Category: Building a plane

Choosing and building and airplane

Horizontal Stabilizer Completed

It took about 7 weeks and 70 hours to finish the Horizontal Stabilizer. Van’s (the kit manufacturer) is quiet clever in ensuring the builder develops the skills needed to tackle more complex sub assemblies as the work progresses.  But as the complexity and parts count goes up, so does the time needed to finish each part.  This is the third…

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Horizontal Stabilizer, Part 1

After finishing up the Rudder, I earnestly began the next section of the empennage, the horizontal stabilizer.  It’s pretty tricky as you have to rivet all the spars to the skins without a lot of room to maneuver.                     What I think will be the hardest tasks of this assembly, the two…

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Rudder Completed!

After about 48 hours of labor spanning 7 weeks, the Rudder is now completed!  Well, not entirely.  The fiberglass tips are missing, but they get installed later in the build.  It was a really challenging sub-assembly requiring some unique techniques.  Though I was able to practice those techniques, it’s still takes a ton of nerve when doing it for “real”. …

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Rudder half-complete

Well, I may be more than half-way done with the rudder.  Won’t know until it’s all finished.  But the grunt work of separating, deburring, assembling, drilling, dimpling, and riveting the core pieces are all complete.  It has been about 29 hours so far and it’s been a fulfilling process interrupted by moments of extreme frustration.  I’m reaching out to an…

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First assembly complete

After about 8 days and 21 hours of labor, the Vertical Stabilizer is complete.  It’s unlikely that I’ll sustain this pace, just happened to be able to get a lot done over two weekends.  It came out pretty good, but definitely some room for improvement.  I didn’t like the primer so will switch brands going forward,  When riveting some of…

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The build has begun!

Started the process of building the future N14KR (tailsign).  The empennage begins by building the Vertical Stabilizer The internal structure (Spar and Rib assembly) has been deburred and primed. Up next: Deburring the skin, dimpling where instructed, and riveting all the parts together.

Empennage skins, part two

Came home on a Wednesday to see this crate sitting in front of the house.  The team at Van’s sent out a replacement for a damaged skin and it came in a slightly smaller crate than the original. After peeling away all the paper packing, there sat one pristine empennage skin.   Did a quick inventory (they sent some other…

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First Kit arrives!

After years of researching, studying, and finally placing the order – the RV-14A empennage kit finally arrived in New Jersey on Monday 4/2/2018! I was not available for delivery until Friday though the wait was not in vain as I was able to scramble to make final preparations in the workshop.  All the effort really helped ensure there is a organized,…

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Decision Made

Well after a good year or two of consideration, I’ve decided on the Van’s RV-14A as the aircraft kit I will undertake to construct.  The maturity of the proven base design, the evolution of the kit and assembly instructions, the fantastic support available through forums like Vansairforce.com and local RV builders, and the fit against my mission all factored into my…

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