October 31, 2004


Brake lines... The saga continues. Getting ready to finalize the lightening holes in the rudder pedal brace and adding the grommet holes for the brake lines. Made a drill jig and drilled the firewall for the brake fluid reservoir. Hopefully I'll be able to mill the lightening holes tomorrow.

October 30, 2004


Just some more of the same.

October 28, 2004

Brake Line

Been tied up for the last couple days.

Tonight, I wrestled the left brake line from the fitting at the gear to the firewall. After I get the right one done I'll move on to the plastic tubing and related fittings for the brake lines at the individual brake pedals.

You can see why Van's suggests doing this work before the forward top section of the fusalage is riveted in place.

October 25, 2004

Fuel Vents

Took a couple tries but I think I have the fuel vent lines more or less routed. The brake lines will be more interesting...

October 23, 2004


Drilling the forward bulkheads with the skin on was an interesting exercise in contortions... Sounds like a harbinger of what riveting will be. Anyhow, the rudder pedal area is again open to the sky for working on finishing the vent and brake lines.

October 22, 2004

Under the Hood

Van's builder manual calls for drilling the various bulkhead parts on the front section of the fusalage, then the outer skin. I found it took a lot of tweaking to get the skins to fit... So, I decided to do things in somewhat a reverse order.

Once the skin fit is acceptable I have now drilled the skin (and finished the right eyeball vent). Next I'll drill the internal bulkhead intersections and take the skin off, followed by removing the parts over the rudder/brake pedals so I can finish the vent and brake lines.

This is about as far as I can take the front of the fusalage until I get a finishing kit.

October 21, 2004


Okay... Back to work!

Under the piercing gaze of the shop supervisor I cleaned out the fusalage and started working on its front part. I'll finish drilling the skins and clips for the instrument panel and then strip the sheet metal all off to make finishing the fuel vent lines and brake lines easier to install.

October 18, 2004

Goose Pond

Did absolute zip on the aircraft today... We went flying instead! Left on runway 25 at Lebanon airport, with the wind 10 degrees off the nose. Managed to get pictures that show Cathy's office, and our house.

The others are of Goose Pond and Mt. Cardigan... In our neck of the woods. The pond got it's name from early settlers in the early 1700's, who shot some geese for feed and settled the area.

This photo of Mt. Cardigan does not do justice to how pretty it was up there today. We hike this puppy in about an hour from the base... Although doing it at Thanksgiving and New Years has been extreme, with gail force winds.

Almost froze my right eye once on the run to the summit... Touch the guy wire on the summit outpost and run like hell down... Climbed it once after an ice storm one winter and it was like being on another planet!

October 17, 2004

Freight Hauling

Today we re-organized some rooms in the house to get ready for working over the winter on the fusalage. First, we had to move some 4-drawer laterals to the garage to make room in a utility area for the work bench and storage cart, for the empenage and flaps and aelerons.

Worked out well, as we wound up with the wings safely tucked away on their cart in the dining room, and the west bedroom, where the fusalage is now, has some room to move around in and work. Hopefully with few if any "hanger rash" problems. Doesn't sound like much much, but Cathy and I felt like mules with all the heavy lifting.

We had hoped to go flying this afternoon but the weather was determined not to cooperate. I did notice a Cessna doing a lot of skud work overhead this afternoon... Not me, baby!

October 16, 2004

Bring it Home

Started the day with a visit from Phil Weber, an A&P and former state rep I served in the legislature with, then it was off to taking the sliding door apart. The slider was easy. The fixed part of the door is was a real pain, but boy it sure went back together easier than it did coming apart.

Anyhow, Cathy and I took the tail surfaces apart and put them in their storage carts, and then it was time to pull the pins on the wings, and move the fusalage back to the house. I couldn't do my trick to wiggle the fusalage in on the main gear, like I did when I took it out of the house.

We had to pull the gear just outside the house, and support the fusalage on my riveting cart. This requires the occasional Charles Atlas squat to lift the fusalage and reposition it, pull the gear, etc. Now that we have the fuslage in the house, tomorrow we'll probably work on getting the wings back in the house and lowering the fusalage further, for work this winter.

Tentatively we're going to lower the fusalage onto some 4x4 timbers using a floor jack, which will save my lower back later, while working out the break lines etc. and fitting the canopy. Building an airplane... What a hoot!

October 14, 2004

Tech Visit

Marvin Bishop, the technical advisor for builders in EAA Chapter 740, was kind enough to come by this morning and look over the work we've been doing - rigging the wings and various control surfaces - before I take everything back apart.

Am looking to arrange a visit to an RV-7 at Plymouth Airport, which is near completion, with Dino Vlahakis, our Chapter's flight advisor, and to start the thought processes on planning for a flight test program (probably 2 years out for certification of the completed project).

I could have kicked myself, after Marvin left this morning, for forgetting to take his picture.

October 13, 2004

Wing Bolts

At this stage of construction I am using hardware store variety bolts (rather than the final precision aircraft bolts) to pin the wings in place for fitting the fuel lines, etc.

I turned the threads off the bolts and bullet-nosed them to ease in assembly. I wanted to make up a set of 7/16 and 1/4 bolt pins to test the wing fit up. There are four 7/16" and four 1/4" bolts holding the main spar of each wing to the fusalage.

I am hoping to schedule a visit from my Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter's technical advisor before I take everything back apart. The fuel lines at this stage look okay, but I'd kind of like to run them by someone with more experience for comment.

October 11, 2004

Fall Foliage

We were going to go flying this afternoon to see the fall colors, but it was a tad windy, so we did the foot method... After cutting up wood for a couple hours.

October 10, 2004


We managed to get the insulation and drywall up this weekend to prepare the new nest.

Tentatively, it looks like the fusalage will go in by next weekend, and I can clear out my mother-in-law's room to make it habitable in a couple weeks. And while were at it, I still have one rack of wood to cut, but otherwise we're pretty much set for winter.

Hope folks like the view of the fall foliage out the 4X8' window, it has really been a treat to finally get a chance to take advantage of the view out of the west side of the house.