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Old 12-22-2019, 04:34 PM
pilotpip pilotpip is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: St. Peters, MO
Posts: 45

Great write ups! This potential builder is following closely. Your work looks top-notch!
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Old 05-28-2020, 12:38 PM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 36

Thanks all, for the kind remarks. It’s time for another update…. Wings are well underway. I’m just now starting work on the fuel tanks, with all previous steps, in the books.

I’m starting to get more of a rhythm, and just plugging away. I’m doing the slow build wings, and so far, it’s not too bad and I’m not regretting the choice. So far, most has been pretty straight forward, but I will share a process I did to help on the overlap seam on the top wing skins.

I chose to do the optional step of filing the overlap, but to help make it more consistent in the effort, simply taped a ¼ inch thick balsa block to the end of the file. That way, as I worked the edge down, it could help hold the file at a consistent angle, while sliding along. Then I could just focus on how far into the panel the cuts were showing and know when to stop. I was able to get a great looking and feeling overlap, by some patience and nearly a few blisters. Doing it against the edge of a glass top on the work bench helped a bunch too.

I also chose to do the extended range tanks from Hotel Whiskey as well. Not being the fastest builder, they added for me around 3 weeks effort to get all their supporting brackets and structure cut and installed. They can be added to a finished plane but adding them while the outer leading edges were under construction made this process simpler. Initially, I was a bit unsure about their mounting. However, when I was finished with all the steps, I was pleasantly surprised that it felt like I could just about pick the wing up with the tank alone.

With starting to see the early signs of wiring in my future, back in February, I attended the AEA Aircraft wiring class for experimental aircraft taught in Kansas City. Our instructor Levi was great and had come from many years’ experience working at Garmin. The class was 3 days, and very helpful on many fronts, from design consideration, tool selection, equipment choices, and hands on wiring work. For me it helped lower my stress level about what’s to come, and I was very pleased with it.

Up next are the fuel tanks, and we’ll see if I emerge from this section covered in black goo……

Kinda looks like a wing at this stage.

Trailing edge primer work.

Simple balsa block taped to the end of the file, to slide on the plastic film.

With the angle set, now it's just a matter of bringing the filed section as far back as you'd like. It's real easy to spot this way as well, if you have one section thinner/thicker than another. 3M deburring disk in the drill followed the file work, to smooth things out.

I stopped when the very edge was seeing 10-12 thousands or so. Results turned out great.

Finished outer leading edges.

Hotel Whiskey ER tanks. Fitting done, and priming.

View in the first bay outboard of the standard fuel tanks. You see here the brackets to hold the end of the ER tank (a clamp goes around these brackets, thus, gripping the tank), the access panel for this area installed, and the reinforcing plate that will hold the fuel transfer pump on the left.

I was really impressed with the accuracy of Van's sizing of parts/skins, and the hole placements. Leading edges were almost a perfect fit right off the bat. Really pleased with how progress is turning out so far.


Last edited by LCampbell : 05-28-2020 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:19 AM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 36

Fuel tanks done!!!

For others that have traveled this path, they can appreciate that statement… It really wasn’t as bad as it had been made out to be. The biggest thing that I had to realize part way in, was that it was simply going to take much longer than the pace that I had been going at previously. Between the parts' prep, handling it all with gloves once it had been cleaned, the goo, the mess on all the tools, then the cleanup, it added such an overhead to all the part’s assembly. Pressure tests came back with no issues. By getting 2 pressure test kits, it let me have enough fittings to plug the extra holes I had in the tanks…. Which were the fill port on the outboard rib for the Hotel Whiskey ER tanks to fill in through, and the extra high pressure return port I had put on the front of the inboard, middle rib.

Although the Pro-Seal had an odor too it, it wasn’t too bad. However, the Acetone fumes had to be respected. Whenever it was out in any quantity, I had the large fan in the paint room pulling a strong draft through the shop. That was great for our health, but bad for my standing within the family… especially, when I’m blasting out all the house AC with it, on a hot July evening. After a few evenings of near mutiny within the family, a new schedule was figured out, that Saturday and Sunday mornings were good times for tank work during the hot summer days, so we could close the house back up around noon, and try to recover the AC. Kudo’s and thanks to my wife, Tracy, for helping on many of these weekends, to help get the tank work pushed over the finish line.

