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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finished Panel and Interior

So I am getting everything back in the plane to get it ready for the big weigh in and I am really hoping for under 1100 lbs empty weight.  I tried to build light, but the proof will be shown pretty soon.   Here you can see my panel and all its components back in place for the final time, the seats and most of the aluminum covers are in too, but of  course they might come back out at some point.   Just a bit more work on the interior and some finishing touches on the exterior and everything will be on-board the plane and she'll be ready for to get on the scales..  Oh, and I got my EXPERIMENTAL placard installed on the back wall too !

Saturday, February 23, 2013

20,000th Rivet !

Today was another pretty big milestone on the RV.  Bekah came out to the hangar and we finished shooting all the rivets on the plane and got the last top skin riveted on for good.   I don't think anyone really knows how many rivets are in an RV, but I can tell you over the last 4 years I got them all and 20K seems about right.  Its well known that there are at least 18,000 rivets anyway.

Before Bekah got up to the airport and since I had pulled out the panel, I had great access through the sub-panel where the map box goes.  With the wide open hole, I was almost able to shoot and buck all rivets on the right side skin by myself.   Just a few remaining for when Bekah arrived.

After lunch I put the panel back in and Bekah and I started shooting all the rivets on the left side of the skin.  I climbed deep under the RV Panel and bucked while Bekah shot from outside.  We got them all and the plane looks really good now.   Time to finish getting the panel back in place and then onto the final stages before the first engine start.  ;-)

Friday, February 22, 2013

Panel Re-Surface

So you might have noticed that I have been pretty quiet about my panel over the last few months.   Well, turns out the clear coat ended up getting all fogged up and basically made it look horrible.   So I have been postponing the inevitable and finally found the right time to go back and fix the issue.  Doing some research I figured out that I ended up with "dry spray".   Meaning the clear-coat dried before it hit the surface and left a sandy rough foggy texture.   I am going to blame it on cheap clear-coat because I changed my product and now it looks great.   I hate backtracking like this but in this case it was unavoidable.  At this point my newly painted panel is looking good, so if it maintains its good looks, I will be bragging about it for the foreseeable future.   ;-)
It took about 1.5 hours to remove all the switches and avionics to get to the point where I could pull the panel.  The toughest part was the cabin heat and parking break because for these items to be removed you have to remove the entire cable all the way up to the firewall.  Anyway, got it done and took the panel home and got to work.  Sanded it for an hour or so, then used some high build primer and some flat black paint.   Different color, but goes much better with my interior, which is another reason why I wanted to make this change.

So at this point I am pretty excited about how the labels came out for the second time, and am looking forward to getting this back in the plane for good !

Oh, and after the pain of working and reworking the panel, I will make sure that everyone knows..  NEVER TOUCH THE PANEL..  I really don’t want this thing scratched or finger printed up etc.. 

Below is a link to the old panel posts.   Can you tell the differences..
  "Old Panel"

Friday, February 15, 2013

Continued Finishing touches

It has been a while since I have posted, but in that time I have been working through and torquing all the control surfaces and control columns etc.   I had an issue with the autopilot servo arm where it started to bind with the Elevator push rod when given full “UP” elevator.  I lengthened the servo push rod arm about 3/16 inch to where it now avoids binding.   With that corrected, I will now validate all my torques and verify secured wiring in the tail cone and under the seats before I put all the covers and seats back in place.   Next steps after that are to finish the panel, rivet on the top forward skin, then prep for the first engine start.  Oh, and then there is that pesky empennage fairing which has been avoiding me for the last few weeks.   Weather might be getting warm enough to do something about that too.   Not much left after that.. 

I got my Transition Training scheduled with Mike Seager down in Oregon in the middle of March.  After that I will hopefully having nothing more to do on this thing except fly it..  J

Oh, I also have been working on final touches with tips and lighting.   Here is a video I shot last time I was at the hangar.

Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)