Builder Tips

Builder Tips
On this page I will attempt to place some tips that I have picked up along the way. Most of them will save you frustrations and building time. Some of them are my own ideas, some from other people. If it works for you – it is my idea. If not, well then ….. The webmaster also makes no claims here and it is your responsibility to make sure if these tips are ok to implement on your aircraft.
HOME BUILDING IN SOUTH AFRICA
Those first steps: I often see and experience that many home builders do not know what to do when, when it comes to all the paper work and requirements in order to get your aircraft legally flying. I have therefore decided to try and explain it step by step and hopefully in a way that will make life easier for you.PART ONE:
The first step once you have taken the plunge and ordered your dream kit, is to get a builders number from CAA. this way you are officially registered as a home builder this paves the for what is to come in future. In order to do this you have to complete form CA24-01. You can get it HERE or download it from the CAA website. Please make sure that you have the latest form! You will notice that you also need to “appoint” an AP ( Approved Person ) for your project. The complete list of registered AP’s can be found  HERE.  Choose one that fits the criteria of your project and the closest to you, then phone RAASA and request this persons contact numbers in order to make contact and discuss matters.  Within a day or so, CAA will let you know your Builder  Number. To understand the AP scheme and how it works, please read THIS document.

PART TWO:

Inspections: Start building and have fun! Just remember to contact your AP and arrange the first inspection BEFORE you close up the first assembled part completely. If you have started on the HS (Horizontal Stabilizer) for example, it will be ok to have the spar and ribs riveted to the top skin already. This is important as your AP must be able so see inside and measure some of your rivets and have a look at your general workmanship. This first very important inspection will set the tone for the rest of your inspections and he will tell you when to arrange the next inspection.

RV10 FRONT TUBE AND VALVE STEM PROBLEM.The standard front rim and tube in supplied in the kit has a rather irritating problem. When assembled as received, there is not enough space for the valve cap to go on. Therefore there is also not enough clearance to install the SPC wireless tire pressure gauges available from Aircraft Spruce. The factory merely advises to “throw away the cap”. Others install a different rim and tube which means $$$!. Here is a simple solution.

Step 1: Use a small tubing bender and bend the valve stem more or less as indicated in the picture below.

Front tube stem

Step 2: Using a round file, file away the rim as shown. Look for the “V” mark as this will be opposite the half round already taken away in the other half. By doing this the stem will come through the rim without bending sideways.

Rim half filed out

Step 3: Enlarge the stem hole on the other rim half in order for the bent stem to go through easier. Assemble and inflate. Below is a picture after installation. Note that even the much bigger SPC sender unit has clearance with the fork. 

Assembled nose wheel showing clearance

 

BLEEDING BRAKE LINES

Buy a small hand crank pump from your local radio control hobby shop, used to pump fuel for the petrol engines. then buy pvc (we get them clear and normally at the garden or hardware type shops). The clear pipes works well as one can see what is going or not going on inside.
Next glue one pipe to the pump outlet ( high pressure side) with quickset epoxy. The reason why I use epoxy glue and properly clamped is that you do NOT want to get this fluid squirting out under pressure while you pump. Make sure about that. I have played in that movie before :-) The other end of the pipe goes to a short piece of flared alu tube with a size 4 AN fitting. Clamp the tube properly to the piece of alu tube. You will also need a size 4 nipple (AN816 flared tube to pipe thread). Completely undo the “bleed” fitting that is on there now and put your AN nipple on there and  then attach the pipe.
Next undo the breather cap on the fluid reservoir and also attach a nipple and AN fitting with a short piece of flared tube on it and run another piece of clear pvc hose into a container. This container can be hung somewhere where you can easily see it from both wheels, in line with the reservoir and below the belly works well. Something like a 1 liter clear plastic water bottle works well.
Now make sure that you have both brake pedals pulled back and start pumping. Do one side first and when the fluid runs out of the reservoir into the bottle, undo the fittings, put back and tighten the bleeder fitting and move to the other side. Repeat procedure. When you see fluid running from the reservoir again, you know the system is full and there will also be no air in it. Take the reservoir pipe fitting off and when you undo the bottom one, let some off the fluid “leak out” on purpose. This is to slightly lower the reservoir level.
It should take you about 20 minutes to do both sides and works very well.
GAP FAIRINGS
Most RV’s have a gap fairing each side of the tailcone, just below the HS. The plans call for quite a number of holes that one has to tap for screws to fit this. Not needed – just rivet the fairing on using LP4-3 rivets.
MAIN WHEEL SPAT ATTACH PLATES
The spat attach plates on the main wheels, usually attach to the axle with 4 x AN3 bolts and Nylock nuts. I have seen a number of these locknuts get loose due to the heat build up in side the spats. It is a good idea to replace these lock nuts with metal lock nuts, number AN363-1032 (MS21045-3).
COWL HINGES.
You might have seen reports of cowl hinges cracking, or rather the “eyes” cracking off. The reason for this is that the hinges are punched out and the inside corners are very sharp and therefore crack. Use a needle file and round the corners slightly. That will relief the stress and the hinge should never crack. CS.Another problem is that cowl hinges are subject to a lot of vibration. The plans call for tank sealant or resin to “glue” on you cowl hinges as well as riveting them. I find Sikaflex nice and easy to use and it also gives a very strong and slightly flexible bond. JH.
COWL HINGE RIVETS.
I found that it is a good idea to apply one layer of thin glass, about 1 inch wide over your rivet lines. Then finish your cowls as usual. This will ensure that you will not have rivet heads showing. through the paint and gives a little bit of extra strength against the dreaded “smoking” rivets you sometimes see. Below is an example of  what you do not want to see.

ADEL CLAMPS
Some times the plans call for two of these clamps to be fitted “back to back” and it can be really difficult to hold both in place and get the AN3 bolt fitted. Use locking wire to keep everything together and to pull it close. Insert the bolt and nut and cut off the locking wire later on.
D-Ribs.
Very soon in your build you will encounter D-Ribs, for example on the FWD side of the HS main spar. An area often overlooked is the two FWD corners of the ribs – see circles in the picture below. Work these off quite aggressively and even bend the FWD ends of the flanges slightly inward. This will ensure that you do not end up with those nasty little pips/bulges on the outside of the skin that one often see on finished RVs. JH.