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RV10: The Big Project
Well, as promised, here's a description of the big, multi-year project that I'm starting working on.

Lance Rund and myself are buying a kit-plane. Yes, a plane that we build ourselves, and fly it.

The kit is a Van's Aircraft RV-10, a 4-seater, >200HP (depending on the engine we install), low-wing aircraft. There's currently only one flying, the one that Van's built themselves, but we're serial number 400-something, so there's many many more of them being build currently than just this one.

The kit comes in several parts, we've ordered and received the tailcone and empennage (the rear-end of the beast). Other parts are the wings, fusulage and the 'finishing kit'. The individual parts can be built in a largish garage, and one only needs a hangar when you put it all together. You get to choose your own engine and avionics, and I'll describe our preliminary choices another time.

So, next on the agenda is to build suitable workbenches to make our life easier, and to get some training in how to best work with sheet-metal. This kit is easier than a lot of others; most of the holes for the rivets are pre-drilled. So, it's easier, but still not without a lot of effort. Lance has JUST finished, and passed, his pilot's licence (grats!) so we should be getting stuck into the bench-building very soon!

This is going to be so cool :)

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My aircraft! I was wondering where that went!

Uh-uh.... this this yours, the aircraft's mine!

Www.vans.com has to be the most misleading domain name. I was hoping for a large painted vw love-wagon.

Oooooh! Congratulations!

I wish you many years of enjoyment with the project and the finished plane!

Very keen. But, I notice you're starting with the butt of the plane. Is that normal? ;-)

For aircraft kits in general, I don't know, but it IS standard for this kit, and most of Van's Aircraft's kits.

We also got two 'practice' kits, which is a little minature control surface. For this, since it's designed to help you get started with the necessary skills for ALL Van's kits, we have to drill our own holes.

The intention is to attend a sheetmetal course, and use the Practice Kit as our project. There's one such course in Ohio, I think, that does just that anyway :)

Cool, are you gonna paint it yellow and gives it cheetahspots?

Tempting, but... since Lance isn't a 'cheetah' himself, I don't think that would be fitting.

Painting the whole plane like that would be expensive, too. We're more likely going to go for a simple colour scheme, and dress it up with decals; we've found a place that will print aviation-quality decals that will last about 10 years.

It'll be a picture of a 'drunken cat'. Why? Well, we managed to reserve a cool tail number: N-4YW (for yankee whiskey... get it? :)

Ok, the photo of Lance trying to figure out how to open the crate and not having a pair of tinsnips probably wouldn't fill me with confidence... What marks did the two of you get in Manual Arts? ;)

It was very well crated, okay? Don't hassle me!

be sure to count all the nuts and bolts >_<
don't want to end up with one missing.. or one too many!

Oh, you would not BELIEVE how many times we're going to be checking and double-checking this thing, both checking each other's work, and also getting external help into looking over our work as often as possible.

There's two chapters of the Experimental Aircraft Association nearby, one of which is very heavily into the 'build' scene (while the other is mostly the 'fly' scene), and I'm sure they'll be eager to help out.

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