Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Happy 4th Anniversary!

by Brandi Thursday, November 01, 2012

To my wonderful husband,

My love for you grows every single day... through sickness, health, and airplane projects. =P

PS. I'll build another airplane with you any day! <3

Delta TechOps Facility

by Brian Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Brandi and I toured the Delta TechOps facility at Hartsfield-Jackson airport this past weekend. It was AMAZING! I had a hard time wrapping my head around the scale of everything. It was so neat to see all of the different sections of the facility and to fully appreciate many of them after having become more aware of aircraft assembly and maintenance. We were treated to a personal tour by a really cool guy that I met through a friend at work. We walked for 4 hours straight and saw much of it but apparently there is a second and third floor that is just as big. We would sometimes come across a worker in their particular area and they would always take the time to be friendly and explain in detail some of the things going on in their area. It was a very educational experience and if I would have done the tour pre-college I think I would have went into aerospace for sure.

One of my favorite parts was a room that our friend accurately described as a scene from the Roger Rabbit movie where there are big tanks of acid and such. It was the dipping room where they had dozens of pools of different chemicals to treat various components. One of the neat things about it was I realized the floor we were standing on was grated and you could see it went down like 2 stories. Well it turns out that each dipping pool goes down like 12 feet!

We got to go inside a Boeing 777 and look all over the place. I sat in the cockpit, went up in the crew quarters, roamed up and down the isles. It was kind of weird being in a plane all by ourselves like that. It felt kind of like when you go looking at houses [to buy] and you kind of feel right at home on some of them like its yours or something.

We toured the composite shop and Brandi was like a kid in a candy store when she saw a huge rack of carbon fiber, and other composite materials that I have no idea what they even were. A worker there showed us some fairing repair he was doing with vaccum bags. The engine rebuild area was really amazing too but we didnt get a picture of that, unfortunately.

After we were done with the tour we were exhausted and starving so we went to the OK Cafe, which has really good southern style food. I used to live right near there so it was a nice treat to go visit it again. What a great trip!

15 minutes of fame

by Brian Tuesday, August 07, 2012

We were privileged enough to get to chat with Bob Collins on EAA radio while we were at Oshkosh. Below is the audio clip of it.

Oshkosh bound!

by Brian Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Operation Oshkosh is a go! Brandi and I attended our very first Osh ever last year. We had a BLAST! This year is going to be probably 5x better I think. Not only are we going to fly our own plane there, which is a dream goal come true, but there are so many great Vans oriented events and people that we have met or made acquaintance with that we are looking forward to seeing. We're going to be camping near our plane in STYLE this time. Last year we had a 2 person tent that was cramped to say the least. We slept on little blow up floats for a pool (and they never held air for long). This time Brandi found a super great bargain on a bigger tent and we have a real air mattress we can actually bring. Last year when we flew commercial and had to schlep our gear all around on our backs, lots of ammenities was just not an option. Now, we can carry the kitchen sink! With Brandi and I and full fuel, we can carry 475 lbs of junk in that trunk. Nice! I love the -10!

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. 

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

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.


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!

Builder community

by Brian Sunday, April 15, 2012

This weekend we spent a lot of time socializing with builder friends. A very nice guy named Robert (RV-9 builder) was in Georgia for the weekend for work and had a little spare time so he came by to look at our project. He even helped me attach the rudder cable fairings on the tailcone that I needed to get done. Later that day we went to a get together that our new friend Daniel threw at his house. He invited builders and their spouses for drinks and dinner and just hanging out. Daniel has a very nice clean and organized shop where he is building an RV-7. There were lots of great people there - some we knew and some we met for the first time. It was a great time and we'll hopefully start getting together with everyone more often to help each other build and just hang out in general. Daniel and our friend Bill came by the shop today to check things out and get some perspective on the cabin top, as Bill will soon be tackling this area on his -10 build. We had a great lunch at the Carribean food place just down the road and then we all went back to our respective projects to get back to building. 

Pilots and builders are such great people!

Nearly hangar time!

by Brian Sunday, April 15, 2012

We are currently planning on moving to the hangar in 21 days from now! Exciting times!

