VAF Forums

VAF Forums (
-   My RV Build Project (
-   -   RV-8A #83423 N-251WM (

Strike69 03-17-2012 06:10 AM

RV-8A #83243 N-251WM
As my kids returned to their mother on Chirstmas Eve, I embarked on my journey of creating N-251WM (res). With all the ways to publish on the web, I think hosting the builds ON this site makes the most sense. I look forward to sharing my progress. Although I will providde updates here, I am still tracking my daily progress the old fashion way:

So far: 71 hrs since 12/24/11

Completed: Horizontal and vertical stabs (except for fiberglass) and parts for the elevators and rudder ready for priming.

Had to take a break when I realized the 1/2 car garage was not going to be big enough. Fortunately the lease was up and the landlord was selling. Now my new shop is set up and I'm ready to crank up the production again.

Now back to work ...

NovaBandit 03-17-2012 06:07 PM

Wow. That build log is old school. Is that made out of PAPER??

It's looking good, and I like the new shop!

Strike69 03-25-2012 07:04 AM

Back riveting
Back to work in the new shop. I did an acid wash and alumi prep conversion coating followed by an Azko prime layer of the internal rudder and elevator parts (the parts below are pre-primer).

To rivet the stiffeners I routed a cut-out in my bench and put in a small back riveting plate.

After a little rivet tape to hold the 3-3.5s in place, flipped the rudder over and got to work.

There was some additional riveting of the rudder skin but had to quit when I put a Phillips screwdriver through my finger (don't ask ... the only advise I can give is NEVER use a screw driver to help displace a blind rivet stem from the tool). I am giving new meaning to sharing your blood to provide soul for the airplane!

Strike69 04-15-2012 08:12 AM

Elevator work
After a couple weeks of travel, I finally primed the elevator parts and got to work.

After reading about how to use 2x8s or 2x10s to create a bending break for the rudder and elevators, I decided to incorporate it into my work bench. When not in use it is the back splash and when I need, it is a very stable, convenient tool.

Since my squeezer yoke is not deep enough to get around the rib flanges, I had to get creative with the back riveting plate and tungsten bar..

And after about 5 hours and a little help, I am ready to close up the right elevator then move on to the challenge of the left side.

jeffmoreau 04-15-2012 09:35 AM

Looking Good Strike !
I enjoyed visiting your shop last week. Great to spend some time with you.
Keep up the great work. The project is coming along well.

Strike69 04-21-2012 05:35 AM

Weight and Balance
As I wait for replacement parts to be shipped and time to prime, I put together a Weight and Balance spreadsheet to run different scenarios. Obviously the end result numbers will be different but I can play around with the CG to see what my final operating capacity will be. If anyone wants a copy of the file drop me a note.

Bill Dicus 04-21-2012 07:27 AM

cg file
Mike: That really looks useful, with great features. I would love a copy if you don't mind, at least if it will run on Excel for Mac.

Bill Dicus

Terry Lutz 04-21-2012 11:37 AM

W&Bal Spreadsheet
I would like one too, if you could shoot one my way. Thanks!

Doty 04-22-2012 06:17 AM

I would love to have a copy of the spreadsheet as well! Thanks!


Strike69 06-17-2012 05:50 AM

Empennage Complete!
After several work trips (to rough places like Hawaii!) I was finally able to get things finished with the tail feathers. Just in time too since the rest of my kit is being loaded in Oregon Monday for delivery.

Like many others, I had the privilege of completing multiple trim tabs. When the kit originally came, I was sent the wrong skin so Van's quickly replaced it. But instead of using the other skin to figure out a jig and experiment, I thought I had it and dove right in on the "real" part ... only to have to order another one when the blocks shown here didn't hold.

I figured out a way to use the work bench instead which provided a much sturdier forming block. I was much happier with the way the ends of the trim tab came out but after drilling ... and more drilling ... the hinge rivets are sloppy. It would work but this is an easy part to redo ... so I am on #3 (or will that be #4?) and will be shipped with the rest of the kit next week. For now it looks cool on the elevator.

I also had to order a new trim access panel. I'll blame the ruler but the truth is I riveted the actuator motor brackets too close to the one edge. Again, I could probably notch the ends but it will be easy enough to fix. I did find I needed to "shape" the access (note the upper right corner of the picture has rounded out).

The biggest challenge thus far was the rolling of the leading edges. I struggled with the practice piece and I didn't get the picture from all of the drawings out there. It wasn't until Tim R. (RV-6 builder) came over with a pipe did I fully get how to do it. We laid a plastic garbage bag on the table, fashioned a pipe bracket out of PVC, clamped it to the table, duct taped the skin to the pipe and away we went. Using vise grips it was a piece of cake.

I also using an edge roller prior to forming the edge on the top side. I did add a few extra rivets on the middle bends to stitch the edge together better. Deburring was not that difficult but it does take two (or more) sets of hands to hold the edges together to get the clecos in.

The end result is a thing of beauty.

116.5 hours to date. With the exception of the fiberglass work (and a little trim tab rework), phase I is complete!

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:52 PM.