Category: Building a plane

Choosing and building and airplane

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 and local RV builders, and the fit against my mission all factored into my…

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First Steps…

Throughout all my planning and research, I always had envisioned getting some training on sheet metal for aircraft.  The EAA has a great program called “SportAir Workshops” that does just this through a traveling roadshow of classes throughout the year in various cities. Previously they are typically in the midwest or west coast. The closes to New Jersey I had…

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What is my mission? Setting the criteria for evaluating kitplanes

Previously, I shared some thinking about how I plane to build a kit airplane in the future (after The Barn is complete), and which three models I narrowed my selection to.  This post gives more insights into how I begin framing the selection decision and the nuances of each design. The Mission In comparing these three kitplanes, there is no…

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Arion Lightning XS

Which to choose?

Even before I earned my Private Pilot Certificate in 2013, the idea of building a kit plane had taken root.  But even since thinking about this for some years, I am still undecided on which model to build.  Though, this decision is not required for a year or two while I finish building the barn.  In the interim, I continue to…

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