Build Diary 2005
Build Diary 2004
Vans RV7 2006/2007/2008 Build Diary
After 20 months of building, G-OVII lifts off -
13:40 on 18th November 2006 - into the air for the first time. The
sight was incredible as almost two years of work came together. Read
all about it here.
23rd February 2007
I come home on Friday to find the Permit to Fly, that's it I have all the paperwork complete and can fly my RV!
13/14/15th January 2007
This weekend I finally completed the test flying. Sunday I completed all
the paperwork and Monday it was posted to the PFA. Now all I have to
do is wait........
9th January 2007
The weather is driving me nuts! Here I sit updating my site still unable to
do the last 30mins of the flight test. I had one day since 10th December
when the weather was clear enough to fly and I happened to be in Birmingham
that day. Since then if the day has not been raining or low cloud then
the wind has been far too strong.
9/10th December 2006
The alternator has been fixed for a few weeks but the weather has stopped
all test flying until this weekend. First flight was just 30mins to
test the new alternator is working and set-up some more functionallity
on the Dynon (D100). Second flight was the big two hr test flight and
everthing went like clockwork. After downloading the engine data no
problems showed up.
RV flys for the first time !!! YES I AM IN THE AIR!!
Almost exactly two years to the day I started work on the RV it
takes to the air
I didn't have any tailwheel
experience. So I have been having some
training at West London Aero Club(WLAC) at White Waltham with Bruce
Hutton. He signed me off and I went solo on 4th October in their Super
I also needed constant
speed prop experience. WLAC have an Arrow which Bruce suggested I do a full
complex conversion (prop and retractable). After a thorough breif. Monday
(9th-Oct) we climbed above the cloud - so I also had some instrument time -
and Bruce went through all the prop and retractable sinario's. We returned
to the circuit, did some landings where Bruce tried to catch me out by pulling
the undercarrage CB.
3rd October 2006
Contacted the PFA about my permit to test - Engineer is on holiday for two
A really good day at the hanger today. Michael from Cambrai Covers came down
to measure up for a travel cover and a future set of full covers. Late
afternoon Alan came to do my weight and balance. I am pleased with the
W&B figures. Miles also comes by and completes the final inspection..
A few days working on getting the wheel spats alignment correct. Primed and
layed some fiberglass to reinforce the fixing holes.
Finally finished priming the cowl. Refitted this evening and brackets for
19/20th August 2006 - Pictures here
(click 2006 Build Diary to get back here)
PFA Rally, Kemble. Rain again this year! !
The last week of evenings I have been working on the cowls. I need to get
some primer on them before the RV is flown to avoid oil getting into
the fiberglass. As this will cause problems when they are painted.
Busy Saturday so just Sunday in the hanger. Refitted the alternator then continued
fitting the interior floor and panels. My new seats arrived in the week.
Fitted carpet and seats - look really great! .
INSPECTION Day - Miles my inspector came to check the RV over. Now I have
a few things to sort out!!
Took Wednesday off work to finish off some more jobs. Fitted park brake cable
wrapped some more wires in position. Checked and torqued up bolts. Replaced
one fuel line as it was too close to a cover. Fitted floor center cover,
pax seat and the seat belts. My panel placards have not arrived so I
have printed some temporary lables for a while. With the cowl fitted
I ran the engine and went for a ride - taxi test - around the airfield
Tested and bedded the brakes in. It was great fun!!! Took cowl off to
check things over..
Jason came down to the hanger and help put the registration on G-OVII (go-7
!) I also finished checking the aileron alignment & fitted the wing
Saturday at the hanger, fitted lower rudder cover - now with strobe lamp.
Fitted the seal around the airbox inlet - to lower cowl. Also fitted
lower cowl to baffle floor seal.
25th July 2006
Mark helped me this evening - We removed the park brake and resealed all the
connections, and refilled the brakes. While doing this I showed Mark
the flap problem and in the process we spotted what the problem was.
The last screw on the wing joint trim was catching on the flap. I unscrewed
it - half way out - and the flap worked. So this evening both problems
appear to have been fixed.
