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Old 06-26-2019, 05:11 AM
Roy25101 Roy25101 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Jekyll Island, GA
Posts: 55
Default -12is stabilator woes...

I have been building the tail kit for the -12is for the last five months and things could not be going any smoother.... until I hit the stabilator. Due, I assume to cracking issues and redesign, it seems Vans has crammed a lot of information and complexity into perhaps too few steps and pictures. I have also started to find that I no longer have a complete set of tools from Cleveland Tools for the -12 kit. I was missing a #20 drill bit and 5/32nd clecos so construction has come to a stop until these arrive.

I just wanted to pass my experience on to potential empenage builders. I went from moving along with minimal mistakes to having to drill out more rivets than I would care to admit. This happened in a very short period of time. Also, it looks like at least a #20 drill bit and 5/32nd clecos will have to be added to the list of required tools.

Happy building...
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:12 AM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 1,629

Roy -

Just take your time and the Stabilator SB will turn out fine. We all did this modification to flying airplanes.

Some times photos help - see...
Jim Stricker
Hinckley, Ohio (1OA2)
EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC N86203
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub N6841H
RV-12 E-LSA #120058 AWC July 2012 N633CM
RV-12 Bought Flying Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 522

LSRM-A Certificate 2016
Special Thanks... EJ Trucks - USN Crew Chief A-4 Skyhawk
MJ Stricker (Father & CFI) - USAAF 1st Lt. Captain B-17H
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:27 PM
Roy25101 Roy25101 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Jekyll Island, GA
Posts: 55

Originally Posted by Piper J3 View Post
Roy -

Just take your time and the Stabilator SB will turn out fine. We all did this modification to flying airplanes.

Some times photos help - see...

That looks about the direction this is heading. Perhaps Vans will expand a bit on the directions. I really can't complain about the process so far.

Take care...
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:16 PM
E. D. Eliot E. D. Eliot is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: San Pedro
Posts: 965
Default 12 stabilizer - mentor

Following info is from my experience only and not meant to be condescending in any way. I offer it free so you may take it for what it cost you.

Yes, you need a few more drill bits, etc., in order to complete your 12 build. And there are a few more that are unlisted and (necessary) in order to build your 12 and some that are (really nice to have) in order to make your build go well - but, in my opinion, the tool that you need the most is a mentor.

In my opinion, Van's does a really good job of listing tools that are required. Some guys could build the metal structure an RV-12 with only a rivet pulling tool and a few socket wrenches and screwdrivers.

I am a builder of houses, cars, mechanical things, etc., but found that my mentor is the reason that I am on the way to completing my 12 build. I have found that assembling an aluminum airplane kit to be completely different than building a house, etc., etc.

There is no substitute for experience here.

That is why I highly recommend that you initiate a search for someone to help you get going on your build. These people exist at your local GA airport - if you can, find someone who has a flying RV. Find one who will help you get started. Getting the right tools is critical - and knowing them correctly is absolutely necessary. Your mentor will gladly help you - find one!
Building finally
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:27 PM
rcarsey rcarsey is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: North Brunswick, NJ
Posts: 136

I am finshing up the Finish kit and a couple months ago re-visited the stabilator to address this Service Bulletin. (I decided it was time to do the SB because I was waiting on tools or parts or something for the finish kit). Incidentally, I skipped over my wheel pants, saving them for a time when I have to wait for parts/tools/etc. (and if they remain unfinished by the time the FAR arrives..fine, its an optional thing anyway).

The SB was more work than I thought it would be -- not that it was difficult.. I guess I thought it'd be a 2 hour job..

But like anything, its a lot of putting the part on, drilling, taking it off, deburring, putting it back on.. a few times. And then when you think you're done, you flip the stabilator over and do it all again on that side I felt the directions were fine (for the SB, perhaps if you have a newer kit, the SB is baked right into the KAI and may be different than my directions?)

Rob Carsey, North Brunswick NJ
RV-12iS (N713)
Tail 95% done (VS fairing)
Wings 95% done (AOA)
Fuse 100% done
Finish 80% done (canopy, cowl & tail glass)
Avionics 5% done (IFR package Received)
Dues paid 2019
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