a step drill to drill four hours in upper, lower and left, right area of the cut-out. I then used left/right aviation snips to cut out the section. If I had to do it again I would have used a thin cut dremel blade to make the cut. It turned out pretty well.
 A view from the backside.
 In addition to the cut out, lens mounting holes are located and drilled along with holes for the landing light ribs. The lens was match drilled and in this picture is cleco'd in place. You can see the wiring behind the lens.
 Pictures of the landing light ribs and lens brackets after nut-plate installation.
 Prior to removing the cleco'd lens from the landing light location, I marked the lens for trim per the instructions.
 And three hours later, the finished product. I used a dremel with a thin cut saw blade to trim the lens. I then used a dremel sander, 220 grit followed by 600 grit wet sand paper to smooth the edges. I'm happy with the finished product. Thanks Tito for the advice!
 Primed light mounting hardware as identified above
 And a final view-
And finally, the fuselage kit order has been placed with Van's. That should arrive in 8 to 10 wings. I should be ready by then!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wings - 16

2/01/2014 11 hours, 293 hours total
I has been while since my last post, but I am making some good progress. I was able to spend a good portion of Friday out in the garage, and 4 hours today. This is work on the right wing. I installed wing panels W1201, W1203 and W1202 in that order. This included deburring, sanding the edges and corners of each of the panels and then priming. Once that was complete I cleco'd each of the panels, final drilled the holes and then deburred each of the holes. Finally, the panels were riveted to the wing skeleton. I wing is ready to flip so flaperon hindges can be installed along with the three top panels.

View of the bottom side of the right wing- rivets all installed. Blue protective covering still in place to minimize scratches.

 These pictures illustrate how crowded the garage is becoming. On the upper left of the picture you can see the tail section covered up for protection. Upper right is the vetical stabilizer. Below that is the left wing in the wing cradle. And behind the left wing is the stabilator which is not visible. And of course, the right wing sitting on the work benches.

 There is some room to move around, not bad.
 As soon as the wings are complete, all subassemblies will be moved into storage. One of the EAA chapter members has volunteered some space in his hanger.

Drum roll- as soon as I fimish this post I'm going to order the Fuselage kit. That will take 8 - 10 weeks to arrive. Considering the progress I made over the past couple of days, maybe I should have ordered sooner. I still have to finish installing the upper wing panels; install the wing tip close-out; Install the wing tip position lights; install the landing light; and finally build the flaperons. Seems like a lot of work, maybe my timing is correct!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wings - 15

12/31/2013 13 hours - 282 hours total - Did about as much as I'm going to do to the left wing at this point. Everything is done with the exception of sealing the position light fairing and building and installing the flaperons, I need to clear some space in the garage in order to work. Built a wing stand today so this should help.

First, I drilled out five rivets to place the narrow close out under the wider skin. I had messed that up.

 Finished installing the rivets for the flaperon hinge bracket.
Flox/Expoxied the postion light fairing.
 Installed the wing close out nut plates and associated cover.Not thrilled now this turned out- Wing panel is indentied in this area....ever so slightly- disappears when cover is removed.
 Added a little flox/Epoxy to these to mounting holes. The edge distance was a concern to me.
Finally, today I completed a wing stand for both of the wings. Soon as I get a second set of hands I'll load the left wing onto the sling to clear off the work bench so I can get started on the flaperons.

12/19/2013 12 hours - 269 hours total - I'm 48 weeks into the project. I'd hoped to average 8 hours per week to stay on my self imposed schedule. It looks like I'm averaging about 5.6 hours per week- not to bad considering I'm still working and have other obligations....January 6th will mark the first year anniversary of the project.

It's been a couple of weeks since my last post. I have been making progress - just not a lot to report. In this segment I complete the wing tip close-out and get ready to install the wing tip position light and strobe.

Okay, the first thing I did was fit up all the wing tip skins. In this picture you are looking at the forward wing tip after forming up the forward wing tip rib. You're looking at the forward upper skin ans wing tip rib after fluting to form the tip rib shape. I don't care for the exposed cut outs- you can see six in this picture. This is typical of what I've seen on other RV-12's.
 In this photo you're looking at the forward and aft wing tip ribs cleoco'd in position.
 This is bottom center outboard, wing close out panel. I took this picture because I was surprised by the gap. It is in a perfect location to allow moisture to drain out, just a little surprising. The close out panel has about 30 tabs that all need to be nebt to a particular angle. You can see the shape and angles of the lower side wing and the need to bend the tabs for a correct rivet joint.
After final drilling all the holes I removed all wing tip subassemblies and primed the interior sides. I then reassembled and riveted all the pieces in place. I also prepped the wing-tip strobe and position light fairing. These items are options in the RV-12 kit package.That piece is cleocoed in place. 
 In this view you can see the wing-tip and strobe fairing in place. You also get a good view of the wing close-out panel and wing-tip handle. The wings of the RV-12 are designed to easily remove the wings for transport to and from the airport, hense the handle. I'll have someone help flip the wing so it's resting on the top side. Per instructions I need to apply flox/epoxy to the section of the fairing that contacts the forward tip rib. I'll also need to apply fuel tank sealant to the fairing where it mates to the close out panel. I ordered all these supplies from Aircraft Spruce. The packages arrived today.
 One more view of the close out panel near the trailing edge.
 Nearly a complete left wing. I'm going to assemble both left and right flaperons before beginning work on skinning the right wing. After the flaperons I'll build a carrier for the wings for 'easy' transport/movement. I'm thinking probably first of the year I'll order the fuselage kit.