Mark the spark came and helped me in the hanger on Friday. We fitted the
new control panel and refitted all the egine controls. We then spent
a lot of time trying to bleed the brakes. Sunday Finally it came time.....
TO START THE ENGINE
...... Jo & I moved the RV out of the
hanger. The engine started first time easily and ran for a short while
- it stopped and I realised I had selected the tank that I had drained!!
So I took this chance to check the engine for leaks. I had one on the
oil cooler, the joint was loose so I tightened it and restarted the
engine - with some fuel this time! The engine ran well and I checked
the Advanced Engine monitor settings. I stopped the engine, climbed
out and was greated by an excited Jo leaping around excited about how
well it had gone.
Some preparation work in the garage this week ready for another hard long
weekend. Tuesday evening I went to the hanger to get the engine control
panel off so I could make a new one. To reposition the throttle to ensure
it is clear of the control column. Also fitted the top cowl oil door
and top coat painted the new control panel, spar/floor covers &
fuel boost pump cover.
Saturday and Sunday at the hanger. Started by fitting the wing tips I had
been working on during the week. I then had to empty the fuel tanks
- I had filled them calibrating the fuel guages and forgot I need them
to be empty for the weight and balance to be performed.Fitted rudder
and elevators, HS end caps and VS top cap. I also discovered a fuel
leak on the right wing tank. The fuel sender was leaking, so had to
reseal it. Run update on Dynon D100. Fitted and wired elevator electric
trim. Connected and adjusted the elevator control, and discovered the
control stick hits the throttle control. Fitted wing to fuse cover on
left side, didn't fit right side as I need to check the tank is not
leaking. Riveted the internal spar fuse brace.
Fitted top rudder cap and elevator end caps.
At the hanger early Saturday morning and worked all day then back home to
the workshop to complete a few jobs on the bench.
Back from holiday, the project is at the hanger but I still have some jobs
to complete at home. I had planned the move to the hanger carefully
to ensure I had some jobs I could complete at home.
The BIG move
, I have moved the RV to the hanger and fitted the wings.
13th June 2006
Fitting and filling the horizontal and vertical stabalizer end caps.
Fitting the spinner to prop & filler plates.
Removed the engine baffles and completed a few jobs on them - nutplates for
ignition lead grommets & cut blast tube holes for mag's and alternator.
Started installation of Trio EZ Pilot servo in wing (drilled parts and primed
- fit later) Jo helped rivet the skin. I bucked and Jo operated the
rivet gun. She did a great job the rivets are really tidy without any
marks on the skin. Also fitted tail wheel today, the RV is on all it's
Started to rivet top skin into place - this is the last skin to be fitted!
Jo is going to help with the riveting as it's not possible for me to
do it on my own. Sealed fuel tanks and fitted the fuel float sender
- instead of using proseal I used Stag Wellseal, this will not dry hard
and will enable the covers to be removed for inspection if necessary.
I took a day off work today, and my order from SafeAir1 arrived - with my
Trio EZ Pilot. Lots of jobs completed today.
A few odd jobs this eveing. Prepared the fuel tank senders ready for fitting.
Put some paint on the canopy to help see how smooth I had finished the
resin work. Fitted tank brace to fuse and riveted Gretz mount into wing.
I had originally decided to install the pitot as in the Vans manual.
However after getting the Dynon D100 EFIS I decided to add the AOA (Angle
of Attack) functionallity. This necessitated me installing the Dynon
pitot with the Gretz mount. I thought it was going to take longer as
I had the skin already installed. I completed most of the installation
in one evening.
3/4th June 2006 Picture
Went to the RV Fly-in at LaBaule France.
As I have been working on the cowl fiberglass I decided to do some work on
the leg faring.
The mixture control John sent arrived today, and I fitted it. Another issue
solved. Trimmed down the air inlet on cowl and FAB air box. Trial fitted.
Also connected alternate air control.
Worked on the cowl air intake today. The intake needs to be made level with
the inner part of the cowl - just above the intake. This is to allow
the air filter box to fit better. I have noticed some builders have
not extented the intake, I almost didn't as I was able to make the air
box fit. But decided today to do the extension as per plans.
