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romanov 11-24-2018 01:44 AM

Status Report: #6

That report is about:
  • How the Horizontal Stabilizer made my day?
  • Last painting day before the great finalization.

  • How the Horizontal Stabilizer made my day?

The Horizontal Stabilizer is by far the most complex
structure we have been working on so far. It consists of
three types of ribs and has the longest spars we ever
touched so far. Oh, and yes, its wing structure reminds
you that the thing you building is actually a plane.

The spar of HS is a pretty important part of the plane.
It makes all the balance working: it takes the counter
weight of the engine, and cause that one is really heavy,
so the forces that work here are also pretty serious.

There is about a gazillion of different holes on that
spars, and they are there for the spar to be reinforced
with the doubler and in-spar caps, and it also has the ribs
integrated into that eventually. So the work there should
be done with a serious attention to the details. One wrong
drill and you are off the road.

The assembly of the internal web is pretty cool, it's the
first time we meet such a various types of methods to
reinforce the construction. In addition to the usual doubler
plates on a the spar, we also have stringers to keep the
long ribs solid and caps on the spar flanges to add some
mass there.

Hundreds of holes to countersink and dimple so all the
rivets will be hidden and will keep the aerodynamics.
As you doing tens and later hunderds of those guys, you
got some confidence and the work flows up quickly. We had
to constantly remind ourselves that one wrong move and we
would have to order new parts.

That all leads us here: Horizontal Stabilizer in all its
beauty, small wings that are almost ready to be painted
and installed on the plane. Almost there but not yet there,
and still watching it assembled was really making my day.

The preparation of the Horizontal Stabilizer for Strontium
coating took us about: 26 hours of 4 hands work. Yeap, 2
of us means 4 hands ;-) . Anyway, 52 man-hours and we are

  • Last painting day before the great finalization.

The story of the various painting days is pretty similar:
you do all your preparations and place the various parts
in good positions to make it more convenient to coat

The guys that follow our story, probably remember that last
time we did the painting we seriously damaged the skin
of the Vertical Stabilizer ? so serious that we had to order
a new one. Vans acted very quickly here and before our
second coating day we got the new part. A bit preparation,
and the new part is also painted with the other 2 skins of
the Horizontal Stabilizer.

One more interesting point to mention: in that picture we
have a small gauge that helps us to measure the exact
thickness of the coating layer. If you are looking for one,
remember you have to find a device for non-magnetic metals
as aluminum will not work with the standard simple devices.

The spec of Strontium says 20-30 microns will do: we made
it a bit thicker but still in the limits to keep it
elastic so it will stay on the metal for very long time.

  • Summary

It is very inspiring for us to see us making it while the
complexity of the assembly is raising up. I believe that
with the time that trend will continue to be the same, as
well as our ability to make it.

Now the parts of the Vertical Stabilizer, the Horizontal
Stabilizer and the Rudder are totally ready for the final
assembly, and we are totally ready to start the final
riveting stage. Join us there.

Roman & Dima

romanov 11-29-2018 05:45 AM

Status Report: #7

That report is about:
  • How to make your workspace to be ultra-inspiring?
  • Riveting: Vertical Stabilizer (The tail of the 1st rivet)
  • Riveting: Rudder

That time our report is very heavy in achievements and we
are super happy to put it here. Let's go and see it step by

  • How to make your workspace to be ultra-inspiring?

Lets admit it, not every moments in the garage are
energetic and effective, sometimes you make mistakes
and desperately looking for some motivational boost.
We want the walls to radiate aviation, we want
to have our goal in front of the eyes all the time.
If you remember clearly what you want to achieve, it
keeps you extremely motivated and highly energetic.

Alex came to our place once and ask us: "Hey do you want
me to put some planes on the wall for you?", apparently
he was doing this as a small business mostly printing
some De Vinci stuff on people seals. Simple as that
2 weeks after this conversation he landed in our
garage again with his worker and they made this two
awesome posters. Our place is not the same since
that moment. Each time we enter the place we know
exactly why we are going to spend all this hours there.

