April 22. 2023: We started riveting the tailcone skins to the fuselage frames today. The tailcone should be done over the next several sessions. Our fuselage subkit is in crating now at Van's Aircraft, and we expect to have it delivered by July.
The assembly upside down on saw horses as the students rivet the two bottom skins together and to the fuselage frames.
The next step done, riveting the two lower side skins to the bottom skins.
The assembly off the saw horses and turned right side up.
April 15, 2023: Riveting the tailconne fuselage frames and preparing the skins.
April 1, 2023: Four new students joined the program over the past couple of months, so we recently ordered more Toolbox Practice Kits from Van's for them to build. The kits were delivered this past week, and took time this build sessions to work on them. We're also close to finishing construction on our Tailcone/Empenage sub kit. All of the empenage control surfaces are done, anfd we are now working on the tailcone fuselage frames and skins.
March 25, 2023: Milestone day for the students today. Finished construction of the horizontal stabilator, the largest and most complex assembly they have done to date, and moved on to preparing the tailcone skins.
March 11, 2023: Making progress on the tail control surfaces, almost done!
Riveting the main skins to the horizontal stabilator skeleton.
The almost finished product.
March 4, 2023: Placing the horizontal stabilator skins on the skeleton assembly.
Clecoing the skin to the skeleton assembly.
Skinned and ready for riveting.
February 25, 2023: More progross on the horizontal stabilator skeleton assembly.
February 11, 2023:
Finishing work of Van's Service Letter 00068 adding shims to the Horizontal Stabilator mounting brackets.
Riveting the skin on the Vertical Stabilizer.
The finished product.
February 4, 2023: Preparing the Horizontal Stabilator and Vertical Stabilier skins.
January 28, 2023: Continuing work on the horizontal stabilator and the vertical stabilizer.
Removing the two inboard hinge brackets to install the stabilator hinge spacer kit shims as per the recent Van's Aircraft Service Letter-00068.
Installing nutplates on the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer main skin.
The aft bracket for the stabilator counterbalance arm riveted in place.
January 14, 2023: Drilling the holes to secure the horizontal stabilator counterbalance arm to the mounting brackets and working on the skeleton of the vertical stabilizer.
January 7, 2023: Back to work on the airplane after the holiday break.
Riveting the skeleton of the vertical stabilizer.
Working on attaching the control horns to the horizontal stabilator spar assembly.
Hinge brackets alodined and ready for installation on the horizontal stabilator spar assembly.
December 17, 2022: We worked on the horizontal stabilator today, and then took a break early at the end of the session to celebrate the end of a very successful first year. We'll take the next two weekends off for the holidays and start back up again on January 7, 2023.
Hard at work prepping components of the horizontal stabilator.
Riveting the box structure for the horizontal stabilator spar assembly.
Thanks to our students and their families for a great first year.
December 10, 2022: Today, students continued work on the empennage of our first RV-12iS build, and also did some repair work on the horizontal stabilitor of our RV-12ULS airframe.
Deburring holes and sanding edges of the horizontal stabilator front spar.
Match drilling the rudder hinge assemblies for the vertical stabilizer rear spar.
One of our students does some repair work on the already complete RV-12ULS horizontal stabiltor.
October 29, 2022: More work today on the rudder and the stabilator trim tabs, and some time checking out the original Davis DA-2. This aircraft was actually built by the designer, Leeon D. Davis, and is owned by one of our mentors. Looking over the V-tailed aircraft gave us a good opportunity to talk about aerodynamics and different types of control surface configurations.
October 22, 2022: Working on the skins for the stabilator trim tabs and the rudder.
Octoner 15, 2022: Finishing work on the vertical stabilizer for now.
Next step will be priming the parts in preparation fpr assembly.
Moving on to the rudder.
October 8, 2022: Continuing work on the vertical stabilizer.
Guest speaker for the day, John Panchesine, discusses his role as our Technical Advisor with our students.
October 1, 2022: Working on the Vertical Stabilizer
September 24, 2022: Work began today on aircraft build number 1, an RV-12iS, starting with the Vertical Stabilizer.
Rounding the forward edges of the rib flanges.
Fluting the ribs.
Filing and sanding the edges of the rib flanges.
September 10, 2022: The Empennage/Tailcone kit for our first RV-12iS arrived earlier this week. Most of today's build session was spent uncrating the parts and taking inventory of the kit.
One last check of the paperwork. All parts listed on the packing slip were accounted for. Just a couple of items on backorder.
With time left in the building session, it was back to finishing the Van's Toolbox Kits.
August 27, 2022: Fantastic build session today! Our students finished up their Van's Metalworking projects and moved on to their Van's Toolbox projects. Enthusiasm was high as they opened their kits, inventoried the parts, and read through the instructions.
After that, hard at work putting the projects together. Match drilling holes, dimpling, and squeezing rivets. When they are done, each student will have their own toolbox to store their personal equipment in between sessions. We have a great group of kids. Good work today!
July 23, 2022: More work on the metal working practice kits. We will take a break next week for AirVenture, then pick up again on August 6th. Next project, Van's Toolbox Kit.
July 16, 2022: Second student build session. Learning sheet metal basics.
Center punching a row of hole locations,
drilling the holes,
July 9, 2022: First student build session. Instructor Ethan started the day with a safety briefing and then went into the correct ways to use various tools, such as drilling holes, countersinking, and the different ways to set rivets when building an airplane.
