TC visit #2 [5.0 hours]

In Australia, you need at least 3 SAAA Technical Counselor (TC) visits during construction in order to check off a box with the insurance company. In my case I have to fly a TC down from the mainland, so we did a combined visit between myself and an RV-9A builder in my local area. We all had a good day going over the two projects, it was good to spend some workshop time just chatting about the build(s). My TC is a wealth of information and we were able to spend some time at the end of the day going over the paperwork requirements for having a C of A issued in Australia.

Step installation [4.5 hours]

Step installation was straightforward. I started by thinking about whether I needed a drill guide (yes) and how to make one, then realized the easiest way by far would be to 3D print it. The design took 20 minutes and one print iteration. I made up guides for #30 and #12 drills. I also made up a 1/4″ guide but didn’t use it, when I decided to use the AN-3 bolt per the plans rather than the larger AN-4 bolt. The drill guides worked a treat.

Download the STL file here: Download

Step “wobbling” has been a common problem in RV-10’s. To combat this I installed a doubler plate to provide extra support for the step support block, and I used TCW Tech’s step bushings as well as carefully reaming the final hole in the step and support.

The only thing left now is to prime the steps.

  • f18b
    Doubler plate for Delrin step support block
  • f18c
    Step support block
  • f18a
    Step drill guide design
  • f18d
    Step drill guide after printing
  • f18l
    Drill guide in position for right step
  • f18e
    Setting the step sweep back angle
  • f18f
    Setting the step sweep back angle
  • f18g
    Setting the step sweep back angle
  • f18h
    Step drilled and bolt in place
  • f18i
    Ready to drill #30 the left step
  • f18k
    Right step fitted, ready to remove and prime
  • f18j
    Collect the full set!

Section 29 complete! [13.5 hours]

I installed the front floor pans and gear mounts, and have now finally completed the infamous and tediously long  Section 29 of the RV-10 manual. It was a relief to have both gear mounts bolt in without any drama, there have been some horror stories about this step in the plans. The tapered shims I made up for the gear mounts worked a treat and I all bolts were snug in their holes with no need to ream anything.

The empennage has been shoved in a back corner for the past year. I wanted to work out a few things prior to attaching the tailcone to the fuselage, so I swapped the empennage and spray booth around. There isn’t much priming left to do, so the spray booth (which is on wheels) can stay in the corner for the time being, before I retire it completely. This move has opened up the workshop a bit.

Next item is to install the steps.

  • f17a
    Installing left floor pan
  • f17b
    Installing left floor pan
  • f17c
    Both floor pans installed
  • f17d
    Both gear mounts installed
  • f17e
    Empennage moved out of the back corner
  • f17f
    Spray booth shoved in the back corner


Fuse side skins [55.0 hours]

Over the past few weeks, with some periods of non-work, I’ve de-burred, dimpled, primed and riveted on the fuselage side skins. With the exception of a few rivets I need to make up a special bucking bar for, the fuselage side skin riveting is now complete. Almost all of the riveting was a two-person operation, and “Rosie” did her usual terrific job on the rivet gun. I got well and truly tired of lying inside the fuselage twisting into all sorts of odd shapes in order to buck rivets.

I almost made a big mistake. I was all set to start riveting the right rear fuse skin, when at the last minute I noticed some holes that were not dimpled. This after having checked all the dimpling on at least three separate occasions before priming. I don’t know how I missed them, and I was lucky to notice the problem because there is no way I could have dimpled them in-place cleanly. It was a simple matter to take the skin off, dimple the offending holes, and cleco it back on.

I used a new, full sized, spray gun to prime the skins, which made me wonder why I didn’t get one sooner. Hard to believe I primed the wing skins with a mini-gun.

Side note – my son made me a replacement stainless steel shaft for the rudder pedals, after we found one of the four supplied with the kit was faulty. The new shaft fitted perfectly, so now I have rudder pedals ready to install.

  • f16a
    Cutting out the baggage door
  • f16b
    Cleaning up the baggage door opening
  • f16c
    Right fuse skins, upper fuse skin, ready for priming
  • f16d
    First use of new spray gun
  • f16e
    Right and upper fuse skins after priming
  • f16f
    Left fuse skins after priming
  • f16g
    Back riveting F-1023 angle to right skin
  • f16h
    Missing dimples - picked up just in time!
  • f16i
    Riveted side vent
  • f16j
    Fuse skins cleco'd in place, ready for riveting
  • f16k
    First few rivets set, the start of fuse riveting marathon
  • f16l
    Right rear fuse skin riveting done
  • f16m
    Left rear fuse skin riveting done
  • f16n
    Right fuse skins riveting (almost) complete
  • f16o
    Left fuse skins riveting (almost) complete
  • f16p
    Replacement rudder pedal part in place