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
Events and News
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Van's Air Force
RV Information
How to Land an RV
Van's Aircraft
RV Resources
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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
Flaps

Started work on the flaps 8/12/2007 - Started work on the flaps
I adjusted the flange angles on all the ribs (except for the ones used at the most inboard location) to 90 degress.
... read more
Clecoed the hinge bracket assemblies to the flap spars 8/14/2007 - Clecoed the hinge bracket assemblies to the flap spars
Both spars are identical, the only difference being one is marked "R" for right and "L" for left. Also it is difficult to see which way is up. So I put the left flap together first according to the "l ... read more
Fabricated the FL-906A angle 8/16/2007 - Fabricated the FL-906A angle
This was a real time consumer. First to get all the intricate measurements right, cut each one out on the bandsaw, do a rough smoothing on the bench grinder, and then finally smoothing everything over ... read more
Getting things straight 8/20/2007 - Getting things straight
These flaps are 7 feet long. I laid my 8 foot aluminum straight edge on the middle of the table where the trailing edge is drilled into the particle board table top. When I gazed down the edge the par ... read more
Clecoed the skins to the flaps 8/26/2007 - Clecoed the skins to the flaps
I clecoed on all the skins and the bottoms of the leading edge skins. I wasn't looking forward to the wrestling match of clecoing the tops of the leading edges after working with the ailerons.
... read more
Started drilling the trailing edges on the flaps 9/25/2007 - Started drilling the trailing edges on the flaps
I got a fresh drill bit out and started drilling the trailing edge of the flaps. I held the skin down with one hand and drilled with the other, all the way through the top skin, wedge, bottom skin, al ... read more
Final drilled the FL-906B Plate onto the FL-905 end rib 9/30/2007 - Final drilled the FL-906B Plate onto the FL-905 end rib
The instructions don't tell you to drill the 1/4 inch hole into the FL-905 end rib, but I figured it had to be done.
... read more
Rolled the edges of the leading edge flap skins 10/25/2007 - Rolled the edges of the leading edge flap skins
I didn't do this on the elevators and regretted it. They look OK though, with only a few places where the edge kicked up a bit when riveted down. I'm sure the paint will hide most of the gaps.
... read more
Started dimpling the other flap 11/13/2007 - Started dimpling the other flap
As I mentioned before, the majority of these holes in the flap ribs had to dimpled with the vise-grip dimplers. To get a really good dimple, I had to set the vise-grips to the point of almost not clos ... read more
Starting riveting the nose rib/hinge assemblies to the left FL-903 Spar 11/15/2007 - Starting riveting the nose rib/hinge assemblies to the left FL-903 Spar
I had to read the instructions carefully here. The inboard most nose rib is not riveted to the main spar at this time, since it has other parts that rivet to it in a later step.
... read more
Finishing up rivet the ribs and spar together 11/17/2007 - Finishing up rivet the ribs and spar together
That's a lot of rivets! After some head scratching, I decided to rivet on the FL-906C spacer and the "L" shaped FL-906A angle piece first, leaving the end holes in the spar open for attaching the rib ... read more
My first ride in an RV-7A 11/18/2007 - My first ride in an RV-7A
This is my good buddy Tom Moore. He has a bea-u-ti-ful RV-7A! Tom invited me to go for a ride over to Hicks Field, which is north of Fort Worth, Texas. Little did we know that we would run into Bob Av ... read more
Finished up the Left Flap leading edge 11/23/2007 - Finished up the Left Flap leading edge
Here, I used my small no-hole yoke on my Avery hand squeezer to put in the rivets on each end of the leading edge skin of the flap.
... read more
Finished riveting the leading edge on the left flap 11/28/2007 - Finished riveting the leading edge on the left flap
I decided to roll the edges of the leading edge skins and I'm now glad I did. What a nice fit! I wish now I had done it on the ailerons, as you'll see in the next picture.
... read more
Put in all the Pop-rivets on the bottom skin of the left flap 11/30/2007 - Put in all the Pop-rivets on the bottom skin of the left flap
I clecoed in the trailing edge and the drilled out the holes in the bottom skin over the ribs to install the flat-head pop-rivets.
... read more
Getting ready to rivet the trailing edge of the left flap 12/7/2007 - Getting ready to rivet the trailing edge of the left flap
Alright, the moment of truth. Can the intrepid redneck builder make a straight trailing edge on this flap? I taped my 4 foot long steel angle to the edge of my work bench. Then I laid two sheets of 1/ ... read more
Started riveting the Nose Rib/Hinge Assemblies to right FL-903 Spar. 12/10/2007 - Started riveting the Nose Rib/Hinge Assemblies to right FL-903 Spar.
Having done this already on the left flap, I knew just how approach this riveting session. This right flap should go a lot faster. I'm beginning to think that the technique of doing the left side firs ... read more
Clecoed on the leading edges on the right flap top 12/17/2007 - Clecoed on the leading edges on the right flap top
I started on one end and worked my way down. ... read more
Started riveting the top skin and leading edge to the spar 12/19/2007 - Started riveting the top skin and leading edge to the spar
I decided to start in the middle and work my out to each end of the flap. The gap seems to close nicer working one rivet at a time as I move out to the ends.
... read more
Finished riveting the right flap top skin to the ribs 12/29/2007 - Finished riveting the right flap top skin to the ribs
On the left flap, I used pop-rivets for the most aft rivet because there just wasn't enough room to get a bucking bar in the small gap of the rib. So I decided to make my own small gap bucking bar for ... read more
Starting backriveting the bottom skin on the right flap 12/30/2007 - Starting backriveting the bottom skin on the right flap
Apparently you need more than 3 days to let Proseal set up when it's cold outside. When I took all of the clecos out, the trailing edge starting to warp a little, but it didn't come apart. I weighted ... read more
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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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