So, long story: In the late 1980s I was a subscriber to Kitplanes magazine, and saw ads and articles about the RV-3 and -4. That was the plane I wanted to build. I was living at the time near the original location of ACS in Fullerton, so I went there and bought several books by Tony Bingelis, which I still have to this day.
But life and family, as they often do, took precedence. The thought of building took a seat in the "way back" as we used to call it, but I still held onto the books.
In late 2016 I got the itch to look back into building (a RV-7 this time) and set to work locating a partially completed kit. I bought an emp kit from the classifieds here on this site, brought it home and completed the horizontal stab. The vertical and the rudder were done by the previous owner.
December of 2017 my wife and I went to Portland for a long weekend, and my ulterior motive ;) was to get a tour of the Vans mothership. During the tour, I sat with her in their -14 factory plane, and was impressed with the amount of room that it had compared to the -7. I tried at the time to convince my wife that we needed the larger version. But she said we should just continue on with what we already had.
Fast forward to last week at OSH, at the Vans display, I sat with her in the same -14 and in the silver and gray -14A. Without much prompting from me, she agreed that she liked the roomy cabin, and suggested that if I wanted to, we could put a deposit down on the emp kit :eek::)
I didn't waste a minute going back inside and getting in line with my Visa card.
Got the email yesterday with the agreement to sign, and this evening I got my order acknowledgement and wire transfer instructions. I called Anne to give her my shipping information, and she said they have something like 39 tail kits on order from OSH, and that the crating guys are slammed right now. So in 3 to 6 weeks I should be picking it up in Michigan and bringing it through customs home.
I just keep reminding myself "one bite at a time" :)
Welcome to the world of the RV14. You will find it a great kit with excellent instructions. There are numerous RVs in the area, Windsor, Sarnia, St.Thomas etc. I believe there is an Oshkosh winner in the Lemmington area. This would be an excellent plane for you to examine and try to emulate. Get to know some of the local builders they will be of great help. This forum is wonderful but it is nothing like having an experienced builder actually show you how to do some of the tasks.
You know they are building and doing videos on the build of an rv14 at ch2a in windsor right? There are three 9a, 2 7s and 6a based in windsor. Stop in and say hi anytime.
Think I convinced Todd to step up
to the -14 after a few flights in my -6A! Todd and I are both "plus" sized and the -6A cockpit is similar to the -7A, so...?...just a bit tight!
I saw pics of Todd's work on his -7A emp and thought the work looked spectacular --- I am sure his -14A will be of high quality.
RV 7 Emp
I noticed in your post that you purchased a partially finished RV 7 Emp. Did you buy this from a builder in the USA? If so what problems or issues did you have getting it to Canada. I am looking at a partially completed kit from the USA. Any help about the customs and the inspections from MD RA would be appreciated. Thanks
Importing a partially completed kit
Yep, I bought it from a gentleman in Dayton. I had spent a week in the states for work when I picked it up, and got lucky as my wife was with me and the CBSA agent at the border combined our exemptions and we didn't pay any taxes on it. So no problems at all. When my 14 kit comes in I will pick it up in Detroit, and I anticipate paying PST on the entire amount.
The previous builder gave me a bill of sale, and I contacted Vans with that info, which allowed them to transfer the serial number to me. Give them a call to clarify, they were very helpful.
Once I got the transfer completed to me, I sent in my letter of intent to the MD-RA, and they opened a file for me. I never got to the point of requiring an inspection with the RV-7.
Hope that helps!
MDRA requires that no parts of the aircraft are closed before inspection. The exemption are parts on a quick build kit. An example would be the closed factory fuel tanks.
If for example, the Vertical stab is closed in they have the right to ask you to open the stab for inspection.
Contact MDRA, I have found them good to work with.
Finally an update
I've been too busy building (and working to pay for it all) to make any updates, either here or on the blog rv14a.ca. Until today.
I finally started populating the blog with all the pictures of my progress so far, as well as some lightweight descriptions of my experiences to date.
So far, I've got the vertical stab complete and ready to rivet up to the point of leaving the rear spar (completed) off for the MD-RA inspection required here in Canada. The rudder, likewise. I will need to call my assigned inspector and ask him how far he wants me to go on the rudder so that he can inspect. In contrast to the -7 rudder I was building before, the -14 has lightening holes in the rudder spar, so he may be able to see everything enough to let me finish the entire thing. We'll see.
