Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Windscreen fairing under way

by Brian Monday, March 19, 2012

Sunday was a nice sunny beautiful day, much like a lot of days recently, so we opened up the garage door while we worked. Brandi got the windscreen fairing started and it is coming along nicely. She followed the plans, which require several strips of fiberglass to be cut to length and, like most other builders, she dyed the fiberglass black, so that when you look through the window on the inside it is black and not like a bunch of fiberglass. Its turning out really great so far. She informed me that I get to sand when its dry. Yay!



Upper Forward Fuse attached (subpanel)

by Brian Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Well, after putting it off for as long as possible (intentionally) we finally attached this sucker. It transforms the plane from canoe to AWESOME looking. It was pretty fun to buck some rivets with Brandi again since it has been so long. All we have gotten to do lately was stupid fiberglass. Its a good idea to leave this off for as long as possible in order to install all the components on the sub panel while its easier to work with. Also its easier to work with things near the firewall when its not in the way. Now that its finally attached though, I can finally begin to terminate some of the wires that were just rolled up that come from the sides and rear of the plane. 

First video

by Brian Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I got a new phone and it does decent video so I decided to shoot a quick video of some of the status of our build. I think that I'll start shooting more videos and go in-depth about certain areas of the project. Hopefully it will be helpful to future builders and enjoyable to all others.

Cabin top work

by Brian Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Brandi and I have spent a lot of time over the last few days sanding on the cabin top. We are working to get the lip on the door frame just right so that the Mcmaster door seal will fit snug on it. We are using super fill (the blue stuff in photos) to smooth out parts of the fiberglass. It fills in little gaps and is very easy to sand so its easy to get a nice paintable smooth surface with it. Its been very tricky trying to figure out exactly how the lip of the door frames should be but I think we are getting there.

Next stop will be to mount our overhead console to the cabin top. We purchased the one from and its awesome! It fits great and will look really great when we're finished.

Windscreen test fit

by Brian Monday, July 04, 2011

I had it in my mind that trimming the plexiglass windscreen would be a big deal. It turned out it was pretty easy. Used a diamond wheel in the dremel to make the cut. It worked great. Only had to take it off a couple times to make small tweaks to the fit. The burning smell plexiglass made while cutting was pretty strong so I opened the garage door and let lots of fresh air in. Its best to cut plexi in warmer temperatures anyways so it worked out well since it was about 85 degrees outside. I peeled the plastic protective covering of the plexiglass back just a bit to make the cut and plexiglass 'dust' got stuck all over that. In hindsight, should have just cut 1" of the plastic off all the way around the edges and not peeled it back. Not a big deal. It fits on there great. On to the rear windows now.

Hello Kitty cabin top

by Brian Friday, July 01, 2011

After taking the cabin top off and on about 20 times and trimming it, I'm glad to say we finally have it fitted on there satisfactorily. What a chore it has been! It was a little confusing how much to trim and where so after looking at pictures of other 10's, reading the plans, and noodling over it for a while we finally just dove in and did it. Even though it wasnt actually that hard to complete, I think it was just hard to get started because we didnt want to mess it up.  We have the back side of the cabin top match drilled to the fuse and the door areas are counter sunk. Its pretty rewarding getting the cabin top on there even before its trimmed. When Brandi and I first set the cabin top on the fuse we could only get it about half way on because it needed more trimming but we climbed in and just sat in the back seat for a good 10 minutes. It was kind of like sitting in a fort as a kid. Not sure if part of it was just because we were kind of exhausted after all the work we had just done :)

One step closer to finished

by Brian Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Man I come up with some cheesy post titles haha. I know you love it as much as I do though.

The steps were installed quite some time ago and they were pretty easy. There is a lot of talk in the community about the step eventually becoming slightly loose and getting a little wobbly. I saw this in action with my friend Mark's -10. With all that said there are various ways people try to preemptively deal with this. I went ahead and installed access panels in the baggage floorboard so that if ever needed we could get in there and access them. Doing the access panels turned out to be trickier than I thought because I forgot about the side panel covers that go in the baggage area. So the access panels I made are slightly covered up by those but still functional. Also, I drilled the hole bigger where the bolt goes in to hold the step in place. I put an AN4 bolt in there instead of the normal AN3. Bigger is better, right? :)

Two things to note about this section. 1) getting the step in there was a very tight fit. I had to wiggle it and as it went in it shaved off some of the primer, which is fine because you're suppose to re-primer it a bit anyways. 2) drilling out the hole bigger was another reminder that when drilling steel you need to keep the drill speed very slow. I used boelube (I love that stuff), which helped. When I first went at it I wasn’t thinking clearly and had the drill at full blast and it was just getting super hot. I think I dulled the bit pretty good by the time I realized I needed to go slow.

Brandi put a bunch of bubble wrap over the step when I was done. Good thing. This little guy is a silent killer!

Closing the door on another section

by Brian Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baggage door complete! This was a fun section. It was challenging to get the hinges on such that it was perfectly centered when closed. The instructions tell you to lift up on it to minimize the sag, which we did, but it is still like the tiniest bit lower than we would have liked. It seems that a lot of people struggle to get the door perfect and usually settle on almost perfect.

