Hello all RVer's out there, builders and flyers !
I just want to take a few minutes to share with you a project update for my RV-8 s/n 80414 progress. Yes, I admit that when choosing wisely where to spend my time between posting news or making progress on building my -8, building has the priority ! There will be no pictures with this update, because I haven't had the time to sort out the mess Photobucket did to my build thread. Building comes first !
Here in Eastern Canada, days have become shorter and getting colder. No snow yet, but we all know it is coming our way. At the same time, my part-time flight instructor activities are slowing down due to the shorter daytime. Winter in Canada is the perfect....building season !
Surprisingly, from the time we came back from Oshkosh until today, I was able to achieve major milestones on my project. Final riveting the fuselage to reach Canoe 2.0 stage initially appeared as a daunting task. It turned out actually to be much faster than I expected. All those clecos making the fuselage looking like a porcupine are disappearing back in the bucket very quickly when you get the twist riveting rivets at "production speed". I've had great regular support from my bucking helpers Yves, Fred and Jeremi. I admit I had to give away a few bottle of good wine to get their help, but what is a bottle of wine compared to a RV-8 project !? Without them, it would have been impossible to get where I am today. We riveted most of the fuselage "sunny side up". About 3 weeks ago, we flipped the canoe upside down. My Dad came up with one of his genius idea for a contraption using a trailer hitch attached to an engine hoist, which allowed us to lift the fuselage and rotate it at the same time. Thumbs up to you Dad !
We are currently in the process to finalize the remaining riveting with the fuselage upside down. I'd guess that at this time, there are no more than 100 rivets to buck to say "mission accomplished" I have a fully riveted aluminum canoe ! Next upcoming step is main landing gear legs pre-fit on fuselage.
Prior to flipping the fuselage upside down, I took out my empennage from the storage crates I made 3 years ago. For motivation purpose, I installed the empennage temporarily on the fuselage canoe. Boy, that make a huge change. For the first time, It looked like an airplane ! The great thing is that I am not that far away to fitting the empennage on the fuselage according to Van's instructions.
Today, I got e-mail from Van's saying that there are just about to start packing my wing kit (yes, I built the fuselage before the wings !). Likely, I will get a huge box dropping at my door beginning of December, right in time for my Birthday. Biggest Birthday gift I have done to myself in my entire life !!!
Great project timing because the fuselage will be completed, and I shall be able to start working on the wings during the Holidays !
Overall, With a little less than two months to go before 2018, it looks like I am all set to achieve my 2017 RV building objectives. At the same time, I was able to balance between regular work, part-time flight instructing and RV building.
More updates soon !