Friday, December 4, 2009

Total Time - 18 Hours

It is getting very cold here in Iowa. So flying will now be sparse.

Have a total of 18 hours on the RV-12 without any problems. Projects this winter include redo of the fuel tank (I have the "old" sightglass material installed) and exterior paint.

I will most definitely cover up the sight glass holes on the tank and install a mechanical float.

Will post a few pictures after exterior paint and will post pictures of the fuel tank redo effort.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

First Flight TODAY!

N128MS made its maiden flight this morning as the weather was favorable.

Larry Geiger flew from Lincoln, NE in his RV-10 and John Bender from Jessup, IA flew to Davenport in his RV-12. John just completed his Phase I test program. Both assisted with the final inspection and the first flight.

Larry flew my RV-12 first as he has over 2000 hours in all types of RVs including 15 hours in his RV-12. Flew hands off, the stall characteristics were normal at 38 mph (indicated).

Then it was my turn. Flew for about 30 minutes near the airport. The RV-12 flies like a dream. Flew straight and level with absolutely no left or right turning tendency. Responsive yet gentle. This plane is most definitely the easiest plane to land that I have ever flown.

Has been a satisfying day! This first flight was for John! He would have loved it!

Happy!!! Happy!!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

This is a Very Good Source of Weather Info - All on One Page!

Check out....

Air Sports dot Net

All of the Local Weather and a Forecast on 1 Page!!!

Homemade Engine Pre-Heater-Hope for that 1st Flight on Sunday

Still waiting for good weather for that 1st flight!!! So, project time!

Here is what I put together for an engine preheater after receiving the temperature controller this afternoon. YES, it is starting to get cold here!!

Had to look a bit for the milkhouse heater, most have two settings (1350 W and 1500 W). This one, from True Value is 600W, 900W or 1500W, I will use the lowest setting.

Bought all of the sheet metal components from Menard's.

The temperature controller is microprocessor based. It is a RANCO ETC-111000-000 Electronic Temperature Controller ($59). It is available on the internet...

Go to........

You can set any temperature and any differential. I will keep the engine compartment between 60 and 70 degF. All you have to do is stick the thermistor (sensor) in the front opening on the cowl.

Also carved 3 shapes to plug the openings on the front from a gardener's kneeling pad.

The heater has a 3 year warranty, BUT, think I violated the terms!!!!!!!

UPDATE: I replaced the metal flexible duct with a 2' piece of 6" SCAT tubing from Wicks Aircraft. The flexible metal duct was too rigid.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pictures of the Completed Airplane

Would look tons better if painted BUT sure is beautiful the way it is!!!!

First flight should occur some time this coming week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flying Larry's RV-12

11 1/2 hours total driving time (both ways) for 3 hours of flying Larry's RV-12. Was it worth it? YES, YES and YES!!!!!

Drove to Lincoln, Nebraska today to fly Larry Geiger's RV-12. Larry has over 2000 hours in the various RV models (RV-3, RV-6A, RV-9A, currently owns an RV-10 and currently owns the RV-12)(Which he has put up for sale!!) Larry, John Bender (Jesup, IA) and I essentially built the planes together and talked either via a phone call or e-mail daily during the build. Larry has completed his Phase I test program. Today, I flew in Larry's RV-12 left seat and Larry flew right seat.

The plane flies like a dream. Unofficially logged 3 hours in the RV-12, slowflight, stalls, about a dozen touch and goes, etc. The RV-12 is MUCH MUCH easier to fly than anything I have flown. Cessna 150/172. Cessna 140 (taildragger). Cherokee 140.


Time to fly mine!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Total Time for the Project

Total Time - 1121 Hours (For a newbie-builder, Lots of learning time.)

Engine Kit and Final Assembly - 191 Hours
Avionics Kit - 43 Hours
Finish Kit - 290 Hours
Fuselage Kit - 285 Hours
Empennage Kit - 137 Hours
Wing Kit - 175 Hours

Wing Kit Started on August 28, 2008
Final Assembly Completed on October 23, 2009

BUT did NO work in October 2008, November 2008 and July 2009 because I was waiting for the next kit to be announced. This is no longer a problem because all six kits are now available.

SO TOTAL TIME was approximately 13 months.

Final paint will be done professionally, most likely next Spring!!

