AB4-6 rivets losing their buttons

While attaching flaperon’s pushrods I found that all of the AB4-6 rivets used in the SERVICE BULLETIN 14-12-06 lost their buttons.

The rivets used to  attach F-1206J Angles to the F-1206A Bulkhead.

All 6 buttons were recovered from the bottom of the fuselage.

Not sure if this is normal and whether the rivets need to be replaced with a bit longer and possibly stronger rivets

IMG_3333 IMG_3327AB4-6 rivet


Took another photo from different angle to demonstrate that the rivets’ shop head has been formed OK and the rivets used are as specified in the instructions (any other rivet would be shorter and would not form the reasonably sized shop head)



Posted in Fuselage, Section 21

Fuselage Pin Assembly

Put together the pins that will be keeping wings attached to the fuselage.

Needed them to adjust position of the pin switches.

Pretty straight forward task

Spent 1 hour.


Posted in Finishing, Section 30

Fuel Lines



IMG_3281 IMG_3277 IMG_3276 IMG_3275

Posted in Fuselage

Engine mount

A fellow plane builder welded together the additional engine mount brackets that will be attached to fuselage longerons if I decide to use Viking 130 engine.

The idea is taken from Viking video about 130 installation on RV-12


Viking uses AN bolts to attach the brackets to the longerons. I will use 5 cherrymax rivets on each brackets.

For now I have just drilled the rivet holes and the engine mount attach holes. The brackets will be installed later when I get the engine

Spent 2 hours

IMG_3273 IMG_3272 IMG_3271 IMG_3270

Posted in Engine, Section 46

Wings completed

Fully completed wings.

There are a few minor thing left – Finalise the fibreglass mount for strobes and attach the nutplates to the inspection panels

Spent 8 hours (i think)

Posted in Section 17, Wings

Wings – almost finished

Spent 3 days of Melbourne Cup holidays working on wings.

Almost completed them. probably need 2 more hours to finish them.

Spent 24 hours all up.


Posted in Section 17, Wings

Wings access panels

Installed access/inspection panels under the landing light opening.

the main reason is that the lens supplied by VANS is too thick and stiff. It didnt feel safe to bend it to insert via landing light opening. so I cut an access hatch of the same shape and size as the one under the stall warning.

After two attempts and two weekends, I’ve got it installed.

Material = 2024-T3 sheet. Thickness 0.025″ for both panel and the doubler.

It turned out that K1100-06 nutplates are hard to find in Australia. Funny thing is that the matching  screws are available.
So I had to order nutplates from VANs along with a few CS4-4 rivets


Spent 20 hours

IMG_3263 IMG_3262 IMG_3259 IMG_3258 IMG_3256 IMG_3255 IMG_3252 IMG_3249 IMG_3211

Posted in Section 40, Wings

Started riveting top skin on right wing

Modified the wing stand so the wings could rest on the leading edge.

Started riveting top skin on right wing

Realized the I riveted the wing-walk countersink holes on the left wing that I meant to keep open. It looks like I will need to buy extra CS4-4 rivets

Also realized that I cant place the landing lights lens through the lens opening, so I will be cutting a a hatch in the bottom skin to be able to work with the landing lights.

Overall spent 20 hours over weekend

Posted in Section 17, Wings

Pitot doubler

I decided to use a pitot tube from Piper Cherokee.

The pitot will be installed in the left wing just a few inches outboard from the stall warning switch couple of inches forward from the main spar.

The doubler and the two truss brackets were fabricated of 0.032 aluminium sheet.

Three K1000-06 nutplates were installed

IMG_3197 IMG_3190 IMG_3186


Spent 8 hours

Posted in Section 17, Wings

Landing Lights installation

Started working on installation of landing lights on both wings.

The landing lights kit that comes as an option with the plane is quite overpriced in my opinion. So I decided to DIY most of it. I just bought lights brackets and the lenses. The rest I’ll do myself.

I dont think I’ll be doing a lot of night flying. I want these lights to be easily seen in congested areas like circuits ect.

For now I have made the cutout in the wings skins, drilled and cut the lenses and installed the brackets.

Dremel tool made the cutout work very easy

Spent about 14 hours over two days

IMG_3121 IMG_3120 IMG_3117 IMG_3116 IMG_3114

Posted in Finishing, Section 40

Wings skins

Over a few days have clecoed and riveted bottom skins on both wings

Spent overall about 30 hours on both skins

IMG_3036 IMG_3041 IMG_3035 IMG_3048 IMG_3100IMG_3026

Posted in Section 17, Wings

Started wing assembly

Started assembling wings as per steps 1 – 9  on page 15-04

It is getting harder to do all the work inside the garage. So I’ve started assembling the wings in the pergola. It’s got pretty cold by the end of the day. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea. Will see.

