Continued Wing Progress

Sorry for the lack of updates recently.

Since the last update, I’ve been able to get the Pitot Tube bracket all ready to install.Like a few other RV-10 builders, I’ve decided to put my Pitot further outboard as compared to plans. I’ve placed it in the 2nd to last wing bay. This will keep it out of the way of the tie-down ring/rope and any possibility of getting it caught up.

Mounting the Pitot  involved adding a piece of aluminum angle to the outboard rib such that the bracket would sit flush with the rib flange and allow the bottom wing skin to sit flush to the rib. I also used the bracket to draw the outline of the cut needed on the bottom skin. A unibit was used to cut the initial holes and then files were used to shape and debur the cut.

Making sure the bracket sits flush to the rib flange

Aluminum Angle support riveted to the rib
Using the bracket to drill the bottom skin.

All Filed clean
Testing the Pitot Mount fit through the bottom skin cut
Pitot Mast in rough place with the bottom wing skin on.

All the holes are now match drilled.

I then moved on to continue the bottom skin section of the plans.

I will finish this section up until the point of actually riveting the bottom skins in place. I plan to do that at a much later date. While things like auto-pilot servos and wiring can be done after the fact, it’ll be much better to allow access for these tasks later on.

The first part after dealing with the pitot tube, was to match drill and rivet on the gap fairings for the aileron and flaps. Below they are shown cleco’ed in place. I’ve already riveted them, but apparently didn’t take any pictures of them finished.

I’ve also got the J-channel stiffeners all in place and match drilled to the bottom skins. The bottom skins are also match drilled to the ribs and spars. All that is left for this section is to debur everything and dimple all the holes.

Wing Update

Next up was to knock off fuel tank related items so I could get to a spot where I could proseal the fuel senders and the fuel return ports onto the tank.

First I had to bend the sender rod as shown in the plans. 

Then I needed to test out the sender to make sure it can go stop-to-stop without hitting anything inside the tank. Mostly the fuel vent line is what typically gets in the way. I measured the resistance at the stops on the bench to know what values I should see. I then used a string down through the drain opening to help me pull the float up and down in the tank. I had to bend the float towards the front of the tank to get it to not hit the vent line. After a couple of iterations, I declared success.

I then started on the fuel return port. The EFII instructions only require that you place the fuel return at least 3 inches away from the feed line to prevent bubbles from fuel being returned to the tank from being picked up and sent back into the feed line. After reviewing some posts on VAF, and seeing multiple other people put their fuel return lines in a spot that would interfere with attaching the tank and the wing to the main spar, I decided the best spot was just forward of the vent line port. Several others ended up with similar placement. Once the spot was decided, I had to drill a 0.5″ hole for the center AN fitting and surrounding holes for the screws which help prevent rotation of the bung.


I’ll let this sit for a while to cure, then it’ll be time to leak test the tank.

I was also able to enlarge the holes in the wing ribs to 3/4″ to accept conduit for my wire runs. I also added a second 7/16″ hole to run a second static line to my Pitot tube for its AOA function.

Garmin GAP26 Heated Pitot Tube and Mount


Static lines and conduit routed 

Right wing, just conduit here

Wing Progress…

Even with Quick Build wings, the instructions tell you to go over everything step-by-step to make sure everything was completed. This was the discrepancy list I came up with after my review:

Of course some of the complete sections that have yet to be done, are expected. The following shows the sections that a Quick builder has to complete. (All the shaded sections)


I started knocking off some of the list above by tapping the tie-down blocks, and installing the nutplates on the inboard edges of the wings, also removing the fuel tanks and riveting on the bearings to the attachment bracket. I seem to be jumping around a bit based on what makes sense next.

I’m currently thinking strongly about utilizing both Electronic Ignitions and Electronic Fuel injection systems in the plane. The electronic fuel injection requires fuel to circulate back to the tanks, requiring me to add a fuel return fitting to my already completed tanks. I ordered these “bungs” from EFII which make adding a port like this relatively straight forward. If I don’t end up going that way, these will be easy to cap off.


While waiting for these and some proseal to come in, I started working on section 19; The Stall warning system.

The Stiffener acts as a template

It’s really tough to drill and cut through a perfectly good skin.

4 corner holes with cutout outline
Access Panel cut complete

Stiffener with nutplates installed.
Holes drilled and rough cut of the slot for the stall warning vane
Slot complete

Tech Councilor Visit #2

Last weekend, my tech councilor came over for a visit to look over my work since his first visit. He reviewed the elevators and the tailcone construction. He also quickly looked over the rework that I did to the VS and Rudder after his suggestions. I was very happy that he only had good things to say! Always reassuring to hear that, and I’m very happy to have a more experienced eye look over everything.

We Have Wings!

