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)
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Pop-Rivet Dimpler 101
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Forward Assembly - 4/13/2009
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Riveted the F-684 Gussets to the vertical firewall anglesRiveted the F-684 Gussets to the vertical firewall angles
I started off using my longeron yoke until it wouldn't reach anymore and then switched to my 4 inch no-hole yoke. These 4 inch yokes have saved my builders butt more than once!
Riveted the F-9101 Gear Attach Web to the F-902 bulkhead Riveted the F-9101 Gear Attach Web to the F-902 bulkhead
Whoa, hold the phone! There is reference on the drawing about drilling a hole. Turns out there is fitting that goes in that there hole. I drilled it out with my unibit and then riveted the parts together.
Riveted the F-719 and F-719B Stiffener and Angle ClipRiveted the F-719 and F-719B Stiffener and Angle Clip
These rivets are right up next to the angle of this stiffener. I decided to use my itty bitty die set from Averys (shown by the green arrow). This die set is part of an assorted group of die sets that has really come in handy, especially when working with problem rivets. I found that I can play around with the different sizes to find the "sweet spot" on the pneumatic squeezer to allow it to perform a squeeze.
Rivet the F-719 to the vertical angle of the firewallRivet the F-719 to the vertical angle of the firewall
No biggy here.
Head scratching time againHead scratching time again
The instructions say to: "Pre-rivet the F-904H Center Section Side Plate to the F-970 skin. A few key rivets are set at this time, because they will be very difficult to reach when the skin is installed on the fuselage. These rivets are right next to the spar entry cut-out. Set the upper five rivets forward of the spar cut-out, leaving the lowest one open .. it will be riveted when the skin goes on. Set the six rivets aft of the spar cut-out." As you can see on the center section side plate, there are 7 rivet holes forward and 6 holes aft. So if you leave the bottom hole unriveted on the forward side, that leaves 6 rivets to be set on both the fore and aft side. Picky picky...
Time to start riveting!Time to start riveting!
There a few preliminary steps in the instructions now, all of which I've already done. I love the next instruction... "Rivet the F-970 side skins to the fuselage." I was hoping for a little more "hand holding", but it looks it's all up to me now. OK, I'm going in... cover me...
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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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