Spent 3 hours

Later spent somewhere in the area of 12 hours to complete wings skeleton

IMG_2957 IMG_2958 IMG_2970 IMG_2972

Posted in Section 15, Wings

Spars completed

Completed spars preparation and attach angle riveting.

Section 13 is fully completed

Spent 6 hours

IMG_2954 IMG_2956

Posted in Section 13, Wings

Upper Firewall

Finished riveting the upper firewall in place.

Completed Page 29A-03 except step 7 that requires a bit of Proseal. Will complete the step when I’ll be doin some more work on the fuel tank.


Posted in Fuselage, Section 29A

Wings stand

Built the wins stand.

For now it will be used like a workbench.

I’ll modify it later to safely store two wings.

Posted in Section 13, Wings

Fuel Tank assembly. Part 2

Finally made myself to work some more on the fuel tank.

Again, couldn’t have been done it without my lovely wife.

Used another 3.5oz tube of Proseal.

Spent 4 hours.


Posted in Finishing, Section 37

Flaperons completed

Completed flaperons except attaching hinges (very last step).

While drilling the counterbalance managed to enlarge skin holes. Decided to add 4 more rivets into each counterbalance to compensate for the screw-up. My next RV will be so much better! :)

They are now wrapped in paper and tarp and waiting for the rest of the wing

Spent 44 hours

IMG_2927 IMG_2930 IMG_2931 IMG_2933 IMG_2935 IMG_2940 IMG_2941 IMG_2943 IMG_2944 IMG_2945 IMG_2947 IMG_2948

Posted in Section 18, Wings

Wings ribs and other parts

All wing ribs, longerons and other small parts are prepared now.

Skins are next.

Spent 16 hours

Posted in Section 15, Wings

Fuel Tank assembly. Part 1

Started riveting the fuel tank.

Working with Proseal slows down the process.

Thanks to my lovely wife helping me with this messy job.

Used 3.5oz tubes of proseal. Managed to utilise only half of the tube for the first part of the job.

Posted in Finishing, Section 37

Engine mounts modification continued

Spent 8 hours over two weekends match-drilling the tunnel doublers.

Drilling into firewall turned to be a challenge. In some cases the holes on the doubler got enlarged a bit. In some cases – a lot, so I had to drill another hole next to the bad one.

IMG_2655 IMG_2663 IMG_2664


Now need to order 36 CR3213-4-3 rivets for the engine mounts. Meanwhile will prime both the doubler and the original channel rib.

Made the longeron brackets out of 2mm 4130 steel. spent about 2 hours on this. Now I need to find someone to weld the gussets to the brackets.



Posted in Engine, Section 46

Parts for spar assembly

Prepared some components for spar assembly

Completed steps 1 and 2 Page 13-02

Spent 2 hours

Posted in Section 13, Wings

Wing ribs preparation started

Started preparing wing ribs.

Cut the flanges as per instructions:

Completed steps 2 – 8 Page 15-02

Broke the blade on my bandsaw on the last rib that meant to be cut. Had to use Dremel instead. Need to order new blades for the bandsaw.

Spent 2 hours

Update: Spent 8 hours over the following week deburring the ribs

Posted in Section 15, Wings

Engine mounts

At this stage I dont know which engine I’m going to use. Most likely 6-cyl Jabiru

Regardless, I’d like to reinforce the engine mounts as they look really weak to me. They certainly are weak for engines like Viking or O-200 that are 20kg heavier than Rotax 912.

So the plan is to reinforce the bottom mount with the doubler made of the mirrored parts of F-1217A tunnel ribs, just like here http://joesrv12.com/Builder%20Log/al_08_01.htm

The top mounts will be left as is.

To make the entire structure stronger I plan to put two brackets attached to fuselage longerons just like in the Viking-130 installation video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Z6-n5UT24


Spoke to our technical counsellor about engine mounts. He thinks the reinforcement makes sense.

Today I’ve done a template for a bracket made of aluminium. Now I need to find strip of 4130 steel about an inch wide, a foot long and 0.1″ thick.

Also prepared the F-1217A doublers. Now I need to drill out the rivets on the engine brackets on the actual F-1217A ribs and match-drill the doublers.

Spent 3 hour



Posted in Engine, Section 46

Wings. Preparing spars

Started preparing components for the wings.

I decided to put primer on internal parts as many of them will be exposed to weather, especially flaperon hinges and rear spar. I’m also going to put primer on rib’s flanges and on the internal skin where it contacts other surfaces.

Fully completed forward spar (Page 14-01, steps 1-4)

Prepared most of the rear spar.

