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Old 01-22-2021, 12:22 PM
KatieB's Avatar
KatieB KatieB is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Belton, MO
Posts: 1,124

Glasswork is very subjective. If you look at older factory-built planes, they just screwed plastic tips on to the tail & wingtips and they look good from 20 feet away. That's acceptable, but a lot of builders want a seamless transition from metal to tip, and that's difficult to achieve. It's not structural, so you have a lot of leeway there as a builder to decide the standard of finish you want. I'm ok with keeping the tail tips simple this time around, but one thing I will spend time on is the empennage intersection fairing. If those don't fit right, they look horrible. I laid one up from scratch for the RV-3 and hopefully won't have to do the same thing for the 9. But I have a few years before I'll have to worry about it. People stress out about the fiberglass on RVs, but I think it's fun because you can cut and shape it without worrying too much about screwing it up. Unlike metal, you can add material to it if you need to.
Katie Bosman
EAA Homebuilt Advisory Council
Rebuilt most of SNF tornado victim RV-3B Tony Boy II (had to sell him, but he's flying!)
RV-9 93281 tail kit has arrived... here I go again!
VAF Dues Paid 2021!
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Old 01-22-2021, 03:36 PM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sunman, IN
Posts: 2,344
Default And

There is a lot more Fiberglass on the -10...

...and BOTH sides of the cabin top are seen...
Aerospace Engineer '88

Phase I as of 12-02-2020

Dues+ Paid 2020,...Thanks DR+
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Old 01-22-2021, 06:20 PM
KatanaPilot KatanaPilot is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 645

Originally Posted by rocketman1988 View Post
I have to disagree. I thought the fiberglass work on my -10 cabin top and doors was...well, lacking. I hear they are now better but the pink one I have was adequate at best. The exterior was ok but the interior was not good at all.

Sorry, but for me, that is how it was...YMMV
Yep, same here. Many hours of work to get an acceptable level of appearance on the inside of the cabin cover.

Guess I was spoiled with a couple of composite airplanes, albeit certified and pretty expensive in comparison.
Krea Ellis

Locust Grove, GA
DA20-A1 "Princess Amelia" - gone home to Amelia Island
RV-7A Phase 2 (Honored to be Van's "Miss July" 2021)
RV-10 under construction at Synergy Air South
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Old 01-22-2021, 07:27 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 5,747

Originally Posted by D Weisgerber View Post
I found the fiberglass is high quality, it's a lot better than it was 25 years ago when I built my RV6.
+1 .

Lord Kelvin:
“I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about,
and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you
cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge
is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind.”
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:48 AM
Captain Avgas Captain Avgas is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,921

It would be helpful if posters commenting on the quality of Vans fibreglass components would state what year(s) they purchased them from Vans. My best guess is that Vans has bought their fibreglass components from various subcontractors over the decades so one would expect quality variations. I also suspect their purchase decisions in the past may have been more influenced by price than quality. I bought my RV7A kit components in 2004 and 2005 and at that time the fibreglass parts I received were woeful. I had to do huge amounts of work to bring most of them up to a reasonable standard. One wingtip was so distorted I could not fix it and eventually had to order a new one. Hopefully today the fibreglass parts are better....hopefully.
You’re only as good as your last landing
Bob Barrow

Last edited by Captain Avgas : 01-23-2021 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 01-24-2021, 02:12 PM
Jimmy Cox Jimmy Cox is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: central Texas
Posts: 25
Default fiberglass

We purchased James aircraft last month and have started producing parts. I have done Team Rocket cowlings and fairings for almost 20 years and Vince is doing a great job with Team Rocket.
Along with aircraft parts we have made many automotive hoods including a hood for the Cadillac CTS. I have found the automotive market requires a much higher level of finish and fit than the EAB market. I have found what one automotive body shop says is the best hood they have painted was a reshipped hood that another body shop said was junk. Expectations vary.

Empennage fairings are difficult because minor differences in the mounting of the vertical and horizontal stabilizers make a big difference in the fit. And each plane is different.

All of that said, we want to make the best parts possible and welcome feedback on our parts. And I will be happy to answer fiberglass questions anyone has.
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