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David Paule 05-14-2014 07:50 PM

The stall warning vane got its slot made and is now mounted, and the landing light hole has been made. The top lens mounting strip is riveted and although it's not shown in the photo, the bottom one is too.

That's not much to show for a month but this is my busy season.

I'm now fitting the lens.


David Paule 05-18-2014 09:00 PM

First Wires!
Small thing, all in all, but the first wires are installed.


wirejock 05-18-2014 09:43 PM

Looks like you're running a dedicated ground to the stall switch.

David-aviator 05-19-2014 07:14 AM

Great work David.

David Paule 05-23-2014 07:56 PM

Landing Light, Lens and Stall Warning, Installed
First I had to change the mounting assembly around so that the Microsun landing light mounts from the back rather than the front - the big rib lightening hole on the left, after removing the wingtip, makes better access than the landing light lens.

I used a plastic hose clamp, visible at the upper left, for lateral restraint on the mount. There's one on the exterior, too.

I tested the hardware: the stall warning switch works and so does the Microsun. That light is bright! And it's got a nice wide angle, perfect for my daytime VFR collision avoidance.

Be seen.


David Paule 05-27-2014 01:25 PM

Tie Down Fitting and Hole
One thing that had kind of bothered me was that according to the plans, there was a bit of a gap between the bottom skin and the tie down fitting. I decided to fix that.

Since I had a set of Cleaveland tie down fittings on hand, already threaded, this was a simple matter of matching the holes and doing a bit of trimming.

The drill press quickly match-drilled the new part.

I used the band saw and cut the shape. I laid out the taper and cut that too. The 6 1/2 tpi wood blade cuts thick aluminum well, and the Vixen file smoothed it. Quick and easy, just a few minutes of work.

The new one is half an ounce lighter, even though it's bigger. Worth doing.

What I didn't do is use these new tie down fittings to move the tiedown points outboard. I thought of that because the RV-3B is so small and close to the ground that it's hard to get a decent angle on the tie-down ropes -- they will typically be splayed out at a considerable angle. Thought about it, ran some numbers (my old profession, aerospace stress analyst) and it looked okay but marginal. Finally decided not do do it. One reason was that adding new fittings wouldn't eliminate the existing ones. The new ones would be added weight and the utility of them would be relatively minor. All in all, not a positive change, assuming that I don't get caught out in a 70 mph wind while tied down to widely-spaced anchors on a trip some day.

On the RV-3B, the skins aren't pre-punched, so I needed to locate the hole for the tie-down. I used a scrap of .032 and a 12" long #40 drill bit to back drill it to the spar flange.

Then I shortened a transfer punch which had a nice snug fit in the threads. It only fit in the threads, not the long hole.

The small part fit the threaded hole.

And pushed farther in, ready to go.

I used a thinner transfer punch to push it. This was the only rod I had handy which fit. It didn't need to be a transfer punch and actually would have been better if it wasn't.

The combination of the pieces and the tit on the longer transfer punch and the fact that I wasn't backing up the match hole jig meant that the center punch in the jig was relatively small. I used a marker to outline the tie down fitting on the jig so I'd know where to look.

After drilling a pilot hole at the location, I clecoed the match hole jig to the lower side of the leading edge and double checked a couple dimensions to be sure.

I pilot-drilled the skin, removed the match hole jig and drilled it out to 3/8". The final hole isn't perfectly centered but it's within about 1/32" and that's good enough, especially since I can't move it anyway.


David Paule 05-28-2014 09:12 AM

Here's what I'm doing for plans.

The plans come in sets. Order a kit and you get the plans for just that kit. When I made my first order, I requested that I get all the plans at once so that I could look around and check things - highly recommended for RV-3B builders. Even with all the plans here, they aren't anything like the double-digit RV plans. These are large sheets of paper, with something just a wee bit better than blueprints on them.

The original plans are over 24 inches tall and long. That was a bit too large for my work tables, so I took them down to Rocky Mountain Blueprint Co. They made me a set that was 18 inches tall. These fit my work benches much better. I've still got the originals for when I need "full size" patterns. It sometimes happens.

They also scanned the plans in and made a single PDF file of them. It's 9.5 mb. On my Mac, they show up quite well. The Mac lives about a dozen feet from the shop so I generally don't need to use the computer to look at the plans.

I also loaded them on my iPad. The iPad (mine is generation 1) is a bit poor at this, though. I know from the Mac that the files have ample detail, but the three apps I've used just don't show it. I've used Goodreader (worthless), iBooks (so-so) and the Kindle app. Kindle is a hair better than iBooks for the plans, and that's still marginal.

If anyone has a better app for viewing these plans, please let me know.

And since my iPad is a 1st generation one, it's very slow loading these things. I mean glacially slow. And old style glacier speed at that, not the new speeded-up glaciers of our climate change era. 15 minutes to load the plans isn't unusual.

Still, if I'm away form the shop and need a look at them, well there they are. And the first page I need is a bit quicker.

Another thing that I did is really useful. I made a parts list in a spreadsheet, that lists the part number, name, what its material is, the as-received source material, quantity, and best of all, every drawing page that refers to it. I printed this out and keep a copy in the shop and another at the hangar, where I store the parts that I haven't used yet, like the fuselage and finish kits. The preview plans are there too.

Since the RV-3B is sort of a unique RV kit, I have a copy of the preview plans for the RV-4 and RV-8 in the shop. When starting something new, those are the places to check, to make sure that the RV-3B design isn't too obsolete. Sometimes it is. In any case, it's a quick and easy sanity check before cutting or drilling something.

Which reminds me that the Mac, just outside the shop, is handy for one important thing. I also check VAF and sometimes vendors for information relating to what I'm doing. You never know. Sometimes the oddest things pop up, like needing to leave the connector cap off the autopilot servo in the right wing. That was the latest useful bit of data I got. Or maybe it was that Lexel is a decent sealant that's compatible with acrylic. One of those. Anyway, thanks, Doug!

And with all these resources at hand, I still sometimes miss things.


David Paule 06-17-2014 09:33 PM

I've been working away in spite of nearly continuous interruptions.

The fuel pick-up lines that Van's sells almost fit the RV-3B. I had a pair and found that they were just under 90 degrees as received. I closed them up a bit, not too much, and now they fit fine.

It looks like the tool overlaps the hardware on the line but that's just the photo. The line fits fine but there's not a lot of extra clearance.

You might remember that I'm making new tanks. I'm making the various parts that fit the ribs now.

And the slow progress will continue for at least another month.


David Paule 07-05-2014 08:47 PM

2nd Tank Work
Some of the unrelated personal things that took a great deal of time and energy have ended and I can now work a bit more on the plane. But some of them might resume and can't be forecast. I'm working while I can.

The small stuff like the hatches and the rings and the rest of the small parts are all done for these tanks. I've fluted and marked all the ribs, drilled them to the baffle and aligned the frame parts on the wing in the jig.

Here's the right wing.

And on the left wing, the skin is on for the initial fitting. Before I got this far, all the tank ribs needed tweaking because they were just a skosh too long to line up with the outboard leading edge. Looking across the leading edge, it now lines up nicely.

Thanks, David Howe, for teaching me about these wooden fittings.


rockwoodrv9 07-05-2014 09:17 PM

It is really looking nice David. Keep plugging away!

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