Van's Aircraft RV-9A experimental aircraft kitplane

Mike Hoover's Van's RV-9A
Aircraft Construction Log

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Official time building my Vans RV-9A: 2224.34 hours.


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Van's Aircraft RV-9A experimental aircraft kitplane

7 most recent log entries:

2014-07-05 Hours: 4 Category: Electrical Manual Ref: ID#: 1197
Had to degrease my flap motor
After 89 tach hours, my flap motor succumbed to the well documented grease problem that has plagued many RV'ers. At least, I expect that is the problem. Ironically, I had just signed off on the annual condition inspection. I cannot image that is anything but coincidence. I was on the ground thankfully when I discovered the issue. I was retracting my flaps while and there was no response when I pushed the switch up (or down). The next day, I tried again and the flaps went up but when I tried to put them down, the switch did nothing. I put a little pressure on one of the flaps as I pushed the switch down and the flaps extended. And went back up when I tried to retracted them. The next day, they worked without a problem. I tried them several different times that day and they worked fine. Geez! I decided not to ignore the problem and did some research on and found the Vans SB regarding the flaky flap issue. I removed the flap from the airplane and disassembled. I found a lot of grease in the motor. It had worked half way through the housing but had not yet gotten to the brushes. I cleaned it up nicely, reassembled and reinstalled. It seems to work fine. We shall see. The hex tool required is a 7/64th. I used laquer thinner sparingly and some q-tips to clean out the grease. I used strands of wire to hold the brushes back while reinstalling the brush horseshoe back onto the armature. Here is the link to Vans SB about the Flaky Flap Motor. Google Pittman 9234S004-R1 Lo-Cog 12VDC motor to find the motor and data sheet.
Plenty of grease half way up the magnets in the housing.
Grease all over the amateur and end cap.
2014-04-14 Hours: 2 Category: Firewall Forward Manual Ref: ID#: 1196
Added air dam to number one cylinder
I had removed the previously riveted air dams from in front of numbers one and two cylinders as they were causing high temps. Number one is coolest by about 20 degrees so I recently added some foil tape and tested. The final amount added resulted in cylinder one matching two and three, with number four now coolest by about six degrees. I made an air dam out of some .040 and attached it to the baffling using three of the rivets holes that existed in the horizontal flange that supports the ramp. I will have to fly again to see if this air dam has the same effect as the foil of the same profile.
The new air dam attached to the baffle in front of cylinder one.
2014-01-18 Hours: 5 Category: Finish Manual Ref: ID#: 1195
Installed upper and lower main gear intersection fairings
Installed the RVBits upper and lower main gear intersection fairings. The lower ones were easy to locate and drill. The upper one fit nicely but finding places to drill for screws is limited. I used trail and error to find the hole under the foreward bottom skin. Missed by just 1/8" on my first try drilling and hit the steel plate that is on the gear leg weldment. Then figured a way to calculate and draw a line on the bottom skin that was approx. 1/4" forward of the edge of the steel plate on the gear leg weldment. It is a line four and a half rivets outboard of the floor stiffener rivet along the span wise row of rivets in the bottom skin and foreword center section flange. I drew a line 45 degrees off that line and this approximates a line about 1/4" forward and parallel to the fore edge of the steel plate on the gear leg weldment. With the intersection fairing held in place, the "sweet spot" for drilling is apparent. The other two screws were, one in the wing root fairing and one aft of the center section under the outboard seat bay. Had to use a rivnut there. I used #6 screws with tinnerman washers for my intersection fairings.
The foreward inboard screw location in the upper intersection fairing.
The lower intersection fairing on the left side installed. Pretty nice fit!
2014-01-13 Hours: 4 Category: Journal Manual Ref: ID#: 1194
Back to work on the wheel pants
First, thanks a bunch Scott for volunteering your afternoon to help me get started on my main wheel pants. I have put this off long enough. We got the wheel pants lined up and clecoed. That was the hard part. Long afternoon!
2013-08-16 Hours: 0 Category: Journal Manual Ref: ID#: 1192
RivetSizer iPhone App is finally a reality!
I finally got my RivetSizer iPhone app up and running. I was approved and went live on the App Store a couple of days ago. It calculates the rivet length as the user inputs metal thicknesses. You can choose which rivet diameter you need too. It is meant for metal airplane builders so RV builders may enjoy it. It is meant to be quick, and I think I have accomplished this. It was a bucket list item to actually learn how to program an iPhone app. Visit the app store and search rivet sizer. Or click this link: RivetSizer on the app store. or visit the blog I set up for it at
2013-04-01 Hours: 0 Category: Journal Manual Ref: ID#: 1193
Photo of my panel
I never uploaded a photo of my finished and flying panel, so here it is!
My finished panel. This was taken in April 1, 2013.
2012-08-26 Hours: 0.3 Category: Journal Manual Ref: ID#: 1190
First flight of N194MH
Had my first flight today! How exciting. The most surreal feeling I have ever had. It was a perfect evening flight with no surprises. Thanks James Clark for handling my transition training. Thanks Ken Jefferson for allowing us to use your RV-9A for the training. Thanks to Tom Roberts and Ken Harrill for all the help these many years during my build. Thanks to all the RV builders and everyone else at KCUB for all your help and encouragement! It was a great day! James agreed to manage the first flight and we made a plan and stuck to it. After several sessions of transition training, the last being a 1.4 hour session today, and afterward we debriefed, James said, "Go get your plane ready." I had no idea that today would be the day. James flew chase with my wife, Pam, aboard his RV-6. Tom handle ground radio; Ken Harrill was there as Technical Advisor; Steve Richardson was kind enough to leave dinner early from across town to hurry to KCUB to be videographer. I look forward to seeing the video. I taxied out to the runway, did my run-up and all the checks, and departed for three laps around the pattern at 1600 ft. No surprise on the take off roll, nor during the flight. The landing was smooth, perhaps one of my best, and I felt no shimmy. The landing roll was smooth. Taxied back to the hangar and shut 4MH down. Pam brought out the champagne and we passed the bottle around to celebrate one of the greatest days of my life. Thanks to everyone who was there!
Run-up prior to first flight. Adrenaline was flowing!
First flight of N194MH in the evening of Sunday, August 26, 2012.
James and I celebrating with a bottle of bubbly. Thanks James!

