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-   -   RV-7 #74152 Half Moon Bay, CA (https://vansairforce.net/community/showthread.php?t=93947)

wjb 12-08-2012 09:08 PM

RV-7 #74152 Half Moon Bay, CA
 


Hi RV Friends,

We're 6 for 6 .. the first 6 rivets on a new RV-7 (easy, with an alligator squeezer). I'm already thankful for all the good advice already garnered from this site. I'm looking forward to more ... and adding to the mix. In a few years, I'll be shooting low approaches to KHAF!

I'm looking forward to your help and encouragement!

-Bill

Golf Echo 12-08-2012 09:26 PM

Nice picture :)
Looks like you're a little ahead of me. I have a feeling we'll cross posts a few times on here over the build process.
Happy riveting!

wjb 12-08-2012 09:37 PM

Looking forward to sharing the journey. It was a great day in "the factory"

Dbro172 12-08-2012 11:39 PM

Let the fun begin
 
Ahhhhh, I remember those rivets from about 6 months ago... What is that sweet looking white primer you got there?

scsmith 12-08-2012 11:41 PM

small world?
 
Bill,
I live in cupertino, and my RV-8 is at Reid Hillview. Easy for me to pop over the hill if you have any questions that need a set of eyes.

BTW, you must be related to Dan Bencze that worked his whole career at NASA?

He was my boss for many years, and my father's boss too....
Did you work on gravity probe B?

Very cool that you are building a -7. I'll swap you a ride in the -8 for a ride in the -7 any time you need some motivation.

Captain_John 12-09-2012 07:29 AM

Bill,

Keep pounding those rivets! Kit number 4152, huh? I am kit number 312!

I hope you build faster than I! Thinking back to my emp kit...



That was seven years ago!

Nice work you are doing there! It is worth it!

;) CJ

wjb 12-09-2012 12:59 PM

I assume the S/N is 0312? It's incredible to think that there are almost 4000 other -7's out there being brought to life. Awesome!

Captain_John 12-09-2012 01:53 PM

Bill,

Yes, 70312 is me.

I am sure that there are empennages hanging in garages that will never see the light of day, but OTOH there are many that do fly. The proof is right here!

There were MANY times I wondered how I would even make it as far as I already have. I still have much to do.

Building the plane is a journey. Enjoy it! We certainly don't build these things because they are cheap!

Have fun and let me know if there is anything I can help you out with. Glad to assist in any way I can!

:D CJ

BSwayze 12-09-2012 02:25 PM

Bill, welcome to the group! You're gonna love this journey. Just settle in and go at your own pace and enjoy the ride. I remember those first rivets like it was yesterday. That was almost 6 years ago for me, and I'm still plugging away. But it has been one of the most enjoyable, rewarding things I've ever done in my life. :)

By the way, mine is kit number 2980! :)

wjb 12-09-2012 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dbro172 (Post 723564)
Ahhhhh, I remember those rivets from about 6 months ago... What is that sweet looking white primer you got there?

White primer? That's the power coat on the brackets from Van's. I've read all the primer wars stuff, and have settled (so far) on using the Stewart System EcoPrime primer/sealer .. thou, I used the Dupli-color self etching primer for the bearing bracket here 'cus I wanted to build and not fire up the sprayer for this teeny part.

kevinh 12-09-2012 11:10 PM

Hey Bill - Looks good. I finished building my 7A in 2005 and it is now based in San Carlos. If you ever need to borrow a tool or look at structure, feel free to call me.

Nihon_Ni 12-10-2012 06:52 AM

Nicely done! I took that same picture about 2 months ago and I am loving the journey.

longranger 12-10-2012 11:46 AM

Congratulations on starting your journey, Bill! I squeezed the first rivets on my -7 eight days short of a year ago. Almost 650 hours in the shop later, I'm about 75-80% through slow build wings, currently building ailerons.

You're building 74152? Mine is 74023. That's 129 empennage kits in less than a year; MORE than one every three days! IRCC, my wing spar serial numbers are somewhere north of 3500 so about 85% of RV-7's are getting to the wing stage.

If you ever find yourself down around KTSP, let me know!

beav 12-10-2012 03:33 PM

Hi Bill,

I'm close to finishing my RV-7 in San Jose, CA. If you ever need some help or want to stop by and check out the build, let me know.