All parts were cleaned with Acetone, then when it came time to the goo prep, I cut the scotchbrite pads into 1 inch strips, to be able to scrub and scuff where the goo would go. I found this way faster and simpler than doing a grid of tape everywhere on the inside. Cleanup with Acetone wasn’t to bad either, for what did get where it didn’t belong. Right before goo’ing a few parts, I’d do a quick rescuff, and Acetone cleaning, to remove any recent aluminum oxide, until I saw nothing on the Acetone soaked paper towels.

End ribs all prepped, including the extra fittings.

Any prior pondering about wet-setting rivets or not, went out the window, when you learn that goo goes everywhere, including the rivets, by the time you pull the cleco’s out. I did a very light rub with an Acetone soaked paper towel after the work, and it cleaned up easy.

Despite my best efforts, of trying to convince my youngest son, Daniel, about the fun and enjoyment of cleaning Pro-Seal from clecos, he remained unconvinced.

All done, now they sit for a month.

Pressure tests went well…. Except for a key moment… here I am, looking at each rivet, up close with soapy, sudsy water streaming down them… rivet by rivet…. one by one… when BANG!!!.... about 9 inches from my ear the balloon popped…. Scared the #!$@%###! out of me!!! I think I jumped a foot.

I pre-primed some of the parts before tank assembly such as the tank z’s, and the back of the rear baffle. However when they passed the pressure test, I did a light scrubbing trying to not disturb the Pro-Seal, and shot another go of primer, this time covering the ends and the rear flanges, that had not see any primer before, lest it might have interfered with the Pro-Seal’s adhesion.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:23 AM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 36

Like many others, I ran into several rivets that sat just a little proud on the sides of the rear baffle… the ones you countersink for. Of those that were high, most were in the 3-5 thousandth’s range.

I decided to give rivet shaving a try. Having a decent amount of experience of running my small mill, I saw the rivet shaving bit as simply a 2 flute end mill cutter.

I was very slow in creeping up on the correct setting for the micro stop cage, but once I got the right setting, it was a piece of cake to touch up all those rivets that needed it. You do need to keep a firm grip on the bottom of the cage, for the cutter to do its work but it’s not bad at all. I did use pliers to tighten up the retaining ring, just so that it could not vibrate loose and accidentally cut deeper and my cordless drill on high speed worked just fine.

I measured no appreciable difference in a reduced diameter in the head of the rivet, and the results were well worth the price of the cutting bit, I thought. I found for the limited use I needed, the micro stop cage worked just fine, and I didn’t need the expense of a dedicated tool for this step.
Up close pic’s of rivet’s are sometimes hard to see what you’re trying to show, but I’ll give these a try, with some before and after rivets.

Glad to be done with the tanks, and now moving onto the bottom wing skins.

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Old 08-05-2021, 12:12 PM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 36

Time to update the build thread again, as it’s been far too long. As of 3 weeks ago, the wings are done. Like all the way done, including all the hard stuff, like the fiberglass wing tips, conduits, lighting, lenses, etc. All but final body work on the wing tips, prior to painting.

We all approach big projects differently…personally, while it’s tempting, I can’t stand to leave the ‘hard’ stuff to the end. It just makes for a huge hill to climb late in the project, so, rather, I will make my way through all the steps as they come along. That way, when I look at finished wings, they are well….. finished, and that gives me encouragement for the subsequent steps.

This update will focus on some of the special things regarding the completion of the wings. Not really pictured, but completed are the primary wings themselves, including closing up the bottom wing skins, and building the ailerons and flaps. Also complete are the aileron pushrods and torque tubes, along with also installing the wing wiring conduits, aileron trim servo, and AP servo mount. I installed the Garmin heated/regulated AOA pitot tube and have the hole cut and ready to be grounded for the temp probe too.

Enough rambling, on to the pictures…

I really enjoyed the diversion of the FLYLED’s “The Works” kit. Shown in the above pics are the installed results of about a week’s work. From building the boards, to fitting them, it was all very enjoyable, with good instructions.

Next up was doing the wing tip lenses. I ended up using the stock ones that come with the kit. They fit pretty well and did not take too long to trim to shape.

