Time: 4 Hours
Yesterday Vans aircraft came out with a new service letter that applied to the RV-8. It appears they have had some completed aircraft have issues with the skin on the sides of the fuselage at the very tail end. The problem stems from rapid turns on the ground while hitting bumps causing a side load to the skin. The few aircraft had some creasing of the skin in the affected area. So Vans came up with a fix which adds a piece of angle aluminum riveted to the skin at an angle. This helps carry the increased stress of side loads. There isn’t a requirement to complete this step but recommended. When I got up this morning we had already planned on moving the fuselage over to the paint shop.
I asked the painter if he would mind me working on the fix while in his hangar and he didn’t have an issue with that. His hangar is only a block away from our house/hangar so moving tools back and forth wasn’t an issue. The install was pretty straight forward and allowed me to buck some rivets which I hadn’t done in a while. I didn’t take many photos as it was hot and I didn’t want to stop working so I wasn’t in the painters way. He spent most of the day laying out the left wing paint masks and figuring all his measurements.
Here is a look at the two angle pieces I created and in place on the outside of the skin for drilling purposes. Once they were all done I cleaned the edges and primed them before riveting them in place. I’m glad this service letter came out when it did and I could complete it before the painting started.