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Old 06-11-2013, 07:33 PM
nbachert nbachert is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: California, MD
Posts: 321
Default Slider rear skirt help

I'm on my second try for this rear skirt and I'm just curious what people think and if it is good enough or fixable with some rubber insulation. The gap at the center top is about 1/4 in and about 3/8 at the side. Also I cut this piece even bigger than the Van's one so it needs to be trimmed but I hope that doesn't ruin the part that is sealing. What is a good way to trim the aft part without exceeding what is covered? This is my second try because I miss drilled a hole in the other one but it was pretty close at the top and the sides like this one until I messed it up. I know my frame isn't perfect so this might be about as good as it gets. Any help would be appreciated thanks,


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Old 06-11-2013, 08:40 PM
N9331v's Avatar
N9331v N9331v is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hampshire, IL
Posts: 276

I made several before my aluminum skirts came around.

Look up RV6rick on VAF, I followed his advices and they turned out awesome.
Ed Martin
Donations 1/19 & 6/19
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:45 PM
DarylT's Avatar
DarylT DarylT is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 446

What he said.... I tried twice and then went fiberglass.

Never look back!
Daryl Tolliver
VAF 1086
Yes: I paid my =VAF= membership dues for 2021
RV-7A - N754RV: Status - Pink Slip is In! First Flight 8/23/12 - My First Flight 9/24/12!

Home from GloCustom for Paint! 3/16/13
1002 hours and climbing

8th Condition Inspection complete 10/31/2020

Superior XP IO360 (180 HP), Hartzell Blended Airfoil, AF-5400 EFIS panel, Garmin Aera 660, TruTrak Vizion 385 AutoPilot, Dual Pmags
Houston, TX

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Old 06-11-2013, 08:45 PM
alcladrv alcladrv is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 606

Originally Posted by CharlieMike View Post
I made my rear skirt on my slider out of fiberglass and have never looked back. It seals great, in the winter I have to reach way back to feel even a slight draft.
How did you seal the "doghouse" area at the top? That's where I usually feel a draft the most.


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Old 06-11-2013, 09:09 PM
6 Gun 6 Gun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 846
Smile fit

Looks just like mine Nick it will make the cabin pressure lower.
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:32 AM
VETE76 VETE76 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: syracuse ny/venice fl
Posts: 630

its a lot cheaper to buy the sheet of alum 2'x4' hard not the soft sheet from acs than vans, I know. then take your bad skirt and drill ur 1st hole 1/2" from existing. use the bad skin as a template and when you get it right transfer it to the new piece adjust for the new holes slightly off
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:31 AM
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Dbro172 Dbro172 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Fargo, ND
Posts: 1,074
Default you can do better

nick, I'll try to explain.

It looks like you jumped to conclusion and put too much emphasis on aligning the leading edge and and the row of clecos per plan and are now trying to work backwards from there.

My sheet of aluminum came from Vans with two patterns traced on them. These patterns were plenty big. I cut them out exactly on the lines.

Once the patterns are cut, Shape them by hand by running them across your thigh at an angle, which will form the bend and the twist. Try to get them to follow the shape of the canopy as best as possible, but it doesnt have to be perfect.

Now, slide the sheet metal up, down, all-around over the canopy and fuse until you find a "best fit". start trimming and shaping from there.

To be honest, i trimmed very little from the template, and the majority was from the bottom. The top near the doghouse was barely trimmed at all. The leading and trailing edges werent trimmed at all. My trailing edge overlaps the fuselage by about two inches and is parallel to the fuse skin.

you will need a to fashion a hole finder to drill the holes. the bottom rear corners are the hardest to massage into place. One of mine still needs some stroking. Other than that, my skirts are so tight, the slider from doesnt touch the roll bar anymore. The plans tell you to place a 1/16" spacer between the slider and the rollbar when you are setting the rear skirts to help it close tight when the spacer is removed. I wish I used a 1/32 spacer or none at all.

check out my build log to see how it turned out. Good Luck
Derek Hoeschen
EAA Tech Counselor
RV-9A #92103 - N803DK
G3X, Superior XO-320, Dual Pmags, Catto 3B

1974 Bellanca Super Viking - N16AW - Flying
RV-8 #83565 - N184DK - building
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1956 C-182 - N744W - Sold
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Old 06-12-2013, 12:10 PM
Flyguytki's Avatar
Flyguytki Flyguytki is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fairbanks AK
Posts: 758

Go to Fiberglass! you can make it PERFECT and tighter seal than anyone with aluminum I guarantee it! There are some very nice looking aluminum ones however when you can use the fuselage as a mold it is an absolute perfect fit.
RV-7 N87DX Built, Flown, and Sold!
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Old 06-12-2013, 05:23 PM
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Rick_A Rick_A is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,537
Default Fiberglass and Aluminum

I did a fiberglass rear skirt and didn't even try making it from aluminum. However, it occurred to me when I was done that an aluminum base with glass on top might have been easier.

In order to do a full glass skirt, you have to find a way to bridge the gap between the plexiglass and the fuselage. I used poster board covered with tape and put mold release wax on the tape. It took quite a few layers of glass to get the skirt stiff & strong enough.

When I was all done, it occurred to me that an aluminum base with glass on top probably would have resulted in a thinner skirt that was just as strong. You'd have to reduce the width of the alumimum portion to get a good contour that did not extend too far back. You'd wouldn't need many layers of glass on the aluminum - only enough to provide a a bond and transition to the all glass portion of the skirt.

Since you've already got you aluminum skirt fitting pretty good, it might be better then starting from scratch will glass (if you've think about going the glass route)
Rick Aronow,
Flying 7A Slider;
Jacksonville, FL
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:09 PM
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frazitl frazitl is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 488
Default Check out

my post #6 in this thread:

better pictures at:

The extra aft lower corner brackets help quite a bit to pull the lower corners in.

In the top center area (in fact across the whole top area), I beveled the plexi quite a bit to allow the skirt to angle downward making better contact with the fuselage.

From the 2 o'clock (or 10 o'clock) positions all the way to the bottom corner, you need to be pulling down and forward pretty hard while the holes are being drilled. You need two people for sure during this part of the process.

Best of Luck!
Terry F.
RV 7A N457RV
250 hours and lovin it!
Southern Nevada EAA Chapter 1300 -

Paid VAF 03/17

Last edited by frazitl : 06-12-2013 at 06:18 PM.
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