Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Top Skins

by Brian Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ohh, shinny! We've got the top of the wing fastened on and we're getting one billion clecos in. We had this huge Folgers coffee container full of clecos and I thought we were going to run out. There were only 15 left when we were done with the whole inboard and outboard wing skin. =O What a hand work out too! You have to put them all in, drill all the holes, move the clecos over one hole so you can then drill those holes and then take them all out. Whew! Now we get to deburr everything since we've got the counter sinking out of the way for the 30 or so holes on the inboard wing skin that need it.

In hindsight, we shouldn't have pulled all of the protective vinyl off the skin. We decided to keep it on for the other wing, as it reduces the amount of scratches while dimpling and deburring.

Section 16 - Top wing skin is clecoed in place to prepare for match drilling and dimpling

Rear Spar

by Brian Monday, November 08, 2010

The rear spar has been fastened on (the long blue piece). It's rewarding to see the wing actually starting to take shape.

Section 15 - Rear Spar

Visit from a great guy

by Brian Saturday, November 06, 2010

When I first dreamed up the idea of building a kit plane, I scoured the internet for information because I didn't know anything about it at all. I read for 3 days straight and, instead of getting the information I was seeking, it just prompted about 3x more questions! I found the good book of the RV builder white pages and looked for someone who lived in our city of Marietta, GA. If found a listing for Jim 'Nomad' Lawerence and gave him a call. I never would have guessed that I would have been able to pull a name off of this list randomly and get the most amazingly friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced person. I sure did though. Jim answered my barrage of questions and was instrumental for me taking the next few steps to get the seedling of an idea into a little sprout. I had to call Jim a month or so later and ask him some more things. Then I called him again and probably a couple more times after that. :) Jim has been one of the biggest aides to our project and Brandi and I are deeply grateful.

We finally got to meet Jim in person when he agreed to come check out our progress. What a great guy. We enjoyed his visit and he gave us good feedback and a good morale boost to the project. He noticed an RV-10 picture we had hung on the wall, of which we really like the paint scheme and the look in general - we had no idea whose plane it was or where the builder was located. Jim says, "Hey, I know that plane!" Turns out its owner lives a few towns over! What a small world.

Aileron hinge brackets

by Brandi Friday, November 05, 2010

The aileron hinge brackets are complete. They took longer than we thought they would. We had to do a lot of deburring since there are three plates in each one.

flap and aileron brackets

Moving along nicely

by Brandi Saturday, October 30, 2010

We've finished Section 13 for both the left and right wing and completed Section 14 for the left wing. The parts are coming together and it's starting to look like we're actually working on a wing. How exciting! =D

Section 14 - Left Wing

Total Wing Kit Hours: 64

RV-10 owner visit

by Brian Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This weekend we visited Pierre, who is an RV-10 owner here in Georgia. We rented a Cessna and flew out to visit. We had such a good time on the flight out there, but the real fun began when he gave us a ride in his -10! I'm grinning again right now just thinking about it. What a machine! Riding in one again just re-confirms we are building the right plane. Thank you for your kindness and hospitality, Pierre!

While we were out, we visited Ray Lawerence, who was only a quick hop away from Pierre. We checked out his shop and chatted with him and asked a million newbie questions. It was a great learning experience. Ray does all kinds of work on RVs. He also does insurance and is a distributor for several avionics manufacturers. Theres not much this guy doesnt do thats RV related. Thanks for letting us visit, Ray!

We left East Georgia and flew into PDK (Peachtree Dekalb), which was about as busy as an airport as I've ever had to fly into. I was nervous because the radio chatter was going a million miles an hour since there was so much going on. We did fine though and got parked and got our buddy Gavin to pick us up since we were attending a bday party for his 2 yr old son. Gavin and Jane live only a few miles from the airport so it was convenient. The bday party was fun and it was kind of neat watching 5 2-4 year olds run around stuffing cake in their face and just being kids. We left PDK for a very enjoyable quick night flight home. There was a gorgeous sunset and we were very close to the Atlanta city scape so the lights on all the buildings made a wonderful foreground to the sunset.

Unfortunately, something happened with the memory card in our camera and we lost all the pictures from the last week. Bummer. Guess we'll just have to do it all over again! Yay!

Wing building well under way

by Brian Monday, October 25, 2010

We're almost done with section 13 for both wing spars now. Section 13 involves lots of counter sinking and lots of nut plate attachment.

Never ending counter sinking

Wings In & Over Atlanta

by Brandi Thursday, October 14, 2010

Our wings are coming! They're scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. =D I'm so excited that I can't see straight!

Also, while working from home today, I got to witness the local AFB preparing for the Wings Over Atlanta airshow that's going on this weekend. I looked up once, while sitting at the computer, and saw 4 Blue Angels fly by in formation! =D We're planning to attend the show on Sunday. Pics to come!


by Brian Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We started out with very few tools so most of the things needed to do this project had to be purchased. Theres a lot to be said about nice quality tools. Theres also a lot to be said about saving a buck. With that said, a lot of the things that I would consider ancillary were inexpensive tools purchased from Harbor Freight. I think most of them will be fine.

