Saturday, October 28, 2006

RV Tool Kits

Many new builder's ask if they need a full tool kit or if it is wise to only get an empennage tool kit to start with. I think that most RV builder's will agree that the tool list on Van's website really does not contain all of the tools needed for the empennage or the full airplane. It's a good start, but many other tools are needed to build the airplane. Most full tool kits provide the necessary tools for the sheet metal work, but many other tools are available to make the building process easier and to do a better quality job on the finished product. When a builder is considering the empennage kit rather than a full tool kit the things to keep in mind are: 1. Do you plan to build the full airplane or are you only building the empennage to see if you are really ready to tackle the airplane. If so, you may want to consider the empennage kit. If you are committed to the whole airplane then start with the full tool kit. 2. Buying the kit piece-meal will most likely cost more money in the long run. Shipping is expensive, often as much as the tool itself if it is a small purchase. These costs will add up and could significantly increase the total cost of the tools. 3. Most full kits are assembled in a way that gives the best price available and gives you a set of matching tools. I believe this is the best way to go if you are committed to building the airplane. Thanks, Glenna

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Best Drill for aluminum sheet metal

What is best in an air drill for aluminum work on an airplane? #1 Speed, #2 User friendly, #3 comfort, #4 quiet, #5 reversible. For aluminum 2000+ RPM is needed. A drill that is user friendly will accept the drill and accessory sizes you need to use and will be easy to change bits/tools. A keyless chuck is the best way to accommodate this. A drill should be comfortable in your hand. A drill should be quiet. Some air drills like the Sioux palm drill are very quiet. Many builders are going to high speed battery operated drills which are also quiet. Reversible -- well, I threw it in but have never owned one myself. That's why it's at the end of the list. I've never seen a worn out reversing trigger on a used drill.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Building the Van's RV Aircraft

If you are considering building a homebuilt airplane then look carefully at a Van's RV aircraft. Some things to consider. Van's has more kits produced and more flying airplanes than any other homebuilt. Accident history of homebuilt aircraft is important to research and understand. Only an aircraft mechanical or performance failure may be reason to shy away from certain aircraft. Most of the Van's aircraft that have been involved in accidents have been the result of pilot error or builder error. Van's aircraft are very high performance and require the right level of pilot experience. If you build one don't fly it yourself unless you have actual stick time in another Van's aircraft or with an experienced RV pilot in your local area. Avoid builder errors by checking and double checking every decision you make at Other builders will be glad to help you avoid any problems. If something doesn't seem quite right then ask before you build or install that part. Use the very best tools from so that you can be sure the parts and assemblies you use on your airplane will be right. Take time to do every job correctly. Rework if you need to. This will help you avoid any mistakes during the building process. Ask a fellow EAA RV expert to assist you by reviewing your work and helping guide you in the building process. This is invaluable in that it will help you avoid costly mistakes and rework. In the end you will have a fantastic performing airplane that will take you just about anywhere you want to travel. HAVE FUN. Thanks, Glenna RV8A N220LS (In to tools!).