2nd Dec 2022
Kyle Wallace (our EAA Chapter Young Eagles coordinator) is building a RV-12is.
All of the empennage and wing sections are completed as of November 28th. The shop is rather crowded at the moment as I haven’t found a safe place for both flaperons yet.
I started work on the fuselage center section bulkhead and completed the first 6 steps on December 1st, 2022.
There is a lot of work ahead to complete the fuselage. I will start working on a paint/primer setup so I can switch from rattle cans to a water based epoxy primer. That will eat up more shop space so it will need to be portable. I have the finish kit on order, but the lead time is nearly a year (as of December 1st, 2022). I have to go remind myself what I’m doing.
March 20th, 2023
I have completed Section 22 Forward Lower Fuselage. I’m well into Section 23, the Side Skins. This section also includes all the work on the longerons. I spent a few days working on the longerons and getting them as close to perfect as I possibly could. They could have been better, but perfection is the enemy of progress. I have finished prepping all the parts and will be painting them in a large batch soon. I expect the work required prior to match-drilling the longerons will happen very quickly once the painting is complete. I couldn’t help myself and I had to cleco the side skins in place just to check how well everything fit together. I am always mildly amazed when everything lines up and clecos together without any drama. I expect that this section will be complete before the end of March. I am excited to rivet on the side skins because I am really getting low on LP4-3 blind rivets. Every time I pull one, I celebrate that the riveting is that much closer to being finished. I included a selfie just to prove I’m the one actually building this aircraft.
May 4th, 2023
There has been a lot of progress recently. The side skin install was completed. This was quickly followed by the rollover hoop and rear baggage bulkhead. This section involved a large number of countersunk rivets that will eventually be underneath the rear window and canopy. The rollover hoop has to be mounted and unmounted several times to get all the mounts drilled correctly. Finally, once all the drilling was finished, it was time to paint and then assemble. Everything went together as easy as pie… it is always a little surprising. I had hoped to finish before May, but the rear bulkhead and top brace weren’t completed until May Day. No worries, I was able to prep and assemble the seat backs and braces in two days. Next week I will be starting on the fuel tank.
May 26th, 2023
Fuel tank is fully assembled… it was a pain because there is no place to hold it that doesn’t have a bunch of sealant. Now I’m just waiting until I can pressure test it and see how good a job I actually did.
July 26th, 2023
In honor of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, I have been working on my build rather than having fun in Wisconsin. I just took delivery of the finish kit, but I'm still finishing up the final tasks on the fuselage. Currently, I'm cutting, flaring and bending fuel lines. I really hope these fittings don't leak... I would hate to have to pull these lines after the airframe is fully assembled.
August 4th, 2023
The hard fuel lines are all completed. Rudder pedals and brake master cylinders installed. Today I assembled the brake lines. I need to complete the inventory of my Finish Kit, so I will start the forward upper fuselage and instrument panel as soon as I have that finished. I should be on to the flight controls by the middle of the August.
August 23rd, 2023
The final steps of the RV12is fuselage kit are quickly getting checked off. The forward upper fuselage (avionics bay) is nearly complete. Just a few more dimples and rivets remaining before moving to the finish kit plans. About two days away from starting on the flight controls (already prepped everything that needs paint). I should have control sticks by the end of the month.
September 13th, 2023
Flight controls are installed and ready for airplane noises... I got the seat cushions, so as soon as I get the landing gear installed, I will jump in and start visualizing the first flight.
October 12th, 2023
October 20th, 2023
Instrument panel and avionics are finished. The wiring is mostly complete, but I have to wait on a few parts. I have moved onto the landing gear, but I'm also waiting on a few parts before I can put it down on its own legs.
November 10th, 2023
I have mostly run out of stuff to do unless Van's starts sending me some backordered parts... or a Power Plant kit. It sits on its own legs now. I have even jumped in a few times and tried it on for size. I am considering moving the wings out and installing the tailcone... that would allow me to move forward with the canopy, but I'm still waiting on some of the canopy parts.
December 9th, 2023
January 26th, 2024 update
Quick photo dump of mounting the wings for the first time today. John Ely and Juergen Nies came over to help out. It went pretty quickly and very little drama. I was able to match drill the controls for the ailerons. Then it was wings off and back into the workshop. Thanks again to John and Juergen!"