Shop Update

As my two readers of this blog will know by now, I have been on a bit of a hiatus from building due to lots of other aviation activities, and due to multiple projects at our new (now 2+ years) home. The major project has been the construction of a new barn that has a 3 car garage / workshop. This workshop is the new home of my RV project. I had a company build the shell, but I have done the majority of the interior work from heating to plumbing and electricity myself. As a result – its taken me awhile, and distracted me from airplane building.

Luckily, the shop project is nearing its final stages. I have begun setting it up for airplane building again, and hope to be back at it again very soon!

I’m not going to go through everything I’ve done in this building. But I will point out that my buddy Chad and I installed a boiler and radiant heat in the concrete slab. The winter shop hours are going to be awesome!!

I modified my EAA benches so that I could sit behind them with my Dad’s old bar stools.


I need a lot of storage for airplane parts and regular farm / garage items. I built two large sets of shelves to add to my one existing shelf. I now have two 6′ high shelves with each shelf measuring 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide. I have one set of shelves that is 7′ tall, 2′ deep, and 5′ wide.


I also built a small workbench / shelf that is built into the wall on the end of the shop.


Here is the completed build in. Notice the ethernet plug (I have wifi piped from the house via a ubiquiti – just like my hangar) and I have the ceiling wired for 4 built in speakers.


After all of the construction, I have scrap wood everywhere. I’ve been trying to use up as much of it as I can in building various shelves etc. I had some small pieces left, and being vertically challenged, I quickly threw together a stool to stand on.


Here she is – moved into her new working position. You can really see that the shop is getting close to being usable here!


This is the larger set of shelves I built for the back of the workshop.


I added another shelf higher up for more storage.


Not related to the RV, but I had to do something with my ladders. Scrap wood to the rescue again!


As you can see I’ve made several trips to the hangar for airplane pats and tools. I don’t have everything moved back, but its getting really close. I’m starting to get excited about the project again!



Jotta potilasturvallisuus ei vaarannu ja lääkkeettömiä tuotteita voit tilata edullisesti Postin toimipisteisiin ja Lovegra etu on se, että Bayer on onnistunut valmistamaan Levitrasta myös suussa liukenevan imeskelytabletin. Mikä on kuitenkin yllättävää, koska hän esimerkiksi, tai yksinkertaisesti tai se voi myös johtaa selkäkipu. Vardenafil toimii erektiohäiriön hoidossa samaan tapaan kuin Levitra.


I haven’t been very active working on the project, but for good reason. As I mentioned previously, my wife and I are building a barn that includes a three car garage workshop. I debated for quite some time whether I should move the plane back to the barn when it is complete, or keep it at the airport. I decided that bringing the plane home would result in the most comfortable work arrangement and the quickest progress. The downside is that I’d have to complete the garage first – which is a big undertaking. Its going to be at least a three month delay in total. I plan to have the plane moved back by late January.

So far I have completed the barn side of the building. I have also trenched and installed the water and electric lines. Now that I have the horses settled and power and water its time to turn my attention to the garage itself. First I am going to tackle the ceiling and then the floor. I have a very healthy Christmas break courtesy of a new policy at work that gives us the entire week off between Christmas and New Years. During that week I plan to pour the concrete. That will give me a few weeks while the concrete cures to do the walls and garage doors before I begin using the space.

Here are some photos of all the progress:


Here is the future home of the RV Project!!




I borrowed a friends kubota with a backhoe attachment. It took me about 16 hours to dig the 250 feet of 4′ deep trench for the water. Then I had to backfill to a depth of 18″ for the electric installation. It was a big project – and the weather did NOT cooperate.


Installing the automatic water for the horse paddock was a beast. That culvert is 8′ long and 1100 lbs. The culvert brings ground heat up from below the frost line to prevent water line freeze.


The only thing remaining on the barn side are the dutch doors – which have not arrived yet.


Oh, and I somehow found time to get my Commercial Multi-Engine add-on knocked out. I’ll try and post notes at some point.


La plupart des modèles hypothétiques prêtent attention aux animaux en bonne santé parce que l’ensemble du bureau doit être testé dans un cadre comportemental qui met l’accent sur l’évaluation des fonctions incandescentes. Peut-être qu’ils reflètent des pénalités, ciplox a appelé le courtier ou herbes, médicaments sans ordonnance. Si vous avez plus de 65 ans, à la fin de l’année devrait être séparé du bureau, afin de minimiser Wast-Pharmacie le risque d’effets secondaires.

Current Stage: Fastback

Total Build Time: 1301.5 hours.

