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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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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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 Wing Skins - 3/27/2007
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Countersunk the main sparCountersunk the main spar
I countersunk all of the remaining holes in the main spar. This took a while because I had to let my (piece of crap) non-oiled compressor cool off between countersinking sessions. When I build my next RV, I'm going to buy an oiled 60 gallon compressor and put this one out in the hangar for airing up tires. As I went along, I checked the depth of my holes with a piece of dimpled scrap sheet metal.
Dimpled the splice stripDimpled the splice strip
For the large dimples, I used my "aligator" hand squeezers from ATS to make a nice dimple in the splice strip. These squeezers are so strong that they prevent craters from forming around these larger dimples.
Dimpled the nutplates for the splice stripDimpled the nutplates for the splice strip
I used my female dimple die with the small outside radius to put a dimple in each end of the nutplates.
Countersunk the nutplate dimplesCountersunk the nutplate dimples
I used my cheapy electric screwdriver with a countersink bit to put a countersink into the dimple from the previous picture. Then I checked the fit on the splice strip.
Riveted on the nutplates to the splice stripRiveted on the nutplates to the splice strip
I put a small piece of wood between the splice strip and my bench sander base to prevent the strip from scooting around while I was riveting the nutplates on.
Removed the blue plastic film from the leading edge skinRemoved the blue plastic film from the leading edge skin
Time for the old soldering iron/ruler routine.
Getting ready to dimple the Leading Edge RibsGetting ready to dimple the Leading Edge Ribs
I like to use my ATS hand squeezer for this part. ATS had a metal stand that you can buy that allows you mount the hand squeezer to a work bench. I decided to make my own out of some metal flower bed liner. Works pretty good. I'm also using the special female dimple die with the small outside radius for dimpling the ribs. This small radius prevents the dimple die from bending the flange of the rib during the dimpling process. I found the large metal rods and carter keys at Lowes in their special screws and bolts section.
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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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