From there, the students went on to their first practice project, Van's Aircraft Metalworking kit. Here, our students are learning how to read a set of drawings and properly lay out measurements on the working material before starting work on their practice kits.
Many thanks to those who made our Grand Opening a great success!
And a special thanks to our students and their families for stopping by and sharing the day with us. We hope you enjoyed the day and we look forward to starting student build sessions on July 9th.
Please join us for the Grand Opening of our hangar on June 25, 2022 from noon to 7PM.
Several experimental and production aircraft as well as our first build project, a partially completed RV-12, will be on display. Our desktop flight simulator with Red Bird controls running X-Plane 10 will be set up for anyone who would like to take it for a turn around the pattern. We will also have an aerial photography exhibet, music, and food and refreshments available for your enjoyment and entertainment.
Student build sessions are scheduled to start on July 9, 2022.
June 25, 2022: Setting up the hangar for the grand opening later today.
Our RV-12 ULS airframe. The majority of this aircraft is constructed of aluminum. The engine cowling, tail cone, and fairings are preformed fiberglass. The canopy skirt is laid up fiberglass.
A Rutan Long-EZ being built by one of our mentors highlights a different type of aircraft construction. This aircraft is mainly laid up fiberglass construction. Both aircraft were on display in our hangar.
Three aircraft, a Stearman biplane leading a North American SNJ and a CAP 10, in the break over over Flying W Airport arrive for our Grand Opening event.
Vintage North American SNJ clearing the runway and heading to the static display area.
Modern day Van's Aircraft RV-12 ULS clearing the runway and heading to the static display area.
Aircraft on display on the ramp outside our hangar. The yellow aircraft with the checkered rudder in the front left of the picture is a Van's RV-12 owned by our Technical Advisor. The white CAP 10 and the gray SNJ that arrived with the Stearman biplane are behind the RV-12.
The desktop flight simulator was big hit. Students took turns flying a Cessna 172 around the Flying W pattern.
Checking out the cockpit of a North American SNJ, the navy version of the AT-6 Texan.
Sitting in the pilot's seat.
You can't have a hangar party without some hangar flying.
Students and their families checking out the aircraft in the hangar.
June 15, 2022: Added trim around the new entry door and resurfaced the outside of the hangar sliding doors.
June 9, 2022: Adding a new entry door and resurfacing the insides of the sliding hangar doors. Door on the left before resurfacing. Door on the right with the new entry door in place and resurfaced with fiberglass reinforced plastic.
This picture to the right from February 3, 2022 shows what the sliding doors looked like before the new entry door was put in place and the interior surfaces of the doors were resurfaced. You can also see the condition of the hangar floor before the old layer of epoxy paint was removed.
June 2, 2022: Our partially completed RV-12 ULS airframe was moved into the hangar today in preparation for our grand opening on June 25th.
After: May 28, 2022. The hangar floor and walls have been painted and the new ceiling installed. All thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers and generous support from local businesses. We will move our equipment and aircraft kits into the hangar over the next couple of weeks in preparation for our grand opening at the end of June and starting student build classes on July 9th.
Before: December 18, 2021. The hangar as it looked before we moved in on January 1st and started making improvements.
May 7 to 9, 2022: We used a floor grinder to strip the old epoxy off the hangar floor and smooth the concrete surface on Saturday, May 7th. Then, we put down a new coat of epoxy paint on Monday, May 9th.
The finished product. All the prep work was well worth it. The newly painted floor looks great!
Many thanks to the Burlington Home Depot for donating the exopy floor paint that made this project possible.
April 4, 2022: Our new entry door and freshly painted exterior wall on the airfield side of our hangar.
March 12, 2022:
Parts inventory of the Legacy RV-12ULS.
March 12, 2022: Wings Banner hanging on the back wall. Entry doors painted.
February 26, 2022: We finished painting the hangar walls today. The new door on the back wall was installed yesterday and will get a final coat of paint this coming week.
February 5, 2022: Work continued on the hangar today. Ted Fox, John Ahrens, Brian Ahrens, and Bill Breuer (not pictured) applied a fresh coat of paint to the walls. Scott Weick painted the frame for the new steel entry door that will go in the rear concrete block wall. Thanks to Scott for donating the paint and painting supplies as well as the new steel entry door.
February 3, 2022: Cleanup of our hangar at Flying W Airport continues. The floor was scrubbed and cleaned today. Overall, the floor came out pretty good, but some areas will have to be sanded and repainted with epoxy floor paint. The front and rear entry doors will be replaced next and the walls will get a new coat of paint soon.
January 18, 2022: Teen Aviation of New Jersey would like to thank the Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey for their generous donation of three tables to our Aircraft Build Program. The tables are 3 feet by 6 feet and will serve us well as both classroom and work tables.
October 20, 2021: The partially completed airftrame we bought from the Teen Aircraft Factory of Manasota arrives at Flying W Airport. Program Mentor Al Nugent kindly covered the expense of renting the truck and paying for the gas to get the kit from Sarasota to Flying W. Al and Program Manager Joe Zetkulic made the trip down to Sarasota on the 18th to rent the truck and pick up the kit. It is currently stored in Program Mentor Don Powell's hangar while we clean up and make improvements on the program's hangar.