Light at the end of the tunnel!

by Brian Monday, April 02, 2012

Well, we have been "90% done 90% to go" for about a year. I think we are actually at 90/10 now!! If we stay on track, we should be able to move the project to the airport (KRYY) in about a month! Once at the airport we'll attach the wings and empennage and do the engine tests and all final inspections and testing. All of this should take another month or so, hopefully. We have decided to fly before its painted and also I'll get the 40 hour test phase underway while Brandi makes some final touches on the interior panels. There are a few mods that we would like to do that can wait until its flying, such as external battery charging capabilities, USB power for in flight charging of phones/devices, sun visors, removable passenger side stick (in flight), and others. The to do list is getting shorter. Every time I add something, I find something else that needs doing, but never the less, the list is dwindling! 



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


0.5 Fire barrier on FWF

1 Run wiring from switches to wing root + plugs

1 install ELT antenna

1 wire tie runs down side of fuse

14 Fill door gaps

0.5 Seat rail mod

3 Configure flap trim sensor

3 Lights - install NAV - figure out strobe.

2 Rear rudder cable fairings

3 Cut tunnel cover fwd of fuel selector

0.25 Finish Garmin 430w bracket FWF - wait on tnc connector

1 Alternator - Belt + safety wire

1 Baggage light switch

0.5 Check all fuel/oil lines torque and seal

1 Wingtip trim - add filler and round edges

0.5 Plug alt static air and determine final location

2 Seat Belts - install

1 Battery Install

5 Inspect Empennage

1 Fix R. front baffle

0.25 Trim air intake snoot


42.5 Total

Website photos update

by Brian Monday, March 12, 2012

Brandi recently spent a lot of time moving all of our photos from Google's Picasa over to SmugMug. The SmugMug photos are more clear because they do not have compression applied to them and also we are able to retain the original size image (huge) so that people can see more detail if needed. Enjoy!

Adventurous Saturdays

by Brian Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The last three Saturdays in a row have been really amazing for me because I have gotten to fly with friends so much. Having so much fun hasnt lent to making huge progress on the build this month but we're still on track with our steady 90 hours per month average. 

The first Saturday of the three recent ones was spent flying right seat in my friend Bill's twin Cessna 421. I had flown right seat in it twice before and its a lot of fun. This trip was special though. We flew to Prattville, AL because they had some work to do and I was there just to tag along. Another good friend of ours, Dan, flew left seat on the way down and then Bill flew left seat on the way back. Both taught me various things as I held heading an altitude on this IFR flight. It was the first flight I've even done where we filed IFR and it was pretty cool! Not as eventful as I thought it would have been but then again, we were on an easy route and canceled our IFR just outside of Prattville. On about a quarter mile left on our final approach I pointed out to Dan that there was a Cessna landing on the opposite runway. Unannounced. Going the wrong direction with respect to the wind! Both planes did a go around and it was a non event but just goes to show you have to be vigilant! We ate BBQ for lunch after the work was complete and then we headed for home. On the way back it was AWESOME because we were flying at 5,000 feet and the cloud level was about 4,800 so we had a very scenic view and occasionally we would blast right through a cloud that was a couple hundred feet taller than our altitude. It was really fun to bust through the clouds. I really got a sense of the speed we were flying at when that happened. What a great experience. 

