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Old 11-16-2020, 05:05 PM
dwaynebob dwaynebob is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Default RV-3 Wing

Bought a project and looked at the fuselage where the wing connects (sorry, still learning what to call things, I call it the wing box but I don't think that's correct.) My buddy, who is helping me, who built an-6 suggested we get Vans to give us a suggestion. I found two holes that are not satisfactory. One looks like it was torn, the other looks like sloppy drilling or perhaps re-drilled incorrectly. Opinions based on solid FAR references go to the head of the line.
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Old 11-16-2020, 05:57 PM
WillG WillG is offline
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Seattle
Posts: 14
Default RV-3 Wing

I would -

Find a set of plans or at least the main spar detail for yr of 3.
Drill out and replace main spar bulkheads - blanks undrilled from Vans
Use wing spar existing holes to drill bulkheads to spar bolts holes.
Hopefully spar bolt holes are ok.
Confirm the above with Vans.

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Old 11-16-2020, 06:40 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,059

It looks like it's a very early RV-3 and it sure looks like it needs a new spar bulkhead, which is what those photos show.

Unfortunately, the spar bulkheads were matched to the spars so it's going to be a real treat making that repair, even assuming that Van's can supply drawings and parts. The current version, the RV-3B, is considerably different through there. For this sort of thing, the factory is going to be your best resource.

I hope this thing didn't cost much.

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Old 11-16-2020, 07:09 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,013

Looks like the main spar carry through structure to me. This is a critical part of the wing structure. Some of these holes arenít just mis-drilled. One is ripped. How did that happen? One of the holes looks like it was miss drilled more than once, maybe three times. I would have to question the integrity of the holes in the spar, so make sure you verify they are not damaged in any way. The bolts that go in there go through the wing spar and four splice plates. Some of them are interference sized bolts, and must fit tightly.
I am no expert, so Iím just saying what seems obvious to me having built a few of these. There are many here on this forum that are experts, and they will probably chime in. But I think your first option would be to talk to Vans Aircraft, show them these pictures, and get their opinion too.
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
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RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
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Old 11-16-2020, 07:31 PM
Larry DeCamp Larry DeCamp is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Clinton, Indiana
Posts: 1,150
Default Messed up holes

All thoughts above worth considering ! Something to consider is a doubler could be installed over the oversized/ripped holes. That said, to avoid the need for a complete bulkhead replacement ( big job and oversized rivet holes), the spar holes and 4 steel doublers must all match. FYI, I have afull set of circa 2009 steel doubler plates if you need them.
Larry DeCamp
RV-4 fastback in process w/ Superior roller 360/AFP/G3X/CPI/Catto3b
Clinton, IN
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Old 11-16-2020, 09:14 PM
dwaynebob dwaynebob is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Default doubler

Thanks Larry, my A&P suggested the doubler (patch) fix. I am replacing the torn hole as I am doing some reskin work on that side anyway so it shouldn't be too difficult. I figured if I have to take out the bulkhead, I was going to by 3B wings and do that mod.

It is an old build, however, it has changed hands a few times and I'm fairly certain subsequent owners may have been, how should I put this, not too deligent.
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Old 11-17-2020, 09:05 PM
FinnFlyer FinnFlyer is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Bell, FL
Posts: 582


Looks like the fuselage was hung in the torn hole.

Problem with doubler will be how to dimple the new rivet holes holding the doubler to the bulkhead(s). I guess you could mount the male dimple die in/on a 1" bucking bar. The rivet holes will have to be spaced so as not to weaken the bulkhead around the existing bolt holes.

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Old 11-18-2020, 10:13 AM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,059

If you're going to attempt a repair without replacing the bulkheads, you really should contact Van's. Seriously.

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Old 11-18-2020, 10:21 AM
MS1095 MS1095 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 141

Did this RV-3 come out of Missouri?
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Old 11-18-2020, 09:47 PM
dwaynebob dwaynebob is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 44
Default RV

Plane was from Illinois for the past 20 years, not sure if it started from Missouri but I don't think so.
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