Final Assembly is NOW Complete

On Friday afternoon I put the final screw in the cowling. There sure are a lot of screws in the cover plates and access covers. Everything is now together and this thing is ready to fly once we have some better weather. It has been raining for the past two days almost continuously. Wishing now for the "Indian Summer".

Because of the rain, the pictures of the completed plane were taken while the plane was in the hangar. Also included a few pictures from the initial engine run. Yea, Yea....even during the initial engine run you can see that famous "RV Grin"!

More pictures once the weather is better.

Time - 8 hours (PROJECT IS COMPLETE)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Airworthiness Certificate Received for N128MS

My DAR, Russ Carbiener out of Orion, IL was at the Davenport Airport as promised at 9AM. Russ, was accompanied by two other gentlemen from the FAA Chicago FSDO office. They wanted to observe as this was the first RV-12 for them and one of the first S-LSA/E-LSA inspections for all of them.

After completing the inspection and completing all of the paperwork, I was awarded the airworthiness certificate for the RV-12. I have a Phase I test period with a range of 40 nautical miles excluding the Class C airspace surrounding Quad Cities International with a required 5 hour Phase I test period.

Received compliments on the quality of the construction and the overall quality of the RV-12 kit as supplied by Van's. I think they were impressed with the RV-12.


Has been a VERY GOOD DAY. My biggest thanks go to Renee and Adam who assisted thru the past 14 months!!!!!

Time to start reassembly.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Transponder and Static System Checks, Final Assembly, Weight and Balance, Fuel Tank Calibration, Initial Engine Run

On Thursday, October 15, we towed the plane to the maintenance hangar at Carver Aero at Davenport to have the 24 month transponder check performed. They also checked the static system. Entries were made in the avionic log. Will have two logs for the RV-12, an airframe log and an avionics log.

Then the multitude of small jobs were completed on Friday, October 16 thru Tuesday, October 20 in preparation for the inspection scheduled for October 21.

Installed the turtledeck skin. FINALLY! Installed the rear window. Installed the N-numbers, installed the data plate, installed all covers and placed all of the access plates in their positions. Taped a plastic bag of screws over the center of each cover for the weight and balance calculation. Installed the cowling.

Then on Sunday, weighed the RV-12 with the digital scales that Chapter 75 owns. My empty weight (without final paint) was 711 lbs.

Calibrated the fuel tank gauge on Monday, adding 2 gallons at a time until I reached a total of 16 gallons. The Dynon calibration is pretty much self explanatory. Completed all of the Production Acceptance Procedures prior to the Section on Taxi testing.

On Tuesday, ran the Rotax for the first time. All parameters on the EMS/Fuel display were normal. Ran the engine for about 10-15 minutes. Then, prepared for the DAR. Final hangar checks and paperwork.

Time - 26 hours

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Final Assembly at the Hangar

On Friday, moved all of the needed tools to the hangar and then started final assembly. Attached the vertical stab, and then attached the horizontal stab with the counterweight. Took three trys as we (Renee, Adam and I) bumped the superglued washers out of place two times. Will install the rudder on Saturday and then continue.

Time - 3 hours

On Saturday, finished torquing the VS, HS and then installed the rudder. Installed the trim system. Those pesky washers between the brackets and the bearings were a bit difficult to install. Used a bit of superglue. Installed the bearings in the flaperons. Will have to build to wooden box for the rudder pedal install on Sunday and then continue final assembly.

Time - 5 hours

On Sunday, built the wooden box for the rudder pedal install and then went back to the airport to set the link size for the rudder cables per the plans. Utilized the help of a fellow chapter member to stretch the rudder cables tight and then mark them. Removed the links and brought them back home to drill them, prime them and final paint them using the powdercoat color. They rust!

Time - 3 hours

On Monday, installed the rudder pedal links and then tensioned the HS cables using a tensiometer that I had purchased. Set the tension in the cables per the plans and then spent about 1.5 hours installing the safety clips in the turnbuckles. Easier said than done. I am sure glad that I had purchased a few spare clips as I ruined a couple of them trying to get them to seat correctly.

Time - 4 hours

Spent the majority of Tuesday handling the administrative jobs. Took the data plate to the engraver, left the empty weight blank for now as the thing is not painted. Found a label maker for the N Number that will go end up on the tail and found an engraver for the N-number that is required to be placed above the Dynon. Ensure you mark all of the switches that are unused OPTIONS as INOP. Another requirement per the regs.

