Archive for the ‘General’ Category

This project is still alive!

November 6, 2014


I swear I’m still at work on it. Just haven’t posted here in a while. 2 years I guess!! I should post a dump of some photos of the project over the last to years to get caught up. Currently I’m battling the Canopy frame alignment which seems to be par for the course for -7 tip up builders.


Finish Kit Arrives

June 12, 2012

A big box from Vans arrived today. In it was the finish kit for the RV-7. This last subkit contains a lot of the more interesting pieces yklike the canopy, cowling, engine mount, landing gear, wheels, etc. I didn’t snap many pictures as my friend p dub and I spent the afternoon unpacking stuff and checking inventory. Here’s some general picks before calling is a night.





Long Time Coming

April 10, 2012

Whew! I can’t believe my last post was back on January 30th. I have been steadily working on the RV around some good-sized family and work obligations. I was also held up wrangling some rivet help but Ryan and PDub came through in the clutch to help knock out the gussets and aft deck. Tonight’s post will include a bunch of what’s been done over the last couple of months. Kinda of a catch up posting. Hopefully I can get back to regular updates as my progress picks up in the warm weather.

Here’s the aft deck and 709 bulkhead riveted on. We ended up squeezing most of these rivets.

The 706 and 707 gussets were straightforward to install. With the bulkheads still being easy to slide fore and aft unsecured, I was careful to drill into the longerons with the skins mostly attached to better lock down the final position of the bulkheads.

The top gussets at the firewall were a challenge to rivet. While Ryan worked the gun, I had to stand on a stool, bend over the side skin and hang upside down with the bucking bar. It wasn’t fun for my back but we knocked both of them out in a couple of hours.

One of those “grrrrr” moments. This blind rivet goes on the forward side of the wind spar cut out on the fuse. There’s no way to buck a regular rivets so the plans call for a blind rivet. The challenge though is that the blind rivet can’t seat 100% as the business end hits the spar components. Many advise to work the rivet into its final seating by squeezing a little a time and working the rivet head down into position. I ended up whacking my rivet puller to get this one to seat leaving the mandrel and head deformed. The wing will cover this cosmetic flaw. Moving on…

The baggage floors are mostly riveted on now.

This past weekend I riveted on 705G which is the big piece of angle that will eventually support the canopy frame. I hope this doesn’t bite me in the rear later if I was supposed to wait to install this. Getting those rivets out would not be fun.

Here’s a reverse angle showing how the outer-most rivets would be virtually impossible to rivet once the canopy deck is installed.

The baggage area bulkhead skin is made of upper and lower halves. I knocked those out a couple of weeks ago but had to wait till I put the top skins back on before drilling all the #8 screw holes. Tonight I went back and drilled the holes for nutplates. Tomorrow I can squeeze these rivets and call the baggage area basically done.

Project Visit

November 14, 2011

I couldn’t get help this weekend on the riveting front, but I did score a visit to another builder’s project. Chad is setting a wicked pace with his -7 project. Starting in 2009, he’s currently somewhere in the canopy fitting stage. Sunday afternoon I spent about an hour with him looking over his fuse, firewall, and panel choices. I got some great advice and “heads up” that should save some time and aggravation down the road. I’m really sold on fuel injection even though my engine purchase is at least a year away. I do have to start plumbing fuel and vent lines soon though and if I’m going with FI I’ll need to figure out the boost pump arrangement. Chad is going the same route so I got some great intel on the EFii boost pump mounting and the fuel lines/valve needs there. Also got good advice on seat back positioning (the Vans plan dimensions are off a bit), fuel return lines (not going to install any), figuring out the subpanel mod for the EFIS installation and much more. Thanks Chad!

Hopefully I’m getting back to riveting this weekend. My body can’t take much more of crawling under this fuse!

Oshkosh 2011

August 2, 2011

This was my second visit to the big dance for wingnuts of every stripe. My good friend Jeff and I spent 3 nights at Camp Scholler in tent (the secret weapon of comfort is to bring a collapsable cot!). I learned about fiberglass from Sam James, LED lighting from Dean Wilkenson and electrical system planning. The highlight for both Jeff and I was listening to Burt Rutan talk about Scaled Composites, retirement and his BiPod project. We also stumbled upon Dick Rutan talking about building and flying the Voyager around the world with Jeana Yeager. It’s a super interesting story if you ever get a chance to read their book about the flight.

I didn’t really think about taking pictures this time around so here’s a just a few to tease you with.

Jeff stands in front of a F-18 with special "Digi-Cam" paint job.

The 787 visited on Friday for its first public viewing.

A Marine Harrier jet makes A LOT of noise when it hovers. It hurt to just take a snapshot.


A beautiful clear early evening greets me upon my return to Seattle. Boeing Field is in the upper left.

Flying and Building

August 14, 2010

It’s rare to do both in one day. Today was great flying weather so I tagged along with fellow RV builder, Jason, in his KIS experimental for some lunch in Hoquiam and some cheap avgas in Chehalis. We also saw Jim P. in his awesome RV-7 doing a formation clinic down there. He looked very hot and concentrated heading to his debrief, so we didn’t linger too long.

Back home I got all the conduit in place. It was much more of a workout than I was expecting. Annabelle then helped me get the right wing on the table so I could get the bottom skin on to drill.

Dynon Visit

May 19, 2010

I’ve been real intrigued with the new Dynon Skyview system. Kirk Klienholtz of Dynon gave me a tour of the factory outside Woodinville, WA and walked me through a working Skyview demo unit. It’s a pretty solid value and very upgradable as new tech comes on line. I’m even more impressed now. So much so, I went ahead and ordered the AP servo brackets since I am at the point in both the fuse and the wing to go head and install. Speaking of the wing I am hoping to get through as much of the QB wing build as I can in my stay-cation coming up in mid-June. I am aiming for 60 build hours that week. I think I’ve heard it takes around 80 hours for the QB wings. Gotta have goals right?

Packaging FAIL

January 7, 2010

Smart Tool, Dumb Package

Get the SMARTTOOL with two levels on Amazon for $111. Heck yes I’ll take that deal. On top of that they throw in free shipping too! Score! This morning I arrive to my office to find this XXXL box in my office with the digital level rattling around inside. They didn’t even bother to pack it with any cushioning. I guess they used all their funds to buy this box to ship it in!

This is Your Captain Speaking…

August 31, 2009

I am taking the flying mail tube down to LA this week for work so there won’t be much to update. If I can avoid the seasonal apocolyptic fires, I hope to be back at prepping buckheads this weekend.

I didn’t get much completed this past weekend as we decided to garage sale and craigslist the crap that doesn’t fit in the new house. Kinda happy to do that so I get some more space in the garage.

Perhaps I will order a tool or something tonight so it’ll be waiting for me when I get back. That counts for project time right?

The New Workshop

August 20, 2009

The new home for 07M might actually be slightly smaller in square feet. However, it’s great improvement overall. No more stairs to climb, an open floor and a big garage door will help me configure the space as needed as the fuse structure comes together. I only have one 20 amp circuit in the space now so I’ll need to run at least one more out here eventually.

Already I see that the power tools will work better against the back wall so I’ll need to bribe Annabelle to help me move some benches and such. Also on the list will be some weatherproofing. This was originally a carport so it wasn’t enclosed and insulated as well as the house. Can you say expanding foam?

Next up look for airplane status update. Attending first Sounders game tomorrow night, so it might be a couple of days away.