Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft  
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Preparation
Empennage
- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
- Rudder (32:15)
- Right Elevator (35:45)
- Left Elevator (30:50)
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- Inventory & Setup (9:30)
- Left Wing Prep (54:30)
- Left Fuel Tank (45:20)
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- Right Wing Prep (34:15)
- Right Fuel Tank (47:50)
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Fuselage
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- 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
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Left Wing Prep - 3/23/2006
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Riveted the reinforcement fork and doubler plate to the rear sparRiveted the reinforcement fork and doubler plate to the rear spar
I used my Avery pneumatic rivet squeezer to rivet the W-907B reinforcement fork and W-907C doubler plate to the rear spar.
Riveted the W-907D doubler plate to the spar Riveted the W-907D doubler plate to the spar
This was a little spooky. The plans have (some) definite instructions as to which some of the rivets should not be put in yet. However, some of the rivet holes are hard to determined whether they should have rivets now. I went back to the instruction book and read "Some rivets in the rear spar reinforcements also attach ribs, aileron brackets, aileron gap fairings and the flap gap fairings". So I had to go to some other plan pages to see which other parts will get riveted on later. This was a little tough because the plans were a little vague on the attachment of these parts. I determine (as best as I could) that I could only put in the outer rivets at this time.
Riveted on the W-907E doubler plate to the sparRiveted on the W-907E doubler plate to the spar
Same story here. The plans definitely say to not rivet the countersunk holes now, but nothing about the 5 vertical holes next to them. I had to go another plan page to see that those 5 holes are going to be riveted later to bracket. So I left those alone. The other thing that was throwing me off was the size of the rivets. The instructions called for a number 5 rivet which seemed way to long for the hole. Just for grins, I stuck a number 4 rivet in the hole as saw that it was definitely too short to do the job. So I used the number 5 rivets. It was a little tough to make sure that these rivets didn't bend over during the squeeze.
Started work on the ribsStarted work on the ribs
Datsa' lotta' ribs! I'm a firm believer in marking everything with my blue sharpie. You'll see a lot of marks on my parts like "front", "back", "right", etc... A little CYA goes a long way later.
Started sanding the ribsStarted sanding the ribs
I am using these sponge sanding products. They work great at rounding off the edges of the metal. I use the Scotchbrite wheel where possible. Then I use the 320 grit sandpaper sponge on the spots that can't be reached by the Scotchbrite wheel. I also bought a sandpaper sponge that comes in a thin sheet. It allows me to get between the rib flanges on the corners. It's also great for sanding the rib holes.
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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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