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  #1  
Old 08-05-2016, 08:40 AM
GA FTEs GA FTEs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: California
Posts: 11
Default NTPS RV-12 Project

Graduate Assistants at the National Test Pilot School have successfully completed the assembly of the rudder, vertical stabilizer, stabilator, and anti-servo tab on a Vans RV-12. The tailcone assembly is currently underway! NTPS Graduate Assistants are recent engineering graduates pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in Flight Test Engineering (FTE) degree spread over a three-year period while gaining real-life experience on flight test programs at the same time. Stay tuned for the next major milestone!

Initial Unboxing:


Stabilator Assembly:


Trim Tab Assembly:


Rudder and Vertical Stabilizer Assembly:


Tailcone Assembly:

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  #2  
Old 08-05-2016, 09:44 AM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,653
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Cool!

I look fwd to following your progress, and hearing what you think of the kit and hopefully what your opinions are of how it flys.

It would be great to hear more details about the project.
What the imputes was to start a build project? Why the RV-12?
Is the plan to fly it? Will it be owned by NPTS and eventually be part of there training aircraft fleet?
__________________
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop Manager
FAA/DAR
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2016, 09:56 AM
Driftdown Driftdown is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Clearwater, Florida
Posts: 398
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Could it be . . . that we may be looking at a future cadre of American astronauts?
If so, they are definitely pointed in the right direction.
Have fun!

Last edited by Driftdown : 08-05-2016 at 09:59 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-23-2016, 05:19 PM
GA FTEs GA FTEs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: California
Posts: 11
Default

Thanks for the support!
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2016, 09:05 AM
GA FTEs GA FTEs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: California
Posts: 11
Default

Thanks for your support and interest! We will be updating the thread as we complete additional milestones on the project. :-) Per your request here is a bit about our project:

The build program was initiated as a way to give NTPS Graduate Assistants the opportunity to conduct a first flight and envelope expansion test program, develop an aircraft flight manual, learn about aircraft construction, and how to manage a long project (we are hoping to be finished in two years). The RV-12 kit was appealing to us due to its small construction space required, detailed construction plans, the simplicity of the hand tools, and the E-LSA registration once the build is complete. The RV-12 is owned by NTPS and the aircraft will be used to either support the school's courses and R&D programs and/or used for staff during off hours.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2016, 08:09 PM
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videobobk videobobk is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Near Scipio, in Southern Indiana
Posts: 1,779
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This will be a great experience for you! I am currently working with two high school groups building RV-12s, so I know how much you can learn, and how much fun you are having. Keep us up-to date on how this goes.

Bob Kelly
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Bob Kelly, Scipio, Indiana
Tech Counselor
Founder, Eagle's Nest Projects
President, AviationNation, Inc
RV-9A N908BL, Flying
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2016, 12:38 PM
Dgamble's Avatar
Dgamble Dgamble is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 869
Default Organization and Process

Quote:
Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
Cool!

I look fwd to following your progress, and hearing what you think of the kit and hopefully what your opinions are of how it flys.

It would be great to hear more details about the project.
What the imputes was to start a build project? Why the RV-12?
Is the plan to fly it? Will it be owned by NPTS and eventually be part of there training aircraft fleet?
Being the NPTS and knowing those kinds of students to be quite brilliant, I would be interested in how they are managing the organization of the project. Inventory, progress-tracking, issue management - these are the kinds of things I think this group would put a lot of thought into. I wonder if there are some best practices or document templates they would be able/willing to share.
__________________
Dave Gamble
Grove City, OH

RV-6 N466PG Purchased already flying - SOLD!

The Book: The PapaGolf Chronicles

Built RV-12
http://www.schmetterlingaviation.com

The Book: Schmetterling Aviation

The above web blogs and any links provided thereto are not instructional or advisory in nature. They merely seek to share my experiences in building and flying Van's RV airplanes.
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  #8  
Old 10-13-2016, 04:49 PM
GA FTEs GA FTEs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: California
Posts: 11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dgamble View Post
Being the NPTS and knowing those kinds of students to be quite brilliant, I would be interested in how they are managing the organization of the project. Inventory, progress-tracking, issue management - these are the kinds of things I think this group would put a lot of thought into. I wonder if there are some best practices or document templates they would be able/willing to share.
With regards to building safety and method, we are following AC43.13 and diligently following the instructions provided by Van's. We also have two instructors acting as advisors who have completed builds of a Van's RV-8 and a Harmon Rocket.

As far as some of the programmatic practices, we've come up with our own solutions. I'm not sure if these are necessarily best practices, as this is a first-time build for most of us, but this is how we've handled business so far:

A thorough inventory was performed upon receipt of each subassembly kit. We created a labeling system for the shelves in our work area, and placed parts (by assembly) on said shelves. The provided parts lists were scanned into usable text via adobe acrobat pro, and the shelf locations were assigned to each part number in a tracking spreadsheet.

Hardware was handled similarly, but common part numbers were not segregated by assembly. e.g. all AN-960-10L were placed in one bin for all assemblies.

Progress is tracked in several ways. Firstly through an aircraft builder's log, and a builder's diary that we created for ourselves. All steps in the build instructions are marked as completed in the aircraft builder's log. Close-out inspections are also performed and documented in this log. The builder's diary has a more thorough discussion of the work performed on any one day as a reference for whichever of us are going to work during the next build session. This diary also serves as a location for lessons learned, of which there are many already

We've also mounted a camera in a fixed location, and we take periodic pictures of the build as a kind of "time-lapse" of construction.

As far as hourly tracking, we write down the build hours in the builder's log daily, and once every ~month we enter the hours into a tracking spreadsheet against projected hours for the build.

One of our GAs is a former crew-chief for the USAF, so he created a tool control system consisting of a foam shadowed tool box with a thorough inventory, as well as check-out and check-in procedures which are performed daily.

Thanks for your Interest!
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2016, 10:38 AM
GA FTEs GA FTEs is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: California
Posts: 11
Default Tailcone Section Complete!

Much progress has been made on an experimental homebuilt RV-12 out in Mojave, California! National Test Pilot School (NTPS) Graduate Assistants successfully completed the empennage/tailcone section of the aircraft. The wing sections are currently underway! This build project is giving Graduate Assistants an opportunity to gain skills in leadership, aircraft construction, and experience on managing a long term project. Please continue to follow along as more milestones are met! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWe-...ature=youtu.be

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