Visiting Patrick’s RV

My good friend Patrick is just starting to build an RV, and he gave us a tour of his shop and progress.


 Here, Patrick is lurking in the inky shadows.  Since the flash feature is broken on my camera, and since the shiny new aluminum skin was reflecting bright sunlight, you can’t see him very well.  He is building the RV-7, which of course has a much different mission than the Bearhawk.  The wing construction is still very similar though.


Work Table

You can see that he has some nice carpet squares to pad the bench around his C-frame dimple/rivet station.


Apart, together 1; Apart, together 2; Apart, together...

Apart, together 1; Apart, together 2; Apart, together...

Patrick says that airplane building involves a lot of putting things together and taking them back apart again.  Sort of like those exercises we used to do in elementary school.  Here he’s building up the spar for the horizantal stabilizer.


Plans and Motivation

Here is a view in the plans of the completed RV-7, conveniently posted for motivation and reference.


Detailed Plans

You can see that the RV plans are much more detailed than the Bearhawk plans.  The RV has a step-by-step assembly process that is laid out clearly by the manufacturer.  The Bearhawk is a bit more of a puzzle, and part of the challenge of building it is filling in the blanks.  This is another major difference between Patrick’s project and mine.  I wouldn’t say that one philosophy is necessarily better than the other, but rather just that they are quite different.


Emily and Tabitha Too

Here he’s telling Tabitha about how his fingers are sore from using a 1/4″ drill bit for hole deburring.  Emily had been studying when we arrived, and we came on very short notice!  Hopefully one day we can fly both airplanes to Oshkosh.  Patrick can take Emily, and we can take all of their stuff.  They’ll have to wait for us at the fuel stops though!

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