I've kept a fairly detailed blog up at http://www.jasonbeaver.com/rv7

wjb 12-11-2012 08:02 PM

Hi Kevin .. thanks! I look forward to the help/encouragement. Is the plane in a hangar or on the ramp? I fly with WFVC right now.

wjb 12-11-2012 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beav (Post 724068)
Hi Bill,

I'm close to finishing my RV-7 in San Jose, CA. If you ever need some help or want to stop by and check out the build, let me know.

I've kept a fairly detailed blog up at http://www.jasonbeaver.com/rv7

Thanks Jason ... right back at 'cha; I'm always happy to lend a hand as well. Keep buildin!

Daniel S. 12-12-2012 07:38 AM

74076
 
Mile's I'm right on your tail... Mine is 74076 started in March of this year (2012) & I'm working on the tanks. It seems to go really fast (except for the prepping of all the wing ribs)!!! It's awesome to see the wave of new builders!

Congrats! keep it up and you'll have a whole tail to store in no time... about 150 hours if you do the fiberglass along the way:cool:

wjb 03-03-2013 05:31 PM

Elevator horn height challenged...
 
Hi Folks,

This will warrant a call to the mother ship, but I wanted to see if anyone else had some experience with this.

I'm nearly done with the empennage (I did riblets, thank you very much!) and am fitting the elevators to the HS. The fit up went well and everything is in good alignment and ooh so smooth, however, I found that the elevator horns are not stacking up to the same height. See photo:



One horn is about 0.2" lower than the other. Anyone else see this on their bird? is this a tolerance issues on the horns, or something else? I'm not sure it would actually make much difference one everything drilled and bolted together, but it took me a bit by surprise.

Thanks much,

-Bill

BPoletti 03-04-2013 01:38 PM

It looks like more than just the horns being out of alignment. Looks like the entire assemblies are off / mounted on a different axis plane.

wjb 06-30-2013 09:59 PM

Why I build...
 
There are hundreds of reasons why I build .. but, this is another:

My favorite spam can .. a Warrior, that it turns out that it's the one I did my check ride in ... is a rental. On each of my last four flights, I had to squawk something .. nav lights out, landing light inop, landing light inop; breaker blows. The latest, the wire to the top plug on cyl #2 was loose .. very loose.... did not fly; don't know how well other 7 wires are torqued (and the plug wires looked a bit too long in the tooth)

At least, when I fly my bird, she will meet my standards when I launch. Everything as I think it should be, or I'll fix it before I fly.

One of the best privlidges we have as a builder is that we get to maintain our planes to our standards, so that when we fly, the plane is configured the way we want, running the way we want, and flying the way we want.

<end soapbox>

David-aviator 07-10-2013 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wjb (Post 784129)
There are hundreds of reasons why I build .. but, this is another:

Renting my favorite spam can .. a Warrior, that it turns out that it's the one I did my check ride in ... is a rental. On each of my last four flights, I had to squawk something .. nav lights out, landing light inop, landing light inop; breaker blows. The latest, the wire to the top plug on cyl #2 was loose .. very loose.... did not fly; don't know how well other 7 wires are torqued (and the plug wires looked a bit too long in the tooth)

At least, when I fly my bird, she will meet my standards when I launch. Everything as I think it should be, or I'll fix it before I fly.

One of the best privlidges we have as a builder is that we get to maintain our planes to our standards, so that when we fly, the plane is configured the way we want, running the way we want, and flying the way we want.

<end soapbox>

I like your attitude, Bill.

The flying qualities of an RV will not disappoint you in this effort.

wjb 07-25-2013 10:01 PM

Goodie goodie goodie goodie!
 
ABF showed up today with a Christmas present in July.

If you can't guess what's in these boxes, you gotta go back to EAA for a refresher course!

The wings have entered the building!



Thanks in advance for all the bone-headed questions I'll ask over the next year or so...

(BTW .. ABF was great, and I found the $220 charge to ship the stuff down from Van's to the SF areas to be totally reasonable ... I did the full residential lift gate service.)

OLDSAM 07-27-2013 04:28 AM

Bill,
You will find that those long, long, 1 x 8's make perfect shelves on which to store the long, long longerons until you need them for the fuselage. Plus a lot of other stuff you need to have at hand in the shop.

wjb 08-24-2013 07:31 PM

Look, Mom, twins!
 
OK Kids, we have twins!



Riveted the main box of the wing today and tried out the new wing stand.

Progress has been made!

wjb 09-15-2013 10:56 PM

There are wings here!
 