Here's a list of what we bought and the rough cost. These prices were as of 2010 and of course would change over time. Take this for what its worth. It's just to give a general starting idea of what tools were needed and roughly how much someone could spend on the cheap side (with the exception of the Isham tool kit). We got the more expensive tool kit from Isham that included the pneumatic squeezer and other nice goodies.


Needed From Cost
Air Compressor Harbor Freight $137.00
Isham Tool Kit $2,550.00
Bench Grinder Harbor Freight $34.00
Scotch-Brite 6" Wheels   $48.00
Drill Press - 12 speed Harbor Freight $124.00
Circular Saw Harbor Freight $34.00
Folding Saw Horses (2) Harbor Freight $20.00
Rolling cart Harbor Freight $55.00
Air Hose Reel/filters/adapters Harbor Freight/Home Depot $125.00
Toolbox Harbor Freight $140.00
Misc Harbor Freight $100.00
Clamps (various size and types) Harbor Freight $40.00
Adjustable Set Holder for Squeezer Avery $60.00
Rivet Spacer & #30/#40 Reamers Aircraft Spruce $35.00
Digital Caliper Harbor Freight $10.00
Torque wrench (in lbs) Harbor Freight $20.00
Total $3,532.00


by Brian Monday, October 04, 2010

The wing kit should arrive in a week or so now and I'm so excited I can hardly wait. In our downtime we had plenty of time to research wing accessories and components. Decided to go with the leading edge HID landing lights from Duckworks, heated pitot, and auto pilot servos from Dynon. The nav and strobe lighting still needs to be decided on but theres plenty of time before those need to be installed. I made the wing stand this weekend. Piece of cake! My little sister Hannah helped out a bit. Thanks Hannah!

Doing ADs already

by Brian Friday, September 10, 2010

When the manufacturer of a plane or kit plane find flaws they issue an AD, which is an air worthiness directive. It means you have to fix it. Since we aquired a mostly completed tailcone that had been built awhile back, there was an outstanding AD on the tailcone. Just bought it and already had to drill out several rivets. Its a bit of an unsettling thought because we didnt have much practice drilling out rivets and secondly, who wants to drill holes in a nicely completed and primed tailcone?

We got most of the rivets drilled out. We took turns drilling and then near the end we streamlined it by me drilling and Brandi using a punch to pry the heads off and then hammer the shop end of the rivet through. It made me really happy to see us slip into teamwork on the project already and so effortlessly. The fun part is going to be watching Brandi crawl into the tailcone to drill out those hard to reach rivets. Pictures to follow :)


Edit: I crawled in there so the joke is on me :(  haha

Toolbox complete!

by Brian Thursday, September 09, 2010

We completed the toolbox last night. I'm almost embarrassed of it. I think I will name it frankentoolbox haha. It served its purpose though and that was for us to learn how to do things on. It turns out Brandi is pretty pro with AN470 style (cupped) rivets and I am better with the flush rivets. I'm excited that we both have our strengths and I think that will empower us through this build.


Empennage Cheating

by Brian Thursday, August 05, 2010

We found a 95% completed empennage kit for sale and decided to go for it. We saved a few bucks and also got to meet a really amazing guy in the process. Sometimes we regret not building the kit for the experience of it but we'll get lots of build time in the normal build wings (as opposed to quick build).

EAA Workbenches

by Brian Sunday, August 01, 2010

We built two of the 'EAA Workbenches'. We put a strip of carpet on top (its not attached but it stays in place just fine). I recommend that anyone building these workbenches should make the table top bigger so there's a lip around all ends for clamping things to.

EAA Chapter 1000 Standardized Work Tables

Workshop construction

by Brian Monday, July 26, 2010

We needed a place to build the plane and everything I've read said have a shop at home rather than somewhere you had to drive to. All we had was a carport so we decided to fill that in and turn it into a garage/workshop. My dad flew out from Arizona to head up the construction and with his help and the help from my cousin Evan and my sister Hannah we knocked it all out in about 3 weeks. Thanks everyone who helped!

Its a tight fit at times so far but its getting the job done at ~19' x 19'. I had a really hard time finding out what is the minimum size work space someone could build an RV-10 in so hopefully this will help someone out there. So far in the build, I think it could be done in about this size but no less. This is because once we get to the part where we have to mount the tailcone to the fuse we will have to cattycorner it and any smaller and it wouldn't quite fit.


by Admin Sunday, July 18, 2010

Brandi's working on getting this site up and going and Brian is researching propellers and instruments for the panel. So far we have built two EAA work benches, received our test Toolbox Kit from Van's and ordered the RV Builder Tool Kit. Brian's dad is coming into town next weekend to help us work on building the workshop. This week we're going to place the order for the wing kit and, in about 3 weeks, we're driving to Ohio to purchase a 95% complete Empennage kit.

RV10 Build Log

by Brian Friday, January 01, 2010

Checkout our various build log posts using the categories below or in the right hand menu.