Building an RV-10


The RV-10 is the latest addition to the family of metal aircraft from Van's Aircraft. It is a four seater and our  family needs that many seats. The reason for an aircraft is to be able to travel from Switzerland to Sweden in an easier and more pleasant way than by car today.


Different from other aircraft is that you have to build it yourself! This means an undertaking of several years. Fortunately I am not alone. Experimental Associacion of Switzerland (EAS), the counterpart to the US EAA or the English PFA or even the Swedish EAA, helps (?) through the process.





Suddenly you have to start to decide on a lot of things you didn't have to during the early stages of the build. You just took your plans, tried to locate the parts and processed them according to the innstructions. Suddenly there are on plans, no parts and no instructions anymore. How shall your panel and cockpit be, how will your interior look? All these decisions take time. You can look at some of ther decisions under Interior and Instrument Panel.

On the right you can see two enthusiasts!







Since my last update I have been able to work about 110 hours. The doors are done (except windows). And the landing gear is on.


The engine has been approved and is ordered. It is expected to arrive in February 08. It will be a BPA IO540-X. That's a Lycoming IO-540 Engine with 260 HP - the standard engine for the RV-10.


On the left you see I made my first landing. Apropos landing: I had my first solo flight last week ( didn't I tell you I could not even fly ?)





As updating the web site is lowest priority, I have three month to report. Well, as summer holidays was on the agenda, only two month were productive. Most important was the arrival of the finishing kit as well as firewall forward kit.
After having done inventory, I could finish off several fuselage chapters that had been stalled due to a missing nutplate! After that I've been busy with the doors - the first chapter in the 'finishing kit'.








Unfortunately I am not able to keep up with monthly updates. In the last couple of month the another obligation have entered my life - the youth group of our local church. Therefore I have to apply a strict time management - and Web updates are not top priority.


Nonetheless there has been progress. The different systems in the cockpit heve been installed - at leas as far as I can do it by now. I am missing some parts that either weren't shipped, were damaged by me or lost. They are reordered.


I treated the Firewall with a kind of paint for sound proofing and insulation. It's called Noxudol 3100.


I also try to do alot of small items that have been left over. On of these was the Service Bulletin for the Vertical Stabilizer doubler sb06-2-3.pdf.


I visited the Aero Friedrichshafen where I got to meet Michael Wellenzohn (the other Swiss RV-10 builder) for the first time, as well as alot of the participants of the German Forum.


The finishing kit together with the firewall forward kit will arrive next month; see you then...




1210 hours and still counting...


  • They say that you are middle through the build process when you order the so called Finishing Kit. And that's what I've done... so it will take me 2420 hours to finish ;-)
  • I have almost no metal parts to treat any more...
  • I'm waiting for the stuff to insulate my firewall and before that I can't install any systems near the firewall...
  • I've started to develop my electrical system...
  • I've started the interior cockpit design...







As long as my tail cone is in place, I want to do all work that seems to be necessary with the tail cone on. I will then remove the tailcone to get more space again...

Trimming the cabin cover is one of these tasks - you can read more about it here.




Happy New Year!


At the end of a year it's tine to draw the balance. Two years of building and 1100 hours done. OK. OK I exaggerated again, it was only 1099.75h. But I must say that I am very satisfied with this result.I had hoped for 400h/year.

The engine situation is still fuzzy, mainly because the regulations here in Switzerland are uncertain at the moment.

On the right you see the first check of the back seat.





I am reaching the end of Chapter 29 - a chapter that has a mediocre reputation. There are ommisions in the documentation and things that cou can skrew up easily if you are not aware of it. Until now I have been lucky and kept damage to a minimum.


I also started and finished Chapter 30, and even started Chapter 31 - the panel chapter. That's where the fun starts ( ok, ok, it has started two years ago) when it starts looking like an airplane.




Two months since the last update... has he quit?


No! In these two month I have:

  • finished the Flaps
  • finished the Wingtips
  • finished Fwd. Fuse Ribs & Skins
  • started Fuse Side Skins
  • Reached the 1000 hour mark! Image on the right shows what I was doing (drilling the longerons).
  • Started taking flying lessons. What? You build an aircraft without beeing able to fly? Are you crazy? Well I am even crazier than that, I have...
  • bought an engine on EBay. But more when I know more...


But apart from all this, I feel fine!







I am back again!

There has been a lot of activity apart of building: Fly'Ins at Tannkosh (more than 1000 aircrafts!), Höganäs (24 RV's, super weather, great people!) and EAS in Ecuvillens.


Milestone was a leak free second tank, but also the completion of the Mid Fuse Ribs&Skins Chapter. Yvar (my build advisor) was also satisfied with flaps and ailerons.


German speaking people should take note that there is a new RV forum: see the right column.




First chapter (Mid Fuse Bulkheads) of the fuselage completed, Wings Outboard Leading Edges completed - almost 48 hours this month - above the average of 41 hours .-) I also started Mid Fuse Ribs&Skins and the Firewall.

Summer has arrived (finally) so the progress will certainly slow down. But it woud be fun to see some of you at the different Fly-In's this year. I'll be visiting the one's in the right column on this page. See you there!