I've also got the horizontal stab skeleton ready to rivet together, however I've run into a stopping point. The yoke on my Main Squeeze won't work on this substructure, so I'll have to order a longeron yoke first thing tomorrow from Cleaveland. My aching biceps and shoulders may convince me to order a pneumatic squeezer while I'm at it. I did pick up a tungsten bucking bar this week, and I'm looking forward to trying it out on the VS. I even picked up a roll of hockey tape to wrap it in so I don't mar my sweet AKZO primer.
Two goofs so far, which I've described in the blog: first was trying to separate the rudder bottom rib 904A and B using sheet metal snips. The snips bent the rib flange enough to crack it ever so slightly, so I tossed that part in the scrap bin and ordered a new one. Which the USPS lost, and I had to pop for another one at no cost (thanks Vans!) but I did have to pay for 2 Day FedEx shipping. The original lost shipment did finally show up over six weeks later, which I refused and sent back to Vans.
The other goof was last night, when I discovered that I didn't countersink the HS front spar deep enough in twelve places. After I squeezed all the rivets. I guess I was a little apprehensive about taking too much metal off, but it wound up costing me time in the end. I did manage to drill out all twelve rivets with not a spot of damage. I attribute this to the practice I had disassembling an entire Cessna 140 fuselage earlier this year -- I probably drilled out over five thousand rivets. I did replace the flawed rivets, and was able to prime the new countersinks with some SEM sprayed into a cup and then dabbed on with a cotton swab. I didn't feel like mixing up some AKZO for twelve holes.
Speaking of AKZO. That stuff is great (no primer war please). And I've made a decision that some may deem foolish, but I have been priming both sides of the empennage skins. I did some searching online, and found a couple of threads here that described using AKZO on external surfaces during the build. The consensus by those in the aerospace industry was that priming externally won't really hurt anything, the finish painter will just need to wetsand and prep before shooting another coat of topcoat-compatible primer. So I will have extra time, money and energy into full prime, as well as a small weight penalty, but I'm ok with it. I probably will do my own exterior painting as I go along anyway. I'm leaning toward PPG Ford Mustang Orange Fury. ;)
I already had the bulk of my tools from the -7 build, but I did spring for the RV-14 specific tools available from Cleaveland recently, including the modified dimple dies, the elevator bucking bar, the safety pin rivet squeezer set, and some others. I also got their substructure dimple dies for dimpling the ribs and other parts.
As winter is on the way, we had to move almost everything to the basement, where I'll continue assembly of what I have so far, then begin prepping the elevator and the tailcone. Figure that will take me to spring, when I can prime those items and finish up. Hoping to order the wing kit after the first of the year.
And finally a hint to those of you with municipal recycling programs. Not sure how it works in other places, but here in Ontario, recycling bins seem to be subsidized by the government. Meaning I can go around the corner to my local Home Hardware and pick up small bins for $3 each, large bins $6. These are heavy plastic, and much cheaper than buying Rubbermaid bins to store parts in. So I've obtained about six or seven small bins and a couple of large ones, and parts are segregated by type into these bins, i.e. E- in one set, HS- in another, then the wiring harness, cables, etc. in another, then stored on my wire bakers rack or underneath the EAA 1000 tables I'm using.
New squeezer arrived
So in the last post I mentioned that I needed to order a longeron or flange-nose yoke for my Main Squeeze squeezer from Cleaveland Tool. I got on their website Monday to order and realized that my arms and shoulders were still hurting from using the manual squeezer. So I took the plunge and bought their pneumatic squeezer kit. I emailed Mike and asked if they could substitute the flange-nose yoke for the 3" yoke that comes standard with the kit, as I already had the yoke with my Main Squeeze. Mike emailed me back right away and said it was no problem. I completed the order with Annette, and everything arrived Wednesday. I'm 4 for 4 on great service by Mike, Annette and the rest of the crew at Cleaveland!
After getting things set up last night (Friday) I had a cinch job of finishing up the rest of the rivets in the front horizontal stabilizer spar thanks to the new squeezer. I'm looking forward to more rivets to squeeze.
I also countersunk the 400+ holes in both spars and the stringers and prepped both skins tonight with Prekote and maroon Scotchbrite and warm water. Prekote says to prime aluminum within 24 hours of prep, so I'll warm up the garage first thing in the morning and prime the skins inside and out. And then use the leftover AKZO and a Q-Tip to touch up all the countersinks I made on the spars and stringers.
And my Amazon-provided torque wrench also arrived on Thursday, so I finished bolting the elevator center hinge bearing bracket onto the rear spar, then torque sealed it.
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