Brian & Brandi's Van's RV10 Build

Front right interior panel installed

by Brian Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Brandi installed the right-front panel recently and it looks great. 


Sun Visors installed!

by Brian Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yay, finally installed sun visors. Have been holding out due to money reasons but found a really great deal on a pair of the Blue Sky visors. They are normally $200 a pair but we bought some from one of our -10 friends, Bryan Douglas, who opted to go with the Rosen visors. The Blue Sky are $200 a PAIR where as the Rosens are $200 each. I was a little concerned that they would not be big enough, especially compared to the Rosens cause the Rosens looked much bigger but after having installed them they are PLENTY big. In fact, with the seat scooted up pretty far (cause we're kinda short :/ (5'8")) they can cover a large amount of sky. Even for taller folks they would be just fine. In fact, I wouldnt want them any bigger than they are now. The install was easy. I fret over the fact that we had used a little filler to smooth out the contours of the cabin top where these visors are suppose to mount but in the end I just installed them and they're fine. I had a chance to use them right away too. I was landing 28 at LZU into the sun yesterday and popped the visor down and it worked like a charm. I'm a little too excited about these visors I think, but then again, we did fly 170 hours without them, so it sure is nice :)

R. Door cover complete

by Brian Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Brandi worked really hard to make a fiberglass overlay of the door. She then got it nice and smooth and used contact cement to glue on some foam. Next she covered it with ultra leather. It turned out really great! Here is a shot of her working on it while hanging out with our airport buddy Walt. 

Panels and Carpet

by Brandi Thursday, July 12, 2012

The evening storms have been pretty bad here this week so I'm taking the opportunity to work on the interior some more. 

I'm in the process of fitting the fiberglass side panels that I made. Maybe I can get them covered and in place before OSH. The plan is to cover the glass with 1/8" closed cell foam (like I used on the glare shield cover) and then wrap that in the same black Ultraleather that I'm using on the seats. I've only got one of the rear seat side panels made at this point and I've yet to come up with a good way to incorporate the rear side vents into it. So, it's probably going to be a little while before I get those finished.

I'm also working on the carpet. First I made templates out of poster board for each area that I need to fill. I then laid the templates (wrong side up) on the back of the carpet and traced them with silver sharpie. Next I cut out each piece and fit them in the plane. The only thing I have left to do is trim them to where my interior panels stop and attach them with Velcro. I had originally planed to tuck the carpet under my interior panels but it's much thicker than I remembered and, while it might work on the outboard side panels, it's not going to work for the tunnel cover panel. So, I've decided to trim it just to the edge of the panel and see how that works.

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.

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. 

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.


by Brian Monday, April 09, 2012

Brandi has been busy lately creating patterns for the seats. She should be finished with the pilot side front seat by tonight so we can stick it in and garage fly. We're basing the design off a Volvo car seat design. She's doing some practice runs with cloth to make sure her patterns work well before its finally done in Ultraleather.


Front Interior Panels - Putting it all together

by Brandi Wednesday, March 21, 2012

After I got all of the pieces made, I started putting them together one at a time.

First, I glued the bulkhead cover ups to the main piece.

Next, I glued the pocket to the back of the main piece.

Then I attached the air vent covers.

I now have 2 nearly completed front interior panels that amazingly look almost identical. =D  I'll eventually cut out the hole that is covering the pocket area and either use some fabric there or make a little area that comes out slightly. I'm not sure what that's going to end up looking like yet.

Front Interior Panels - Air Vents

by Brandi Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I fabricated these not-so-fancy eyeball vent holders from scrap aluminum. They attach to the fuse skin with 3 rivets and the SCAT tubing in the back keeps them from being flimsy.

Then I built up the surface a little with clay and made a fiberglass part that I can attach to my front interior panels.

Front Interior Panels - Main Piece

by Brandi Wednesday, March 21, 2012

For the main pieces of the front interior panels, I made a large flat piece of fiberglass outside of the plane and then trimmed it to size.

Once I had one of them completed, I made another large flat piece, used my trimmed one as a template on the reverse side and cut it out. 

Then I removed as much of the main piece as I could while still having room to glue it to the bulkhead cover up.

Door hinge cover

by Brian Monday, March 19, 2012

Brandi wanted to cover up the hinges on the doors so it looked nicer. She stuffed a bunch of clay in the cavity, smoothed it out, taped it, and then laid some fiberglass on it. We'll still be able to reach under and take out the screws that hold the hinge on if we ever needed to. Now that its dry she'll blend the cover into the door.

