the airplane garage

 

N354MD ASSEMBLY LOG

 

I am currently working on the canopy (link).

 

 

 

History

 

 

 

 

Preparations

 

 

 

 

Empennage

 

 

 

 

Wings

 

 

 

 

Fuselage

 

 

 

 

Finishing

 

 

 

 

Wing Install

 

 

 

 

Systems

 

 

 

 

Powerplant

 

 

 

 

Interior

 

 

 

 

Painting

 

 

 

 

Test Flight

 

 

 

 

LINKS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This web site was created to document the construction of an RV-7 experimental airplane. The project was started on April 23, 2002.  At that time I placed an order at Van's Aircraft in Aurora, Oregon for one of their kit airplanes.  This vehicle comes with "Some assembly required."  I suspect that it will take several years to complete however, as the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR's) say, this project will be for "Recreation and Education."

 

 Before I go further with the narration I need to write a disclaimer

This project and this web site were started solely for my personal enjoyment and to document the construction of an airplane from a kit, designed and manufactured by Van's Aircraft in Aurora, Oregon. If you or anyone you know use any ideas that were developed at this site, please do so at your own risk!  Improper use of tools, especially power tools, can injure you, blind you or cripple you. Materials used to make paint and primer are hazardous, poisonous and volatile. Sheet metal has sharp edges and can severely cut you.  I am not trying to teach you or anyone else how to build an airplane.  I am merely building one of my own and showing you how I did it.

 

I originally started the following narration in Microsoft Word as a formal printed log with pictures. I wanted to make it as easy as I could for the DAR who would ultimately be asked to issue an "Experimental Airworthiness Certificate" should I be lucky enough to finish this project.   I converted the log to HTML in early 2005 so that I could publish it on the Internet. 

 

I had other motivations for publishing the construction process.  So many others have published their logs in this fashion and I have sucked information from them.  I thought that it was time to give something back.  I also wanted to learn about publishing on the "Web."  That is a part of my "Education" during this journey.

 

When the airplane is finished, it will have the following description;

  • Aircraft Manufacturer: Damian H. Weber Sr.

  • Aircraft Model: Vans RV-7

  • Aircraft Serial Number: 70827

  • FAA Registration Number: N354MD

In preparation for this task, I had to buy a lot of new tools.  I had to turn my garage into a workshop.  I had to build a paint booth so that I had a place to prime parts.

 

Speaking of primer, one of the decisions I had to make very early in the game was whether or not to prime all or some of the parts.  Knowing that I have fed my family for the last several years by making repairs to airplanes with serious corrosion problems and that the environment of Southeast Florida is very hard on aluminum in general and airplanes in particular, the decision was easy, prime all of the parts.  That reasoning sounds profound, doesn't it?  In reality, I primed the inside of the aircraft for the same reason that I intend to paint the exterior, I like the way yellow epoxy polyamide primer looks.  I used a commercially available primer that has Boeing Spec "BAC 377" made by DeSoto division of PRC Sealants, Inc.  I also used Sherwin Williams CMO724400 primer to test it out.  It is available to anyone at one of their automotive retail outlets.   These are both high quality primers.  The DeSoto primer dries faster so you can use the part sooner.  Both of these primers are two part epoxy and when they are dry they have the same qualities as top coat and are corrosion resistant and fluid resistant.  Strong solvents will not phase them when dry and moisture will not penetrate them.  There are other brands of good quality primer available.  These are just the ones that I used.

 

As you are reading this narrative, you will obviously see some references to the state of Tennessee.  My wife and I own a small aviation company called Jet Harbor, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  In August of 2002, we acquired an FBO (Fixed Base Operation) in Gallatin Tennessee which is 20 KM Northeast of Nashville.  We took this entire project up there in August, 2002.  In May, 2003, we brought the Fuselage and Finish kits back to Florida.  I work on the wings in my spare time in Tennessee and I work on the fuselage in my spare time in Florida.

 

Push the links at the left to get to the other areas of this site.  Note: I did not build the airplane in chronological order.  I did, however, lay this web site out in the same basic order as the plans.  There are some variations. 

 

When I started the project, I went step by step exactly as the plans were laid out.  After several months of progress, I started constructing per the drawings while using the plans for a reference.  If you are reading this and are contemplating building one of these, I suggest that you follow the plans exactly.  They are well written and fairly easy to follow although the deeper you get into the construction the more they have a tendency to leave you on your own.  By that time however, you probably will be getting pretty good at reading drawings.

 

You will notice that I have deviated from the plans in a few areas. Any modifications I make aren't accomplished in the vein of criticism of the overall design of this aircraft.  They will be done to personalize this airplane to suit my own taste.

 

Please enjoy the site and thanks for dropping by.

 

Sincerely

 

Damian H. Weber Sr.

 

email: dhweber1@theairplanegarage.com