Every project has it's memorable moments. In our
garage such a moment is the very first rivet
installation. It is the last step to finalize all the
preparation and the first one towards making real parts
of the plane. As you may guess, we are going
to count our rivets from here till that magic moment
when the plane takes off from a nearby airfield.

  • Riveting: Vertical Stabilizer (The tail of the 1st rivet)

I have seen that construction once or twice already but
that time it was tied together with clecos and a true
felling came that it is all temporary and will be dismantled
in a moment - that exactly what happened. But that time
it is a completely different feeling: it is done, it is
there and one day we are going to fly on that part.

Less than 300 rivets ? and I am holding the first real
part of the plane. What can be more exciting?! What a
divine moment indeed. Nothing can stop us now!

  • Riveting: Rudder

The Rudder riveting is a bit more complex job. In most of it's
parts it is very similar to the Vertical Stab, but some parts
are new and are directly related to aerodynamics. Here we are
breaking the leading edge just a little bit -- not to much but
just enough to make it perfectly aligned after the leading edge

Now the bending part: it looks a bit dangerous to make
some round structures, but we did a good preparation
and have actually done it once or twice on a training project.
We also prepared the right tools: if that is the correct
term for a piece of a plumbing pipe. Anyway, it worked
perfectly including the blind riveting later. Great joy
to see your first self-made leading edge of the real

What is that? No, it is not a fuel leak sealing: it is
an idea by Vans: how to cushion your crack-prone
trailing edge. This time the wedge is riveted with
what is called the wet riveting technique: code-name
for squeezing up some goop between the skin and the wedge.

A bit more than a thousand rivets and we have our second
part ready.

Guess what: once you have two parts that are sitting together
on the plane, you can try the integration just in time you have
them done. That is exactly what we had after the ruder was done,
done, done. (No screws yet, waiting for the total Empennage

  • Summary:

Hard to believe that we got those boxes just about a month
ago. This is still the first shy steps into the world of RVators.
But 2 parts of a real plane is already something we can
be proud of, and we are! We will continue to unbox the aviation
for ourself and all the great guys that love to build stuff.

Roman & Dima

romanov 12-07-2018 02:40 AM

Status Report: #8

That report is about:
  • Final riveting of the Horizontal Stabilizer

That time the report is short and very focused on the
Horizontal Stab. riveting.

  • Final riveting of the Horizontal Stabilizer

After short session of painting we got the parts yellow
shinny and corrosion protected. All is ready to make
the final assembly. Front spar riveted together with the
front spar cap, nose ribs, in-spar ribs tied together with
the stringers. All that riveted together to form the backbone
assembly of the two small wings of the Horizontal.

Two pieces of the skins to cover each wing all riveted
to the flanges. and rear spar to seal the construction.

  • Summary:

That is it short but focused. The final riveting
of the Horizontal finalizing the 3rd part of the
plane. After exactly 1948 rivets we feel super
energetic to move forward toward the 2 last parts
of the Empennage.

Roman & Dima

lndwarrior 12-07-2018 10:31 AM

you guys are making great progress and doing good work. I appreciate you taking the time to post your progress.

ppilotmike 12-07-2018 10:49 AM

Love it!
Really fun pictures. You guys look like you're having a blast. Thanks for posting.

romanov 12-10-2018 10:28 AM


Originally Posted by lndwarrior (Post 1307641)
you guys are making great progress and doing good work. I appreciate you taking the time to post your progress.


Originally Posted by ppilotmike (Post 1307648)
Really fun pictures. You guys look like you're having a blast. Thanks for posting.

Thanks guys, we really having a lot of fun
constructing the RV. The old say about enjoying
the way is about us. 😉

romanov 12-15-2018 01:07 AM

Status Report: #9

The complexity goes up and the reward is going to be
adequate this time. The small wings that control the
pitch are on the workbench:

  • Elevators: two wings that will keep your nose high.

First assembly: we create the ribs out of two separate parts
of aluminum which will be connected later with blind rivets.
This time the two small wings are not symmetric, cause we
have: the trimmer. That is right the trimmer the first mechanical
part that will move with help of small servo motor that will be
also installed right there inside the elevator.

