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Old 12-31-2017, 01:22 PM
DRMA DRMA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 246

I would suggest you take one of the EAA SportAir intro classes, either the Sheet Metal Basics class or the Van's RV Assembly class. Both classes are similar, so pick the one that is close to you and/or fits your schedule. Either 2 day class will give you a great introduction to riveting and working with sheet metal that will get you started on the empennage work.

Alternatively, I found the Synergy Air Empennage class to be a great way to get started on my RV-10 project. It gave me a chance to use a number of different tools and techniques to complete my empennage with the help and guidance of one of their very experienced A&Ps. I learned a lot, got to ask lots of questions about tools and other considerations, and I left after the 8 days with a completed empennage as a great head start on the build.

And definitely find a local EAA Chapter, and just show up at their next meeting. I think you will find a number of people who would enjoy answering your questions, provide you with advice and the opportunity to see other builds in-progress, and direct you to one of their Technical Advisors who can help you decide what will work and won't be dangerous.
Dave Macdonald

RV-10 Finishing Kit & FWF in-progress
2018 VAF Dues Paid
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:07 PM
Auburntsts's Avatar
Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dumfries, VA
Posts: 2,590

Originally Posted by Flienlow View Post
Not speaking of you personally, but the Royal "you".... How do you know the stuff that you decided to do will work, and wont be dangerous?
I will go out on a limb and say most RV builders build pretty close to the plans. Modifications tend to be mostly non-structural and/or cosmetic in nature, but where they are structural they tend to be parts/component upgrades, but not always. Some builders have done considerable mods. In some cases they are engineers (or know engineers) and crunched the numbers. Others have just winged it. Hopefully tech counselor inspections, or the DAR/FSDO/MIDO inspector catches anything not airworthy. As an aside, Van's plans are really assembly manuals and are not true plans as they don't contain dimensional data except for the few parts you are expected to fabricate out of raw stock.

IMO it is best to stick close to the plans -- it will be cheaper and faster in the long run. I personally think that most mods are in the nice to have vs. need to have category. But ask 3 different builders and you'll get 4 different opinions. However, in the end you need to build the plane you want, not the plane others want.

Truth in lending disclaimer: I do have a number of mods in my plane (overhead console with air, hard points for a belly pod, ground power point, etc).
Todd Stovall
RV-10 N728TT - Flying!

Last edited by Auburntsts : 12-31-2017 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:59 PM
leok leok is offline
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Clarkston, MI
Posts: 217
Default Safety of mods

Todd, you are right on target.

With the exception of the rudder trim I added, I can't come up with anything that is a safety of flight issue. And even rudder trim is hardly 'safety of flight' related.

My lighting is extensive. The overhead, I designed and made from scratch as well as the center stack and center console.
I chose to do all of the wiring myself, which is extensive. Many might not consider that a "mod" except that I decided on a very full and capable avionics suite. Basic instruments would have saved a lot of time and expense.

I am working towards a very comfortable interior. That adds time and money over the basic kit.

I chose to add access plates to service antennas, and step bolts with their respective doublers etc.

I added left/right fore/aft control of heating air for comfort. Overhead fresh air vents .....

Not safety of flight, but all time consuming. Since I comfortably work through the aluminum assembly fairly quickly, I estimate 50/50 on the added time to make the plane my own.
Building my RV-10 since Oct 5th 2014
Flying .. once I figure out how to pay for everything
RV Hotel
Dues paid 2018
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