Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft  
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RV Construction Log
Preparation
Empennage
- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
- Rudder (32:15)
- Right Elevator (35:45)
- Left Elevator (30:50)
Wings
- 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
- 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
(17:30)

- 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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Paint Possibilities
Horizontal Stabilizer - 8/28/2005
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Enlarged the pre-punched 1/8 holes using a #30 drill bit  Enlarged the pre-punched 1/8 holes using a #30 drill bit
I drilled out the spar/rib holes using a regular #30 drill bit until I got to the front ribs. Then I switched to a 12 inch #30 drill bit so I could drill a straight hole.
Sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand......Sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand, sand......
I read in the instruction manual where it said the sanding is the toughest and most time consuming part of the construction process. They weren't kidding. The outside edges weren't so bad because I could make a couple of passes over the Scotchbrite wheel and then smooth it out with some 400 grit sandpaper. But the holes were a different story, sanding these dudes took a really long time. I rounded off the edges with a tougher grit of sandpaper and then finished it off with the sponge sandpaper with a finer grit.
Cut out the jig cradle blocks provided with the kitCut out the jig cradle blocks provided with the kit
I used my jigsaw to cut out the jigs, following the pre-drawn line on the 3/8" plywood. Then I mounted the jigs on some "2 bys" that were laying around the shop. Then I rounded off all the edges and sanded down the area where I made the cut to make sure the skins would slide easily into them.
Starting clecoing in the front ribsStarting clecoing in the front ribs
The skin didn't seem to want to go into the jigs, so I lightly squeezed the trailing edge together and only went partially down into the jigs.
Finished clecoing in the ribs and sparsFinished clecoing in the ribs and spars
The more parts I clecoed in, the more the skin dropped into the jigs, by itself. Then I ran out of clecos. Oops, no more piddees. I got on Aircraft Spruces website and ordered 400 more 3/32" clecos. That ought to get me through the rest of the of project. UPDATE: 4/17/2006I'm working on the left wing now and the 600 clecos ain't gonna be enough.,
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A website designed for Van's Aircraft Homebuilders, helping them find the information they need to build the most dynamic aircraft in the world.
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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.
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