Just a few hours in the workshop this afternoon. Fitted the fuse holders for
the starter warning lamp and the alternator warning lamp. Fitted the
baffle seal to one side of the front of cowl.
The connectors I have been waiting to arrive to connect the flap indicator
(and warning lamps) arrived today. So I was able to complete the flap
motor with indicator installation. Also wired in the starter warning
lamp and the backup alternator warning lamp. As I was inside the cocpit
I decided it was time to complete the aileron trim installation, and
connect the control stick together.
Back to working on the baffles..... Fitting the baffle seals, I had already
made paper templates, it was now time to cut them out. I wanted to ensure
the cowl fitted properly before I fitted the baffle seals, as they push
on the cowl and make the cowl appear to not fit properly.
Wired the flap motor and fitted the Ray Allen flap position sensor - wired
to the Advanced AF-2500.
This weekend I finished painting the instrument panel and fitted it back into
the fuse this weekend. The project is really coming together.
Painted instrument panel last night, so was excited to start work on it tonight
- getting the instruments fitted. Then I remembered I needed to fit
the map box. I had intended to rivet the box in place then apply a second
coat on the panel. However after riveting the box in place I am unsure
about repainting, what do you think, take a look at the last pictures
in this page and tell me.
Mixing jobs this evening. As I needed to spray some more primer I decided
to do a few small jobs before I filled the workshop full of paint fumes.
I layed up some more fiberglass and resin on the top cowl - by the inlets.
Then I cut the second ignition lead holes in the baffles..
Just a short day in the workshop today. I had some visitors - RV8 builder
David and his wife. Then we went to the Popham RV fly-in. When I got
back I finished fitting the ignition leads and (primer) painted the
My order arrived from Aircraft Spruce this morning, it included a B&C
(SD-8) backup alternator - it was quickly fitted.
Continued working on the canopy perspex to frame. I am using West Systems
Epoxy with microlite to fill the front.
This weekend I decided to bite the bullet and bond the front of the canopy
(the pespex to the front section of the canopy frame. I used West Systems
epoxy - mixed with microfibre. See each picture for the stage text.
Fitted rear canopy catches. I had fitted them before but I cound after
painting there was a problem - just the layer of paint caused them to
catch and jam the canopy! I became suck inside for quite a while. I
finally managed to free myself just as Jo arrived to see where I had
got to - not come in for dinner.
Refitted after painting the canopy strut bracket. Fitted lock to canopy catch,
dimpled top skin forward of canopy. This is the last skin to fit.
Short day (Bank Holiday Monday) in the workshop. Tested all the electrics,
radio & intercom. Also tested digital video recorder - Jo will be
able to view films while flying!.
Busy weekend but I did manage to cut the heater and brake control cables
Continued work on wiring and instrument panel. Fitted starter warning lamp,
and connector for GPS. Also fitted control cable for park brake and
heater vent. Checked positioning of alternate air control.
25/26/27/th April 2006
Back to the wiring, fitted the EGT wires. Fitted the engine ground. Wired
in 12v power pointo to both P1 & P2 positions to power noise cancelling
headsets. Tidied wiring and fitted more P clips. I have also decided
to fit a second backup alternator - B&C SD-8.
A number of odd jobs this evening. Ran the wires for the EGT probes, fitted
firewall ball joint for the prop control. Fabricated and fitted the
fuel pump overflow, fitted the exhaust heat sheald. Fitted Heat muff
to firewall control duct hose. Fitted clamps to engine breather. Adjusted
top oil cooler hose outlet position.
Just a quick hour in the workshop as I have visitors. Checking the cowl alignment
and fitted eye ball grommets for the throttle, mixture and alt air controls.
Fitted Cabin Heat Muff to exhaust, with the Superior IO-360 engine the exhaust
is different to the Lycoming IO-360 engine. The muff position for the
Superior engine is the same as the Carb Lycoming. This is also why I
positioned the inlet air ar the rear of the baffles rather than the
front baffle floor Also worked on cowl fitting.
Bonded hinge to upper and lower cowl. Used West System Epoxy Resin to bond
the hinge to the cowl and riveted into place. Also modified the front
baffles for the upper cowl inlet ducts.