We didn't hold the temptation and tried the fairing, also to check
that wedge fabrication is correct - you have to polish it's corner
a little bit to keep the aerodynamic shape. Da***mn it looks beautiful.

Skipping the coating session describing this time, you can
believe us it was pretty similar to the other time we did

The motor location is pretty cool and designed that way
that you can take it out for inspection after the airplane
will be already flying. Seven nut-plates are pre-dimpled
to ensure smoothness of the external elevator skin.
I think we will show you how it works on the main assembly

Two spars are holding the construction of each elevator
together the front spar is also connected with the tip rib
that also contains a heavy counter balance lead weight.

Unbelievable, I still remember our first one, and
wasn't that too much time ago. Somewhere close to
finishing the elevators we passed the 3000 rivets.
Wow that is already some experience. Some rummors
says we have 10,000 more to go.

Bending the leading edge is not different than all
the other parts. The plumber pipe will do the magic,
and several pop rivets will hold your construction
smooth, round and aerodynamic.

The trailing edge should be very sharp here. That is
why the design works it out with the foam ribs that
are small light and glued together with a simple tank

  • Summary:

The elevators are done, we spent almost 2 weeks
working on that part - from the moment of open
the draws and till the magic moment it had
the connecting bearing on it. And we will show
here that beauty in the next report once it
will be installed on the full assembly of the

Roman & Dima

Gash 12-15-2018 03:27 PM

Roman & Dima:

Thank you for the excellent build blog. I'm enjoying watching your progress. Also, your shop is very well organized! It looks great. Have fun building!

romanov 12-16-2018 10:23 AM


Originally Posted by Gash (Post 1309575)
Roman & Dima:

Thank you for the excellent build blog. I'm enjoying watching your progress. Also, your shop is very well organized! It looks great. Have fun building!

Thanks Karl, you are welcome for cup of rivets
and cold beer in our workshop, we are only 12k
km away from Arizona. 🍻

romanov 01-09-2019 11:31 AM

Status Report: #10

That report is about:
  • Aft Fuselage: it's almost the fuselage, in fact it is the fuselage.

After we have made small wing type structures (...four of them),
now we have a chance to try our skills on the actual body of
the plane. Here is how it looks like:

  • Aft Fuselage: The first part of the plane bodys

Like any usual work procedure, we drive as quickly as possible
to the first assembly, drilling the matching holes, dimpling,
deburring and — what is mostly important — studying the full
idea behind the current assembly.

This time, we have a very interesting structure constructed
from ribs that look like large rectangular frames. The scale
of the ribs is growing, that's how the conical structure have
been achieved. All that tight together with large longerons
and stringers to enforce the construction and finally is closed
by large sheets of skin.

Once done, the first assembly looks shiny like a time machine
from some science fiction book. Next steps: coat it with some
yellow protection.

Usual procedure of coating is omitted here, but we couldn't
help holding it and are publishing the first sight of all the
internal ribs, nicely anti-corrosion protected.

Starting to rivet the whole thing. There is about 2000 rivets
in this section alone.

After first 4000 rivets, you start feeling some confidence as
for your chances to finish that job.

I have no idea how one can do that riveting job alone. We
are lucky to have four hands. The work on the aft flows really
smoothly and we're enjoying every single moment.

Finally, the first steps into the avionics world. The harness
is for the ELT device, for the trimmer and the strobe light
on the rudder. There will be more, but here touching this one
for 5 minutes takes me back into high technology universe, and
opens all the discussion about what other electronics we need:
and very soon we will post more about that.

Back to the riveting trenches. The deck is, probably, the most
interesting structure in this whole section. All the time doing
it, I have been puzzled by the way the whole tail is assembled
on that focal point. It wasn't that difficult — eventually, —
but it required some concentration to get there.

  • Summary:

It took us 130 man hours and 2 calendar weeks to finish
the Aft part. It is hard to believe but about two months
after we touched the metal and really started this project.
After almost 5000 rivets we are ready to assembly all the
parts together and have full functioning Empennage.
Expect for that in the next reports.

Roman & Dima

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