12 Long, Long, Long Years Ago Today:

2005-10-16 Hours: 1.25 Category: Fuselage Helper: Cheryl Manual Ref: 8-10 ID#: 772
Still more riveting the fuse
Riveted more of the fuse skins at the corner ribs. There are about 20 more rivets to be done before rolling the fuse.

13 Long, Long, Long Years Ago Today:

2004-10-16 Hours: 2.5 Category: Wing Manual Ref: 7-10 ID#: 475
Began riveting the inboard top skin to the wing
Put the fuel tank back on the wing. Clecoed on the inboard top skin and wing walk doubler. Riveted most of the sixth from inboard top skin to rib rivets. I worked from aft to fore (bottom to top as it is oriented on the H-Frame). As I got within about ten rivets from the top I realized that I had not riveted the fore most (top most) wing rib to main spar rivets that lie under the tank skin that overlaps on the wing spar. I removed the tank and squeezed those rivets top and bottom and replaced the fuel tank. I finished riveting the number six rib/top skin rivets.
The right wing with LE riveting completed and the tank in place. Ready to skin!
Riveting some inboard top skin to rear spar rivets. I need a pillow!

2004-10-16 Hours: 1 Category: Wing Helper: Robert Manual Ref: 7-10 ID#: 474
Riveted the last LE rib to the wing spar web
My good friend Robert helped me get that last LE nose rib to wing spar web riveted. It was the third from inboard rib that is pretty much impossible to do alone. Ready for top skins!
My friend Robert mans the rivet gun.
Me with my arm stuck way up into the LE, holding the bucking bar.
Robert and me pose for a picture after finishing the LE to wing rivets.

2004-10-16 Hours: 1.25 Category: Wing Manual Ref: 7-10 ID#: 473
Finished riveting the LE skin to wing spar rivets
Got the rest of the LE skin to wing spar rivets done this morning.

14 Long, Long, Long Years Ago Today:

2003-10-16 Hours: 1.75 Category: Wing Manual Ref: 7-3 ID#: 406
Clecoed and drilled the right wing frame assembly
Disassembled left wing ribs from spars; deburred all holes and dimpled outboard rib to rear spar holes. Clecoed and drilled holes in right wing ribs to main and rear spars.
Clecoing the rear spar to the right wing frame assembly.

Copyright 2003 - 2017 Mike Hoover. All rights reserved.