Getting a bit 'o help from the kidz .. they help flip the wings on the stand



Getting close to some serious pro-seal!

wjb 01-01-2014 03:51 PM

Progress 2013
 
Greetings and Happy New Year VAF friends,

My baby, N430WB, is proceeding nicely. 2013 saw the completion of the empennage, including the fiberglass work, and a significant amount of work on the wings. Frame is complete, tanks built and leak tested, LE riveted on and the top main skins are cleco'ed on a ready to rivet. Any folks in NorCal that wants to shoot or buck rivets, let me know. HAF is fog-free this time of year! (And, it's dungeness crab season -- come on down!)

340 hours on the Hobbs so far, including 92 for doing the tanks alone. I'm real comfortable with pro-seal now.

Here's my lovely assistant and resident wing flip helper showing off our handiwork:



Thanks to all for all the good info, advice, and encouragement via VAF ... it makes the build go so much easier.

-Bill

wjb 05-19-2014 09:25 PM

The kids are getting it...
 
Ok, folks ... the fuse is on order and I'm recruiting the final bit of help to rivet closed the wings. Good progress!

So, in the lull, my youngest Genevieve took a particular interest in the build and, for a school project, decided to do a report on how to build an RV-7. Awesome; I did something right.

So, let's do it. She's already checked out on the monster back-rivet bar for the top skins, but she wanted to do the whole deal. Van's practice kit, here we come!















OK, Vans ... you got a builder for the RV-24 (surely a tail dragger!). You know where to send the check (or at least the discount on my finishing kit...)

I love it that the kids enjoy the journey too .. and learn a lot about how to build real things!

wjb 07-08-2014 12:06 AM

Fuselage time!
 
The wings are almost done and the fuse has entered the building. I figure I have a few more weeks of wing work to close up the right bottom skins, and then I can plow into the fuse kit. Lots more hardware in this kit than the wing kit.

Is it just me, or did anyone else find it a bit annoying that all the parts bags seem to be grab-bags of different combinations of AN hardware ? ... nuts, bolts, screws, washers.. I spent hours sorting them by size and type and put them in their proper bins on the shelf. At least the rivets were segregated into same-type bags!



Now, I need a place to store my wings so I have room to build the fuse. Any suggestions?

xblueh2o 07-08-2014 12:21 AM

This is what I did with the hardware.
Anything that is simple and common like nuts, washers, common length bolts etc went into parts bins. Anything that was special (long bolts, drilled bolts, rod ends etc etc etc) I left in the bags they came in and since Van's numbers the bags I placed the bags in a box in numerical order. When I need something I can quickly scan the packing sheet to find that the part I need need is in bag "X" and it is a simple matter of finding the correct bag.

Can you hang the wings from the ceiling?

wjb 01-18-2015 05:19 PM

Full size fuse has entered the building!
 
Hi Folks,

I've been making good progress on my fuselage build and am happy to report a full length fuse in the shop. The firewall is clecoed in place. A pretty cool milestone, and that pile of blue coated aluminum is getting smaller and smaller. I'm very impressed on how well all the prepunched holes line up on this kit. Kudos to Vans for a great design.

The conical bends went perfectly, following a practice run on scrap. Amazing how ALL the holes line up!



Longerons bent, notched, and drilled to the skins:



Firewall attached in place:



And, a rare action shot of the chief pilot and bottle washer while riveting up the tail cone.


longranger 01-18-2015 07:47 PM

Bill, congrats for correctly interpreting the drawings and putting the edge of the conical bend INSIDE the bottom skin! It doesn't fit so well on the outside...:o

wjb 01-19-2015 08:15 AM

Thanks Miles! It did take lots of careful study of the plans to figure out the correct stack-up.

wjb 06-07-2015 06:39 PM

Rolling the canoe!
 
At 760 hrs build time, 430WB terminated inverted flight and did her first roll. The canoe has entered the shop!

Getting ready:



It's a hesitation roll:



.. and the (to be) greasy side is down



Here's what I did with the stock HF rotisserie kit (engine stand). It's too short for a -7 to do a full rotation without mods, it seemed a bit narrow for good stability, and I had three nice saw horses that were being decommissioned, so I took one of the A-frame saw horses, reset one side so that the the legs were vertical and wouldn't interfere with the 2' x 3' plywood sheet bolted to the firewall, and added some fore/aft support at floor level. Worked great! Here's what the nose looks like:



And back, temporarily using the tailwheel spring as my pivot:



Still need to adjust the tail position; it's clear that the CG is not quite right, but it works great anyway. The white ring is a piece of a 3/4 inch PVC pipe fitting sliced off and slipped over the spring to be sure the support never interferes with the tail skin. The hole in the 2x3 is 1 inch diameter -- lots of wiggle room.

