Kochman Family RV-10 Rotating Header Image


A Big Step Back on the “House Rules,” but a Small Win on the Color Scheme

For those keeping score: the house rule when we started building the airplane was that airplane parts would only be in the garage.  Today this rule was broken in a big way.  Please see the picture below for what you see as you walk into our home…. yes those are 13ft long airplane wings!!!

On the bright side we went to the Glasair airplane facility last weekend for a tour with Rob’s EAA group.  They had an airplane painted in the exact color scheme I have suggested for years, dark blue on top and light on the bottom.  I grinned from ear to ear when we walked into the hangar to see this fantastic paint job (Rob isn’t a fan and still needs more convincing) 🙂  The tour of the Glasair plant was very interesting and they even have a program where you can pay almost $200k and in two weeks go from kit parts to taxiing your newly built airplane.  Craziness!

It is now time to attach the tailcone to the fuselage and work like crazy to hopefully gain my front room back in time for Rob’s 30th bday/Christmas.  This would be only 8 months and Rob is predicting we still have 1.5 years to go.  Please send us good airplane assembly vibes, we are going to need it!

Installing the Aileron Trim

One of the last steps on the wing is installing the aileron trim.  As mentioned in an earlier post, it’s a spring bias system.  Here’s a picture of the springs and trim servo attached to the torque tube (as vewed from inside the wing, outboard of the trim location).

Slow Going Over the Holidays

Kari's Airplane Contribution


From mid November through the holidays we have spent a very limited amount of time on the airplane.  We have instead been traveling and visiting with family.  In December Kelly’s sister (Kari) and brother-in-law (Brant) stayed at our place where the snow really kept us from getting out and doing much of anything.  Kari was pretty insistent from the beginning that she would need to make an easily seen contribution to the airplane.  We are happy to report that in December she was able to put in a missing pop rivet on the underside of a wing.  Here is a picture of the team effort with Rob coaching of course 🙂  What is missing is when Kari actually autographed the rivet so we wouldn’t forget what she did…

(Still) Finishing the Wings and Some Fuselage Work

We got a bunch of work done on the wingtips last weekend.  We aligned the flaps and ailerons, then test fit the wingtips to make sure the trailing edges all aligned.  Final result, they’re “close enough”–one or two 16ths off.  We figure we’d do more harm than good trying to fix it.  After they’re all aligned, we drilled through the pre-punched holes in the aluminum, into the fiberglass wingtips.  After the holes are drilled, they’re enlarged to fit a #6 screw.  Then it’s nutplate time.

Each wingtip has 44 nutplates for attachment to the wings, and each one has to be drilled and countersunk–3 holes per nutplate.  This took a while.  We got the right wingtip done, pictured below.

We also cut out the area for the landing light.  Note this cutout shape is much simpler than the one in the plans.  It turns out that there’s plenty of room for the light with this simpler shape, it’s easier to cut, and it leaves a little more fiberglass.

I was hoping to do the left one as well, but we ran out of time.  That’s next.

While the wings were on hiatus, we started some of the “self-contained” tasks on the fuselage.  I build the flap control rods, seat supports, and got the rudder pedals ready for paint.

I also cut, primed, and installed the ends on the three elevator pushrods (pictured here in the fuselage for storage).

I cleaned and primed the rear passenger floorboards, in preparation for installation.  Nothing goes under these floorboards, so they can be riveted into place now.

I also finally cleaned the outside of the fuselage.  Van’s ships it with WD-40 or a similar oil on the exterior for protection.  After cleaning, we have a shiny shiny firewall.

Update — finishing the wings

It’s been a while since the last post. Since then, we’ve closed the right wing. Dynon finally released their autopilot servos, so we installed a roll servo, pictured below.

Also note the Dynon OAT sensor in the upper-right of the above picture. All the wiring in the wings is done, too. The right wing has a D-sub and Mate-n-lock connector, for the small and large gauge wires, respectively.

We also got the ailerons and flaps mounted–makes the wings look much bigger.

I’ve begun fitting the fiberglass wingtips (the left one, anyway). The large hole cut out is for the landing light, and the smaller holes are for the nav/strobe combo. I also trimmed the excess from the inboard edges, so they’re ready to match drill to the wing skins. I’m going to wait until after the fiberglass class next weekend before doing any more fiberglass work, in case we get some tips that’ll make it easier.

Left landing light fixture is mounted and ready to be attached to the wingtip. The light is a 50W HID, so there will be plenty of light.

Lastly, I built the aileron trim mechanism. It’s a spring bias system–the arm in the picture below moves and is attached to two springs, which change the force on the aileron pushrod.

We’re going to the RV-10 fiberglass class next weekend. Should be extremely enlightening.

Remaining Wing Work

No work has gotten done this week, due to work, friends, and me being *really* sick for the past couple days.  Here’s what’s upcoming before we can call the wings “done”

  • Finish riveting right bottom outboard skin
  • Leak test the tanks
  • Fit the wingtips (and install lights)
  • Drill, dimple, and rivet the left bottom outboard skin
  • Mount the flaps and ailerons

I’m hoping I’ll feel better soon so we can get at least something done this weekend.

Mounting the Pitot Tube and Skin Riveting

We’re using the Dynon heated pitot with the Gretz mount.  We pretty much had to figure out the pitot tube installation ourselves.  I cut the hole in the skin reasonably well.  It’s now mounted and the tubes (pitot and AOA) are now connected.

We also started riveting the last right wing skin.

More Wiring

We finished the wiring for both wings and mounted the ballasts for the landing lights.

Let There Be Light! (and Pitot Heat)

A friend gave me his old battery, so we were finally able to test some of the electric components.  We hooked up the LED nav lights (pictured below), the strobes, HID landing lights, and pitot heat, and everything works fine–reassuring to confirm that before installing everything.

The HID landing lights are *really* bright: http://planelights.com/

Late Night Dimpling

We decided to dimple the right side bottom wing skin one night.  The garage is pretty full, so we had to do it outside, and it got dark faster than we expected.