Building, testing and operating an experimental aircraft

Drilling the Main Gear

25 Mar 2013

If you haven’t ordered your RV-8 fuselage kit yet, here’s a tip: ditch the Van’s gear and order the Grove one-piece aluminum gear. After my first ground loop in this thing, when I wreck the forward skin and gear towers, I’m getting one too.

Main Gear Alignment Layout Main Gear Alignment Layout

Dad and I spent several hours aligning the main landing gear, using the plumb-bob and isosceles triangle method outlined in Van’s instructions.

Measuring the Triangle Measuring the “Triangle”

And even though we drove ourselves mad measuring and re-measuring, when it finally came time to drill the outboard attach bracket, we somehow ended up moving things out of alignment by about 1/16”.

Drilling the Outboard Attach Bracket Drilling the Outboard Attach Bracket

Brian Drilling Brian Drilling

You’ll hear RV-8 owners talk about how tricky it is to work on anything inside the gear towers, trying to get your bulky hand and a socket wrench inside those tiny holes. It isn’t “tricky,” it’s damn near impossible.

Drilling the Inboard Wear Plate Drilling the Inboard Wear Plate

Somehow, we managed to get all the holes drilled and the fasteners installed. The AN4 bolts are all torqued to spec, but we’ll have to pick up another torque wrench to torque the big AN7s and the attach bracket bolts. It’ll be here Wednesday.

Main Gear Bolts Installed Main Gear Bolts Installed

Inside the Gear Tower Inside the Gear Tower

After installing the bolts, we cleaned up the area and retouched the cross-member with primer. Then we set to installing the bottom skin.

Primer Touch-Up Primer Touch-Up

Oops, I just noticed that we haven’t enlarged the holes to access the AN4 bolt heads through the bottom skin – doh!

Riveting the Bottom Skin Riveting the Bottom Skin

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