My Quick build wings were ready to ship about mid-way though January. I decided to use Partain Trading Company for shipping. These guys specialize in hauling these Quick Build kits. The Kit goes into the truck and doesn’t leave the truck until it gets to its destination. Because of this, there is no need to crate the wings, and the $400 crating charge vanishes. I believe that possible damage to things is greatly minimized, probably as close to zero chance as you can get. There’s no on and off multiple trucks and forklifts as it makes its way across the country via normal freight. Also the drivers are very willing to help out with getting the kit to its final destination, my garage! The only downsides are they make trips every couple of weeks, so my wings weren’t picked up at Van’s until the end of January. So there’s a little delay in getting the kit, but seemed well worth it to me. The communications with the trucking company (actually the driver) was excellent. There were some additional delays due to the crane breaking and some bad weather (we got about 14″ of snow on my original scheduled delivery day). The driver kept in touch on a daily basis to let me know what was going on, and today (Saturday morning) my wings were delivered, despite getting an additional 1-2″ of snow overnight, snow continuing throughout the delivery, and the roads weren’t all that great out for a tractor trailer lightly loaded.

I was able to inventory everything today and should be ready  to get going on looking over the wings more carefully against the plans tomorrow after my 2nd tech councilor meeting in the morning. Some pics of my delivery today!

Aileron and Flap Placed on one wing

My Quickbuild Fuselage is due to be shipped in the May timeframe, so I have a few months to get the wings finished up.

In other news: Last night my wife and I found out that we are having a baby boy in July. I’m sure I won’t have nearly the same amount of free time after that point. That is the leading reason for deciding to go the quick build route on both wings and fuselage. I’ll need all the acceleration I can get if I want to finish this thing anytime in the not so distant future!

Learning about Fiberglass

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and watching videos on fiberglass related things. Everything from what the best tools are to use to proper fiberglass layup techniques.

Trimming and cutting the Elevator fairings ended up spewing lots of dust all over the place… I then bought a diamond cutting wheel for my Dremel tool and also bought some PermaGrit tools, which are made of tungsten carbide materials and do a better job of making sawdust like shavings instead of dust. Seeing there is so much fiberglass work coming, I figured I’d invest in some proper tools for this work that’ll be upcoming.

I bought some sanding blocks, both flat and concave.


As well as a hand tool set and blades for my jig saw.

I then set out to finish the rudder end caps. Fairly straight forward. The only modification I did was to add nut plates to the bottom fairing to accept #6 screws to make the fairing removable. Many RV-10 builders do this mod, and it didn’t really take all that much extra effort.

Top fairing trimmed, drilled #40, and cleco’ed in place
Sanding the bottom fairing to fit
Bottom fairing cleco’ed in place
Bottom Fairing countersunk for #6 screws… Only a couple installed here. 
Rudder Fairings Complete.

Then it was time to figure out the Horizontal Fairings. These sit in front of the elevator counterbalance arms and elevator tips. The tips seem to taper off a bit and are not straight. So I decided pretty early to trim the HS fairings to match.

I traced the leading edge of the counterbalance arm and fairing on a piece of paper to get a template to use to mark my cuts to the trailing edge of the HS fairing. This worked pretty well. I then was able to sand to make the gap as even and consistent as I could.

Left side test fit
Left side Gap.
Right Side Gap

Next, the plans describe how to add a fiberglass layup to close out the aft ends of the fairings. I read an alternate method on VAF by one of the VAN’s employees that is detailed in the RV-14 plans which doesn’t involve trying to shape and tack a piece of foam into each opening.

– Use a piece of waxed aluminum to make a thin laminate with two layers of cloth and resin. If the close out piece is not flat, the metal can be bent/shaped to result in a laminate piece that will match the opening you are intending to seal.

– Once it is cured cut out the filler piece so that it is approx. 1/6″ bigger around perimeter of the fairing opening.

– Sand the interior (non smooth) surface of the lay-up, and about 1″ back from the edge of the fairing for additional bonding/glass lay-up later.

-With the fairing clecoed in place and tape/etc. being used to hold it in the desired finished shape, wet the edge of the fairing with resin… and hold the laminate in place with tape to the fairing until the resin fully cures.

-Uncleco and remove the fairing. Apply a fillet of flox mixture around the interior corner/intersection point between the laminate and the fairing. While the flox is still wet, add one more layer of glass to the inside of the laminate, large enough that it laps onto the fairing by about 1″. Cleco the fairing back onto the airframe while it fully cures.

– Sand the excess laminate flush to the fairing on the outside and radius the corner as desired (possible because of the flox fillet on the inside).

As mentioned above, seeing my ends to close out are not flat from me shaping them to the Elevator fairings, I cut some scrap metal (one piece for each fairing) and bent/shaped it to match each one. This will provide the base for my fiberglass layup that should hopefully match the cut line I made. Time will tell.

My first 2 ply layup
Prepping to start the right side
The Resin Epoxy and hardener I’m using
Both layups done and ready to cure.