My Family Gives Me Wings!

No Comments

And friends too…

Well, we have now installed the wings for the first time, and I’m a pretty happy guy!  After many weeks of worry (as usual) we have spent the day at the hanger and we have passed a BIG benchmark: Wings on!

Last Saturday, I invited a bunch of family and friends to meet Tom and me at the hanger for a good old fashion wing raising.  What is a wing hanging?  Well, one BIG step in building is to set the wing incidence and drill the attach bolt for the rear spar.

RV-9A fusealage

Fuse ready for Wings


So, Tom and I arrive at the hanger real early and move all the stuff out of the way. we roll out the wings in the wing stand and center the fuselage in the hanger. We then level the entire fuse left and right and front to back. We install temp legs on the fuse stand to be sure it stays that way.  We then laid out the wings and waited for folks to show up.

We did not have to wait long and all the folks were ready to insert the wings, level them, set the sweep and clamp the wings in place.  After double checking everything, we are ready to drill the read spar. Volia!  Wings set.

RV-9A fuse and wings

Wings Installed

So, what do you do after all that? Well, you REMOVE them off course. The wings will not be installed for the last time until after the plane moves to Camarillo.  Here is how you remove wings:


Remove Wings

New Pictures Added!

No Comments

I added new pictures for the tanks, ailerons and flaps. I also fixed the wings pictures. Tom and I are now on the Fuselage and finally we are back to having something that looks like a plane again! (actually, it looks more like an aluminum canoe).

Back to work!


Fuse parts for RV-9a

Box 'o parts

Lightweight riveter!

No Comments

No, I’m not talking about me.  I’m good at riveting, but rather a pretty cool tool I discovered at Harbor Freight.

On the Van’s Airforce and other Van’s aircraft lists, there is considerable discussion about which rivet gun should I buy? 2X? 3X? These things are pretty expensive, and you want to be sure you get the right one first!

Well, not so! Enter the 1X gun from autoparts stores, hardware chains or (best of all) Harbor Freight!

HB and others sell a small, lightweight Air Hammer for under $10 (yes, I said ten dollars) that is GREAT for AN426AD3-x rivets, especially the TONS of rivets that you do on the wings.

You have to get the right one, and with just a little careful selection, you can have GREAT looking skin!  I’ve just finished my wings, and they look GREAT!

What is the difference between an Air Hammer and a Rivet gun?  About $150.00

What to look for?

1. Small and light.  Better control and you won’t tire after 500 rivets or so.

2. A trigger you can feather, like this one.

Triggter on 1X air hammer.

Trigger you can feather

This was not so good a choice:

not a good coice for an air hammer

Trigger with poor feather control

3. Built-in regulator.  This worked VERY nice:

Pressure regulator on Air Hammer

Pressure regulator on Air Hammer

4. Throw out any accessories you get with the gun, and buy a nice rivet set. I prefer the flat set with a rubber ring around the edge to prevent the gun from running away. Also, go ahead and get a nice swivel whip tail.

5. You may still need a nice 2x or 3x gun, but for skins, this is the BEST.

You will see you get a really nice rivet gun for the small skin rivets with good control, easy to adjust and not driving them clear through to the other side of the wing with too strong of a gun. And the cost? under $10.

Rivet gun/Air hammer for skins

Rivet gun/Air hammer for skins

My rivet gun

My rivet gun