The next Saturday I lucked out and got to fly out to Monticello air park (GA06) with my good friend Keith in his RV-7. I had something really special in store for me as our tech councilor friend, Gary, was going to give me his old batteries from his plane so we could use them for testing. This was good because it allows us to defer our battery purchase a bit longer. More importantly though, Gary has an RV-10. Having an excuse to go visit meant we could get a ride in his plane! Sweet! I have been pretty nervous about taxing our -10 when the time comes because the last time on our fall leaf trip when I taxied a -10 I was weaving all over and didnt feel in very good control. This trip eased my worries on that a bit. The castering nose wheel of the 10 is different than the Cessna 172 I trained on. I find that I really have to start my turns 2-3 seconds in advance. So Keith and I flew up to Cherokee, filled up on gas, then headed down. The runway was a nice grass strip and I had only landed on one once before so that was fun. Keith did the landing because I'm not tailwheel rated (yet). We took off in Gary's -10 and had a nice flight and I learned a lot and had a blast. Got to practice taxing, which was very beneficial to me. Keith and I said goodbye to Gary and headed back for home. About 15 miles out from home field we decided to do a fly over my house. That was pretty neat because we were over dobbins air space so we could see the field really well. After I spotted my house, Keith suggested we tour Atlanta. Uh, yes! No brainer! We very carefully flew within the allowable airspace and flew past downtown, circled all the way around Hartsfield, and then back North to home. The view was spectacular and the experience was memorable. I'd really like to take Brandi on that flight in our -10 some day. 

The 3rd Satuday involved a BBQ competition in Perry, GA. Keith offered to take me with him so of course I wasnt going to turn that down. We flew down to Falcon Field in Peachtree City where the Falcon RV Squadron is and met up with others. We flew a 4 RV ship formation down to Perry, which was fun. The weather was a little windy but up at altitude it was nice. Keith is one heck of a pilot and makes the formation stuff look easy. I got to practice a bit and I still struggle to stay in place. I guess practice makes perfect! Once we arrived at Perry we met up with and chatted with other pilots who had flown in. I saw our friend Pierre there and also finally got to meet fellow -10 builder Brian who is working on his build near Stone Mt. Someone told us that people who flew in got free bbq so all our eyes lit up and we headed over to have a look. Let me explain for a second. This wasnt some guy on a Webber grill. This was a SERIOUS competition. There was thousands of dollars in prize money, trophies, and a huge crowd. Well we walked right up and these ladies who were running things were so incredibly nice to us that it was just amazing. They ushered us into a hangar where they had like 20 different plates of all different kinds of BBQ from the competitors. These were extra plates that were not needed for the judges so we got to sample them all and I was in HOG HEAVEN haha. After we enjoyed some delicious bbq we all wandered around for a while and finally when everyone was ready to go we met on the flight line and headed for home. Before we left, we did a few formation fly-bys for the crowd. We did a diamond, echelon, and then single low approaches. It was a lot of fun and there were lots of people waving and it looked like they enjoyed the demonstration. Keith and I landed back at Falcon field and ended up hanging out for a few hours, which was great! I love being around all those guys and we talked aviation and had a great time. Got some good advice, told and listened to stories, and had a great time just hanging out. Everyone marveled at how much Brandi was doing on the project and that she was home working on interior while I was out playing :) 

With all the fun adventures like these ahead of us and all these good people to share it with, there is no doubt in my mind that getting involved in this build project was one of the coolest things we could ever do.  

A fun break from building

by Brian Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saturday was suppose to be another of many 8 hour+ build days but we couldn't resist the offer to go fly with our good friends Keith and Dan. Keith has an RV-7 and is care taker of another friends RV-8. So Brandi flew co-pilot in one me in the other and then we swapped on the trip home. We went down to Peachtree City and did some formation flight on the way down. It was AWESOME. I love riding in the 7 and this was my first experience in an 8. The 8 was really great visibility and the performance is awesome too. Its like getting on an elevator the thing will climb so fast! I got to do a little practicing in formation for the second time ever and its still pretty hard to stay in perfect formation. Keith makes it look easy.. hes an awesome pilot. Dan is an excellent pilot too. I'm convinced that he can land a piano falling from the sky and make the wheels just lightly touch down.. the guy can land anything smooth as silk it seems. Needless to say, its great to be around such good pilots because it helps towards our skill building.


The weather was unseasonably warm and Peachtree was buzzing with activity. Much of the Falcon squad was out and about and it was really great to see some of the guys. We got to take a closer look at John Goodman's -10 since he got the interior done. I got a great video of a walk around of his plane. Always helpful to go back and see how other people did certain things. In fact, we are going to borrow an idea we saw on his and Hank's plane, which is an aluminum cover plate for the cowl pins. We went to Aircraft spruce, which is right on the field there and loaded up on a few items, which saved us some shipping costs.

