Van's Air Force - Western Canada Wing
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Western Canada Wing
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Barry Tunzelmann's RV-6 Project

November 7, 2000

The past months have seen some real progress in my -6 fuselage. It is now starting to look like an airplane, but is still a long way from rubber leaving the pavement. Career and house renovations have taken their toll as well.

Basically, I have adhered strictly to the Van's plans and have rejected any desire to deviate and try to implement "improvements," which so many others have before me. I take note of a recent article from Terri Jantzi when he stated that the fuselage skin stiffeners he had installed have now shown cracking at the ends of the stiffeners because he did not attach the stiffener brackets to the bulkheads. Another proponent of adhering to Van's plans is Eustace Bowhay. His achievements and experiences speak for themselves in matters like this.

Once the fuselage was turned upright, I noticed an ever so slight twist. So I sawed off the legs of the jig (I can 'cause it's mine) and placed the fuselage close to the floor for work height convenience. The jig allowed me to level the fuselage and cross brace at the tail end from the top of the rear fin attachment area (Bulkhead F612) down to each side of the jig. To hold the front end I placed the wood wing spar simulators in place, bolted them in tight and braced directly down to the main fuselage supports. This has held the fuselage perfectly level for the top work and the placement of the skins. I then installed a temporary plywood floor to allow someone to lie down inside the fuselage without having a bulkhead dig in to you and also to protect the bulkheads and floor from damage during the building process.

I found the rollbar a very time consuming project for what it seemed to be. Sometimes a simple job is difficult and vice versa. I did remember to lower the F632A Rollbar to bulkhead support in order to be able to remove the bugs that seem to accumulate there after a short period of flying. The level called for in the plans does not allow a cloth to be pulled through the gap. The plans call for a .032" shim between the F674 skin and the F632B angle. I increased this to 3/16". The rudder cables are now installed as I am trying to get everything that belongs inside the fuselage (wiring, rudder cables, seat belt anchors and elevator controls) to avoid having to get in after I remove the temporary floor that I have installed. I have used my 3 year old ProSeal to glue the rudder cable bushings in to the bulkheads. At time of writing this update I have to rivet the F674 skin on and will start on the Baggage compartment bulkhead cover and floor.

I keep a log book on progress and so far have 930 hours into my project spread over 5 years. I am trying to get the next 400 hours in less than 12 months. Hopefully I can make real progress and at leasdt have the aircraft on static display at the Salmon Arm Air Affair next year.

November 21, 2001

I am working in the land of milk and honey now. Edmonton. Looks like a long term contract unless BC can pull something out of the hat soon. So I am moving the project up here to finish it as I have every weeknight and every second weekend (2days) to work on the plane without being nagged.

Met 4 RV builders from around the area with only one from Edmonton proper.

If I am dedicated enough I should be able to fly the plane out to BC sometime in June.

There are also some pictures of Eustace and Doug Pearce helping me to install the cowling.

April 28, 2002

These most recent photos are not quite up to date. I have however, installed the wingtips, wing root fairings, flaps and ailerons working now, control rods done and am waiting for some fuel line fittings to finish the fuel system before I can remove the wings. Then it is tail controls to be fitted, engine, firewall stuff, avionics, wiring, paint and upholstery. Of course some of theses items will be done concurrently.

October 11, 2002

Barry sent the latest photos on October 11, 2002.

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