One Week Wonder Day 1--The Race (Against the Clock) Begins

Builder briefing before the start.

We are building an RV-12iS this week. Not just working on an RV-12 build but literally building a complete plane this week. And, what makes this a special, worthwhile event is that crowd of AirVenture attendees will watch the work for a time with more folks at home watching via streaming technology. 

Jack Pelton opens the effort.

Jack Pelton opened the project at 8 am Monday morning and controlled chaos ensued. The Van's boxes were opened, parts unwrapped and distributed onto organized tables, then the volunteers got to work. Many of the volunteer builders are members of the various teen builder groups from around the country. Others come from around the world. I mentored Eileen Davidson, a young woman from Paris, France, who has no building experience but proved an adept learner. More experienced teens plowed ahead on their own with minimal oversight from Van's employees and pre-determined leads.

Building starts.

This build is following a modified order to ensure rapid success. Wings were a priority and they were completed today. Tomorrow, drop-in volunteers will have the opportunity to pull a rivet or two on the wings and contribute to the effort.

Van helps wing spar work.

The RV-12 is a remarkably complete kit with match-hole technology, facilitating a quick build, but the factory has also made a few "modifications" to help smooth the road. Significant de-burring of edges was made in Oregon before shipping. Pieces that require separation have already been cut and their edges smoothed. Our tasks are almost entirely assembly.

Noontime progress.

Work stopped at 5 pm and will resume at 8 am tomorrow. Many builders will return but some new faces will show up for each shift. If you are at AirVenture and didn't volunteer already, think about dropping by to pulled a rivet or two. There will be hundreds of builders on this plane!

End of day

Louise Hose

Louise Hose is an instrument-rated, commercial pilot who regularly flies her RV-6, her husband’s RV-8, and an RV-3B and a Dream Tundra, which they built together. They live in Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada. She also edits the monthly, free digital newsletter, The Homebuilder’s Portal by KITPLANES®.

2 Replies to “One Week Wonder Day 1--The Race (Against the Clock) Begins”

  1. The most satisfying job I ever had was at Boeing when I saw the airplane I worked on from the very start of airplane build to the first flight. To watch that airplane take off for the first time is so gratifying I actually shed a tear or two with my heart full of joy. At that time it was the 767-200. The anticipation in watching the first flight was so exciting I almost peed in my pants. Thank you, Boeing, for allowing me to experience that event.

  2. The published finish build time at 17.00 is far too early - as every home-builder knows we always work far later. Perhaps 21.00 hrs daily finish time should be implemented to achieve an even sooner finish?

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