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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Tech Counselor Visit – 1.0 hr

October 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Thursday Oct 6, 2011

I had a visit from an EAA Tech Counselor tonight – David Prizio. In addition to being a Tech Counselor I learned that David is also a writer for Kit Planes Magazine. Very cool. This being my first Tech Counselor inspection I was a little bit nervous. It turns out he was pleased with what he saw and commented that he felt a little guilty about not finding anything he could recommend should be fixed. I take that as a positive report. Thanks David.

Categories: General

A Tip About Instructions

Tuesday May 3, 2011

One of the things I don’t like about the build instructions from Vans is the format. Its laid out in a prose style and I work better with a step-by-step style. So one thing I have been doing since I started the wing kit is scan the instructions into my computer and convert the image to text with an OCR program and then save to Word format where I can reformat and edit them. It’s really easy then to format them into a step by step checklist like you see below. Then I can check off each step as I complete it and even add special notes or instructions if I am deviating from the standard build like adding flop tubes for example. That’s a tip other builders might want to try. It helps me plan my steps, me see my progress, and avoid missing steps by accident.

Reformated instructions

Categories: General

Back from Vacation

April 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Friday Apr 22, 2011

Well I’m back from vacation – at least physically. I can’t say my body has caught up with the Pacific Daylight time zone yet though. Denise and I spent about 11 days in Israel seeing the country and visiting my daughter who is studying abroad there. She is coming back in two weeks but she had time to be our tour guide.

Here we are at the Mount of Olives looking back over the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Far from the RV7A Factory

We arrived back home around noon today and I was so jet lagged that I couldn’t really build anything I would want to fly in so I just finished the inventory of the fuselage parts. Everything was there except one J-channel. My kit has five instead of the six listed on the bill of materials. I’ll call Vans about that on Monday.

Categories: General

Waiting for the Wing Kit

August 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Sunday August 8, 2010

Still waiting on the wing kit. According to Vans it should ship this week.

Categories: General

Preparing for the Wings – 2 Hrs

July 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Sunday July 25, 2010

If it seems like there have been fewer post lately you are right. Since I finished the empennage I am now waiting on the delivery of the slow-build wing kit. I deliberately waited until the empennage was almost done before ordering the wing kit because I promised the wife there would be some non-airplane time between major kits. I also need to do some major repair work on one of my patio covers which has signs of rot so I planned an interval between empennage and wings during the dry summer weather to get that done. I started prying slats off the patio cover yesterday so I am making progress but I had a nasty case of bursitis this morning so I’ll have to let that recover before resuming the demolition work.

In the mean time I puttered in the garage cleaning up the work bench and hanging finished parts on the wall out of the way of damage. Here are the elevators which I hung on hooks on the side of the garage.

I hung the vertical stabilizer on the wall next to the work bench. Notice how nice the work bench looks now since I cleaned it off. Man that fiberglass dust gets everywhere when you are sanding.

This week I ordered a set of tank dimple dies from Cleveland Aircraft. These dies are slightly deeper than the standard set and are recommended by some builders for the rivets installed with Proseal in the fuel tanks. The standard dies will result in rivets that are not quite flush because of the thin Proseal layer. The tank dies help them sit flush. I also ordered a tail strobe light mounting plate. Some builders make this part from scratch but I don’t have any 0.25 aluminum stock so $17 for a finished part didn’t sound too bad. Those items should be here by Thursday this week.

Here is the area of the rudder bottom where the mounting plate will be installed.

Vans sent a letter stating that the wing kit should ship the week of August 8. In the mean time I am reviewing the build instructions in the Preview package and planning how I will lay out the jigs in the garage.

Categories: General

Back from Vacation

July 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Friday July 3, 2010

Well, I’m back from my vacation with the wife. In turned into a two week 3000+ mile road trip through six states including a stop in Aurora Oregon, the home of Vans Aircraft. We were planning to be within 300 miles of there anyway so I wanted to detour by for a tour of the factory and a demo flight in an RV-7A because I had never actually flown in the airplane type I am building. I know that’s weird.

