Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft  
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Howdy! I building an RV-9A! I'm an aviation nut and am excited about building my RV-9A from Van's Aircraft. Have a look around!
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ID: Pswd: RV-6A RV6A RV6 RV-6A RV7A RV7 RV-9A RV-9 RV9 RV-8A RV-8 RV8 RV-10 RV10 aviation aircraft Van's Aircraft RV8 RV8A RV-8 RV-8A RV-6 RV6 RV-6A RV6A RV-9 RV-9A RV9 RV9A RV10 RV-10 aopa eaa aviation experimental homebuilt airplane aircraft plane oshkosh
RV Construction Log
- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
- Rudder (32:15)
- Right Elevator (35:45)
- Left Elevator (30:50)
- Inventory & Setup (9:30)
- Left Wing Prep (54:30)
- Left Fuel Tank (45:20)
- Left Wing Skins (46:10)
- Right Wing Prep (34:15)
- Right Fuel Tank (47:50)
- Right Wing Skins (40:15)
- Ailerons (54:30)
- Flaps (40:30)
- Rods and ends (18:45)
- Fuselage Parts List
- Inventory and Setup (7:15)
- FireWall (14:30)
- F-704 Bulkhead (13:25)
- F-705 Bulkhead (14:20)
- Other Bulkheads
   and Longerons

- Tailcone (29:30)
- Center Section (35:15)
- Forward Section (52:40)
- Forward Assembly (24:30)
- Skins/Baggage Area (46:30)
- Seats & Seat Floors (30:15)
- Flaps & Gear Mounts (18:15)
- Fuselage Plumbing (14:0)
- Tail Feathers (16:35)
- Front Deck/Firewall (58:50)
Finish Kit
- Electrical (57:30)
- Electrical Part 2 (24:0)
- Canopy (22:30)
- Landing Gear (18:35)
How I Did Stuff
Pop-Rivet Dimpler 101
My Wing Jig
My Wing Cradle
Wing Cradle Mod
Tilting Tank Jig
Delrin Aileron Stops
Nutplate Preparation
Fiberglass 101
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Van's Aircraft
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RV Photo Album
RV-7/9A Drawings
Nut & Bolt Torque Values
Misc Goodies
Fuselage Parts List
How to Land an RV
My Tools
Fix a Heavy Wing
Paint Possibilities
Books and Tools for Building an RV Experimental Aircraft

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First Required Tool for Building an RV:
A Brain (use your noodle) - A rarely used tool by some builders, as we have seen by reading some of the goodies on various RV Group postings.

RULE #1: Real men don't need no stinking instructions(or help)! (WRONG!)

Always be ready to ask for help from other builders and to learn how to think outside the box.

 Books - Back to the TOP!
Sportplane Construction Techniques - Tony Bingelis
Great book by the best in homebuilding! Includes prepararations for building, best practices, fiberglassing, interiors, avionic, canopies and more.
AeroElectric Connection - Bob Nuckolls
AeroElectric Connection, by Bob Nuckolls is the number one resource for the design, installation, or restoration of an aircraft electrical system. It is complete, thorough, and easy to understand.
Flight Testing Homebuilt Aircraft - Vaughan Askue
Now that it's built, how well will it fly? "Flight Testing Homebuilt Aircraft" tells how to test such aircraft systematically and safely, with professional results..
Kit Airplane Construction
Featuring new and classic kitplane designs, this proven bestseller is the most current and comprehensive resource available on choosing, building, and flying homebuilt planes.
Stick and Rudder - Wolfgang Langewiesche
An Explanation of the Art of Flying.
Your Pilot's License, Eighth Edition - Jerry Eichenberger
Written in an easy-to-understand style by a certified flight instructor, Your Pilot's License, Eighth Edition is filled with practical advice to help you understand what it takes to learn how to fly an airplane.

