Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft Howdeeeeee! I'm building an RV-9A from Van's Aircraft. Take your shoes off and sit a spell.
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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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Fix a Heavy Wing
Paint Possibilities
Right Fuel Tank - 1/5/2007
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Pop-riveted the attach angles to the tank assemblyPop-riveted the attach angles to the tank assembly
I clecoed the 2 end ribs of the tank assembly to the outer attach angles from the inside. Then I put these temporary pop-rivets in 2 holes on each bracket. You’ll notice that the pop-rivet gun has the top part of the nose grinded off to allow it to get into position.
Clecoed the tank on to the right wing sparClecoed the tank on to the right wing spar
You’ll notice here that I didn’t put some of the 3/32" clecos in because they hit the reinforcement bars of the main spar. The weird part about this is that when I put the left tank on the spar on the other wing, the tank wouldn’t go down all the way. I had to pull down on the 1/8” clecos on each side for it to be slowly pulled down into position. Here, the right tank just plopped right into position by itself. Go figure.
Nice fit!Nice fit!
There is a tiny gap where the tank meets the lower skin, but I know now from working on the other wing that it will fit snuggly when the tank is finally installed.
Clecoed the main spar to the tank Z bracketsClecoed the main spar to the tank Z brackets
I put one 3/16" cleco into each tank bracket and drilled the holes into the brackets of the fuel tank using the main spar as a drill guide. I tried to not push too hard while drilling. I didn't want the Z tank brackets to push over on the other side of the main.
Drilled the holes into the W-919 Joint PlateDrilled the holes into the W-919 Joint Plate
The W-919 Joint Plate is also called the "splice strip" in the instructions. I used a #30 drill bit for these holes. The instructions don’t indicate the drill size. It just says to "Drill the screw holes". I know that these holes will be drilled out again later for the screws and nutplates using a #19 drill bit.
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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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