After we flew back to RYY we hung out for awhile and met a really cool guy and his son who are nearly finished building a super cub. The thing has the huge bush tires on it and we all gushed together about how much we loved the show Flying Wild Alaska. Came home late in the day and managed to squeak out 3.5 hours on our build. What a great day.

Busy B's

by Brian Thursday, December 29, 2011

We have been slacking on writing posts lately but we have been in overdrive in the shop this month. This month will by far be the highest amount of time we have put in to the build. This month we mounted the cabin top, the sub panel (upper forward fuse), engine, and the wheel fairings and pants. Those components really make it look like a real plane and that it could soon fly. We're shooting for end of summer still for when we are striving to have our first flight. 


Edit: we hit 175 hours worked in December!

Website update

by Brian Monday, November 28, 2011

Our website has had a slight makeover and now has a new back-end, Blogengine. Also features search, comments, and a cleaned up look and feel. Leave it to Brandi to be able to take an already great looking site (in my humble opinion) and make it even better. Good job!

A social RV Sunday

by Brian Monday, November 07, 2011

This past Sunday was a nice beautiful day outside and we took a short 40 minute drive to visit another -10 builder, Bill Thomasson. He was working on his fuel tanks and that brought back all kinds of memories to Brandi and I. We had a really great time visiting and just chattering away and next thing we knew, two hours had flown by! Thanks for having us over, Bill! We're excited to keep in contact and follow the progress.

Once we got home we had a quick lunch and our friend Gary Specketer came by. Gary is an EAA tech councilor and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to airplanes and building. Gary poked and prodded and gave us an enormous amount of good feedback and things to think about. Thank you so much Gary! One of the most critical things to come out of his visit was his inspection of our flares on our fuel and brake lines. There has been some talk on the VAF forums lately about the quality of flares and Brandi and I both knew we needed to get these checked out. We'll be redoing a few at least and still need to inspect the rest.

I've said it before but I cant emphasize enough, the community of builders is truly awesome for so many reasons.

Rhodes Fly-in

by Brian Saturday, October 15, 2011

We attended our second Rhodes Fly-in. It was a good time and good food. The first one was exactly one year ago and we were just barely starting out on our wings. This time around we are finishing off the fuselage and well on our way to doing interior work. Brandi got to fly back to Cartersville (VPC) with Kyle and I drove over there to meet them. We hung out and helped change the oil. Good practice for the future.

Oshkosh 2011

by Brandi Thursday, August 11, 2011

This was our first trip to Oshkosh, WI for AirVenture and we had a blast! We flew commercial to Milwaukee from Atlanta. Our bus with Lamers was rescheduled to leave before our flight came in so we found a ride with another -10 builder and his wife who just happened to be driving through at the right time. Thanks again, Scott! They dropped us off at the Camp Scholler entrance where we registered for camping Wednesday night through Sunday night. We received lots of questions in the camper registration line because we stood there with a duffel bag of camping gear and two backpacks. It was a strange sight to most because 99% of the people there had a vehicle or a camper and we looked like we had just walked there. The guys in line with us wished us luck as we finished registration and began scouring the huge camp grounds on foot looking for a spot to pitch our tent. It had just finished raining when we arrived so the grounds were muddy and the place was FULL of campers. We managed to find a little spot with a small shade tree not far from the entrance. The spot wouldn't have worked for most people but we had a two person tent and no vehicle so it was great for us! Come to find out, it was even better than we originally thought. We had showers and the camp store close to us on one side and the SOS Bros. beer tent not far in the other direction. =D

We walked, drank beer, saw lots of awesome airplanes, ate brats, attended forums and workshops, browsed the EAA Museum, talked with vendors, watched airshows, checked out the Seaplane Base, got some great inspiration and walked some more. We also made lots of new friends and enjoyed spending time with some of the builders that we had met previously. The whole 4 days went by so fast! I don't think we even saw 1/2 of what there was to see. I'm already looking forward to next year and the year that we get to fly-in and camp in home-built camping!