Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft  
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RV Construction Log
Preparation
Empennage
- Horizontal Stabilizer (49:40)
- Vertical Stabilizer (21:15)
- Rudder (32:15)
- Right Elevator (35:45)
- Left Elevator (30:50)
Wings
- Inventory & Setup (9:30)
- Left Wing Prep (54:30)
- Left Fuel Tank (45:20)
- Left Wing Skins (46:10)
- Right Wing Prep (34:15)
- Right Fuel Tank (47:50)
- Right Wing Skins (40:15)
- Ailerons (54:30)
- Flaps (40:30)
- Rods and ends (18:45)
Fuselage
- Fuselage Parts List
- Inventory and Setup (7:15)
- FireWall (14:30)
- F-704 Bulkhead (13:25)
- F-705 Bulkhead (14:20)
- Other Bulkheads
   and Longerons
(17:30)

- Tailcone (29:30)
- Center Section (35:15)
- Forward Section (52:40)
- Forward Assembly (24:30)
- Skins/Baggage Area (46:30)
- Seats & Seat Floors (30:15)
- Flaps & Gear Mounts (18:15)
- Fuselage Plumbing (14:0)
- Tail Feathers (16:35)
- Front Deck/Firewall (58:50)
Finish Kit
- Electrical (57:30)
- Electrical Part 2 (24:0)
- Canopy (22:30)
- Landing Gear (18:35)
How I Did Stuff
Pop-Rivet Dimpler 101
My Wing Jig
My Wing Cradle
Wing Cradle Mod
Tilting Tank Jig
Delrin Aileron Stops
Nutplate Preparation
Fiberglass 101
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Van's Aircraft
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Completed RV-9's
RV-7/9A Drawings
Nut & Bolt Torque Values
Misc Goodies
Fuselage Parts List
How to Land an RV
My Tools
Fix a Heavy Wing
Paint Possibilities
Horizontal Stabilizer