W-1212 HINGE ASSEMBLY gave me some trouble – the bearing became tight after riveting.

Sent a question to VANs about the issue.

I think it is not a big trouble. The bearing is still moving, although it is tight. I think they should use AN426AD4-5 instead of AN426AD4-6. Longer rivets make the housing to deform a little and cause the bearing to become tight or bind. The entire design of the hinge assembly is flawed.

I have discussed the issue with a counsellor from SAAA. He thinks it is ok to leave the hinge as is. I agree with him. Lets see what VANS say.

Spent 15 hours

Update: Received the reply from VANS regarding tight bearing. They basically said it is ok that it is tight, as long as it moves. So I leave it as is.

Posted in Section 14, Wings

Fuel tank. Parts are ready for proseal

Prepared all parts for proseal.

Planned to do rivet it all together this weekend but ran out of time.

Anyway, all parts are scuffed and cleaned with acetone.

Spent 2 hours

Posted in Finishing, Section 37

Fuel tank. Parts prepared

Prepared all the parts for riveting.

Waiting for pro-seal. It is not easy to buy it in Australia. Found it at Aviall. They only have it in 3.5oz tubes. That makes it 30% more expensive compare to peoseal in cans

Spent 5 hours

Posted in Finishing, Section 37

Fuel Tank started

Started working on fuel tank. I have abandoned the idea of wing tanks – too many unknowns and too much work.

Maybe I’ll get back to it but for now I’ll go with standard tank.

Plus, I need to work on something while I’m figuring out reinforcement for Jabiru 3300 engine.

Prepared a fey components, Completed first 7 steps on pages 37-01 and 37-02

Spent 5 hours

Posted in Finishing, Section 37

Wings and Finish kit have arrived

It is almost 5 month since I have ordered the Wing Kit and Finishing Kit.

On Friday the 6th of January the crates have arrived.

It took me about 12 hours to unpack and inventory everything.

I put two crates on wheels so I could move easily them from place to place and store most of the stuff in them.

Had to hang the wing spars up the ceiling in the pergola. Could not find any better place for them.

Spent 12 hours


Posted in General

Fuselage panel base F-1202B

Prepared the panel base – deburred and attached nutplates

Step 5, Page 29A-05

Stent 2 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 29A

Parts for FWD upper fuselage

Prepared a few parts for FWD upper fuselage

Steps 1 and 2 on page 29A-04

and Steps 1, 2 and 3 on page 29A-05

Spent 2 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 29A

Fuel lines started

Couple of weeks ago I have ordered a nice flaring tool and a pipe bending tool from US – turned out to be cheaper than buying this stuff in Australia.

It arrived on Friday and I though I’ll give it a shot today with building fuel lines.

It turned out to be harder than I thought.

To cut long story short I had to make one of the lines twice because I ruined the first one I made. So now i need to buy some extra 3/8″ tubing.

The tubing that comes with the kit is the soft 3003-0 type that VANS refers as ATO-035X3/8 and ATO-032X1/4. I couldn’t  find any of this type in Australia. However I can get 5052-0 type tubes of the same diameter and it seems that it is much more preferable option. The problem is the supplier has “$100 minimum order rule”, so at $4/ft I’ll end up with a lot of extra tubing. :)

Anyway I managed to fabricate and fit F-1259E Pump-to-Valve fuel line.

I also found that 3 of AN816-6d fittings are missing.

Funny thing is I found an extra AN818-6D nut in the BAG 2708-2 without matching sleeve.


So I need to buy those missing fittings too. I asked Vans support how much would it cost to buy this missing bit from them. Will wait for their reply.

So fuel lines are on hold for now.

I spent 4 hours working on these stupid fuel lines!


Posted in Fuselage, Section 28

Fuselage vents and cowl hinges

Attached vents and cowl hinges to the fuselage

That was the last thing to do on Section 23

Spent 4 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 23

Fuselage side skins riveting done

Completed riveting of side skins. Well, most of it. Whatever called out on page 23-06

Spent 4 hours


Posted in Fuselage, Section 23

Fuselage side skins

I decided it is time to put the fuse’s side skins on.

I just don’t see any benefits in keeping them off any longer

Clecoed skins and doublers

Started riveting right skin

Spent 4 hours


Posted in Fuselage, Section 23

Rollbar bases

Completed some work on rollbar

drilled rollbar bases, cleaned and primed, clecoed it on the fuselage structure

spent 1 hour


Posted in Fuselage, Section 24

FWD upper fuselage – more work

Continued working of the upper firewall

It looks like there is a mismatch in the plans – the long hinge F-1201J should be 1/4 inch longer to alingn with the edge of F-1201H

Anyway I did that made most sense – shifted the hinge inwards by 1/4 inch. It corresponds with F1201A much better

Completed the page 29A-02

Prepared a few small parts for this section.

spent 3 hours


Posted in Fuselage, Section 29A

FWD upper fuselage

Started work on Section 29A – Forward upper fuselage.