Well the folks at Vans were very nice. Ken was our tour guide, walking us through the production operations in the manufacturing and kit packaging areas. Turns out Ken is the guy that narrates the RV Story video and has been with the company many years. When it came to the actual flight, he gave me a 20 minute demo ride and (don’t tell anyone because it’s not normal Vans policy) he also gave my wife a spin in the 7A. Ken said “she’s part of the team isn’t she”? How right he is. Here is a picture of Denise with Ken in the RV-7A preparing to depart. Why no picture of me? I’m the photographer in this family.

During my demo flight Ken took off, climbed out at about 2000 fpm and then trimmed out the airplane. Gliding over the beautiful green Oregon countryside he let me fly some relatively gentle maneuvers to get a feel of the machine. The controls were very responsive compared to the Cessna 172 I have been training in. Stick motion was almost imperceptible for gentle turns or climbs. After a few minutes of this Ken demonstrated a few stalls, steep turns and snap turns from +60 degree bank to -60 degree bank. I then piloted again back toward the pattern and he took it in for the landing.

My wife’s ride was similar although Ken was a little more gentle with her. No snap maneuvers. She did take the controls however and did some gentle turns. Boy was she stoked. It was a big boost to her morale and she is looking forward to our future RV-7A with a new measure of anticipation. Oh but I recall, there is still about 1500 hrs to go before that becomes a reality.

I bought a Vans T-shirt while I was there. Woo – hoo!

Categories: General

On Vacation

June 20, 2010 Leave a comment

No new posts for the next few days as I am on vacation with the wife.

Categories: General

Ordered the Wings!

May 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Yesterday I faxed an order to Vans for the RV7/A wings with a 25% deposit. I considered the quick build wings but the extra cost (at least $5500 including extra crating and shipping charges) was too high for me and I will certainly need that money later for the engine and/or avionics.  The lead time is listed as 10 weeks on the website so I expect delivery in early August. Another milestone on this exciting journey!

Categories: General

Chino RV Fly-In and Air Show – 10 AM to 3 PM

May 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Saturday 15 May, 2010

Today was the annual RV fly-in at Chino airport combined with the Planes of Fame air show. I drove out with my wife and one daughter. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go see some examples of RV workmanship and meet a few builders. Unfortunately the weather was overcast until about 10 AM which I’m sure reduced the number of RV’s at the event significantly. I counted about thirty RVs this year, about half as many as last year I was told. Here’s a nice RV7A. My wife Denise is in the picture for scale.

Here is a really sweet RV8 called Descending Dove.Very clean outside and inside, and a nice paint job. (That doll on the left is my daughter.)

I also met Ken Holcomb from Romona and saw his RV7. He offered his opinions on some of the options I have been thinking about like the tip-up canopy and manual elevator trim. His airplane is also very nice with  a Dynon D100 panel and a great paint job He did himself. He was more than gracious and kindly let my wife and I sit in his airplane for a few minutes. She wanted to see if it is too small for her to feel comfortable flying with me. Good news! She thought it was roomy enough. Ken offered to take me up sometime if I get to Romona. Nice guy. Somehow I think I may be heading that way soon.

There were also some nice warbird demonstrations at the show. Here is a shot of a P38 and a P51 on a low pass in formation. Altogether a nice day.

Categories: General

Compressor Box – 3.5 hrs

January 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Jan 17, 2010

Still waiting for the tool kit today so I used the time to build a sound box over my air compressor. It’s an oil-less 5 gallon job that makes a lot of racket so the idea of the box is to muffle the noise enough so it won’t make me deaf or drive me crazy (or the neighbors for that matter). I had most of the lumber lying around and so I knocked out the frame from 2×3’s. I had enough plywood to cover three sides and make a lid. That meant a run to Lowes where I bought a 2×4 foot piece of ½ inch plywood and another fluorescent shop light for the garage.  Good news – the box works pretty well. You can certainly hear it when it kicks in but it’s a minor annoyance now and I can easily hold a conversation while it’s running. The box is not very pretty because some of the old plywood was weathered but I didn’t want to spend a lot on it since I may eventually have to replace the smallish oil-less machine with a higher capacity, belt-drive cast iron compressor like many other builders have recommended.

Categories: General