We’ve had a satisfying weekend of progress and have managed to work efficiently in parallel on a few of the fuselage tasks.

J had some fun using the band saw to separate some of the more complex metal attach plates and doublers. The band saw is a tool we didn’t buy initially as we were hoping it wouldn’t be necessary, but unfortunately we had to give in as there are parts in the fuselage kit that would be completely ruined by trying to saw them by hand – the metal is just too thin and the shapes too delicate. The band saw does a great job, but the downside is that it makes a horrific noise. I’m sure the neighbours have been loving us the last couple of days…!

The main part of the forward fuselage (basically the area under and around the cockpit seats) is made up of a large floor skin and a complex structure of spars and ribs. We had a marathon priming session a couple of weekends ago to get the ribs ready, and I’ve spent the last couple of days riveting on attachments, doublers and nut plates. Some of these tasks I could do myself with the squeezer, but others were definitely better with another pair of hands. The ribs are quite flimsy when not assembled, so you need someone to stabilize the structure before you whack it with a pneumatic hammer!

Matching the pattern of holes to the instructions to make sure I’ve got the right one…worth doing!


Nut plates now attached to one of the main floor ribs

The project has definitely started to feel more real as we’ve begun working on pieces like seatbelt attachments…hard to ignore the fact that we’re going to try and fly this thing one day when figuring out where and how we’ll be strapped in!

Seatbelt strap attach plates between the two inboard ribs

Some of the ribs need ‘fluting’ before they can be attached to the skin – this is a process whereby the holes (which can be slightly out of alignment when the pieces come out of the factory) are brought into alignment with each other by gently bending the metal in between. There are special fluting pliers designed for this purpose (of course…there’s a tool for everything!). What you have to be careful about is that you put the bend in the direction *away* from the straight edges, otherwise you will have some very strange lumps when you try to put the skin on!

Using fluting pliers to align holes in the rib

Apart from that random collection of tasks, J has been having some fun with the firewall and been working on dimpling the stainless steel and some pre-assembly in readiness for the next few steps.

Firewall partially pre-assembled

Have a good week!

Em x

RV-14 build: Ribs, ribs and more ribs!

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4 thoughts on “RV-14 build: Ribs, ribs and more ribs!

    1. I don’t think so Magnus, we have seen your incredible wing progress – congratulations! We are dreading the wings and considering QB…let’s see how brave we are feeling when the time comes 🙂

    1. QB = quick-build, a more expensive but time-saving option whereby certain parts of the kit have been completed for you. Quick-build still complies with the mandatory 51% that you have to do yourself, but it brings you closer to that limit than the standard kits. The kits are standalone so you can opt for some quick-build and some standard if you wish.

      Worth considering if you want to finish more quickly and/or if you aren’t confident you will be able to do a good enough job of more complex and critical tasks (like sealing the fuel tanks) yourself. We have ordered standard kits so far and are keen to do as much as we can ourselves, but having seen the complexity of the wing designs we are tempted by quick-build for that kit as we think it will save us a lot of time.

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