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Fuselage 2



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RV-10 Fuselage (Standard Build, page 2)

This page documents section 35 to 44 of the RV-10 fuselage plans.




Notes and Photos

3/31 to 5/8/09


Sec 35

Access Covers
This section includes installing the rear passenger floor pans, riveting the rear passenger seats, tunnel covers and side covers. On the advise of another builder, I final drilled the floor pans and then installed only once. They are a very tight fit and would be nearly impossible to get out. The floor itself was blind riveted and the sides, although very difficult were buck riveted.

The one area that seemed to give me the most problem was the rear passenger side covers. This installation calls for the mounting of plate nuts to the longeron and they were a bear to drill, counter sink and rivet. I recommend using corner plate nuts at each far end rather than the standard.

Interior Paint
I used a single stage, two-part acrylic urethane from TCP Global. They sell an auto restoration paint in a kit that include a gallon of paint, hardening agent and reducer. They flattened the color for me to a satin finished. The color I used is called Mesa Gray. My experience spraying the two part primer was enough training to spray the paint. The only difference is that the paint is much thinner and every spec of dirt shows through once the paint spreads and hardens. Be sure to sand off any bumps in the primer and use a tack cloth to remove dog hair and dust before spraying. It took about 15 hours to paint the interior.


More Painting



Sec 36

Brake System
I did the tunnel brake lines back in section 28 and I was glad I did. Continuing the line from the tunnel to the gear assembly in this section was pretty easy.

4/12 to 5/1/09


Sec 37

Fuel System
By the time I got to the last fuel line, I was an expert bender. But unfortunately I am done. I had to order about 6 extra feet of fuel line from Vans after making a few "practice" bends. It looks like one big Silly Straw when you are done.

I got some bad information from the news groups on the torque values for the fittings. Once I figured that out and used AC 43.13 as a source, things went better. I passed on the $266 crow feet from Snap-On at the Sun-N-Fun airshow and instead bought a set from Harbor Freight for $10. It took about 2 hours to access each fitting in the tunnel and torque to spec.

I used the Andair fuel selector and manufactured my own holding plate. I did not want the handle sticking completely above the center console. I did the boring and the initial counter bore on my milling machine. Then I made the angle cut on the lathe using a 4 jaw chuck to hold the piece. Final milling cuts tapered the plate to fit the center console.


Looking Forward

Looking Aft

5/8 to 5/17/09



Pedals and Brake Cylinders
Temperatures are back over 100 F now. Grrrr.

Vans provides a pre-drilled center bearing block for the two rudder pedal frames. They have you cut it in half so you can put it over the frames. This makes the pre-drilled holes oval by the kerf of your saw blade which is 0.040 in my case. To fix this I mounted the bearing blocks to my milling table and rebored the holes back to 1.005".

The plastic tubes will need to be heated to make them pliable for putting on the end fittings. If you do this in your kitchen, like I did, you will get out to the airplane with your completed hoses and realize that they need to pass through snap bushings between the pilot and co-pilot side. Off come the fittings and out comes the camping stove to boil water in the shop.

I temporarily mounted the VS and rudder to see where the pedals will be in neutral position. They are very near vertical, 85 degrees. I would like them to angle a little more toward me at the bottom and am considering installing a turnbuckle so I can adjust the rudder cable lengths.

5/20 to 5/24/09


Sec 39

I clamped the stick and stick mount to the milling table to set a good perpendicular reference before drilling. This determines the clocking of the stick to the mount. Any flat surface will do - like a machined table saw top.

The sticks also had to be drilled to allow wires from the top to the bottom. The set up I used is shown below. Because I was drilling into the steel from an angle, I used a milling bit to start and side milled in a little and then plunged. I final drilled 0.375"

The mount was then drilled .375" at the back for the wires to exit.

Drilling stick

Checking that sticks are parallel

Drilling stick for wires

Drilling Mount for Wires

5/30 to 6/4/09


Sec 40

The hardest part of this section was bolting the flap horns to the torque tube in that narrow space between the side skin and inside rib. I installed a flap positioning system as well. It is all mounted but the actuator stays disconnected until the flaps are rigged when the wings are installed. The control box is mounted to the left rib. I brought the wires back and across the rear spar. The empty holes for the rear seat fifth point harness were used to hold a snap bushing bracket for the wires.

6/7 to 6/19/09


Sec 41

Instrument Panel
See section 31 of the construction log for a description of the left and right rib modification and positioning of the sub-panel radio stack hole.

I split my main panel into three subpanels. The left is for the two EFIS. The middle is a 7.25 inch wide plate for going around the radios. And the right most is for my backup flight instruments.

I made a lower center console which will house my switch panel, 12VDC ports, headset jacks and possibly the EIS. The EIS seems to fit there, I just have to decide if that is a good spot or not. I mounted my breaker panel to the left side of the lower console.

The fire wall cowl hinges are fabricated in this section. I used a 0.060 plate in place of the bottom most hinges. The middle and bottom were riveted in place.

