The current project for Young Aviators (starting in the the 2022-2023 year and likely beyond) is to work on the construction of a full sized aircraft—a Vans RV-14. Young Aviators purchased a partially completed RV-14 from a chapter member that was about halfway finished. Our goal will be to take this project from its current state through certification, flight testing, painting, and ultimate sale. All this is targeted to be completed in the next 12-18 months. This will allow YA members to see a plane go together before their very eyes.
There are a wide range of tasks that need to be completed so that the plane can ‘actually’ take to the air. We will have teams that work on: preparing parts for assembling, pounding rivets to assemble the plane, designing and building the aviation wiring harness, wiring all of the aircraft systems, assembling and installing all the control systems, installing the engine with all the associated components, testing all aircraft systems, designing the flight test program, designing a paint scheme, preparing documentation required for certification, and much, much, more. This is such a big project that it cannot be completed during this time frame by one person. Yet it is an opportunity for YA members to help and participate in the project to the degree that fits both their interests and schedule. There will be meetings every two weeks to review activity and update the multiple activities that are going on between meetings.
Sub-teams will be formed to work on various subset projects. Let’s look at a couple of examples of what these subset teams will have to do. A classic example is the building of the plane’s canopy. This is probably a six-week project to go from the start of reviewing the build manual, preparation of all the parts associated with the canopy, construction of the canopy frame, installation of the plexiglass canopy, and building of the fiberglass fairing which permanently attaches the clear canopy to the frame.
Another example is the subset team building the avionics harness. This will include equipment selection, panel design, development of wiring diagrams, building the mockup of the panel and equipment layout behind the panel, followed by harness building, testing and installation of the harness, panel, and equipment. This is probably a three-month project.
Teams will be put together for each of these activities. Young Aviators will need to decide if they are willing to commit to join the team that will build one these subsets projects. This will include a commitment each month of how many work sessions the Young Aviator will be present for. Each of these subset teams will agree when they meet and what preparation must be done prior to the next meeting (homework). Once the commitment is made there will be up to 3 excuses for missing or being late to a build meeting- provided notice is given to the team lead. If you are not going to make the meeting, you must let the lead know.