Day 12 - December 19, 2009

This weeks work session was our last for 2009.

We have now completed eight 5.5 hour Saturday work sessions which we did actual construction on the RV-12 kit.

At this weeks session we began construction of both flaperons, made more progress on both wings, and completed the inventory of our fuselage kit (a major project...there are about as many parts in the fuselage kit as there is in the wing and emp./tail cone kits combined).

The emp. tail cone kit work was finalized with the completion of the pitch trim mechanism, and bolting the last control horn onto the stabilator. After completing the kit inventory, some initial work was started on the fuselage construction.

Both teams building the wings finished (finally...they were getting a little tired of deburring and fluting) with all of the part preparation and they will be starting next time with the steps that install ribs on the wing spars.

We discovered the danger of working with a construction manual that was written in the context of one person doing the work by themself.  Some of the wing nose ribs need to have some trimming completed on them...with two teams (three members each team) working separately on the two wings, we ended up with five too many ribs getting modified for one of the wings...fortunately we knew where to find more.

We are taking a two week break for the Christmas and New Years holidays but we will be back to work on Saturday Jan 9, 2010

Day 11 - December 12, 2009

Not all that unusual for this time of year in Oregon...the weather forecast for the day of our work session was for a strong chance of a major ice storm in our area. Consequently the decision was made to postpone the project open house day that we had scheduled.

We still held this weeks work session for anyone that braved the bad weather, and in case the forecast conditions didn't happen (which for the most part they did not).

Eight of our twelve team members made it to the work session and most of our mentors as well.

More progress was made on both of the wings with all part preparation now completed and the teams are ready to start attaching ribs to the spars.

We also had another major milestone with one of our teams completing the Stabilator (other than the attachment of one of the control arms). This team will be starting on our fuselage kit next week.

We have one more work session scheduled for 2010 and then we will be taking two weeks off for the Christmas and New Years Holidays, but we will be back to work on Jan 9th 2010.

Day 10 - December 5, 2009

This week we saw the completion of another major subassembly.

The Tail cone is finished!

All of the team members got a chance to see how torsionally stiff a large structure such as this can be, but still be so light in weight.

One skin has now been installed on the stabilator so it should be completed at our next session.. The other two teams made good progress on preparation of the fwd and aft wing spars so we should see main wing structure assembly begin during our next work session.

At our next session we are holding a project open house to allow Team Members family and friends, organizers of the Teen Flight program, and financial donors to come and view the progress that has been made so far.

Day 9 - November 21, 2009

This session begins our third month since we started the program at the end of September (How time fly's).

There is a short article written by Richard Vangrunsven (where the 'RV 'in the model name comes from) published recently in the Van's Aircraft, Inc. newsletter, "The RVator".  The article can be found at

In our work session this week the inventory of the wing kit was completed and all of the hardware organized.

Two of our four teams started construction on the left and right wings with the other two teams nearing completion of the Tail Cone and the Stabilator.

We are taking a break on the Saturday following Thanksgiving day but when we come back to work the following week we expect to start doing some work on the fuselage kit.

Day 8 - November 14, 2009

We ended week Eight with the tail cone about half assembled and the Stabilator completed to a point that it is ready for attaching the skins.

The Rudder, Vertical Stabilizer, and both halves of the anti-servo tab are completed. Next week some of the team will be starting on wing assembly.

The Teams are making great strides in their familiarity with the tools and plans. Each week is more and more exciting!

Day 7 - November 7, 2009

This week we hit the the first construction milestone with the completion of the Rudder assembly for the RV-12. The Vertical Stabilizer is very close to being completed, and the Stabilator and Tail Cone aren't far behind that.

This week our lecture time focused on installation of bolt and screw fasteners, different ways of safetying them and installing them with proper torque values.

We took delivery of our wing kit this week and some team members will be doing inventory and starting to deburr and prepare parts at our next session.