I chose to use the piano hinge method for wing tip attachment. While this probably added 2 weeks’ worth of extra time, I think the results when finished will look nice, and be very serviceable. You will also notice some green tape on the bottom of the tips. This tape was a line that I felt that the wing tip had an excessive amount of ‘give’ to it. With only a few ounces of pressure, I could get the tip to ‘oil can’ inward. I did not care for this movement and used the tape as a guild on where on the inside of the tip to address it.

I used lightweight closed cell blue foam and carved and sanded a feathered piece to be glassed on the inside of this area. The foam when I had it shaped weighed about a quarter ounce, and when using just a single layer of 4-ounce S Glass (fiberglass), it completely solved all movement in this area, and only added around 2 ounces each.

As you can see here, tolerance is a bit close with the Hotel Whiskey ER tank, but workable.

Bob Archer VOR mounted in left wing tip. I used a clump of resin mixed with cabosil and microballons on the sharp tip/corner to keep it from vibrating against the wing tip fiberglass.

Completed wings with the Hotel Whiskey ER tanks in place.
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:18 PM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 36

I spent quite a bit of time, getting an outer door setup that I liked for the outer fuel doors in the fiberglass. I wanted a clean, no fastener look when I was finished. What you see here, is several steps in. First, I add 3 layers of 5.7 ounce carbon fiber to the entire area (about 10 inches by 10 inches). Then I almost cut out the outer door but left a few ‘tick’ marks holding it in place. I then covered the door in clear packing tape, with some wax, then filled in the crack with clay, and then laid 3 more layers of carbon across it. Make the few final cuts in the door, then pop it out, then trim out the center for a nice perfect fit flange.

Because the clearance for a standard offset oil door hinge was too small to use, I had to make my own hinge. For the goose-neck part, I laid my own up with 3 layers of carbon over a tube, over the edge of the worktable. I covered the entire area with clear packing tape and waxed it.

Once the goose-neck was done, I used pieces of piano hinge, and a spring, that I could torque just right, so that when released, it pops the door open with just the right amount of force.

For holding the door closed, I machined down a pin, and a bracket on the mill and lathe, and along with a couple pieces of brass tubing secured on both sides with carbon and resin, it holds the door shut nicely. Given the bracket will be under forces trying to pry it from the door, not only was it glued in place, but also riveted with 2 rivets, that will later get body work to hide them from the outside.

Once the pin is retracted, the door pops open. I saw another update on the web about doing something like this, but they had the pin coming in from the end of the door, with the pin seating towards the hinge. I liked this direction better, as it has capture on both sides of the mechanism that is affixed to the door.

For the actuation, I used a hobby level nyrod, to extend back to the trailing edge. While I would never use this mechanism on anything mission critical, for this purpose it is very flexible, takes resin well for securing, and is easily serviceable. The resin was mixed very heavy with microballons to add minimal weight, which is the white part you see. Then a single glass layer over the top of the tube and all.

To trigger the doors, I wanted something that I could not find anywhere. A simple spring-loaded latch, that I could connect the clevis to the other end and have around ¾ inch travel. So, I made my own. I made the inner piece out of Delrin, with a round section to hold the spring, and the remainder rectangular, so it would hold position in the bracket. A single bolt going through it below, not only holds it in place, but limits its travel. The spring gives it from 6 ounces to 18 ounces of pressure on the button and subsequently the pin to make sure the door stays shut.

So now where to put this sliding button? I head scratched a long time on that one. I decided to put it on the rib that is at the trailing edge of the tip itself. There is this perfect little area in the aileron that is recessed here to let you put a finger down in there and release it easily. The flat screws are retained by nylon insert nuts on the back side, so should they ever come loose, they should not be able to vibrate out to interfere with aileron operation. Aside from that, they are too short to reach it even if they did come out. While on that topic, you see on the left side two other holes. This is where I secure the aft end of the piano hinges. The ends of the wire have a loop bent in them and are secured by 2 socket head 8-32 screws that are cross drilled and will be safety wired, along with being tightened into the nutplates.

All finished!! Initially I expected the wings to take a year. If I had stayed to the path, and not done any extras, I would have been very close to that. In the end they took 18 months, but that included all the effort for the Hotel Whiskey ER tanks, the FLYLED’s lighting, the Garmin AOA install, Aileron trim servo, AP servo mount, and putting in nice conduits in the wings.