On Wednesday, John Bender came this morning and we installed the wings for the first time, drilled the torque tubes and adjusted the droop in the flaperon per Section G.2 in the Production Test Procedure.

All control systems now installed!

Sure looks like a plane with the wings installed. And sure is nice to move the stick and flap lever and see all move as it is supposed to.

Going to tow the plane to the FBO maintenance hangar on Thursday morning and have the transponder 24 month check performed. My DAR is REQUIRING the transponder 24 month check prior to airworthiness, as he should.

Still do not have the fuel tank installed. My DAR still has not answered if he wants the fuel tank in or out. The inspection is scheduled for next Wednesday.

Time - 4 hours

Total Time Over the Past Days - 19 hours

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How to Keep the Wife Happy Near the End of the RV-12 Build?

Keep the family happy by moving the plane and the rest of the stuff to the hangar at the airport! It works! Two cars have not been in the garage for quite some time. Her van has been in the driveway for a few months (glad it has been the summer months). Her van now fits, my little Mazda fits, the 3rd bay still has junk in it, and, I must say, just in time, frost is forecasted for this weekend. Today, I winterized the other RV that we have, this one a travel trailer.

Wish the kits were available a bit sooner. Not too much flying weather left here in Iowa.

Plane is at the Airport! Final Assembly is Next!

Over the past few days, continued to work on odds and ends.

Installed the fuel tank and glued the fuel tank spout to the turtle deck skin. I used silicone grease on the turtle deck skin and after a 4 day cure time, the spout came off of the skin rather easily.

I trimmed the rear window where is abutts the canopy when it is closed. I have a gap between the canopy and the rear window that approximates the gap in the rollbar. To trim the rear window I used two 2x4's screwed together to form a 90 degree jig. Then clamped the 6' jig to the workbench. Sandwiched the rear window between the jig and another 2x4. Clamped the sandwich together. Used the belt sander to get close to the line and then used a board with 80 grit paper. Finished the edge with 120, then 180 then 400 grit paper.

Moved all to the airport in a friends hotrod car hauler. It is about 21' long and 82.5" wide at the wheelwells. The width was tight but the plane's wheels just squeezed in between the trailer wheelwells. The wings were transported in their cradle and then a 2nd trip took the fuselage to the airport.

Installed all of the instrument panel labels per Section 50 of the plans.

Also made a trip to John Bender's hangar and spent a day with him, installing the wings, weighing the plane, starting the engine for the first time after adding oil, and updating his Dynon.

Time - 6 hours

Friday, October 2, 2009

Working on Odds and Ends

Installed the canopy latch plates. Completed the installation of the throttle and choke cables. Torqued the exhaust manifolds. Installed the EGT probes. Tidied up the engine compartment adding ty-wraps where necessary. Safety wired the engine magnetic plug. Safety wired the engine oil tank drain. Attached the brackets to the HS after fabricating a couple of spacers.

Three major jobs left before the plane goes to the hangar. Temporary installation of the fuel tank and gluing the fuel tank spout to the turtle deck skin with fuel tank sealant. Trimming of the lexan rear window. Riveting the turtle deck skins and installation of the rear window.

It truly was a good move leaving the turtle deck skins and the rear window OFF until the very end.

Also spent a bit of time getting the old hangar cleaned up.

Time - 6 hours

Monday, September 28, 2009

Engine Controls and Revised Canopy Latch Plates

Did really nothing on Saturday. On Sunday and Monday, I fitted the new canopy latch and then started the installation of the engine controls. Was kind of difficult getting the cables thru the grommet in the firewall. The grommet wanted to dislodge itself. Would have been easier to lube the cables but the plans for some reason tell us not to do it. I am short one nut that secures the throttle cable to the carb bracket. Will look for it on Tuesday.

Down to odds and ends.

Time Sunday and Monday - 6 hours

Friday, September 25, 2009

Installed HS, Completed the Tailcone Fairing, Installed the Trim System, Lower Cowling Trimmed for Exhaust, Trimmed Exhaust Pipe

Over the past few days, I mounted the HS and was thus able to align the tailcone fairing. Drilled the holes in the fairing and the tailcone for the nutplates.

I had to remove about 1/8" of material from the HS skin at the aft end of the tailcone fairing. The plans want 1/8" between the HS skin and the tailcone fairing.

Fabricated the trim motor bracket and installed the trim motor and checked its operation. I have a problem setting the speed of the trim motor to the specification in the plans. More on this below. Also had to do a bit more sanding on the slot in the fairing as the trim rod was closer than 1/8" to the fairing.