Ordered my Tail Kit! 8/1/2005 - Ordered my Tail Kit!
Let the fun begin!! Time to get the shop in order. ... read more
Just got notification that the Tail Kit is on it's way. 8/10/2005 - Just got notification that the Tail Kit is on it's way.
Unfortunately the travel time is over the weekend. No prob, it will give me move time to get stuff setup. YEE HAW!! ... read more
Tail Kit has arrived! 8/12/2005 - Tail Kit has arrived!
Wow! The shipping page on the Fedex website said that delivery would be on Monday evening at 7 pm, but here it is on the Friday before Monday at 11 am. There has a huge ding in the box that had me wor ... read more
Did the inventory 8/15/2005 - Did the inventory
As I marked the parts off on the checklist that Van's provided, I laid out the parts in the box halves that the tailkit came in. ... read more
Clecoed the HS-902 front spars to the HS-907 front spar doubler 8/16/2005 - Clecoed the HS-902 front spars to the HS-907 front spar doubler
It's great to get started! I final drilled all of the pre-punched 1/8" holes. ... read more
Clecoed on the HS-912 Outboard Hinge Brackets and match drilled the holes 8/20/2005 - Clecoed on the HS-912 Outboard Hinge Brackets and match drilled the holes
... read more
Fluted the HS-904 and HS-905 ribs 8/21/2005 - Fluted the HS-904 and HS-905 ribs
These ribs have a little arch to them, I'm sure from being pressed into shape by Van's machinery. Putting a "crimp" in the edges, using a fluting tool, pulls the arch out and straightens out the rib. ... read more
Enlarged the pre-punched 1/8 holes using a #30 drill bit  8/28/2005 - Enlarged the pre-punched 1/8 holes using a #30 drill bit
I drilled out the spar/rib holes using a regular #30 drill bit until I got to the front ribs. Then I switched to a 12 inch #30 drill bit so I could drill a straight hole. ... read more
Dimpled and Countersinked the right HS ribs and spars 9/14/2005 - Dimpled and Countersinked the right HS ribs and spars
After drilling out the #40 holes in the skin into the ribs and spars, I took everything apart, then started dimpling the ribs, making sure that I didn't dimple everything, as the instructions stated. ... read more
The right side of the Horizontal Stabilizer is ready for priming 9/17/2005 - The right side of the Horizontal Stabilizer is ready for priming
Yep, that's a lot of drillin', crimpin', dimplin', sandin' and countersinkin'. But ain't it fun! Now on to the left side. ... read more
Drilled out the #40 holes in the skin on the Left Horizontal Stabilizer 9/18/2005 - Drilled out the #40 holes in the skin on the Left Horizontal Stabilizer
Now it's time for more deburrin', dimplin', countersinkin' and sandin'. ... read more
Dimpled the ribs on the Left Horizontal Stabilizer 9/21/2005 - Dimpled the ribs on the Left Horizontal Stabilizer
I marked holes that don''t get dimpled the inner most ribs where the empennage fairing is attached. As before, I used a ... read more
Finished priming the Horizontal Stabilizer 9/26/2005 - Finished priming the Horizontal Stabilizer
Now I'm ready for putting this puppy together. Wait a minute.... I just noticed in this picture that I missed priming a row of dimpled rivet holes in the skin. I'll have to go out to the hangar (garag ... read more
Let the fun begin! 9/28/2005 - Let the fun begin!
I riveted the HS-902 spars, the HS-907 spar doubler and the HS-908 angles together using my new Avery Pneumatic Rivet Squeezer. A lot of other RV builders told me to go ahead and spend the money for t ... read more
Finished riveting in the front HS-905 nose ribs into the right HS skin 10/1/2005 - Finished riveting in the front HS-905 nose ribs into the right HS skin
This middle front rib was not easy to rivet in. I laid the the right Horizontal Stabilizer skin over on its side while still in the wooden cradles. My dad held the skin so it wouldn't move while I riv ... read more
Clecoed the Front spar into position in the Right HS skin 10/3/2005 - Clecoed the Front spar into position in the Right HS skin
After I riveted the selected HS-904 main ribs to front spar, I put it into the right HS skin. You'll notice that the end of the front spar that sticks out is propped up with some scrap wood that I had ... read more
Started riveting the Right Horizontal Skin to the Front Spar 10/5/2005 - Started riveting the Right Horizontal Skin to the Front Spar
This wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I laid the skin over on its side while still in the cradle blocks and supported the left side of the spar with some wooden blocks. I started riveting ever ... read more
Finished riveting the Main Ribs to the Right HS skin 10/8/2005 - Finished riveting the Main Ribs to the Right HS skin
This wasn't near as hard riveting the front spar in place. The instructions said to not rivet the end ribs in place until the middle ribs were all riveted in, because they would make it hard to get to ... read more
Riveted in the nose ribs on the left Horizontal Stabilizer skin 10/12/2005 - Riveted in the nose ribs on the left Horizontal Stabilizer skin
I learned my lesson from the doing the right skin. This time I riveted the center front rib into the top side of the left HS skin first and then flipped it over to do the bottom side of the skin. For ... read more
Finished riveting in the middle ribs to the left Horizontal Stabilizer skin 10/13/2005 - Finished riveting in the middle ribs to the left Horizontal Stabilizer skin
Here's a shot showing some the riveting that I did on the middle ribs. After this, I used one of Van's wooden cradles as a pattern and made another one to hold up the whole Horizontal Stabilizer so I ... read more
Finished all of the riveting on the Horizontal Stabilizer 10/14/2005 - Finished all of the riveting on the Horizontal Stabilizer
Riveting the 3/32 rivets into the back spar with the Avery Hand Squeezer was a real breeze (and pleasure) once I got the gap just right. All I have left now is to attach HS-911 Inboard Hinge Brackets ... read more
Stored the HS away 10/16/2005 - Stored the HS away
For those of you who have a garage for a hangar, you will understand about the limited space available for storing anything. Especially with the attitudes that construction companies have today about ... read more
HELP FOR THE HOMEBUILDER

A website designed for Van's Aircraft Homebuilders, helping them find the information they need to build the most dynamic aircraft in the world.
The "cover your butt" section
This website was built to document the construction of an RV-9A in compliance with the FAA requirements needed to certify the aircraft. Any experiences and/or comments are by no means to be considered as instructions on how to build an RV-9A or any other aircraft.
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