Day 6 - October 31, 2009

The Teams are already making good progress on the Empenage kit. They have been at work on it for less than two sessions and the Vertical Stabilizer and Rudder are almost completed.

The tail cone parts have been prepared and they will likely have it nearly riveted together by the end of the work session next week.

The work on the Stabilator is also progressing well. At the current rate of progress we expect to have at least one team starting to work on Wing kit parts at the next work session.

Keep checking back to see how quickly these twelve teenagers turn all of these parts into an RV-12 Experimental Light Sport Aircraft.

Day 5 - October 24, 2009

Today was the big day. We made the transition from learning processes and techniques required to build an airplane, to actually building one.

In the process I think all the team members are in agreement that even though we have completed the learning projects, their is still a lot more to learn.

The group of twelve is now divided into four teams of three members each. Each team is working on one of the four major assemblies that we are starting out with. The Tail Cone, Stabilator, Vertical Stabilizer, and the Rudder.

A large portion of the deburring needed on parts was completed and some assembly was begun. With twelve pairs of hands working on these assemblies, we expect progress to go quickly and we will be moving on to the Wings and Fuselage very soon.

Day 4 - October 17, 2009

The team members have made great progress working on their training projects.  Everyone's skills have greatly improved.

By the end of today's session, most everyone has finished their tool box project, and the rest are nearly finished. We ended our day by moving a pile of RV-12 Empenage kit parts onto one of our work tables.

Next Saturday is the big day...we will do an inventory of the kit to get familiar with all of the parts we have been studying in the construction manual, and then we will finally begin working on real airplane parts.

We will be working on the entire empenage kit and fuselage tailcone at the same time, with the 12 teens divided up into four teams with 3 members in each team.

Day 3 - October 10, 2009

Each team member received a kit and a set of plans for their new project - their own individual tool boxes.

Construction of this project expanded their awareness of various drill bit sizes, rivet sizes and general overall use of the tools needed for the future RV-12 project. At the end of the day, the bottom half of the boxes were complete and everyone was studying the next steps to complete the top of the toolbox, attaching the piano hinge and locking hardware by next week.

The mentors gave a lot of feedback on how the team is really coming into their own and getting used to the handling of drills, rivet squeezers, and deburring tools.

Day 2- October 3, 2009

We now have a full crew of twelve teens in the program. They range in ages 14 to 17. Approximately half of them completed their second training project by the end of the day and the rest are almost finished. They have been learning a lot of the basic fundamentals of sheet metal aircraft construction and during this next week, they will be reading the first construction section of the RV-12 assembly manual as homework. If all goes well, we are only a few weeks away from working on real airplane parts!

Day 1 - September 26, 2009

Today, all teens (Team) arrived with their family members at 9:00am and got acquainted with the program, the mentors, and the upcoming project.

By 11:00am the family members headed out and the team started on their first project. Building their own name tags. This project consisted of a small piece of sheet metal, a pin back with 3 holes in it, and rivits. The project was developed to get some experience in de-burring sheet metal edges, drilling and riveting. There were no instructions provided, so the benefit from this was to start team members discussing the best options and tools with their mentors. Everyone completed this project within an hour's time.

After lunch, the team started, but did not complete, their second project. This project consisted of two different thicknesses of sheet metal, and rivets. However, this project also came with a set of plans! The plans are written in the same format as the upcoming RV-12 project and should be a great launching pad for when they start that project. The team ended the day halfway through the project and was given a homework assignment to study certain pages of the plans in order to be prepared to complete the project at the next work session scheduled for October 3rd. I don't think that anyone knows yet what it is that they are building on the second!

Kick off Meeting for Teens and Mentors

This meeting is to take place on September 26th, 2009. This will be the initial meeting where the teens meet the mentors that will be assisting them with their project and also a time to get familiar with the equipment and the RV-12.

It is expected that the teens will be working 6 hours every Saturday with the hopes of having a completed RV-12 by Spring of 2010.