Fitting the air box to the fuel injection servo - had a break between to go
to Sun N Fun in Florida.
A whole day in the workshop, worked on the baffles. Completed each corner
and started to rivet together.
In the workshop this afternoon continued work on the baffles. Made spacer,
brackets and joddled joint.
Baffle work around the oil cooler, riveted the parts together.
After a bad weekend - Aircraft stuck at RAF Halton, TV blows up, then Monday
heavy winds blow the fence down. Finally I have managed to get back
on with the RV. Cowl and baffle work. The cowls have been on and off
while I have checked the baffle positions and trimmed to get the gap
correct. With the gap correct I have been able to start fitting the
Not much work on the project this weekend. I had to collect my Cessna from
the engineers on Saturday. However bad weather cause me to have to land
at RAF Halton (the weather was still bad on Sunday). Somework on the
baffles and riveted one cowl hinge on Sunday afternoon.
Started work on baffle behind flywheel. I still have some of the fixings to
complete, but they are almost complete.
Still working on baffles. Front baffle floors - completed both sides. Started
on front baffle behind flywheel..
Continued work on baffles - the front inlet is tricky, partly due to the plans
are a little sketchy (really they are drawings!) in this area.
Now I have the cowls fitted I am fitting the baffles - a tricky job to get
Cutting the cowl created lots of dust in the workshop so I moved the RV outside
and gave the workshop a complete clean and tidy. Back in the workshop
I started planning the baffle fitting, by creating profile templates
of the cowl.
17th March 2006
Drove to Portsmouth this evening to get some West Systems epoxy for the cowl
and canopy - I will be adding a page with what quantites of the West
System you require..
Trimmed sides of the of the cowls to match the top and bottom sections. Cut
and fitted lower half of hinge.
Cut & fitted lower cowl side fixings, and trimmed around the front this
evening. Have marked cut between upper & lower cowl ready for tomorrow
Fitting lower cowl. There may be a problem with the mixture lever catching
on the cowl. Checked space around the fuel injection servo for the airbox.
Started fitting top cowl to the fuse today - Sunday. Pleased with progress
went quicker and better than I expected.
BIG DAY. The Propeller arrived from Vans today
, with Jo's help I had
it fitted by the evening.
Mark came over to drop Josie off to see Jo. Well I could not miss out on the
chance of a handy pair of hands. I soon had Mark to work helping fit
the wheel spats, knew they would be difficult by myself. Just over tow
hours on the first, them 35mins on the second! Finished at 11.30pm in
time for Mark to take Josie home.
Decided to box in the audio connections on the PAX side. I placed them to
the side rather than under the panel to keep the wires to the side.
The headset connections could have been placed in the rear. But I wanted
to keep the cable runs as short as possible, and if the pilot position
has a problem it's easy to connect to the PAX position.
1st March 2006
First fitting of the centre cabin cover and fuel tap housing.
Still running wires and connecting things up! But I am close to completing
the work. Wiring in the trim and stick control switches, and adding
Even more wiring this weekend, but I think I have the bulk of it done now.
I have the wiring for the elevator and aileron trim controls and display's
into the Advanced analogue unit. Saturday afternoon, friend and fellow
RV builder Jerry came over to see how I was getting on. I was really
usfull as some areas I was unsure of the best position to place things.
So it was worth asking another builder - and somebody who has flown
his RV for more than four years.
Another big evening
... I powered the whole panel up this evening. It's
the first time I have powered the Advanced AF2500.
Spent this week working on the wiring.
21st February 2006
Tested radio today, working.
19th February 2006
A really big day today - Sunday
. I spent nearly all day working on
the intercom wiring, I have it all connected now - apart from feed to
and from radio. The big part of today is - I applied the first power
to the RV testing the intercom.
Started work on intercom wiring. The intercom is stereo, with stereo
music input. So there is lots of wire and connections.
Finished remaking the instrument panel. Continued this week working
on the instrument panel adding the P2 trim switch and heater control.
I have run a lot of the wiring now it's time to start connecting things
up. Spent most of this week working on the wiring - Radio, transponder
and some work on the Advanced Engine Monitor (manifold, fuel tanks &
RPM sensors). Spent all my evenings this week working on the wiring.
