I am glad to admit that my tailcone assembly has finally been completed. It took me 303 hours to get it to the state as it is now and will likely require additional 40-45 hours to finish it up after Canadian inspection is completed
This was long journey with number of issues and questions. Now it is all done and I am happy to move on to the next part: Wings assembly. Before that however I will need to finish my elevator’s trailing edges.
Two videos below are the final videos for the empenage build. It is officially done now!
These past three weeks were very busy. I went to USA, to Aurora, OR to visit Van’s Aircraft factory and pick up my wings for RV10. That was during COVID time, thus I took all required precautions to stay safe.
At the same time we finished construction of our kitchen at the hangar. We finally can seat all together with kids and have lunch while watching TV at our hangar.
Finally I started annual inspection of our Piper PA28-235. This is separate process and I do some videos about it aswell.
My tailcone gets ready. I already finished riveting and assembly of the aft deck. Now its time to rivet top skins and all should be finally done.
Here we go – I just started riveting of my tailcone parts all together. This year summer still not here. It is June 13th outside and still rainy. I can count how many CAVOK days I found in 2020 during April-June using my fingers on my hands. Anyway my Piper is now almost due for its annual. I heard that we may extend that by up to 15% time so I hope I can get my extended till July and slowly move it to September, October or even November cycle during next 1-2 years.
I spent two work days riveting my tailcone parts and riveting skins. While at my hangar I am getting shower installed I have no hot water. Anyway that was not a problem for my kids and wife to come and help me working on the tailcone. Today was a good working day. I riveted about 30% of skins. More to follow 🙂
It took me good amount of hours to prepare all tailcone parts. Most of the time was spent on matchdrilling and holes deburing followed by holes dimpling. So many holes….
At the end of the day I now have my tailcone parts all primed. Priming was another story. While priming parts I realized that I have not enough primer left to complete my tailcone skins. Attempts to source same SAM grey primer locally were unsuccessful because this primer is not available in Canada. Imagine, in USA it is available even at Home Depot. In Canada we only have two standard self etching primers: DupliColor and another brand. Both are only available in little rattle cans. I had no choice but to use two cans of this green color primer which I had left from vertical stabilizer assembly. Now I will have my tailcone inner skins (bottom and side) in green while all other parts in grey. This is not a problem from the quality perspective but little unusual ecstatically. Anyway I had no choice since due to COVID borders are now closed so I have no way of going to US to buy this primer nor order it (delivery times over 30 days on average now).
During tailcone parts preparation I had a chance to visit Victoria with my family on a airplane trip. It was cool adventure! The next step is Tofino.
I used to fly this beautiful airplane some time ago. It was my initial trainer to get in to PPL. Small, light two seater – Diamond DA-20 Katana A1 with Rotax 912 engine.
The funniest part of that engine was to check the oil. It was the process you had to follow including “gurgling” and prop spinning by hand.
Airplane was very light and each air movement was noticeable. With the same time it was slow (about 90 kt) in cruise and it was very forgivable. I think that as a trainer aircraft this model is very good!
Airplane is very economical. Rotax912 engine is modern model, it uses water cooling system so no shock cooling issues. Engine was STCd for automotive gasoline use and I remember my self bringing 20L can of Shell94 and flying at least 60-90 minutes on it. So it is about 3.5-4 Gallons per hour which is super economical.
Landing of Katana was another story – if you are little faster on approach you could float over runway and touchdown only in the middle. Airplane wants to fly. To land it you have to be at precise speed over the numbers and than gently flare and wait for touch down. With the same time glide characteristics of this airplane are amazing (14:1). From 2000ft AGL while practicing emergency landing I had so much time to find the spot and do all my business. Comparing to Cherokee 235 where from 3000 AGL it goes down like a brick with no prop spinning my Diamond was like a glider.
The philosophy of VANs kit build (like probably many others kits) is that first you assemble everything on clecos, match drill, tune, adjust etc. After that you disassemble everything back to pieces and start long (believe me for tailcone it is VERY LONG) process of holes deburing, holes dimpling, surfaces preparation etc. This is exactly where I am right now and I am 60% done with that process. Still need to dimple more holes and prime my parts.
By the time I built my airplane my kids and my wife (with some my help) built a scarecrow for our little yard next to hangar. I added that part in my video as well 🙂
After some time being busy at work, doing some avionics installations, developping my own avionics and doing some other important things I was able to get back to work on my RV-10. This chapter is all about my Tailcone – one of these parts where you starting to feel HOW BIG your future RV-10 will be. I spent amount of time working on preparation of my tailcone parts, drilling, cutting, attaching parts on clecos. That took me some good amount of time and at the end I finally was able to have my tailcone (still on clecos) assembled! It looks outstanding. It looks huge. Just look at it 🙂
Woohoo! After some struggling with tank sealant and some other issues I finally made it. My elevators are now completed! This is a great news and I finally can move on my tail cone. Yes I still have to go back to my elevators and do some minor fixes there but most of work is now completed.
In the past weeks all world suffered from COVID-19 virus which is spreading a lot across. Schools are closed, most companies sent their employees home and we are all kinds of isolated. My wife Kate is also work from home (hangar). It is kinda strange and unusual when you have to do everything from home and at home, you can not walk outside and meet with friends (social distancing minimum 2 meters) etc.
Despite all that I keep my temp and work on my RV10 project. So far I complete my elevators by about 70% in total. All parts were prepared, dimpled, countersunk and finally primed. Last weekend during my work I started riveting all my parts of elevators together. This past weekend I continued and almost got everything done.
Below are some pictures and two videos from past two weeks progress which I made on my RV10 build project. Enjoy!
Great day to work on my RV10 built. I have done all planned tasks. In the very beginning of today’s work I found an issue – mistake which I made during my previous RV10 built day. I had to partially disassemble my elevators and fix the issue before proceeding further. During today’s work I was able to finish match drilling and all other preparations of my parts for elevators. At the end I disassembled both elevators and my next step will be dimpling, countersinking and holes deburring.