Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Its official!

by Brian Sunday, June 10, 2012

Our airplane is officially certified to fly the skies now! We used Vic Syracuse as our DAR (FAA representative to do the air worthiness inspection) and he was excellent. Better than excellent. You couldnt pick a better person to look over your build unless it was Van himself! Vic has built 7 or so planes, including two RV-10s. He did a very thorough inspection and pointed out some things we had to fix and some things that were recommendations. We didnt have anything majorly wrong except I had the trim hooked up backwards! That was an easy fix but OOPS! I feel shame. The elevator trim should go the opposite direction of the elevator. For example, nose up trim should deflect the trim tab down. What a nasty one to have to have found out in flight, whew. What a relief to have that part out of the way. Now we look forward to first flight. Our good friend Pierre who is an Agricultural pilot (crop duster) and also owns a 10 offered to do our first flight. Since I'm a low time pilot it is wise for me to take him up on that offer despite the fact that I miss the symbolic first flight in a sense. I will still get my own first flight and I know its going to be amazing!

Every nut and bolt checked!

by Brian Friday, June 08, 2012

A BIG thanks to Keith for staying super late to help Brandi and I do one more look over of the plane from nose to tail in preparation for our inspection. Also thanks to Glynnis, his wife, for putting up with him :) 

Weight and Balance

by Brian Friday, June 08, 2012

We performed our initial flight weight and balance thanks to the help of David and Keith over at EAA chapter 268. They were nice enough to loan us some scales. We came in at 1541 lbs empty weight, which is pretty good I think. We'll pickup probably 50 more lbs as we add the rest of Brandi's interior panels down the road and then paint. So we'll have to redo the W&B then but for now we're in great shape. If we stay around 1600 when its all said and done then we'll have an 1100 lb useful load. As advertised this is enough for 4 people, fuel, and some baggage. Sweet!

Taxiing around the airport

by Brandi Monday, June 04, 2012

Tailcone Stowaway

by Brian Monday, May 28, 2012

We had some final wire routing and tidy work to complete in the tailcone and thank goodness for little Brandi because she squirmed her way all the way to the back of the tailcone. She managed to route all the wiring and secure it. With one hand. No light. Sweltering heat. And seemingly putting an advanced Pilates class to shame. Eventually I put a light in there for her though, so I'm sure it wasnt that bad after that. I'm such an excellent helper. Oh, I also shoved her cup of delicious iced orange juice in there to her to give her some relief at some point. She had drank all the oj earlier though so it was just mostly melted ice with a slight orange tint to it. I think it was probably delicious but Brandi didnt seem to want much of it. Probably because of her complete focus and dedication to the build. 

Homestretch killed the timelog

by Brian Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well, the time log is out the window at this point. Brandi and I have meticulously kept a time log to very precise measurements for the entire duration of our build over the last year and a half or so. At this point though, there would have to be a 3rd person just to record time because there are about 1,000 tiny little tasks that have been finished up on during the phase of the build that we are calling homestretch. With that said, we have increased our work output to probably at least triple our average, so nearly 300 hours of work per month between the two of us I would say during the final month or two until first flight. It sure is exciting. And draining. And worth every moment of it. 

First engine start

by Brian Wednesday, May 23, 2012

An impromptu engine start erupted yesterday afternoon, which has sent my motivation level skyrocketing. I have already been busting ass on the project because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel but after hearing that big bad 540 cubic inch Lycoming roar to life, its all I can think about now! It was AWESOME! Special thanks to all the usual hangar rats, Keith, Dan, Bill, Jim for being my mentors and pit crew. Next step is to taxi Brandi and I around the hangar block a few time as a special treat and reward for all the hard work that we've put into it so far. 

Wings attached!

by Brian Monday, May 14, 2012

We attached the wings this past weekend and thanks to the help of several good friends everything went smoothly and quickly. We slid the temporary bolts in without any trouble and started to rig the ailerons. We got the ailerons adjusted nicely and started to trim the flaps to clear the fuselage. The wing root fairings are nearly done too. Soon we'll have to pull the wings off to debur and rivet some things and then put in the close tolerance bolts and attach the wings permanently. 

