Smitty's RV-9A - Experimental Aircraft from Van's Aircraft The RV-9A from Van's Aircraft  
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Howdy! I building an RV-9A! I'm an aviation nut and am excited about building my RV-9A from Van's Aircraft. Have a look around!
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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
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My Tools
Fix a Heavy Wing
Paint Possibilities
Left Wing Prep

Started work on the Left Wing! 3/6/2006 - Started work on the Left Wing!
Ya' know..., ya' ain't gonna get pampered no more with detailed instructions when ya' start them there wings. The instructions start off with "Rivet the tank skin attach platenuts to the spar...". I r ... read more
Started work on attaching the Access Plate Platenuts 3/10/2006 - Started work on attaching the Access Plate Platenuts
I used my Microstop Countersink Cage with #40 countersink bit and did all the platenut holes.
... read more
Attached 2 center section platenuts 3/11/2006 - Attached 2 center section platenuts
There is a vertical bar that will screw into these platenuts later in the construction. ... read more
Bolted the Tie-down Bar to the Main Spar 3/13/2006 - Bolted the Tie-down Bar to the Main Spar
I started with the pilot hole in the upper right corner of the bar and made my way around the other ends drilling the bolt holes from under the spar and temporarily putting a bolt to hold the bar. Aft ... read more
Started work on the W-907D and W-907E doubler plates 3/14/2006 - Started work on the W-907D and W-907E doubler plates
I clamped the doubler plates onto the aft side of the rear spar. The W-907E plate goes on the end of the spar, flush with the end. The W-907D plate goes on the middle of the spar, 44 3/4 inches from t ... read more
Started on the holes for the aileron pushrods 3/20/2006 - Started on the holes for the aileron pushrods
The rear spar already has the hole for the aileron pushrods, I just have to match drill the reinforcement plate. I used my Unibit to remove a large portion of the area on the W-907D reinforcement plat ... read more
Primed the Rear Spar Components 3/21/2006 - Primed the Rear Spar Components
I used Sherwin Williams self-etching primer to prime the parts. ... read more
Riveted the reinforcement fork and doubler plate to the rear spar 3/23/2006 - Riveted the reinforcement fork and doubler plate to the rear spar
I used my Avery pneumatic rivet squeezer to rivet the W-907B reinforcement fork and W-907C doubler plate to the rear spar. ... read more
Finished sanding and fluting both set of tank ribs 3/26/2006 - Finished sanding and fluting both set of tank ribs
I decided to get the tanks ribs out of the way first. I used several varieties of the sponge type sandpaper and the scotchbrite wheel to smooth all the edges. I noticed that the tank ribs are not pre- ... read more
Finished sanding and fluting all of the front ribs 3/28/2006 - Finished sanding and fluting all of the front ribs
Here's a shot of the rest of the front ribs. Notice how they lay flat now instead of looking like skis. ... read more
Still sanding and sanding and sanding...... 4/1/2006 - Still sanding and sanding and sanding......
I have finished sanding and fluting 8 of the 30 main ribs in both wings. It takes me about 20 minutes to do one rib. 22 more ribs to go.... hmmm.... that means it will take me... no, I don't want to t ... read more
MORE Sanding and sanding and sanding... 4/2/2006 - MORE Sanding and sanding and sanding...
I finished sanding and fluting all the 15 left wing main ribs. Only 15 more right wing ribs left to go. I have now spent right at 11 hours on all the ribs. Now I am starting to understand why other bu ... read more
YEEEEE HAAAWWW! Dem Ribs is DONE! 4/6/2006 - YEEEEE HAAAWWW! Dem Ribs is DONE!
Hey Maw, git the hot sauce! 14 hours is a long time to spend sanding and fluting. Even my neighbor started asking me what the hell I was doing, standing in the same spot in the garage day after day. B ... read more
Final drilled the spars and ribs 4/11/2006 - Final drilled the spars and ribs
It's really nice to finally get to some real construction after the sanding routine. Here I final drilled all of the holes where the ribs attach to the front and rear spars. ... read more
Time to starting riveting the spars and ribs together 4/12/2006 - Time to starting riveting the spars and ribs together
After doin' some head scratching I decided that the front spar needed to be riveted first, since it would probably be the most difficult. I pulled the whole rig off the work table and put it on a smal ... read more
Started work on the left wing skins 4/13/2006 - Started work on the left wing skins
The instructions say to "make" the W-927 wing walk doublers, which are 2 small sheets of aluminum that go over the ribs, which are the ones that are closest together right next to the fuselage on both ... read more
Getting ready to final drill the top skins 4/17/2006 - Getting ready to final drill the top skins
Before starting the final drilling routine on the skins, I marked each un-clecoed hole with my blue sharpie. Then after I drill these holes, it's just a matter of moving the clecoes into the marked ho ... read more
Beveled the wing skins where they overlap 4/22/2006 - Beveled the wing skins where they overlap
I took quite a while, using my file, to bevel the edges of the skins to where they lay flat. According to the instructions, when the tank is attached to the wing, these skins should not stick out abo ... read more
Getting ready to cleco the left leading edge on to the main spar 4/25/2006 - Getting ready to cleco the left leading edge on to the main spar
The instructions state that the 5th rib bottom flange in the leading edge assembly will need to be trimmed to allow for clearance of the large rivet heads already on the main spar. I did some measurin ... read more
Started work on the W-919 Doubler strip 4/26/2006 - Started work on the W-919 Doubler strip
The instructions talk about the W-919 Doubler strip as if it was a pre-made part with a label. Nope, you have to find the strips in the box. There are 2 of them, about 3 feet long by 1 1/2 inches. I m ... 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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