About the project
About the builder
Panel 1
Panel 2
Cowl & plenum
Flying & testing
Ideas & products
Picture gallery
Other builders
hosted here:
Randy Griffin
Jeff Jasinsky
Mike Robbins



Copyright 1999-2005 by Randy Lervold, Romeo Lima Consulting. All rights reserved.

(click on a pic to see a larger version)

FuseBox.jpg (86577 bytes) It all has to start somewhere. This proves that I built the "slow build" variety rather than the QuickBuild.
Fuse0.jpg (529621 bytes) Make sure you get your jig straight in every dimension. The firewall must be vertical in every direction also. Don't ask me how I know all this... please.
Fuse2.jpg (38436 bytes) Of the major airframe sections clearly the fuselage is the most complex. There are far more parts and lots of angles. The first thing you encounter, before you jig anything, is assembling the seat bottom area as a subassembly. That is when you realize this is going to be a lot tougher than the empennage or wings. There's a good reason why they have you build it after the empennage and wings... you'd be clueless if you dove in right here.
Fuse5.jpg (39287 bytes) One of the frustrations of building these things is that you will get something all drilled correctly only to have to take it all apart again to deburr, dimple, and prime. It's like building everything at least twice. Looks like I've got a fuselage here, but it all had to come back apart.
FuseOut1.jpg (112672 bytes) Getting the fuselage out of the jig becomes a goal you focus on. Once you get it out and flip it right side up it's called a "canoe", see why?
FuseOut3.jpg (116020 bytes) Here's my friends and fellow RV-8 builders, Jeff (left) and Randy (right) savoring the accomplishment.
Cowl1.jpg (30818 bytes) This is the F-821 cockpit cowl skin. Some builder's drill this now but leave it clecoed until later so they have access to the area behind the panel. I opted to rivet it fairly soon because I didn't want to have to rivet working around all the wiring etc. Also, I think it provides a more rigid structure to mate the baggage door and windscreen to. In retrospect I'm glad I did it that way.
Cowl3.jpg (44344 bytes) Starting to resemble an actual aircraft cockpit here!
GearLegBolts1.jpg (49651 bytes) Note that the landing gear outboard u-bracket needed to be chamfered in order to clear the skin. I'm convinced that the placement dimension on these outboard brackets should be 3/8" instead of the specified 3/16" from the lower longeron vertex. There's plenty of room for it to slide inboard a bit which would let everything fit much better.
GearLegsMounted.jpg (75494 bytes) Gear legs are now mounted. After months and months of drilling soft aluminum, drilling the holes in the steel parts was quite a shock. The trick is to use new bits, apply steady pressure, use a slow speed, and use lubrication. Glad that's over with!
SeatMod4.jpg (52611 bytes) While scrutinizing the factory RV-8A at AirVenture '99 I noticed they had modified the sides of the rear seatbacks so as to provide better clearance for the rear lap belts (they exit the slots in the sides visible here). Great, thanks for telling me! I went home and made the modification you see here which is very similar to what they had done. Shortly thereafter they modified the seatback sides to incorporate this clearance.
BaggageDoor.jpg (53115 bytes) Another reason why I wanted to rivet the F-821 skin early was to make sure I got a good foundation for building the baggage door and making it fit well. It takes a bit of tweaking to get this thing to fit well, but it will be highly visible once the plane is done so I think time is well spent here.
EmpMounted.jpg (92751 bytes) Mounting the empennage is fairly straightforward. I highly recommend you borrow or buy a SmartLevel for this phase. Frankly, I wouldn't consider any of the critical alignment phases without it. It will reliably indicate to within .1 degree. I want my airplane straight! Confession: my fuselage ended up with a .4 degree twist in it. Van's tells me that this is not a concern until you get up to 2 degrees so I feel ok about it. I mounted the VS .2 degrees off to split the difference in the error. This is only possible with the accuracy afforded by the SmartLevel.
WingsMounted.jpg (39966 bytes) Again I used the smart level in setting the main wing incidence. This is another place where it looks like a real airplane only to have to come all apart again... darn. At this point I mounted and aligned the ailerons, flaps, flap fairings, and wingtips. See the Wings page for info on this process, it's an important one.
HangEngine1.jpg (84565 bytes) At last, my sparkling new engine takes it's rightful place on the front of the airplane.
Where to now? With the fuselage structure done it's time to move on to the Finish Kit. this includes the canopy, cowling, electrical systems, the panel, mounting the wings/ailerons/flaps, and firewall forward (FWF) area. See any of the pages on those areas for the next phases.