A replacement instrument panel arrived this week so I decide to use this weekend
to get the new panel made. I was out in good time this morning and got
on with making the replacement. I cut the bottom angle off the original
so I could sit it on the replacement panel using it as a pattern. The
extra hole where I had planned to fit the compas will no longer happen.
I'm now going to fit one to the top of the panel. I did it, in one day,
lots of cutting and drilling - and a big heap of swarf!!
I had already fitted most of the baffle kit - to check it was compatible
with the Superior engine. Decided it was time to progress the fitting,
I can't do it all as I need the cowls fitted to govern the angles of
the air inlet. I have been able to cut most of the parts. While working
on the engine I decided to try the alternator belt. I tried three different
sizes and still don't have one fitting as I would like. As my shipment
arrived from Vans I fitted the new length throttle and Mixture control.
Continued fitting parts to engine - wiring. CHT sensors to the AF-2500 engine
monitor. Fitted starter cable and Manifold sensor wiring.
Mixed bag over this week, still disappointed with myself for messing up the
instrument panel. I have fitted the manifold presure sensor on the firewall.
The RPM pickup to the magneto, and started planning the fitting of the
trim wiring and governor.
Not a good evening
. Last night I put the servo on, but as the cables
are short I decided to continue with something else. The instrument
panel. My plan was to finish fitting a couple of items. The compass,
the P2 trim switch and heater control. What a bl&*dy disaster! Cutting
the compass hole I put the hole cutter on the wrongway round and bent
the instrument panel.
Jade have delivered the new fuel servo. This reverses the mixture control
so the lever can operate from the top. This enables it to clear the
airbox. Unfortunatly the mixture control cable is too short and the
throttle control is slightly taught so I may get a longer throttle also.
What's happened to my project updates?
Fitted position for pilot side com connectors.
Fitting the intercom/radio jacks. I decided to modify the air vent mount
- extend it down to take the headset connections. Plus on the PAX side
music input and a power connector.
Friday 13th, perhaps I should have stayed out of the workshop! Decided to
fit the intercom today as I need to plan the wire routes and headset
positions. It didn't go very well, as I broke one of the screws off
in the case of the intercom and scratched the face plate.
My order from Vans arrived today, so I could finally fix the fuel line.
Finally fitted the aileron trim servo, final fit strobe power pack.
Continued work on the wiring - routed wires for rear strobe and nav light
Organised wiring around spar and routed wing nav lights and landing
light. Fitted static line in rear fuse to intrument panel. Fitted elevator
trim wire in rear fuse. Fitted connectors to aileron trim servo. Started
work on fitting stobe power pack.
In the workshop for the afternoon decided to build the mount for the
Dynon EDC-D10A External Magnetic Sensor Probe. I have decided to mount
it behind the baggage compartment. The Magnetic sensor must be mounted
as closely aligned with the D100. It should be mounted with the long
axis parallel to the wings, the electrical connector facing toward the
front of the plane. The pitch, roll and yaw must be within a degree.
6th January 2006
Placed parts order with Vans, intercom and some other odd parts I need. Checked
on my Prop shipment date, it's not due to ship until 27th Feburary.
really wish I had ordered it earlier.
Connecting sensors to AF-2500. Fitting aerial leads for transponder
and radio. Starting work on cowl - spinner, with the intention of fitting
the spinner to align the cowl. BUT I discovered a problem with my plan.
3rd January 2006
More work on the wiring - fitted 60A alt CB. Wired master switch, connected
master and start relays. Started fitting connectors to transponder aerial.
Almost a full day in the workshop today - fitted wiring for starter,
Nav, Strobe and Landing lights. Radio & transponder power. Flap
switch & alternator. Started wiring in AF-2500 engine monitor.
1st January 2006
Christmas is over, and Jo has got me lots of bits for my RV project and some
tools - she is great. Topcoat pain.
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to Vans Aircraft Inc. The contents of this mail is the opinion of the author,
not Vans Aircarft, PFA, CAA of FAA. Please check all information is correct
before you act upon it.