It’s been a long time since I last posted, but not because I’m not busy with the plane. It’s just that I’m not completing any pages so there’s no formal report to post.
I spent a lot of mental effort reviewing all of my options for transporting the plane from my garage to the airport. The big decision point was whether to leave the tail feathers off and transport it that way, or finish up assembly and take with with the tail feathers attached. My concern is the wind loads of large trucks passing by and having the stabilizers to push against. I finally decided on doing the installation at home and trailering everything in situ.
Rationale: There are quite a few pictures of trailered RV-12’s with everything except the wings and no horror stories to go with them. There are several trailering rigs that even have the plane being positioned tail first, in what seems to me to be an aerodynamically unstable arrangement, yet still no horror stories. I have selected a route that only exposes me to high speed large trucks for 2 miles (out of a total of 20 miles). I will secure the airframe to the trailer with a large pair of pseudo-spars that will protrude from the fuselage far enough to be lift handles / tie downs.
The side-to-side wind loads are my biggest concern for trailering and then I had the collision of two thoughts that left me with a satisfied conclusion: I can put on the horizontal stab (and get lots of other things finished that are dependent upon that step) and leave the vertical stab/rudder off since there are no other steps that are dependent upon that. This lets me get the majority of work done at home and not have to worry as much about the side-to-side wind loads during transit. All in all, I believe it will be safe to trailer the completed aircraft. To quote an old TV show, “I love it when a plan comes together."
That cleared up a great big mental road block that left me hunting for ’things to do while the plane is not completely assembled.’ The example that comes to mind was getting ready to place the upholstery, then realizing that the rear bulkhead isn’t installed, thus I can’t fit that portion, etc., etc., etc. OK. Deciding to completely assemble the plane at home allowed me to get back to work with enthusiasm.
Done since last posting
- Fiber glass skirt laid down, trimmed and rough sanded to functional (but not esthetic) status. It’s now on the back burner since I have reached the point where I know I can finish it on my own.
- Horizontal stab final attach (e.g., with cotter pins) (Includes counter weight, trim motor, etc.)
- horizontal stab cables final tightening
To Do at home
- remove gas tank
- install Rear bulkhead
- final install gas tank
- final install filler neck
- final install rear window
- re-install ELT
- install fire extinguisher
- final install foreward rudder cables
- install upholstery
- trim flaperons to eliminate interference with fuselage
- final fill/sand of canopy skirt
- install canopy
To Do at airport
- move on Sept 22nd
- attach vertical stabilizer
- final attach rudder
- final attach rudder cables
- fill with gas
- Product Acceptance Checklist
- Airworthiness Inspection!!!
- install access hole covers, cowling, fairings