Random build video

by Brian Friday, February 17, 2012

Front Interior Panels - Bulkhead Cover Up

by Brandi Tuesday, February 14, 2012

After you attach the cabin cover to the fuselage, you're left with an unsightly bulkhead that sticks up and curves in a bit. The challenge is figuring out a way to cover this thing up and make it mesh with the rest of the interior.

I was reading on VAF about guys using expanding urethane foam for fiberglass molding so I thought I'd give foam another try. I ordered the 4lb density stuff and made a small test batch and poured it into a box covered with plastic. The foam is fun to play with but I'm not sure what's so great about it. It's the same annoying foam carving that I experienced with the pink foam and the pockets. So, in the trash it went and out came my plasticene clay. Finally something I can work with!

I taped up the area with painters tape first so the packaging tape is easier to remove and there's no residue. Then I taped over it with packaging tape before using clay to form a mold.

After getting the shape that I wanted, I covered the clay in saran wrap to keep the removal mess down. Then, I did the same exact thing to the other side. Getting the left side molded to match the right side shape was a little tricky but I got it pretty darn close.

Next, I cut out two pieces of glass that were about the right shape and used a little cab-o-sil in my epoxy mix to thicken it up a bit and keep it from running on me. I repeated the process on the left side.

After the piece cured, it pulled of easily and I was able to salvage 95% of my clay. The piece still needs a bit more trimming but it sits nicely in the spot with all of the tape and clay removed. 

In the end, this piece will be attached to the main panel along with the pocket... at least that's how it works in my head. ;)

Front Interior Panels - The Pocket

by Brandi Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Every RV-10 needs some pockets up front so I included them in my front panel design. They're a separate piece of fiberglass that I fabricated to attach to the back of my semi-finished front panel. I'll then cut out a slot from the panel that's the entire width of the pocket and about 1/2 the height of the pocket for access to the pocket area. I'll post more on the attachment when it's complete. It's easier to explain with pictures.

To make the pocket, I used some foam board and some pink foam insulation from Home Depot. I cut the foam board to fit in the front panel area and measured the pocket area out on the foam board.

I then attached pink insulation to the back of the foam board that was a little larger than my pocket area and the depth that I wanted my pocket to be. Because I plan on placing the pocket behind the interior panel, I left about 1/4 inch between the pink foam and the fuse skin.

Next I carved the pocket hole out of the foam board and the pink insulation. I learned from this process that I hate carving and cutting foam. I have too much static electricity and it's just annoying. Next time, it's all clay!

Once the hole was the size that I wanted it, I placed a scrap piece of foam board behind the hole to give me something to lay-up the fiberglass on and then taped it up real good with packaging tape. 

Unfortunately, I didn't photo document the rest of it so you'll have to use your imagination. I placed clay in the sharp corners to curve them out and then layed up fiberglass inside the pocket and around the top exterior about 1 1/2 inches wide. Once dried, I pulled it out and layed up another one for the other side of the plane. Now I have two pockets with a 1 1/2 inch lip waiting to be attached to the panel.

Interior in the works

by Brandi Saturday, December 03, 2011

I've been dreaming up this interior for over a year now and it's finally time to get to work on it. I decided that I wanted to make my own instead of us buying one. After all, crafting and sewing is my less expensive hobby and I haven't had time to do much of it since we started working on the plane. So, I found some suppliers and ordered lots of material samples for leather and carpet in different colors. It was pretty obvious that the UltraLeather was the best way to go because it's so light-weight and we didn't want cloth. I was able to find it for $65/yd from a small upholstery shop online. We went back and forth on colors for a while but we knew we wanted two colors that would pop. Our final decision was RavenWing (main color) and Dove Gray (accent color) in the UltraLeather and a basic black carpet. We're breaking the mold here a bit going with a black interior but, that's our style. Honestly, I'm so cold natured, I'd be content sitting on the surface of the sun so it's not going to bother me any.

After we picked colors, I went on a quest for paint brand and finish. I scoured VAF for suggestions on interior paint and rattle cans vs spray gun. We decided on Rustoleum rattle cans in Black Satin finish for a couple of reasons. Mostly because we're not painting the entire interior; Only the few places that won't have carpet or a panel. I felt that it was a budget buster for us to go the spray gun route to only cover some shiny aluminum in a few corners. It may come back to haunt me later but so be it. 

So far, I've got the inside of the cabin cover almost completed and I've started working on some of the interior panels. I'll write up a few posts about these things in the near future but there's a new photo album to browse in the mean time. You can find it here

I plan on doing everything down to designing the seat covers. Wish me luck!