Thanks for following along,
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Old 08-05-2021, 12:31 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,056
Default good work

Lance, very nice work there.

Your wingtip door setup is likely to be stolen ---- better get a patent on it quick
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 08-06-2021, 04:26 PM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is online now
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 3,433

very nice. at Oshkosh, I bumped into a group from Oklahoma City that flew their RV10 direct to Oshkosh, 663 nm. they had 75 gallons on board. I was impressed.
Steve Melton
Cincinnati, OH
RV-9A, Tip-up, Superior O-320, roller lifters, 160HP, WW 200RV, dual impulse slick mags, oil pressure = 65 psi, EGT = 1300F, flight hours = 900+ for all

Simplicity is the art in design.
I was born an airplane nut. I have no explanation for it.
My Artwork is freely given and published and cannot be patented.

Last edited by Steve Melton : 08-06-2021 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 09-22-2021, 02:35 PM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 36
Default Flap Motor Mouting

Nothing like taking a one-hour job, and turning into 3 days, just for fun….
I decided to go with the PH Aviation flap motor as an upgrade. Ironically, I just learned yesterday, Van’s mentioned something about an upgraded flap motor at Oshkosh last month. Oh well, onward and upward. : )

The instructions from PH Aviation give good guidance on how to modify the existing mount from Van’s to accommodate the new flap motor. They look like the modifications would work just fine, using angle stock, and several bolts, but look they are tailored for a post construction installation, when you have to work with what is already riveted into the plane. Given I’m in the middle of new construction and have a manual mill sitting in the corner of the shop, I took a stab at solving the problem, in a more direct manner.

The new motor mounts about 1.5 inches further away from the flap horn, a bit higher, and is wider than the stock motor too. Plus, it’s output arm is centered, and I think the stock motor is offset.

Making the new mounting lugs was one thing. Another was how to deal with adding holes to move over the bolted side, in the stock F-1066A plate, without compromising the load carrying ability. To accommodate that, I essentially sandwiched the plate, with longer pieces above and below.
Also, since the mounting ears for the flap motor now have a longer moment with more leverage on the bracket, I machined in some ridges to stiffen them up as well. That should equal the strength gained from the angle stock approach from the original instructions.

The flap motor itself looks to be a quality unit, and I think the custom mounts turned out pretty good.

Original mounting ear, and my part, rouging out the larger mount out of 2024

Getting the ridge cut in after cutting in the foot.

Finished right bracket, rivet side

Finished left bracket, bolt side.

This is the replacement lower F-1066C, that I made to match the original one, but with a longer foot for the bottom, to span the unused holes, and carry through.

Bottom plate, when matched up with F-1066A

Top reinforcing plate as the other part of the ‘sandwich’. I had to change the outer rivets to flush, to accommodate the new bolt on bracket, to sit flush. But considering the countersink was in my extra plate on top, and not in the original, didn’t figure it would degrade any strength. Being a bit paranoid, I even looked up the federal standards of strength of a countersunk rivet vs. a standard, and while it’s a bit different, still looks to be well within needed strength. Lastly, I know my edge distance is close on the one nutplate rivet, but was limited in the space, and probably would have figured a different solution if were not a rivet holding a nutplate.

Once I was doing final fitting, I realized I needed a little relief in the ridge of the bolt on side, so the socket would have clearance. Yes, I’ll turn down some spacers for the main AN 5 motor mounting bolt, on the lathe, but have not done that part yet.

It is sitting true in here, my phone was just sitting a little offset, when I took this picture, so there is a little parallax in the image. The bolt side bracket did take into account the 62 thou. difference in the height on the two brackets, from the extra plate on that side. Once again, there will be proper spacers, bolt and nut eventually in here, but this was just seeing how everything was fitting.


Last edited by LCampbell : 09-22-2021 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:30 PM
plehrke's Avatar
plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,806

Originally Posted by LCampbell View Post

Finished right bracket, rivet side

Finished left bracket, bolt side.
Very nice machine work but . . . A poor design detail.

I don’t like the stiffener on the bracket ending before the lower attach flange. Stiffener not doing anything for you except tell you were to look for the crack. It will be right at end of stiffener in the radius of the flange.
RV-6A - flying 970+ hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007
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