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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

 

 

 

 

Throttle Cable

Throttle Cable

February 6, 2020 – I started installing the throttle quadrant.

This included finishing the routing of the throttle cable through the heatbox. Since the cable will now go through the small access panel in the heatbox, I added a bracket for a clamp to secure the cable there. The clamp is attached to the access panel.

Time: 2:00

Continued Cockpit Fuel Lines

Continued Cockpit Fuel Lines

February 6, 2020 – At last! A small victory! I have successfully made and fitted two of the fuel lines in the cockpit from the fuel selector to the wings.

A 4-foot length of 3/8 tubing has been whittled down to about 1 foot before I got the hang of this.

I learned that I needed to flare the outboard end of the line IN the airplane.

I made the right side inboard line in an alarmingly short period of time, and it was harder because it has to work around the plumbing for the pump and filter.

I removed the outer kickplate brackets that the outboard tubes will go through. I added holes to each one that would line up with the travel of the fuel tubes.

Time: 3:35

Continued Lower Rudder Fairing

Continued Lower Rudder Fairing

February 6, 2020 – I stated on my previous post about the fairing that I had a couple of issues with its fit.

  • The light contour and the attach plate are bigger than the molded area the light attaches to. I’ll just build that area up to make a smooth transition.

  • I figured out that the fairing is now not vertically aligned with the rudder. I sighted up along the rudder trailing edge, and the fairing doglegs off to one side. Hopefully cutting the offending side at the screw holes will bring it back into alignment…

First, the misalignment.

Here’s a picture, best I could get, of the misalignment:

It’s kind of hard to tell, but it’s there. I cut a bit of material off the top on the right side, to hopefully pull the fairing towards the centerline when screws are installed. I filled the existing pilot holes for the screws, and I’ll redrill new holes when everything else is set.

Then I started working on fairing the light a bit better. I mixed a batch of resin and flox, and slathered it around the base plate for the light, as well as gluing the plate to the fairing. After it cured, the first sanding went pretty well. I just have to do the usual fill and sand…fill and sand… I also installed four pop rivets in the base plate to help to mechanically secure it.

Time: 3:15

Continued various Firewall Forward items

Continued various Firewall Forward items

February 2, 2020 – I continued work on securing firewall forward items.

I ran the line for the mechanical fuel pump drain. This will vent through the lower cowl, a short distance from the exhaust.

I secured the Red Cube.

I installed the sniffle valve. Not sure how this is going to work out, though, because of its proximity to the exhaust.

A friend came by and helped me secure the clamp for the oil breather tube.

We also pulled the manifold off the firewall so I could replace a 45-degree fitting with a straight one. Maybe sometime I’ll get smart and put nutplates on this…

Time: 2:00

Moved Throttle Cable

Moved Throttle Cable

February 2, 2020 – I moved the throttle cable at the firewall so it will come through the cabin heat box at a better location.

I loosened the eyeball in the firewall and turned the cable straighter. The first picture shows the upward orientation of the cable. The second shows how the cable will enter the cockpit through the access panel in the heat box. I’ll put a grommet in that panel later.

Time: 1:10

Continued Cockpit Fuel Lines

Continued Cockpit Fuel Lines

February 2, 2020 – I continue working on the cockpit fuel system.

Not much to tell…I have a nice 4′ long piece of 3/8 aluminum fuel line that is shrinking away to nothing because of my trial and error… Picture shows a nice section of tubing that would work if I can get it to run through the angle instead of outside…

Time: 2:45

Another Step to the Dream…

In August 2019 I took another step on this journey. I finally started my PPL. Flying a Sundowner and a Sport 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…