Completed the first 4 steps and a half of the step 5

Lots of drilling and rivet squeezing.


Spent 4 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 29A

More Bits for rollover structure

Continued working on parts for rollover structure and baggage bulkhead (Section 24, pages 3, 4 and 5)

Page 3 – completed step 6 only

Page 4 is fully done (Funny, step 1 and 2 are wrong way around)

Page 5 Step 1 and are done. step 3 is partially done (didnt attach the bulkhead to the fuselage).

Step 5 partially done

A few other little things done for this section next day

Spent 5 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 24

Bits for rollover structure

Prepared a few bits for rollover structure

F-1254-L & -R Support Frames.

F-1232B Roll Bar Brace Brackets

F-1207C Baggage Bulkheads

F-1232A Roll Bar Brace


Spent 2 hours


Posted in Fuselage, Section 24

Fuel system started

Started working on fuel system.

It is even more painful than breaks hydraulics.

The 45 degrees fittings don’t seem to be tight enough in the required position. I hope the tread sealant will help.

The good news is the valve can be easily removed for refitting if required.

Now I need to find a flaring tool somewhere.


Completed page 28-02

Spent 2 hours.


Update: Ordered plumbing tools from https://www.cleavelandtool.com/ – flaring tool, bending tool and a pipe cutter.

Posted in Fuselage, Section 28

Brakes plumbing

Attached brakes hydrophilic tubes to master cylinders and setup the rest of the plumbing.

The task turned out to be a bit harder than I expected

It is done anyway and the section 27 is completed now.

Spent 5 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 27

Pedals and Brakes – Part 3

Replaced the incorrectly installed nutplates (K1000-08) with the right ones (K1000-03)

Attached pedals-brakes assembly to the fuselage

Plumbing comes next

Spent 1 hour

Posted in Fuselage, Section 27

Pedals and Brakes – Part 2

Got a new 1/4″ drill bit. It set me back $14

Completed all the steps to put the pedals and brakes together and attempted to install it on the fuselage.

Realised that some time few weeks earlier I made a boo-boo – I installed wrong (smaller) type of nutplates at the pedal attach points.

Now I need to drill them out and put the right ones in place. So much fun!

Spent 2 hours.

Posted in Fuselage, Section 27

Pedals and Bakes

Started working on rudder pedals and brakes system.

Completed one and a half pages and realised that I dont have a good 1/4 inch drill bit.

Leaving it till next time.

Spent 2 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 27

Seatbacks completed

Completed assembly and riveting of the seatbacks.

Attached the to the floor of the cockpit. Looks cool!

DSCF5400 DSCF5402

Spent 1 hour

Posted in Fuselage, Section 26


Started building seat backs. Pretty straight forward process. Almost done

Spent 3 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 26

Fuselage skins preparation

Spent 4 hours preparing fuse skins – lots of deburring.

I decided not to put them on for now. It will make some other assembly easier.



Posted in Fuselage, Section 23

Mid Fuselage trying skins on

I have decided to subject the fuselage longerons to some more hammering in order to get them to conform with fuselage shape without much force applied. Now they fit nicely.

Clecoed both skins and doublers to do match drilling.

Not sure why do I need to put doublers for match-drilling. They align with each other nicely. Anyway, I did as the instructions said – match-drilled them.

Match-drilled the longerons using side skins as templates.

Now the fuselage looks like a boat :)

Removed the skins and longerons.

Next step is a lot of deburring.


Spent 3 hours


Posted in Fuselage, Section 23

Mid Fuselage skeleton assembly

Completed page 23-04.

All parts were prepared earlier

At step 8 (Insert the F-1234-L and -R Canopy Decks and F-1255-L and -R Longerons), the longerons are slightly misaligned with rollbar attach plate. Left longeron goes slightly inwards of the fuselage and the right one slightly outward.

I dont think hammering of the longeron more is good for it. I think I will use a bit of persuasion and force it to allign when I do match-drilling.

Completed page 23-05

Cutting the wing spar penetration hole with dremel tool turned out to be 20 minutes job

Completed step 1 on page 23-06


Spent 3 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 23


Attached the mid fuse brace, rollbar attach plates and armrest brackets to the fuselage.

All the parts were prepared earlier, so it didnt take me much time to complete page 23-03

Spent 2 hours

Posted in Fuselage, Section 23