Busy B's

by Brandi Friday, May 11, 2012

We've been busy B's since moving to the hangar Sunday. We've worked from 5ish until 9pm every evening this week!

I decided to make a panel for the inside of the door to cover with Ultraleather. It took me forever to get it laid up but it came out pretty good. Now I just need to trim it so that it stops right before the door seal. 

Brian got the tail feathers attached and functional. We're hoping to get the wings down from the loft and attached this weekend.

We added brake fluid to the system and began bleeding them yesterday. Found some leaks in the process and tightened up the fittings. It turned out to be a lot bigger job than either of us expected.

Lack of website updates

by Brian Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I hate it that I havent been keeping the site very up to date with details of the build. In this phase of the build its like 1,000 action items and a lot are small items that do not produce something thats photo/website worthy. Or perhaps its because we're so close to getting this thing flying we're just focused on building and not on pictures/website stuff. 

For consolation, here is my current to do list in order to give a glimpse of what I've been up to. Brandi has her own separate list, which includes mostly interior finishing. 

Time Estimate     To Do

0  Attach oil door

0  Nutplates on cowl front

0  Install Adahr rack

0  Install radio stack brackets

0  Wire SL40, 430, Audio Panel

0  Baffling

0  Run wires from audio panel to skyviews

0  Add an315-3r jam nuts to control cables

0  Drill vent holes in subpanel near fans

0  Run RS 232 TX from L. Skyview to ELT 

0  Install Panel

0  update skyview firmware

0  windscreen fairing

0  Filtered air box - apply black rtv + hookup air door cable

0  Test and check wiring system

0  Fire barrier on FWF

0  Run wiring from EMS to wing roots for fuel sensors

0  Trim air intake snoot

0  Fix R. front baffle

0  wire tie runs down side of fuse

0  Baggage light switch

0  Elevator Pushrod

0  Configure flap sensor - run wiring

0  430 bracket FWF - wait on tnc connector

0  anti-chafe tape on control cables

0  Seat rail mod - cut 3/8" off front rail umhw

0  Plug alt static air and determine final location

0  check xpdr wiring for 430 serial in - also add ident stick button?

0  Rear rudder cable fairings

0  Sand bottom cowl

0  Rear strobe

0  sand door area 

0  Section 11 - re-rivet L-bracket - wait on spruce order nas623

0  Battery Install - order

0  install elevator trim

0  ground misc to battery


0.25  Extract broken screw in cowl pin cover - find/buy replacement screw

1  Figure out elevator trim 

2  Section 11 - Empennage attach

1  Section 12 rudder fairing (strobe) attach + wiring

1  install ELT antenna - wait for horizontal stab attach

0.5  Torque Prop & safety - need special torq tool? what are torq values?

Attach Comm antenna - buy screws

Sand Wheel Fairings - defer until after flying? - replace some? 

0.5  cross check POH instrument markings lycoming documentation

0.5  bracket for battery - get some scrap aluminum from shop

2  Seat Belts install - create bushings - wait on brandi - buy 6mm washer?

1  strobe wiring run through wing conduit

Figure out mag wiring - buy slickstart booster?

1  Take wings off loft

0.5  Add roll servo stops - be mindful of short screws:

1  Run coax to bob-archer in R. wing 

3  J-Stiffener re-rivet on wing? 

2  5Attach wings - plan for Sat

2  Check stick clearance with elevator on - adjust elev linkage slightly?

0.5  Add wing walk

1  Check all fuel/oil lines torque and seal

1  Rivet tailcone top skin

0.25  Put Aeroshell #5 into grease fitting in caster nosewheel bearing

Scales - need to find some to use/rent

Seal firewall with 3m Firebarrier - use clay from Steve on wire bundles

Alternator - Belt + safety wire

split 430 serial between xpndr/696?

update aviation and obstacal db + skyview 3.3.2

Wing attach Saturday

by Brian Wednesday, May 09, 2012

We're planning on attaching the wings on Saturday. I've finished several areas of section 44 ahead of time to make things go a little quicker. We should have a few people helping so we might be able to surge ahead and get a lot done. Theres a lot of work to be done so they wont be completely finished on Saturday but I think we'll get pretty far into it. 

