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
Right Fuel Tank

Started work on the right fuel tank 1/1/2007 - Started work on the right fuel tank
I started by removing the blue plastic film from inside the right tank skin. Then I figured out where each rib went and put one cleco in the front hole of each rib on the bottom. Then, as shown in the ... read more
Time to cut the tank stiffeners 1/2/2007 - Time to cut the tank stiffeners
I love seeing the "pile" of parts slowly starting to dwindle down, indicating the approaching completion of this part of the project. Iíve heard that the fuselage is a lot of fun to build. I will prob ... read more
Marked the T-912 attach angles 1/4/2007 - Marked the T-912 attach angles
I marked the "Z" attach angles with everything I could think of, "top", "bottom", "wing", "tank" and a number to associate the angle with it's spot on the back tank baffle.
... read more
Pop-riveted the attach angles to the tank assembly 1/5/2007 - Pop-riveted the attach angles to the tank assembly
I clecoed the 2 end ribs of the tank assembly to the outer attach angles from the inside. Then I put these temporary pop-rivets in 2 holes on each bracket. Youíll notice that the pop-rivet gun has the ... read more
Final drilled everything on the right fuel tank 1/6/2007 - Final drilled everything on the right fuel tank
This is where I think about getting one of the pneumatic cleco removers again. Moving clecos is big part of this aircraft building thing. I marked the first drilling of every other hole with my sharpi ... read more
Final drilled the tank to wing spar screw holes 1/10/2007 - Final drilled the tank to wing spar screw holes
I used a #19 drill bit to final drill all the holes where the tank screws to the main spar, plus the holes where the tank screws to the W-919 splice strip.
... read more
Countersinked the Z angles for the nutplates and primed everything 1/11/2007 - Countersinked the Z angles for the nutplates and primed everything
The Microstop Countersink attachment really makes it easy to keep all of the countersinks the same depth.
... read more
Git the heater out, Ma! 1/16/2007 - Git the heater out, Ma!
BRRRRRRRR! We got hit by a huge rain storm over the weekend. The temperature at ground level was 27 degrees while the temperature at 3,000 feet was 58. "Raindrops are falling on ma haid, then turnin' ... read more
Countersunk the T-407 ring and dimpled the inboard rib 1/19/2007 - Countersunk the T-407 ring and dimpled the inboard rib
It's a little tough thinking backwards when looking at the plans, since they're for the left tank. I used my home made dimpled depth checker to make sure the countersinks were deep enough.
... read more
Final drilled the gas cap flange 1/20/2007 - Final drilled the gas cap flange
I final drilled the T-406B fuel cap flange, using the cap in the cap flange as a guide for centering the flange in the tank skin opening. The cap flange has two slight bends in it to help it to confor ... read more
Started removing the blue plastic film from the right tank skin 1/24/2007 - Started removing the blue plastic film from the right tank skin
This is tedious, but worth it, I thinkÖ
... read more
Roughed up the tank skin 1/25/2007 - Roughed up the tank skin
I used a Scotchbrite pad to rough up the inside of the tank skin wherever the skin comes together with a rib or stiffener. I rubbed it down in three different directions to make sure it was sufficient ... read more
Getting ready to rivet the T-406B fuel cap flange 1/26/2007 - Getting ready to rivet the T-406B fuel cap flange
Iím determined to keep the mess to a minimum on this tank. I cut a hole in some typing paper and taped it to the tank around the fuel cap flange.
... read more
Decided to build a jig for the fuel tank 2/4/2007 - Decided to build a jig for the fuel tank
This time, I'm going to avoid the wrestling match with prosealing the ribs into the right fuel tank. This jig will hold the tank at an angle to allow me proseal in the ribs more easily. I went to Low ... read more
Getting ready to proseal the ribs in 2/11/2007 - Getting ready to proseal the ribs in
One of the things I dislike most about prosealing and riveting ribs is the cleanup afterwards. If some of the proseal gets anywhere on the tank where you don't want it, it takes some major rubbing wit ... read more
2 more ribs are in! 2/17/2007 - 2 more ribs are in!
I slide the tank around left and right in the tilting tank jig to give me access to the rivets. The thing that slows me down on the tank is finding an hour and a half to devote my complete attention t ... read more
Finished prosealing the center ribs 2/22/2007 - Finished prosealing the center ribs
I'm glad this part is finished. Now for the innerds. This tilting tank jig really worked great. I'll have to use it again on my next RV (arr-arr)!
... read more
Riveted and prosealed the inboard rib 2/24/2007 - Riveted and prosealed the inboard rib
This was a nice switch from the old rivet gun and bucking bar when riveting the skin to the rib. I used my small no-hole yoke and hand squeezer to put in these rivets. The big angle attachment was pre ... read more
Finished the last rib of the right fuel tank 2/26/2007 - Finished the last rib of the right fuel tank
This went pretty fast like the other end rib. Next comes the bending of the fuel float arm. I'm hoping to finish the tank up this week.
... read more
Drilled and clecoed in the T-915 anti-rotation bracket 2/28/2007 - Drilled and clecoed in the T-915 anti-rotation bracket
I used my unibit to drill the big hole in the T-915 anti-rotation bracket on the drilling press. I had to go slow because the bracket really got hot during the drilling. Then I temporarily put the fue ... read more
Torqued on the vent tube fitting and applied proseal 3/1/2007 - Torqued on the vent tube fitting and applied proseal
According to the torque setting instructions in the "5P ALUMINUM TUBING" section of the instruction manual, the torque setting for 1/4 inch tubing is 40-65 inch-pounds, and for 3/8 inch tubing itís 75 ... read more
Installed the tank sender and cover plate before the back baffle 3/6/2007 - Installed the tank sender and cover plate before the back baffle
The instructions say to do this last, after the baffle is on. That didn't make much sense to me. I wanted to see what the installation looked like on both sides. It would also be tough to see what you ... read more
Time to test the tank for leaks 3/9/2007 - Time to test the tank for leaks
I put duct tape over the gas cap as instructed. Apparently the gas cap is not totally air tight.
... 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.
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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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