After, I put her on some temporary gear ... the fuselage stand Lars posted earlier. It works great; thanks Lars!
http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...fuselage+stand





Maybe halfway done now? I hope so! Thanks everyone on this forum for all the invaluable posts of wisdom and inspiration that helped me get this far.

Captain_John 06-07-2015 06:46 PM

Bill,

You are hauling BUTT!

I really like that the kids are so enthusiastic!

Maybe I will see you this summer on my continental tour?

Would you like a ride?

:) CJ

rightrudder 06-07-2015 08:43 PM

Congrats on completing a major step! Right side up, the canoe makes an excellent container for aluminum shavings (so vacuum often). :):)

wjb 06-07-2015 08:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_John (Post 988999)
Bill,

You are hauling BUTT!

I really like that the kids are so enthusiastic!

Maybe I will see you this summer on my continental tour?

Would you like a ride?

:) CJ

Thanks CJ! I'd LOVE a ride if you're in the 'hood. I'll spring for chow and gas!

-B

wjb 10-05-2015 10:35 PM

Wings on!
 
Hi Folks,

The big day has arrived: first mating of the wings to the fuselage. With the skilled help of my 16yr old daughter, Julianna, we were able to slide in both wings and do the initial checks. Tail to wingtip at spar difference was 3/8"; forward sweep was less than 1/4" and the flaps perfectly kissed the bottom of the fuse when retracted. A little bit of tuning and all will be good. Great day!

I'll be using EAA Chapter 1300's rear spar drilling jig/clamp do do the deed on the aft spar drill; more to come. The tool is perfect for the job; I'm looking forward to some perfect holes in the aft spar.



In the driveway; not enough room in the garage. The neighbors don't pay any attention any more to the crazy guy building an airplane in his garage (tho, they come by to ask if I have a tool to do xxx; yes I do!). I did, however, have a Bonanza driver, passing by in is Jeep, do a double take ... "is that an RV?" Good to see that some folks know about the magic that happens in our shops... Keep poundin'

wjb 07-16-2018 09:09 AM

Progress!
 
It's been a while since I've posted any status, but thing have been proceeding quietly (if not somewhat slowly)

G3X panel is up and running! I had to build an "extra tall" panel (+1 inch on the bottom) to fit everything nicely. UpNorth Aviation cut the panel from a Vans' blank from my .dxf; perfect job. It's designed to allow a GNS-xxx box to be installed in the center middle, and a G5 or equivalent to go where the compass lives. And, it's ADS-B ready!



Big day; the engine when on yesterday. Woo Hoo! After lots of VAF research, I elected to use the "start at the bottom" method described here (http://myrv8.com/2015/08/hanging-the-engine/). It probably took 45-60 mins and it was a total non-event. I was holding off hanging as long as possible, but I need the space in the shop/garage, and the engine box was a big honker, getting in the way all the time.



Not much rivet banging these days; lot more torque wrenching.

wjb 11-01-2019 08:01 PM

Moved to the hangar!
 
Finally, after a two year wait I was able to vacate the garage and move to the airport. Boy, sooo much space now!

Before photo; the garage is jammed full of airplane parts, benches, supplies, etc. MORE SPACE please!



I used one of our local towing companies to move the fuse. Tyrone showed up right on time and we loaded the -7 tail first. I kinda figured that this might be new experience for Tyrone, but alas, no. He transports just about everything and has done multiple airplanes. A total pro. (his vice is cars ... some nice vintage Cameros)



Locked and loaded; let's go to the airport! (only about 2 miles away)



Home sweet home at the hangar.



Unloaded the fuse and spend the rest of the day carting all the other stuff from the garage and setting up. Two runs with a 15' U-haul worked great, even for the wings, laid flat on the floor with lots of padding and a little overlap. We moved the wings first, and then brought all the other heavy chunks on the next trip.

A nice California sunset came to close out a very productive day.



And now, "Hey, here's a new guy, watcha got there?" Time to meet the neighbors.

We have at least another -7 and -10 on the field. Maybe a few more that I've not met yet!

SPX 11-01-2019 10:05 PM

Congrats on the milestone, Bill!!


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