 Clecos/Fasteners - Back to the TOP!
3/32" Clecos
I ended up with about 1,200 of these guys, but still ran out now and then.
1/8" Clecos
I had about 250 of these guys.
3/16" Clecos
I only needed a handful of these.
5/32" Clecos
I only needed a handful of these.
1/2" Side Grip Fastener
I only needed a handful of these.
1" Side Grip Fastener
I only needed a handful of these.
Cleco Pliers
I bought 3 of these, for "visitors" who want to stand around and talk. I put them to work.
Sheet Metal Hand Seamer

 Compressors - Back to the TOP!
30-Gallon Belt Driven Air Compressor
This is the compressor that I should have bought. The motor requires oil to be added to it occasionally and drives the compressor unit with a belt. It's much quieter and lasts longer than the non-oiled compressor. The cost is about the same as well. I'll get one when I build my next RV.
Air Control Gauge (regulator)
You'll drive yourself nuts changing your air driven tools out and resetting pressures. I bought several of these regulators and put them inline on the garage wall. One set for drilling, one for painting and one for riveting. Starting with highest setting first and then working my way down.
Air Swivel Regulator
This Air Swivel Regulator is handy for tweeking the air pressure right at the rivet gun.

 Rivet Guns - Back to the TOP!
Rivet Gun (2X)
I have heard that some builders ordered a 2X Rivet Gun (which doesn't hit as hard as the 3X) and then had to order the 3X Rivet Gun to get the punch they needed for the larger rivets.
Rivet Gun (2X)
The 3X Rivet Gun is more powerful for situations where you need more ooomph (is that a word?).

 Bucking Bars - Back to the TOP!
Bucking Bar
I used this bucking bar the most. I have other bucking bars, but only bought others when I ran into tough spots that the regular bar couldn't handle.

 Rivet Sets - Back to the TOP!
Rivet Set
These guys will handle all the rivets to be driven.
Back Rivet Set
These rivet sets are used for back riveting flush rivets on RV control surfaces and other homebuilts.
Extended 12" Back Rivet Set (Double Offset)
This back rivet set is for riveting the skins onto the ribs inside the wings.
Air Swivel Regulator
This Air Swivel Regulator is handy for tweeking the air pressure right at the rivet gun.

 Drilling - Back to the TOP!
3/8-Inch Reversible Pneumatic Drill with Keyed Chuck
A must for working with metal. Electric drills just don't get the high RPMs needed for working with metal.
Microstop Countersink Kit W/Pilot Cutter
Some rivets and screws have to be put in flush with the surface you're working on. This cool tool allows you put in multiple countersinks that are all the same depth, thanks to the adjustable cage around the countersink bit. It's used with a pneumatic drill.
Unibit - 3/16-Inch to 7/8-Inch 3/8-Inch Shank Step Drill Bit
This Unibit is a great way to make big holes in a hurry without beating your material (or yourself) to death.
Unibit - 1/4-Inch to 1-3/8-Inch 1/2-Inch Shank Step Drill Bit
The firewall requires this big dude.
Pneumatic Angle Drill
Sorry guys. Ya' can't do without this dude. It will save you a lot of cussin'.
Threaded Drill Bits #40, #30, #21, #12
Here are the thread bits to use with the Pneumatic Angle drill.

 Dimpling and Squeezing Rivets - Back to the TOP!
Squeezer Set 3/32" : 1/8" : 5/32" : 3/16"
These little dudes are expensive, butcha' gotta have em'.
Pop Rivet Dimple Die 3/32"
Sometimes it's tough to get your hand rivet squeezer into some tight places to make a dimple. These guys solve that problem. Here a tutorial.
Rivet Length And Shop Head Gauge Set
Set of four shop head gauges plus one rivet length gauge for -3, -4, -5, and -6 rivets. Measures rivet length as well as minimum height and minimum diameter of shop heads after setting. Works for both universal head and flush rivets.
3 inch Hand Rivet Squeezer
This 3 inch Hand Rivet Squeezer should be able to handle the majority of the rivets in the building process.

 Painting - Back to the TOP!

 Metal Working Tools - Back to the TOP!
120-Volt 6-Inch Bench Grinder
You don't need an expensive bench grinder, especially since you'll be working with light aluminum. Remove one wheel and replace it with a Scotch-Brite Deburring wheel.
Scotch-Brite Deburring Wheel, 6 in x 1 in x 1
Ya' gotta' have one. You will use the snot out of this wheel, making your parts and smoothing rough edges that may cut you (and others).
9 Inch Band Saw
This is a small band saw. It's all you need for cutting aluminum.
Wiss Snips Left & Straight
For left sheet metal cutting.
Wiss Snips Right & Straight
For right sheet metal cutting.
























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This website was built to document the construction of an RV-9A in compliance with the FAA requirements needed to certify the aircraft. Any experiences and/or comments are by no means to be considered as instructions on how to build an RV-9A or any other aircraft. Please read our Disclosure for details.
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