My Dilemma
I have been advised to not rivet on the forward upper fuselage until later. No one has completely explained to me specifically why I am waiting, but I will be a lemming and not rivet it on. This means that I can also not put on my windshield when the time comes in the cabin cover section. So I am declaring victory on this section and moving on to fiberglass hell in section 43.


Main Panel

5/27 to 6/4/09

8 hrs

Sec 42

Rear Seats
No rocket science in this section. It was fun getting back to some basic riveting though. The rear seats are designed to lay back against the support bar. I'm wondering if I want to leave them that way or if they need to be secured.

6/21 to 9/17/09

122 hrs

Sec 43

Cabin Cover (Fiberglass Hell)
If you like fiberglass dust all over your shop, in your eyes, ears, nose and food, then you will love this section. The cabin cover itself is of good quality but it needs to be trimmed. This involves the use of the following two surgical instruments: a belt sander with 80 grit paper and a drill with cutting disc attached. I have gone through 11 cutting discs and 5 sanding belts just trimming the perimeter of the cabin cover. The plans state that there are allegedly trim lines marked on the cabin cover. These lines are very faint, meander and number more than one in some places. It is best to make your own marks or cut outside of those you can see and sand down to final dimensions.

The cabin cover fits in between the entrance doors which I measure at 37.0 inches apart. The first thing I noticed is that there is not much material left once the cabin cover is trimmed to this width. I was left with 0.135 inch thick sides once it actually fit. The area at the bottom of the door was trimmed to 0.140 inches thick and I still have a 0.070 gap at where the side skins meet the top. It turns out that this gap is OK as this area will be covered in fiberglass later. You will also need to make a notch at the bottom of the door opening and radius the corner to 0.125 inches.

Another tricky area is the forward channels which make the forward boundary of the door. They hit against the inside of the cover and push it out. After a couple of attempts at sanding the inside corner of the cover to accept the channel, I decided it was best to just round off the upper outside corner of the channel to fit the cabin cover. This and a sanding disc on the end of a dremel drill did the trick.

After fiberglass hell comes plexiglass hell, a.k.a window trimming. The dust is a little heavier and sharp so it comes off your cutter like shrapnel. In this section of the plans you trim the windshield and side windows to fit the cabin cover openings. The trim lines are easier to see than on the fiberglass. The windshield and side windows were almost a perfect fit to the factory trim lines. Once rough cut it is advisable to go over the edges with progressively finer sand papers to put a nice finish on the edge. Most everything you do now is to avoid winding up in Window Crazing hell. The windows are glued to the fuselage in finish kit step 45.

Progress has been slow due to high temperatures in the 115 to 117 deg F. range. I have about 40 hours in on this section so far and have just removed the cabin cover to debur and dimple the skins.

Drilling to Fuselage

Match Drilling Aft Skin

Windshield Fitted

Family Photo

After removing the cabin top I started on some modifications I wanted to make. Namely, the addition of an overhead light and headliner. This escalated into finding a way to cover the inside door hinges too. After 20 hours of epoxy, bondo, sanding (repeat), I am finally running out of things to sand on the cabin top. I haven't seen pigs fly and I don't know the temperature in hell, but it seems like the end of this section is in sight. I documented my cabin modifications on their own page here: Cabin Modifications

After installing the headliner, I put the top onto the fuselage. The edges are blind riveted with a backing strip to the fuselage and then the aft forward top skin of the tailcone is two-person riveted in place. The hardware is installed around the door openings and the inside gap is filled with epoxy. I did this with a syringe from the pharmacy at Walmart. Vans wants the area between the door and the forward door channel filled with globs of epoxy but instead I made bushings and then used a minimal amount of epoxy as shown in the picture below.

The rivet line was covered with one inch fiberglass tape positioned with 0.6" over the metal and the remaining over the fiberglass. The metal was first masked. Then the epoxied tape is put in position. Then strips of teflon release cloth were placed over the tape and press on with a roller to wick excess resin. When I pulled the release cloth, I had a very smooth finish.

Blind rivets covered

Window trim

Bushings and minimal epoxy


I am finally finished with the cabin top!

8/9 to 9/17/09

10 hrs

Sec 44

Wing Attach
I have done everything in this section that can be done without actually pulling the wings out of their cradles and attaching to the fuselage. I think it is best to wait until the airplane is up on it's landing gear. So the time spent so far was for match drilling to the fuselage and forming fuel vent lines and things like that. I will return to this section later.

Wing attach hardware




This was the third driest summer in Arizona. In August we had only 0.83" of rain. The heat has persisted well into September. I just wasn't able to put in the hours this summer like I was able to last summer. I wish I had made more progress in a shorter time, but I am glad to be finished with this section of the kit. Total time for the fuselage kit was 657 hrs in 11 months. Deferred items are instrument panel final riveting and wing attach.



Mike Andresen
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