I was right with my prediction of the progress this month. With 72 hours it was the most productive month so far. OK, I need to clarify things: Building progress was infact only the half; th other half was building a wing stand, fetching my fuselage kit (!), uncrating, inventoring, get everything ordered etc.


But now I am back to building - more to come next month! 





Believe it or not, I am at the point where I am running out of work. Much of the wings are unfinished either because it must be inspected or because I need parts from Van's, which should be delivered together with the fuselage. And that one will not show up either. In my frustration I started cleaning my shop so I can welcome my fuselage accordingly.

So this was not much news. But stay tuned, next month will be full of progress (I hope)!






To justify to start the fuselage next month I had to start all chapters to the wing before, which I managed by adding half an hour on the wing tips! I have installed a build time page for all those who would like to see how long it takes. But bear in mind that build time varies alot between builders.

I also updated the Tanks page and added Bottom Skins and Aileron Actuation.







With only 33.25 hours added to the project this month progress has slowed down a little. Nontheless it was the month of the helping hands. Max, a friend from our new congregation, was willing to make the encounter with the 'Sticky Stuff' aka. Proseal more enjoyable. Besides Max my godson Simon and my daughter helped me. Pictures of them on the Tanks page.

I also made the decision to continue with this project and so I ordered the Fuselage kit. More on this in two month hopefully .






January was a month of remarkable progress. Completion of the Leading Edge, the Top Skins, the Ailerons and almost the Flaps too. Completion means of course 'Ready for Inspection'. I added 66.75h to the hobbs meter this month.







This was the month of the milestones. You have certainly wondered what you do at the 500 hour building mark? Well, on the right you see that deburring the outboard leading edge skins of the wings is that special task.

We also celebrated the first anniversary of this crazy project, and the top wing skins are completed (almost, almost!)






02.12.2005  First Flight!


After the first building crisis we have to announce a major milestone: First Flight. At least for the tailcone. It is now hanging between heaven ans earth in my shop. It is even perfoming aerobatics with inverted flight.


The major setback were bad rivets between the main spar and the ribs. The Wing Rib Page tells you more.


The second setback was the fiberglass work on the empennage. Ir didn't work out well (the elevators didn't move reely any more), so I had to redo it.




Well, I promised you two skeleton wings this month - and here they are! It took me 77 hours to build both wings to this state. I also screwed up my tie down brackets and have to reorder them from Van's. On that order there will also be all the additional stuff I need for the fuel tanks.



This is more or less a lifesign from me, as there is no real visible progress this month. The reasons:
  • Holidays
  • Flood: The picture on the left is not New Orleans, but the lido 100 meters from our home. We were very lucky - 5 cm higher water and our basement had got flooded too!
  • Preparation Work: 30 ribs are now waiting to be primed, along with two rear spars and a whole bunch of other parts. The next priming session will be the biggest so far. I hope I can show you two skeleton wings next month. Stay tuned...






Now for the first time you can really see that an aircraft is evolving in my shop - a fact that several friends, relatives and neighbours have expressed with admiration and horror in their voice.









June was the month of the milestones. After Yvar's visit I finished the  Horizontal Stabilizer on June 04, the Elevators on June 06 and the Tailcone on June 29.


Besides that there was a great RV Flyin in Colmar that I visited on Saturday 11 with the whole family. On the left you see Rahel trying out Roger Hopkinson's RV-6.

Roger is the man who is pushing the 'Ten' in the UK.


The task until summer holidays will be to put all empennage pieces together. The it will start looking like an airplane - at least like the tail. Stay tuned...!




I had my builder advisor - Yvar Vonlanthen - on a visit yesterday. He examined the Horizontal Stabilizer, the Elevators and also the main wing spars. This month I will surely finish these parts and eventually also the tailcone (but no promises!). With 238 hours on the Empennage, I hope to finish it at a little over 300 hours.







I have now reached 200 building hours. Mostly it has been a very fun experience. I like it very much to come home from my job and build for an hour. Thereby I get a distance to my daily job that otherwise has the tendency to eat me up.

Building a metal airplane is also very convenient. It is not very dirty, it doesen't smell, you can do something meaningful in five minutes. The only thing that I am not very fond of is the priming. Here I feen not very competent yet. I am going to change my primer, maybe I will like the new one better.



 And yes, of course these pages are for entertainment purposes only!


Hobbes Meter

Project total:

1615.25 h



Interesting EFIS


Among all different Electronic Flight Instrument Systems (EFIS) popping up like mushrooms, the Stratomaster Odyssey brings a new concept with new thinking in this market.

It is not only the cheapest system, but also the most open system.







May 17-18




May 23-25


Barkarby (SE)

June 7-8







My Engine Builder


Barrett Precision Engines



German Speaking Forum

A new forum for RV aircraft:



European Builders unite

Building an aircraft in Europe is not as easy as in other parts of the world. We have to fight with harder regulations. Therefore we have to help each other! If you are building, or plan to build an RV-10 in an European country, please leave a message through the Contact-Page.



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