Removed the HS and drilled the rivet attach holes for the nutplates and riveted them to the tailcone. 3 full days, about 22 hours to complete the tailcone fairing work.

Also, attached the lower cowl and checked the exhaust pipe fit. I had to open up the hole as the pipe was not centered. Then marked and cut the exhaust pipe to 4".

Trim Motor Issue as Posted on VAF. Hope to find a solution, soon!!

"Problem-Setting Trim/Servo Motor Speed"

The fastest trim speed I can obtain at a battery voltage of 12.3 VDC (as measured with a DVM at the battery) is 40 seconds (stop to stop). This is with the potentiometer at its stop. The trim motor merely buzzes with the pot fully in the other direction. The plans call for a min speed of 30 seconds at 12.0 VDC. The trim motor sounds as though it is laboring (wha-wha sound).

ANYONE else having this problem?? Has anyone solved the problem??

I measured the resistance of white wire and the white/red wire (power to the motor) from the tail to the 37 pin connector behind the panel and each is 0.9 ohms. So the wires and all crimps are good.

I have attached a battery charger and with a battery voltage of 13.8 VDC (at the battery), the trim speed is 31 seconds.

I have measured the DC voltage at the running servo with a DVM. The voltage is 5.0 VDC. From another post, I understand that the control panel board produces a pulse width modulation signal. A lower voltage is to be expected as the DVM is measuring an average of the chopped signal. I do not have a scope to view the waveform.

With the trim motor attached to a DC power supply, the trim motor speed is 12.0 seconds at 12.0 VDC and 10.0 seconds at 13.8 VDC.

I have talked to support at Van's and they have acknowledged others are having the same issue, but, could not suggest any other testing other than replacing the switch panel.

Has anyone replaced the switch panel and obtained better results??

Do the servos vary? Has anyone replaced the servo and obtained better results?

Time Over the Past Few Days - 24 hours

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vertical Stab, Rudder. Tailcone Fairing

On Monday, fabricated the fairings for the vertical stabilizer and the rudder and riveted them. Before mounting the vertical stabilizer to the tailcone, I attached the rudder and checked for any interference. (This was the subject of a VAF post). Had an interference on top at the fairings and the left VS skin hit the rudder skin when the rudder was full left. Had to take about 1/32" off of the aft left side VS skin and some off the VS fairing at the interference. Mounted the VS and rudder on the tailcone.

On Tuesday, started the tailcone fairing. A lot of cutting and sanding. All went well and am about 75% complete. Will have to mount the HS on Wednesday to set the final alignment of the fairing and check the clearances.

Time Yesterday and Today - 13 hours

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wedding Rehearsal & Dinner on Friday--Wedding on Saturday

Very little RV-12 work is planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

One of my daughters, Heather was married this weekend. Everything went VERY well. Heather and my wife Renee did a phenomenal job at planning the entire affair. Heather and Brendan (who works at Boeing in Seattle as an aero engineer) were very happy and all had a good time.

The wedding reception at the Davenport Country Club was just something else.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Spinner, Oil Lines, Then the Exhaust System

Over the past 4 days, I installed the spinner, installed the oil lines and then installed the exhaust system.

The alignment of the spinner and then attaching the nutplates and attaching the inserts took me 2 days. A lot of fitting, sanding to get all of the parts to fit.

Installed the oil lines, but, may change them again, because the oil line that runs to the left side of the oil radiator is rubbing against the crankshaft sensor at the rear of the engine. I do not think that is a good idea.

RTV'd the gasket material to the inside of the cowling opposite of the coolant radiator.

Installed the cowling to ensure all parts fit. Getting the cowling on this time was a bit more difficult because you have to compress the gasket material at the coolant radiator. Was happy for now with the spinner to cowl fit. It is perfectly concentric. The minimum gap is 0.060" which should be OK for now. Scott McDaniels indicated that 0.060" was a good starting point. A bit more can be removed from the aft end of the spiiner and plate if need be.

Removed the cowling and installed the exhaust system.

Also removed the fuel tank flange (the one with the bad threads) from the tank, fished out the 6 rivet heads and installed the new fuel tank flange. Used a very thin putty knife to pry the old flange off of the tank. Had another dose of sealant again!! Love that sealant!

Time Over the Past Days - 24 hours