Quick-Build versus Older Design Slow-Build
Got to help inventory an RV-10 quick-build last night. I'm building an RV-3B and have a Cessna 180. Some impressions:
1. The plans are so much improved over the old plans. Now they're in 11 x 17 format with well-illustrated step-by-step detail.
2. We put away much fewer rivets than from my standard-build kits even though I have a smaller airplane. The missing rivets? Already installed, sweet.
3. Quality of the riveting was generally excellent.
4. One thing made an impression - a line in the inventory list said "ailerons." I built four of them to get a couple of decent ones and they took me 44 to 50 hours each. Last night we checked the item off the list in seconds. "Ailerons - check." Dang! That was easy.
5. We found one rivet in parts where the fit of the formed pieces wasn't all that hot (the rivet was fine), and another part that wasn't shaped all that well. These were things very similar to what I found in my kit. Looks like Van's still has trouble with some forming operations, especially at the leading edges.
6. The shop had good lighting over our work table, and not-so-good elsewhere. It's really important to have good lighting for the whole shop.
7. The -10 uses electric flaps and I was surprised at how heavy and how small the actuator was. My -3B uses manual flaps and they are so much lighter. My Cessna 180 also uses manual flaps and I love them.
8. I didn't measure the RV-10 cabin but it appeared significantly wider than my Cessna 180's cabin. Guess Van's has taken the measure of modern U.S. adults and found them, well, wider. This won't be an issue for the very fit builders of this particular airplane.
9. The RV-10's floor wasn't flat. Hard to imagine how it could be with the spar there. The Cessna 180 floor is flat, except for the front seat tracks, and that's come in handy a few times.
10. The -10's baggage door is ample but there's a fixed cross-brace in front of it separating it from the rear seats, which could be a bit awkward.
My overall impression is that this airplane will be ready for major assembly and systems installation quite soon.