At the hangar!

by Brandi Monday, May 07, 2012

We moved the big metal baby to the hangar yesterday! It was very exciting and everything went smoothly. Thanks to all of those who helped!

1576 miles across the country...

by Brandi Thursday, May 03, 2012

Not much work's been done on the plane lately. We've been in Tucson for the past week visiting our family and attending our sisters wedding. I can't wait until we're able to fly ourselves out there!

While in Tucson, we took a trip to the Pima Air and Space Museum. It's HUGE and pretty neat. You should check it out if you're ever in the area.

Panel looking good!

by Brian Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Here is a recent shot of the panel - looking pretty sweet if I say so myself. We recently added the Dynon GPS (which attach to some of the wires you can see dangling under the panel) and also screwed in the remote ELT panel. So with those things completed the panel is 100% ready to go! I have been setting values in the Dynon Skyview for our different parameters like airspeed markings, engine redlines, calibrating flap sensor, etc. Very exciting!

Section 12 - Empennage Fairings

by Brian Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I have been working on section 12 lately. Its pretty straight forward and is among the last few things that I can accomplish before we move to the airport. There is some fiberglass work involved in section 12. I've lucked out and not had to do too much fiberglass work since Brandi has done most of it on the build. Her to-do list is long though, so I went ahead and jumped right in. She said I did a good job getting the strobe attached to the rudder fairing! Hurah! Any time Brandi says good job and there is no preceding quizzing or list of imperfections from her then I know its good. The woman has a knack for spotting imperfections so I relish my atta-boy's. :)

Glare Shield Attached

by Brandi Monday, April 23, 2012

This weekend I finished up the glare shield cover project and attached it to the dash. I had bought "Utra-Thin" Velcro but I wasn't happy with it. It was just too think for the application. I searched the internets and found these Scotch Fasteners for Craft & Fabric. They advertised to be 2x thinner than Velcro brand so I ordered some. They worked perfect! Strong bond and VERY thin. 


by Brandi Monday, April 23, 2012

Saturday we received form 8050-3 in the mail. N42BU is officially a registered aircraft! 

The process was pretty straight forward. I called Van's and requested form 8050-2. They sent me some forms to fill out and had the Bill Of Sale to me in less than a week. Then I just followed the directions on the FAA site for registering an amateur-built aircraft. It took less than two weeks to get 8050-3 back. Just make sure all of your forms match as far as name order/spelling, etc. and you should be fine.

Edit: In case you're confused by the manufacturer section, Brandon is my real name. Brandi is just a nickname. =P

Spare bedroom

by Brian Wednesday, April 18, 2012

This is the CLEANEST that our spare bedroom has looked in nearly 2 years now. I'm excited to think that in 3 more weeks it can be completely free of aircraft parts!

Tail strobe

by Brian Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Finally bought strobes. We were trying to hold out for a nice LED strobe solution but I couldnt find something that was reasonably priced that I was happy with so we went with non-LED strobes. Decided on the Kuntzleman strobes. Went to install the tail strobe and the thing wouldnt fit on the factory fairing. Grrr. I chewed away some room to slip some lock-nuts in and then epoxied them in place. Next I will add filler to make it look nice. 

Glare Shield Cover

by Brandi Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We received our Ultraleather order last week so I've been working on the glare shield cover for the past few days. I had made a pattern out of freezer paper before we installed the windscreen. Glad that I did because it's pretty hard to work in that area with the windscreen attached. From the pattern, I cut out 1/8" Volara Sculpting Foam to match the pattern and then placed it on the glare shield to make sure I had the perfect fit. I did the same with the underside of the glare shield up to the panel. I then used the foam to cut out a piece of Ultraleather for the top and underside and stitched them together using a french seam. (I also spent some time drooling over that Juki machine in the french seam video!) After stitching, I glued the foam to the Ultraleather using 3M contact adhesive.