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Old 02-14-2020, 10:38 AM
greghughespdx's Avatar
greghughespdx greghughespdx is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Aurora, OR
Posts: 1,034
Default New optional kit: ACCESS PANEL KIT for 7/9/10/14

Hi All ?

There?s a new optional kit available to order form the Van's web store as of last night. We have several in stock now. It's called "ACCESS PANEL KIT" and is designed for use on the RV-7/9/10/14. It can be used during new construction, or as a retrofit installation (in which case you'll drill out two applicable rivets so you can fit the template).

The kit sells for $19.00, so let's face it, it?s a freakin? bargain. Try that, certified world!

This particular kit was initially the work of our friend Joe Blank, who worked in technical support here at Van's and unfortunately passed away a few years ago. We were able to pick up his work and finish it off so we can share it with you.

This kit was created in response to customer desires/requests over the years. Our engineering team has worked recently to select and deliver a handful of these smaller enhancement requests when they can find a few cycles (and that doesn't happen often - did I mention we are hiring engineers?) with the goal of delivering options that people can choose from if they wish. Other recent examples include this kit, the cowl louvers kit, the AHARS mounting bracket kit, RV-12 step plugs and optional style throttle handle, etc. You'll find those on our web store in the "New Products" section.

What this kit does: Allows the builder to put a couple of access panels in the skin ahead of the windscreen, which can be removed in the event there's a need to get into the area between the firewall and the subpanel located at the back of the avionics bay. Some builders want this so they can get access without having to contort themselves upside down under the instrument panel while doing maintenance. You do need to use a sealant when installing the panels, so the primary tradeoffs here are easier access vs. the potential for leaks if not properly sealed when closed up.

The instructions page (OP-43) is linked from the kit?s web store page, and that document should answer any questions you have about how one applies this kit and how the parts fit, etc. There are template instructions for each of the airplanes it applies to, all explained in the OP-43 document.

Again, this kit is designed for and includes templates for the RV-7/7A, RV-9/9A, RV-10, and RV-14/14A.

Greg Hughes - Van's Aircraft
Van's web site | Instagram | Facebook
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Building RV-8A since Sept 2014
Dual AFS 5600, Avidyne IFD 440, Whirlwind 74RV, Superior XP IO-360
VAF build thread - Flickr photo album - Project Facebook page
Aurora, OR (EAA Chapter 105)

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Old 02-14-2020, 10:43 AM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

Two thumbs up!
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:34 AM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,590

Good job! I had to make my own and was really wishing then that something like this was available.
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 900 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440, G5
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:35 AM
Thermos's Avatar
Thermos Thermos is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: KASH
Posts: 591
Default Awesome!!!


Thanks to you and Vans for this, it's really great to see the response to a need for access in this area!

Some of us - well, me at least - could better use access on the curved sides of that Forward Fuse Top skin (in my case, an RV-7). If engineering bandwidth allows in the future, it would be nice to know that this kit could be adapted to create side access panels.

Just a suggestion for future consideration...I'm very happy that Van's is doing things like this.

Many thanks -

Dave Setser
EAA Technical Counselor/Flight Advisor
RV-7 N701ED Flying!
Nashua, NH (KASH) / Plymouth, NH (1P1)

Last edited by Thermos : 02-14-2020 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:15 PM
Zuldarin's Avatar
Zuldarin Zuldarin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Snoqualmie, wa
Posts: 414

Greg, the instructions have these access plates on the two inboard sections of the forward bay. Is there any reason why we couldn't use them on the outboard sections where the curve is more pronounced? That location would be far more useful to my current configuration.
Snoqualmie WA
RV-9A Sold
RV-10 Flying
2021 donation sent!
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:23 PM
Dan 57's Avatar
Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 799

Lucky for me Vans relegated the -6 to the dustbin of history once more, lest I?d buy one set
Life's short... Enjoy!

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:25 PM
scard's Avatar
scard scard is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Posts: 3,368

Well, lookie there! Very nice. I've been enjoying mine for the last 13yrs.
Scott Card
CQ Headset by Card Machine Works
CMW E-Lift
RV-9A N4822C flying 2200+hrs. / Cedar Park, TX
RV8 Building - fuselage / showplanes canopy (Done!)
VAF Advertiser
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:54 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is online now
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,857

This is a great deal. My friend Chuck helped me with the template and making them for my 9. Well, he did most of it!

The one thing to understand is if you just put the template on the top to mark the rivet holes, they will not line up because of the bend in the foreskin when you place the shelf piece under. At least that was what I experienced.

I have access panels on each side and it has saved climbing back into the womb of the plane to work on the panel!
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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Old 02-14-2020, 12:56 PM
mfleming's Avatar
mfleming mfleming is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Joseph, Oregon
Posts: 799
Thumbs up

Thanks Van's...just in time!
Michael Fleming
Joseph, OR
sagriver at icloud dot com

RV-7 Slider #74572
Started 11/2016
Empennage completed 11/2016 (sans fiberglass)
Ailerons and flaps completed 3/2017.
Wings completed 12/2017
Started on QB fuselage 01/2018
Sliding canopy mostly completed 10/2020
Wiring and Avionics harness completed 9/2/2021
FWF Started 9/3/2021

Donated for 2021 and so should you
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:01 PM
rvbuilder2002's Avatar
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 9,659

Originally Posted by Thermos View Post
Some of us - well, me at least - could better use access on the curved sides of that Forward Fuse Top skin (in my case, an RV-7). If engineering bandwidth allows in the future, it would be nice to know that this kit could be adapted to create side access panels.
There is a good possibility that there would be some slight misalignment screw holes in the cover because of the differing radii that the doubler and cover would be installed at, but it might be slight enough that it wouldn't be an issue.

As insurance the doublers could be riveted in place before before installing the nutplates on them. That would allow for match drilling a custom cover if it was necessary.
If installed on the curved sides, I would recommend pre-curving the covers so they match the skin shape to avoid puckering and a higher difficulty in getting them sealed well.
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
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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