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vernh59 04-10-2019 09:47 PM

RV7 Vern Head 71139
Greetings all,
Well after lurking here for an eternity I have finally started a 7. I purchased an old kit from a friend to start with because it came with assorted tools and it was partly assembled...more on that later.
It took what seems like months to carve out a space in my garage {the family storage unit} to have a place to work. It still needs some upgrades but it has the basics for now. Im sure Ill be waiting on something someday and ill take care of the little things.
Standard disclaimer, this log represents how I do things, not how YOU should do things. YOU have to decide that for yourself. My opinion is worth exactly what you pay for it. Fire away if you have suggestions, Im always open to constructive criticism.

The skeleton ready to go together. This is when I started thinking about the "optional" lightning holes in the spar doubler. I called Vans and asked the forum and cut the holes as per the plans. newer kits have the holes already cut so that told me something.

The rear spar all riveted up. I did have to drill out a few rivets here. I learned (I hope) that its important to pay attention to the bar but, if you don't pay attention to that gun, your gonna be drilling out the rivet anyway and may be replacing parts.

The frame all riveted and crammed into the skin. I think the skin got pinched over the years as the tip rib and the nose rib really didn't want to go in there when i fit it to match drill. This time I started at the tip rib and worked my way back. Same with the nose rib. Worked much better.

Most of the rivets are in place for the frame. Now I have to rivet the perimeter. The plans say to use a squeezer but I need to make peace with that gun so I used it.

All buttoned up. No damage and no smileys! This time. Now to peal the 16+ year old blue off.

Better than I thought it might be. No signs of corrosion, just the exposed skin is little more shiny.

I worked on it for a few minutes with a MF towel and it looks much better.

On to the next thing.

Raymo 04-11-2019 09:00 AM

Nice work, Vern, and welcome to VAF!. I have a friend in your area that is a Chinook pilot at Ft. Rucker and I plan to fly in for a visit in the near future. Let me know if you'd like to go up in my -7A. I plan to fly into 7J1.

vernh59 04-11-2019 05:04 PM


Originally Posted by Raymo (Post 1338581)
Nice work, Vern, and welcome to VAF!. I have a friend in your area that is a Chinook pilot at Ft. Rucker and I plan to fly in for a visit in the near future. Let me know if you'd like to go up in my -7A. I plan to fly into 7J1.

Appreciate the offer Ray. let me know when your in town.

Salter 04-14-2019 09:49 AM

I think may have heard about this kit. Glad to see you are making some progress Vern. If you need a hand just let me know.

vernh59 04-14-2019 09:15 PM

Will do! :D

vernh59 04-23-2019 10:09 PM

I haven't been posting but I have been busy. I decided to build the rudder next. First, I wanted to check my table to see if the top was level. I suspected it was not.

I shimmed the top to take the sway out of it and it was just right, for now.
Now on with the rudder. As the instructions say, I used leftover ply from my EAA tables screwed to the top of my table to drill 300 holes in.

Next, I layed out the skins and cut the stiffeners. I made a mistake here and grabbed a stick of elevator stiffeners. They are NOT the same. Hope I have enough for the elevators. If not, I know who to call.

With the skins deburred and dimpled Ill prime them tomorrow and start the assembly.

vernh59 04-25-2019 10:28 PM

Primed the stiffeners.and started assembly of the skeleton. I'm using Stewart System Eko prime but, for the stiffeners, i just grabbed a rattle can.

Starting to assemble the skeleton.

Radius 405PP to match the radius of 904 rib.

The tip rib required some fluting to flatten it out before it could be attached.

Attached the tip rib and the counterbalance rib and skin.

Attached skins for final drilling. One thing about the stiffeners. Make sure the end against the spar is cut back far enough to not touch the spar. i had interference that had to be corrected before the skin would lay properly.

Ready to match drill the skins.

Fitting and final drilling the rudder horn and support.

vernh59 05-02-2019 12:37 PM

Deburred, dimpled and ready for clean up and prime.

vernh59 05-04-2019 12:16 PM

Late night starting the assembly of the rudder.

Assembling the spar and reinforcing plates. Have to be careful here. Two on the front and one on the back.

I decided to squeeze these rivets. I like it.

This group of parts took some time trying to make sure everything is where it should be. These are -6 and -7 rivets. A tall order for a hand squeezer but the Main Squeeze handled them.

Note to self: check EVERY rivet for the right length. I will drill and replace the two outboard rivets. There isn't enough shops head.

vernh59 05-04-2019 09:53 PM

Putting the skins on for the last time....I hope. I was able to squeeze 4 of the six rivets you set at this stage in the counterbalance skin. It was too late to start the compressor so they will have to wait.

Overall, pretty happy with the rudder skins. Yes, I made mistakes (nothing structural) and there are dings. Im gonna call it personality and build on.

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