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asw20c 08-18-2019 04:38 PM

About to Throw in the Towel
I have been working on my slow-build wings for almost 2 1/2 years. About 8 months of that time I was making little to no progress because of two back to back problems I encountered (with my pitot system and bottom skins), but eventually I overcame both and had been very happy with the quality of my build. Today I finished building my flaps after about 2 months of effort (they're beautiful, by the way) only to realize that they are both junk. I misinterpreted the plans and ended up getting the rod-end subassemblies mirrored and installed backwards. In other words, the left subassembly was assembled in the right flap, and the right in the left flap. They fit fine. And it is completely irrecoverable. It kept nagging at me that the location of the nutplate didn't seem right, but I was sure I had followed the plans correctly.
There is no way to fix this problem except to buy all new parts and hardware and start over. I'm so frustrated and angry about losing this much time on the project after having just gotten past the difficulty of the bottom skins that I'm tempted to walk away from the project. It seems I'm doomed to keep working on these **** wings in perpetuity. It's that or admit defeat and lose all the time and expense of this project so far.

bkervaski 08-18-2019 04:40 PM

They will go faster the second time around ... take a break then build on!

snopercod 08-18-2019 04:48 PM

Chin up, man. I took 27 years to finish my Lancair. In my defense I took ten years off to build a house, but even so... What convinced me to finish it was when I realized that it wasn't worth squat unfinished. All that time and money I had invested would be flushed down the toilet if I wimped out. So I sucked it up and finished the project five years ago and have been having fun ever since. Don't let it go...

Desert Rat 08-18-2019 05:02 PM

Something like that can take the wind out of your sails on any project, not just an airplane. One way or another we've all been there.

For what it's worth, my buddy damaged one of the flaps on his RV6 and vans sold him a new assembled one for less than $400 bucks. If you can't stand the though of rebuilding them from scratch, it might be worth a call to Vans to see if you can fix it with the checkbook and move on, just for the psychological boost.

Then again, think about a few years from now, when it's sitting on a ramp somewhere and a random ramp rat asks you if you built it. What will it feel like to say: "yeah, I built it, In fact I built some of it twice!"

David Paule 08-18-2019 05:09 PM

On my RV-3B project, I had a lot of trouble with the wings. I went through something like four tanks, four outboard leading edges, four ailerons.... you get the idea. But I kept plugging. In the end, I had two good wings, complete with flaps and ailerons.

Somewhere in the middle, I realized both that I enjoyed building the plane, even though I was getting tired of wings, and that AS long as I could afford to buy them, Van's would cheerfully sell me new parts.

I'm on the fuselage now and haven't screwed anything major up in a while. Hope that continues!

So hang in there. It's doable. The second pair do indeed go faster than the first, and look better, too.


mturnerb 08-18-2019 05:31 PM

I have an extra left flap I built but didn't fit to my satisfaction. Happy to send it to you for cost of shipping.

rmartingt 08-18-2019 06:12 PM

Hang in there and don?t give up. Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them.

We had to scrap the horizontal stabilizer and an aileron on my dad?s -6. The lost time and money stinks, but it?s not the end of the world.

I?ve seen much, much more expensive and time consuming mistakes on big airplanes?like entire wings having to be scrapped. Not to mention all those less expensive parts like landing gear, engines, etc...

Tom023 08-18-2019 06:34 PM

Hang in there! I started with the wings and they take the longest by far. Everything else moves faster and it starts to look like a plane which is motivating. Finish the wings, build the empennage and buy a quick build fuselage and you will have the structure essentially complete.

I had to rebuild the horizontal stabilizer because of two rivets. And now I just had my first flight and I am going to build a new aileron. It happens to all of us a some point.

mfleming 08-18-2019 06:39 PM

Going against the grain here...

The building process is done (IMHO) as a enjoyable endeavor NOT just to have an airplane. Airplanes can be bought and probably cheaper than building one.

We all go through frustrations as we build and that's exactly what makes the build process so satisfying....working through those frustrations and seeing the other side.

I can't imagine the frustration of discovering both flaps are junk. Before I went on, I'd personally think about why such a mistake was made. Only you will be able to answer that. I don't know about the -14 but the -7 plans have ample warnings about left vs right issues.

Everyone is not a builder but most people HERE are, ergo, the keep on pushing mentality in the responses. If you're a builder, figure out what went wrong and keep on building. If your not a builder, there's no shame in admitting that and buying a nice used -14 and having a ball with a wonderful aircraft.

Discus2b 08-18-2019 07:00 PM

Ok...the flaps are beautiful....just confuse...
You spent .002% of you life making something perfect....ok...
think of the poor fella who had issues after landing at Oshkosh this year.
Well, we?re not going to have landing issues and we are going to make yard art out of confused flaps and build another pair correctly. .002 % building perfect.
Now, give us your best Academy Award performance and get on with it.
In 7 years and 300 hours on your aircraft it won?t be a big deal.
Two months is nothing....
There is no quitting, the journey is what it is...
Plow on.


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