The only other gotcha we had for this one was when I installed the lock, the locking arm didnt seem to go very far into the door frame. Only the very tip was catching, which didnt seem very secure at all. I made a post to VAF and in no time someone suggested I look for an arm that came with the fuse kit rather than the arm that came with the ignition+baggage door lock that I ordered through spruce. Bingo! Gotta love VAF.

Ready for passengers

by Brian Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The rear seat backs have been built and installed and it definitely looks recognizable as a place to sit now, which is very satisfying. So, we're ready for passengers but unfortunately, no pilot or co pilot yet. Might be a scary flight :)

The seat backs went together without any trouble but it was much more work than I expected. You have to mark your own holes to drill and there are quite a few of them. Since we don’t have a bandsaw, it took me WAY longer to cut the thick aluminum angles than it probably should have. I used a combination of a dremel with metal cut off wheel, a die grinder with cut off wheel, and a good old hack saw. The dremel would over heat so I had to stop using it very much. The die grinder kept running low on air pressure and become completely ineffective until more air built up and so I used the hack saw in the down time between those. Whew, it was hard work! In the end I kicked myself for not having drove down the road a few miles to ask my new friend Kyle if I could make a few cuts on his bandsaw. Doh. Promise I won’t make that mistake again though.

The final piece of this section requires hinge pins to be cut and bent. Poor little Brandi cut one and started reaching to grab it and I started shouting out to her "WAIT, its hot!!" but she ended up grabbing it for just a second. That was long enough to burn her little fingers. :( She’s ok but boy did she ever learn the hard way about friction heat. After the fact she was like "I knew it was hot, I don’t know what I was thinking". Not the first injury during the build and won’t be the last. Glad it wasn’t more serious. We learned something about being burned though, apparently you're not suppose to put ice on it. I never knew that. I gave her an ice cube right away. Turns out you should put the burn in cool (not cold) water and then after that, wrap it with gauze.

Brandi is going to remove the seat backs and eventually cover them with material and cushions and stuff. We like our future passengers!

Pop goes the rivet

by Brian Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Brandi has put in a lot of the sound dampening foam and so we were now able to rivet down the floor panels. There were a couple hundred pop rivets. Fun times! Brandi impressed me when she knocked out the entire right side passenger floor panel by herself. Way to go B!

Its neat being able to sit in the plane and do work now. I was joking with Brandi telling her it looks like a boat right now since the top and wings arent on and we should just convert it to a boat project. RV-H2O!

Flap System

by Brian Friday, May 13, 2011

The flap system has been mostly completed. Need to add the flap positioning system in still though. This area was pretty fun. Hooked up the flap motor to our little 12v ryobi battery just to test it and it worked like a champ. It was very hard getting the flap horns attached near the sides of the fuse though because you had to get your hands in a small space and tighten those bolts.

Control System

by Brian Friday, May 13, 2011

The control system has been started along with several other things that are started but not yet finished. I'm finding that we're jumping all around in the sections instead of going through them linearly. This is due to waiting on either parts or waiting to do something until its painted. The control system installation went smoothly except the little holes where the control sticks poke through. Those require a lot of material to be removed so the control stick doesnt rub on it. I didnt really have the proper tools to do that effectively so after hours of grinding and sanding it was looking bleak. My good friend Keith let me borrow this little 90 degree drill that has a set of grinder attachments that seem to do a much better job than anything I was trying. Whew! Still more to grind away but at least its a downhill battle at this point.

I played airplane for a minute when I had the control sticks hooked up. It was neat to move them all around. A small glimpse at the joy it will be at completion.

Fuse stand

by Brian Monday, May 09, 2011

It sure has been a busy month with the plane build! Its been awhile since we've posted anything so there are several things to catch up on.

We built a fuselage stand. Went with a design that William Curtis describes on his site (thanks William!):  This design was simple and cost effective. It is working out well so far. Since we havent been able to do the tailcone attach yet, the back of the fuse stand is sitting on car ramps. Once we attach the tailcone we can attach the 3rd wheel to it.

Fuselage Delivery

by Brandi Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our Quick Build Fuselage Kit was delivered yesterday! We had it shipped motor freight via Partain. The driver called early yesterday morning asking questions about our street to determine if he was going to be able to get his super long trailer turned around once he got to our house. We live on a dead-end with lots of cars parked up and down the road so it wasn't going to be easy for him to get in and out of our neighborhood. He decided to meet us at the school about 1/2 a mile from the house and we scrambled to find someone with a pickup to get the kit the rest of the way home. I have to admit that I was a little very irritated at first. Were we really having to find a pickup in less than 2 hrs time to get this thing to our house after paying almost 2K to the freight company?!? Why didn't they ask us these questions and determine a plan before they left Oregon? Fortunately, Dad drove 45 miles to come to the rescue, I calmed down and we got the kit home without any problems! Thanks again Dad! There will be a seat in the -10 for you any time!

The fuse is coming!

by Brian Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We decided to go with a quick build fuselage. We ordered it back in December and it is scheduled to arrive this Saturday. The plane isnt in the air yet but excitement sure is! The arrival of the fuse has caused us to try to get as much done on the wings as we can so that we can make room for the fuse in our small garage. Brandi even suggested that we could put the wings in the house to make room. Wow! What a gal :)  As of today, according to Brandi, we have put in 392 hours on the wings so far. We need to finish the flaps, the right aileron, run wiring, rivet the bottom wing skin, and put the top baffles on the fuel tanks. Still quite a bit of work but completion is in sight now!