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  #1  
Old 08-03-2017, 03:56 PM
Bigortho Bigortho is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Forest Hills, NY
Posts: 11
Default So Much Fiberglass Work

Iím building an RV-14 and never realized that there was so much fiberglass work to be done.

The wheel pants are constructed from two shells, which must be mated to each other and then cut out to accommodate the tires and gear legs. This means attach, measure, trim, sand and repeat at least five times. Fiberglass parts are attached with countersunk screws, which must be match drilled; deburred and countersunk. Airfoils are fabricated for each of the gear legs and then fitted with transitional fairings between the pants and the fuselage. Each of the airfoils (horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, elevators, rudder & wings) have tips that also are fabricated from fiberglass. Thatís more attach, measure, trim, sand and repeat at least five times.

And then all seams, the canopy & tail feathers are contoured to the fuselage with micro-ballon/epoxy fillers followed by fiberglass layups (each step accompanied by much sanding - over and over again) to form the smooth contoured junctions that promote drag reducing laminar flow.

The work is tedious and uncomfortable despite wearing particulate masks and protective clothing. The fiberglass dust gets everywhere; everyone has hangar cough and itchy skin. I have spent at least four full-time weeks working on the fiberglass. I never realized that an aluminum RV has so much fiberglass work to do. I suspect there is actually more fiberglass work on this aluminum airplane than would be done on a composite airplane kit, as all these parts are incorporated into the original's mold.

Fiberglass fittings & fairings are often attached to a plane with counter sunk flat head screws. But fiberglass is soft compared to metal, which will erode and enlarge the countersunk holes when stress is applied during flight. Brand name Tinnerman countersunk washers spread the force and lessen the wear, but are made from Zinc coated spring steel. Aircraft Spruce sells CSK washers, which are knockoffs, made from stainless steel and are cheaper.

Iím building an RV-14A and can report that the CSK washers fit the fiberglass countersunk holes and 100į flat head screws perfectly (countersink only enough to fit the screw) and are low profile Ė so shouldnít cause too much drag. I havenít attempted to countersink the whole washer, which would weaken the fiberglass.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2017, 04:17 PM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,306
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By going with the RV14 you have the best glass parts and instructions of all the Vans products. I realize that there is still a lot of work to get them finished but compared to prior models there is no comparison in the glass quality. Heck the cowling and wing tips have a smooth finish which greatly reduces or eliminates most of the glass pinholes. The only parts that do not fit properly are the VS and Rudder tips. To get them to match properly means a lot of cutting, filling and sanding. Otherwise the glass work is pretty straight forward, heck the upper and lower gear farings actually fit!!!!
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2017, 04:52 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Location: 08A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
....heck the upper and lower gear fairings actually fit!!!!
Gear fairings? You get GEAR FAIRINGS????

RV-14's are clearly for sissies
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2017, 05:00 PM
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snopercod snopercod is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigortho View Post
Fiberglass fittings & fairings are often attached to a plane with counter sunk flat head screws. But fiberglass is soft compared to metal, which will erode and enlarge the countersunk holes when stress is applied during flight.
Use those Stainless Tinnermans from ACS.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2017, 05:13 PM
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Champ Champ is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 181
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Nice thing about fibreglass is no matter what you screw up you can fix. Ask me how I know. Fiberglas reject bin - zero, aluminum - lots of stock for miscellaneous parts.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2017, 10:40 PM
krwalsh krwalsh is online now
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigortho View Post
I suspect there is actually more fiberglass work on this aluminum airplane than would be done on a composite airplane kit, as all these parts are incorporated into the original's mold.
Wrong. Having just finished my Cozy Mk-IV, I think it is amusing that you're frustrated by finishing pre-molded parts. Find an EZ guy at the airport and drag them over to your hangar. Having spent thousands of hours on my plane you find short cuts and easy ways to do all of that work.
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2017, 06:30 AM
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f1rocket f1rocket is offline
 
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Location: Martinsville, IN
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Ha, ditto. I spent two years building my Long-EZ and TWO YEARS sanding and painting it.
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2017, 06:30 AM
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Bill Boyd Bill Boyd is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Landing field "12VA"
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"Hangar cough." It's a thing. Particularly if you tackle your fiberglass grinding and sanding chores without any sort of mask as frequently as I do. Just seems like too much trouble for such a tiny amount of (probably inert) dust that only causes cancer in California, which is a long way from here.

I'm guilty. If I go upstairs after a work session having forgotten to give myself the air gun dust-off, I'm told I look like Jack Frost and ordered outside to shed clothing and preserve my wife's beautiful home. Crusty sleepers accumulate in my lateral canthi. And for weeks on end I cough - every time I laugh and half the time I breathe. It's annoying. And aside from lifelong seasonal grass allergies, I think I was just reminded of the likely cause.

I know. "Physician, heal thyself." Not right now - new order of L'Aroma de Cuba Mi Amor's just came in and have had a brief post-transit rest in the humi.

They sell particulate masks and eye pro at Hazard Fraught Tools, don't they. I'll have to put them on my list for next time out.
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