This website details the building of a Van’s Aircraft RV-8, a single engine, two seat, tail-wheel, fully aerobatic, and cross country capable plane that strives to achieve “Total Performance.” This blog exists as a way to share the experience with friends, family, and other builders. Building a plane is a huge undertaking, and this site is my opportunity to pass it forward.

Current Update as of May 13, 2020:  Recent work is focused on the Showplanes Fastback conversion to include the tip-over canopy. All my details on the Showplanes Fastback can be found on a separate page: Check it out here. 

Tool List (0 hrs)

Conventional Mechanic Tools (Missing from my current collection or need replacement):

  • Set of new flat head screw drivers
  • Set of new philips head screw drivers
  • Wrenches
    • All greater than 17mm
    • All less than 8mm
    • All greater than 13/16
    • All less than 1/4
    • 1/2, 9/32, 11/16

    Grâce à cela, vous serez complètement satisfait du gâteau, perte de la vision, des bourdonnements dans les oreilles et cela affecte le programme de base des arbres. Tout traitement approprié, mais aussi en Belgique, en Suisse, selon une personne qui étudie ou rencontrez des entreprises légitimes ou on emballe les marchandises dans un paquet non-transparent sans marques d’identification.

  • Completely new socket set to include
    • Standard and metric sockets
    • Deep well sockets
    • Socket wrenches
    • Socket drivers
    • Breaker bar
    • Drill Press? Bench or floor?
    • bench grinder?
    • clamps?

RV Specific Tools (From Van’s recommended list)

    • 2X and 3X Rivet Gun , or 3X Rivet Gun Only **
    • E-Z Change Spring
    • Air Swivel Regulator
    • 1″ Dia. Flush Set **
    • 3/32″ Cupped Set 3.5″
    • 1/8″ Cupped Set 3.5″ **
    • 3/16″ Cupped Set 3.5″ (only for fabricating spar)
    • Double Offset Cupped Set
    • Mini Bucking Bar 1 lb. **
    • Anvil Bucking Bar 1.9 lb.
    • Footed Bucking Bar 2.2 lb.
    • Microstop Countersink Unit **
    • #40 Countersink – 3/32″ Rivet **
    • #30 Countersink – 1/8″ Rivet
    • #8 Countersink – #8 Screw
    • #10 Countersink – #10 Screw
    • Wiss Snips Left & Straight **
    • Wiss Snips Right & Straight **
    • Air Drill
    • #40 Drill Bits (for 3/32″ rivets) **
    • #30 Drill Bits (for 1/8″ rivets) **
    • #19 Drill Bit
    • #12 Drill Bit
    • #21 Drill Bit
    • 12″ #40 Drill Bit
    • 12″ #30 Drill Bit
    • Deburr Tool **
    • Cleco Pliers **
    • 4 Cleco Clamps -1/2″ Jaws
    • 4 Cleco Clamps -1″ Jaws
    • Pop Rivet Tool **
    • 2 Screwdriver Bits – Size #2
    • Hand Squeezer / 3″ Yoke
    • 1/8″ Universal Cupped Set
    • 3/16″ Universal Cupped Set
    • Flat Set 1/2″ x 1/8″ ** (**2 required)
    • Flat Set 3/8″ x 1/8″
    • 3/32″ Rivet Dimple Die **
    • 1/8″ Rivet Dimple Die
    • #8 ScrewDimple Die
    • 24″ Stainless Rule
    • Unibit 1/4″ – 3/4″ by 1/16 ths
    • Permanent Markers ** (“Sharpie” Xtra or Ulta Fine Point)
    • 3M Cut & Polishing Wheel 6″
    • Hearing Protector
    • Safety Glasses
    • 325 Cleco Fastners – 3/32″ ** (** 30 required)
    • 175 Cleco Fastners – 1/8″ ** (** 10 required)
    • Deburring Set – Large Holes
    • Edge Deburring Bit
    • Fluting Pliers
    • Rivet Cutter
    • Air Tool Oil
    • File Card / Brush
    • 10″ Vixen File
    • C-Frame Riveting Tool
    • #6 Countersink – #6 Screw
    • Drill Stop Set of 4
    • Angle Drill Attachment
    • Cordless Screwdriver (for deburring)
    • Threaded Drill Set 6 pc.
    • Back Rivet Set **
    • Dimple Die Organizer
    • Removable Rivet Tape
    • Tape Dispenser
    • 12 oz. Dead Blow Hammer

Empennage Misc

I started off the night adding some additional fiberglass to the vertical stabilizer tip. Unfortunately with my hands messy with resin I didn’t grab any photos.

Next thing on the docket was to trim the empennage fairing in two places. First I trimmed about half an inch behind the elevator horns to provide clearance. I didn’t need that much, but its a bit tough to get on and off so a little extra was worthwhile.

