Left Flap Complete!

September was a trying month for my Velocity, with the engine sensor issues getting more pronounced. As it’s my commuter for work, I had to focus on getting that back up and running. Short story, I was able to isolate the issue to a grounding issue while the Alternator was on, and a trip to an avionics shop got it all fixed up. Woo hoo! Finally, I can get back to building the RV-8 (for now). So starting the second half of the month I was able to get back to plane building. In these sessions I finished up the left flap, and definitely learned a few things along the way.

First off, I needed to bend the inboard flap doubler. I tried a few different techniques to get it done, but in the end with a recommendation from Paul, I went and got a dead blow hammer, and used it while putting pressure on the top side of the doubler.

After attaching the double, I had to rivet on the end ribs to the skins. This was quite challenging for a couple reasons. The room to rivet is quite tight, and I needed to choose between blind rivets and standard solid rivets. The plans call for using blind rivets on the two aft most holes (you have to, you can’t get to the shop side on those), but when trying to do a couple of the next ones I ran into issues due to the space, or nutplate in the way. I ended up adding an extra blind rivet as I was starting to dent the skin attempting the solid rivet. It’s not pretty, but I got it done. It’s on the bottom side and rarely will anyone see it.

Next up, it was time to install the front spar. This closes any access to the interior, so making sure everything is done is important! After blind riveting the spar to the ribs (which required a bit of bending the leading edge…which was scary!) I needed to rivet the flap doubler plate to the angle bracket attached to the spar. This was another place where it was a bit ugly. The two pieces were not as tightly positioned as I would have hoped, and so the riveting process was not super clean. I had to re-match drill a lot of the holes since they did not line up great. Also, the blind rivets used did not fit well in the radius of the angle bracket. Not sure how do do that much cleaner without modifying the rivet.

And with all that, I ended up with a finished Left Flap! In all only 6.2 hours, but took me most of the month due to the other distractions. I’ll get working on the Right side before month’s end, but unlikely to finish at this pace. Oh well..slow and steady! Until then, Happy Building!

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