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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Right Fuel Tank - 1/10/2007
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Final drilled the tank to wing spar screw holesFinal drilled the tank to wing spar screw holes
I used a #19 drill bit to final drill all the holes where the tank screws to the main spar, plus the holes where the tank screws to the W-919 splice strip.
Final drilled the W-919 splice stripFinal drilled the W-919 splice strip
This also called for a #19 Drill bit. This is where the side of the tank will screw into place, next to the leading edge.
Time to remove the temporary pop-rivets from the Z anglesTime to remove the temporary pop-rivets from the Z angles
I used my spring loaded punch to push the nail in the pop-rivet out of the way so I could drill out the pop-rivet with my #30 drill bit. This was a little bit tedious since the temporary pop-rivets did not apparently realize that they were “temporary”.
Started work on drilling the rivet holes for the nutplatesStarted work on drilling the rivet holes for the nutplates
I put on the tank attach bolts through the hole of the Z angle and into the nutplates, but not all the way in. Then I lined everything up and drilled on the rivet holes and put a cleco into it. Then it was just a matter of drilling out the other hole, using the nutplate as a drill guide. Now, only 17 more nutplates to do!
Getting ready to rivet on the tank attach nutplatesGetting ready to rivet on the tank attach nutplates
The bag that contained the nutplates for the Z angles only had enough to do the Z angles. I freaked out because I thought that that bag should surely have the three nutplates for the main spar tank attachments as well. But nooooo…. After a considerable amount of time digging in all the containers, I found the #1920 bag contents that had some more of these same nutplates. I love the description “Wing Bellcrank and Misc”. I guess it means “If you cain’t find it anywhere, look in here”. OK, enough ranting. I countersunk the holes in the main spar for the flat-head rivets that hold the nutplates.
Thanks to my 11 year old riveting genius of a son, we riveted on the nutplates behind the spar.
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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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