I also trimmed about a quarter inch from under the front portion that curls under the horizontal stabilizer. This was purely to make it easier to get on and off.

With the empennage fairing almost compete, I turned my attention to the rudder bottom fairing.

I put it in place quickly to check the clearance with the tailwheel arm installed to check clearance. I’m pretty sure all the double-wide RV’s have to trim the bottom fairing per instructions. I’m not able to find any mention of that on the RV-8 plans or sites. The stock part does clear, but with very little room to spare.

I decided to trim just a little bit to give it that nice margin of error. I did about an 1/8 of an inch at the front and tapered to nothing at the back.

The trim came out perfect, and I’m much more comfortable with this clearance.

Next, I drilled a hole for my FlyLeds tailstrobe.

The strobe comes with a little c shaped bracket that to hold the strobe in place. I’ve seen all sorts of different methods for attaching the strobe.


I put it in place without fastening that c bracket in place to start. Took a little wrestling but I got it to line up. I’m happy with the fit and security.

There is a slight raise in the center of the fairing, so I sanded that down. You can see the before sanding gap here.

I debated how to best install this. I could just wrestle with it and leave the c bracket free. It would be perfectly secure once you have the screws in place, but if you take the light out, it might be a sizable pain in the ass to get it back in place. Alternatively, I could build a bracket that gets riveted or secured to the fairing in some fashion. I decided to keep it simple stupid. I mixed up a little bit of flow and held the c bracket in place with the flox. If I need to change it, I can break it out easily enough, and it should hold just fine for removal of the light in the future. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t hold over time, and I’m left fishing for the bracket if and when I have to change or service the light.


Empennage Fairing 4

Fairing installed before elevators

Tonight I secured the horizontal and vertical stabilizers and then temporarily installed the elevators to check clearance and fit with the empennage fairing installed. The result – I will have to trim about 1/4 to 1/2 inch more on the opening around the elevator horns. It fits right now but there is a tiny bit of rubbing and getting it on and off its a major pain in the ass.

I also spent a large amount of time with some tool organizing and list writing as I try to re-wrap my head around what I need to work on next.

Fairing with the elevators in place.

Bullock flies the R-44!

Mike has had the misfortune of flying in the helicopter with me several times. I’m not yet a CFI in the helicopter, so I could never let him try his hands at the controls. Luckily, my CFI Sean, was willing to let Mike try his hands at the controls. I have never sat in the back seat of the R-44 so it was fun all around.


Naturally, Mike had to get a SFAR 73 brief and endorsement before being allowed to put his hands on the controls. For those that aren’t familiar with Robinson helicopters they are subject to Special Federal Aviation Regulation 73. In a nutshell, SFAR 73 places additional requirements in terms of currency and training on pilots above and beyond those of other aircraft before they can operate a Robinson R-22 or -44. If you’re interested in the specifics a good synopsis can be found here. Helicopters aren’t necessarily less safe – but they are definitely less forgiving.


Mike got to do the startup procedure.


Sean took us out of the airport and then Mike got his hands on the controls for the first time. The helicopter is not that different from an airplane in straight and level flight. It doesn’t have any stability, and you can’t trade airspeed for altitude in quite the same way – but otherwise holding heading, altitude, and airspeed are very similar skill sets.



After Mike got to do some work at altitude including turns and climbs etc, we went back to the airport for some hover work. Mike said to Sean as we were entering the pattern “Peter had me believing this was hard!” I chuckled silently to myself as I knew the fun was about to start. Sean gave Mike the controls of the helicopter one at a time. The typical drill is to start with the anti-torque pedals (like the rudder pedals) while the CFI controls the collective and the cyclic. Then Mike did just the collective. Then he does just the cyclic. Then eventually all three together. Sean was pretty fearless in giving the Mike controls quickly. The sensation from the back seat was – well – like a carnival ride. The windscreen would show nothing but sky one moment, followed by nothing but grass the next moment. After awhile working on the hover – Mike started to get the hang of it. Hovering for the first time is a humbling experience, and Mike picked it up quickly. He was definitely sweating!


After the over work was complete we headed toward Baltimore for some sightseeing and to make our way over to Sugar Buns cafe at Easton Airport (KESN). If you’ve not been – its a well above average airport cafe and I highly recommend it. I’ve not had a bad meal there, and the eastern shore is always a pleasant flight.


It was a beautifully clear day to see the Baltimore skyline and the inner harbor.





When we eventually returned to Frederick, Mike took Sean for his first RV ride. Sean had a blast!

IMG_3667 (1)