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062514002“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

 

 

 

 

Inlet ramp modification

Inlet ramp modification

January 16, 2020 – I decided I didn’t like the setup I had for the left inlet and how it contacts the cowl.

In another post I described the issue I had with the leading edge of the inlet ramp and how I solved it. Here’s a picture:

I decided to cut off that leading edge and make a bracket that would secure the front of the air filter.

Here’s the cut:

I bent a bracket that attaches to the snorkel, and holds the air filter. I riveted it in place using pop rivets.

It’s all covered by the seal on the lower cowl.

Time: 1:00

Clamped and installed items firewall forward

Clamped and installed items firewall forward

January 16, 2020 – REALLY no pictures for this post.

I’ve been working on installing and securing many items on and around the engine. Blast tubes for the alternator and P-Mags, oil breather tube, and clamping cables, fuel and oil tubes and the like.

Time: 9:05

Engine Control Cables and Throttle Quadrant

Engine Control Cables and Throttle Quadrant

January 16, 2020 – I “permanently” installed the engine cables and got them close to a final rig.

Not a lot of pictures for a lot of time spent.

I did finally assemble the mounts for the throttle quadrant in the cockpit.

One small issue I have is on the dust seals for the cables. The rubber boots got damaged during the repeated removal and installation of the cables.

Here’s one of the boots I’m talking about:

One of the cables lost the boot entirely:

After consulting with a few people I trust, I decided on a fix. I’ll install heat shrink at that location on each cable.

Time: 4:40

Finished Oil Door

Finished Oil Door

January 16, 2020 – With the metal oil door in place, the top (hinge end) is not faired with the cowl.

I decided to build up the cowl surface so it will fair with the door. Not a lot of explanation to go with this.

I attached the door and hinge to the cowl. It’ll need a little bit of filling later on, but I’m calling this done.

Time: 1:30

Baffle Rods

Baffle Rods

December 21, 2019 – I made the baffle rods that secure the baffles beneath the engine.

The rods are cut to length, then bent to clear underneath the cylinders. They are hard to photograph when in position, but you can see my marks where to bend them…

Then the ends get threaded for 6-32 nuts.

You are given plastic tubing to protect areas where the rods may touch. This is a very tight fit, but I used a trick to fit the brake line fittings way back when… I boiled soapy water and heated the plastic then, slowly pulled the tubing onto the rods. Worked great, but got a blister anyway in the process.

Here’s a rod ready to be installed:

And actually a decent picture of two of the rods installed:

Time: 3:55

Continued Oil Door

Continued Oil Door

December 21, 2019 – I haven’t been happy with the oil door, especially with the fiberglass one that’s provided.

So I got a hold of some aluminum that is the same thickness as the existing landing area. It turned out to be .063″. I rolled it a bit at work, then brought it home to tweak it to fit the cowl. This will be better because it will flex less than the fiberglass. I transferred the location of the latch from the fiberglass door, cut it out and drilled the door to the hinge.

I like this a lot better.

Time: 8:00

Another Step to the Dream…

In August 2019 I took another step on this journey. I finally started my PPL. Flying a Sundowner out of Aerocountry (T31).

Life Gets in the Way…

I lost my best riveter. My bride Lenora had been struggling with dementia since 2011.  On October 8, 2017, she passed away. She helped rivet most of my fuel tanks. One day, I just needed to shoot two rows to finish one tank. She quickly learned how to use the gun. After we finished those 12 or so rivets, I said that we were done, and she replied “You sure? There’s nothing else we can do?” So I gathered the parts for the other tank and we shot most of it over the next couple of days. I’ll just say she was “cautiously supportive” of the project, but she came out and helped when I needed an extra hand, and towards the end she just sat out in the garage with me.

 

UPDATE— Life continues… I met an amazing woman named Julie and married her on March 30, 2019. She is excited about this project; in fact her dad restored an airplane in his garage, and there’s a lot of aviation history in her family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made Google Earth!

April 29, 2016 was the day we drilled the wings in the driveway, and we were spied upon!

The Birth of an Airplane

November 26, 2009 – I’ve dreamed for a long time about building an airplane, and the RV family of airplanes has been at the top of my list. I got an opportunity to buy a tail kit from a friend at work. The deal was too good to pass up. Along with the kit I got some tooling: a c-frame dimpler, hand dimplers, clecos, that kind of thing.

I brought the tail kit home from work on Thanksgiving morning, 2009.

Some of the work was done on the tail kit. I found that pretty much all of the drilling and dimpling was done, so for the tail, it was a case of dry-assembling the sections, making sure everything was right, and then painting and riveting.

 

 

What’s an RV?

An RV-7 is a two-seat, all metal homebuilt aircraft. The kit is manufactured by Van’s Aircraft in Aurora, OR.

The airplane is available with either conventional (tailwheel) or tricycle (nosewheel) landing gear. That is a decision I will have to make later.

Depending on the engine that is installed, the RV-7 will economically cruise at 165+ mph, or will approach a top speed of roughly 200 mph, with a range of between 750-1000 miles.

You’re building this thing?

Sure. With a little training and familiarity with the required building techniques, anybody can build this airplane.

I’ll be building in the garage at home. Most of the airplane can be completed there, until the wings are ready to be attached. At that point, the airplane will need to be transported to an airport, since the wingspan is about 25 feet.

The airplane is a kit that is available in portions. You can buy the kit a portion at a time, or you can buy the whole thing all at once. Most people start with the tail kit, since the tail is easier, and the building process gets a little more complex as you move on through the wings and the fuselage. You also learn the basics for the RV kits when doing the tail.

N Number

Dec. 30, 2009 – Well, I found an N number that could work for me. I reserved it today, so we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

Jan. 8, 2010 – N174PM! I looked again on the FAA site for reserving N numbers, and it’s there and reserved! I have the N Number N174PM!


What’s an N Number?

An N number is basically the registration number for the airplane that’s on file with the FAA. It’s pretty much like the license plate on your car. You can take what the FAA assigns you, or you can try to get a specific number. The N number is painted on the airplane in a prominent location and large enough so that it can be easily read.

N174PM

My N number is one I searched for. If you looked at it closely, you might figure it out.

1 (one) 7 (RV-7) 4 (for) PM (Pete Miller)

Get it?

My first RV ride!

March 11, 2010 – Well, I finally got a ride in an RV. RV-7A N156DE is owned by Stewart Cole out of Eagle’s Nest (2TS6) in Midlothian. We flew to Stephenville (KSEP) for lunch. I believe my first words after takeoff were “Holy Crap”, or something like that. This RV is the same model that I’m building, and it’s a beautiful airplane.

We had a little headwind going west, so we were indicating 147Kts on the GPS. At 5500′ coming home, we were showing 180Kts! That’s 207 mph!

Here’s a couple of pictures of the airplane without the fat guy in front with the stupid RV grin on his face…