gapilot vans RV7 quick build kit
My Great Lakes 2T-1A-2 Rebuild Diary 2008.

I purchased my Great Lakes restoration project on 12th June 2007 in Phoenix, Arizona USA. This is my restoration project diary for 2008I will update it almost daily to show the project status.
I have the STC#SA2368CE and the El Dorado Zepplin Drawings for the center section mod and plan to fit it after approval from my inspector and PFA. I am also looking at the Split Cowl STC#SA00123BO.

Work on the Great Lakes has slowed due to visitors and the weather. At last a few nice days, the workshop has been below 35F, but it's warmer at last and I cane get back to spraying. The rudder is the last part I have to cover.
Finished of covering the centre section and started the rudder. The rudder is the LAST PART to cover! That's it no more fabric covering..... just lots of spraying! .
I have spent a lot of time spraying the fuse and ailerons, so not much to take pictures of... well they all look the same. After a few weeks off the project i started covering the centre section.
I have not updated the site much as I am just spraying the many layers of dope on the ailerons and fuselarge. This weekend I sprayed the first layer of silver dope on the fuselarge. The first layer of silver shows up any imperfections. I am quite pleased because there were just a few small places that needed attention.
Sprayed Rand-o-proof in the fuselarge, worked on ailerons - covering and fitting tapes.
Slow progress doing lots of smaller jobs to finish covering the fuselarge. Covered three ailerons and started to work on covering the centre section. However I have run out of anti-chafe tape and unable to get any in the UK - so having to order form the USA for just one roll of ant-chafe tape.
The fabric is fitted to the fuselarge - spend the weekend fitting all the tapes and inspection panels. Completed all the tapes, now ready to spray Rand-o-proof. Very pleased with my weekends progress (well it did rain most of the weekend!!!).
Fitted rivets to VS and marked out inspection panels.
Finished fitting fabric to the left hand side of the fuselarge. Started with Rand-o-proof.
Fitting fabric to the left hand side of the fuselarge.
On holiday. Flew my RV7 from Thruxton to Alicante in Spain to see Jo's parents.
Finished fitting underside fabric and started prep work for side fabric.
Fitting inspection rings to underside of fuselarge - easier to fit while the fuse is upside down.
Fitted fabric to the underside of the fuselarge between dope layers (and rubbing down) on the wing. Used off cut of fabric from fuse to cover one of the ailerons.
Finished fitting fabric to l/h lower wing. While dope was drying I turned over fuse and started to plan fabric work - using old lower fabric as an example.
Finished r/h lower wing to silver and started work on the l/h lower wing. Fitted the lower and upper fabric.
Finished with the Butyrate layer on the lower wing, it has been keyed and two layers of Rand-o-fill silver butyrate have been applied.
Right hand lower wing sprayed with Rand-o-proof .
Back from holiday I started work on covering the right hand lower wing, just over a weeks work in the evenings and I have the fabric on ready to start spraying.
No progress on the Great Lakes project for a while as I have been away on holiday and visiting family.
I have finished painting to silver the top wings, elevators and horizontal stabilizers. I am still undecide as to put one layer of white on before storing them or store them as they are.
I have not updated for a while as I have just been spraying the different coatings required. Two cross coats of Rand-o-proof, three coats of butyrate dope and four coats of Rand-o-fill silver butyrate.
Progress Thursday, Friday (evenings) and Saturday afternoon and Sunday has been - Rand-o-proof on the tail surfaces and both upper wings. I have also progresses to the first Butrate layer on one wing.
No work on the 'Lakes last night as I was on a business trip to Belfast - work getting in the way!! This evening I started spraying the elevators and horizontal stabilisers. It started off really badly. I was hardly able to get the Rand-o-proof out of the gun. I tried the pressure and gun settings. I really hate spraying, it's something I have never enjoyed doing. Was never pleased with the results on my RV interior. However when I ran out of mixed Rand-o-proof - the mix is 1:1 with Nitrate thinner things suddenly changed. I have concluded the mix had evaporated off and was not a 1:1 mix - something i had noticed when brushing if the (tin) lid was left off for a while. Dave also called and talked me through some of my problems - thanks Dave.
This evening I tidied the workshop and fitted the last tapes to the upper wings - the trailing edge.
After flying Saturday the weather changes and I am back in the workshop. Still applying tapes - I had thought I had finished all the tapes when I turned over the left hand wing I discovered they had not be applied yet....
This week I continued work on the fabric covering. Fitting all the inspection panels and tapes is taking a while.
This evening fitted fabric inspection panel attachments to L/H upper wing and started making them for R/H upper wing.
This evening ftted interside tapes and worked on inspection panels.
This weekend my brother (who helped me collect my Great Lakes from phoenix) came to visit for the first time since the 'Lakes arrived. Saturday the weather was not great so instead of going flying Andy helped me work on the 'Lakes. Sunday the weather looked better butthe forecast was not very good - however Saturday evening after a converstation Andy demonstrated he could splice rope. So suddenly priority shifted to fitting my trim control rope.
This evening I continued fabric covering on L/H upper wing, fitted fabric to upper surface.
Easter Monday and work has progressed well over the easter break, yesterday I covered the R/H upper wing. Today I have to finish a few small jobs on the R/H upper wing and start covering the L/H. In the end I was only able to cover one side of the wing as the temperature dropped too low to continue.
Today I fitted the fabric to the top right hand wing.
Continued work on the pilots seat, and prepared the top right wing ready for fabric covering!
It's Easter weekend. Last Easter I had just finished building my RV7, so I made the first long flight in it from Thruxton to Perranporth. A great trip and we enjoyed the day and evening on the beach in lovely warm weather. This Easter it is snowing.

The pilot seat on my Great Lakes had been modified to allow the use of a back parachute. I wanted it back to original so need to rebuild the seat
Finished refurbishing the tail wheel and spring.
My LAA inspector came today. He has cleared all four wings, centre section and fuselarge for fabric covering.
I am waiting for my inspector to come and inspect the wings ready for covering, so I started on a few other jobs. One being to clean the tail wheel assembly and other oily and greasy parts. I also started work on replacing the original fuel valve with an Andair fuel valve - they are far better.
I have finished work on the wings apart from a little varnish work needed, so I went back to the fuse stringers as they need to be varnished also.
I was going flying this weekend but 18022G32KT BKN018 RA changed my plans. So I called David and asked him about pressure testing my fuel tank. Mark who I purchased my Great lakes off had said the tank had been pressure tested, but my inspector said I should test it. I then began to realise I need to be 100% certain there are no leaks before I cover the centre section. Otherwise I could look and feel rather daft!
Finished work on the centre section. Started working on the L/H lower wing. The spars are okay. I just need to refit the spar end mounts. Check all the drag wires etc.
I was not happy with the (outer) trailing edge of the centre section. So I ordered some stock edge material so I could remake the outer trailing edges.
Riveted the first rib to spar mounts.
Riveted on leading edge.
Back from my ski trip, and have finished my Vans RV7 permit renewal. So work restarts on the right hand lower wing. Some varnish work and started final refit of the leading edge.
Thanks for all the mails and phone calls.... yes seriously people have wondered what has happened to me and my Great Lakes project as I have not updated the site recently. Thank you for geting in touch. Click above and you will see what i have been up to.......
No I have a replacement rib I can continue assembling the wing. I refitted the rib and tensioned the drag wires. This went okay, so I bonded the wood rib in place and fitted the packing pieces between the ribs on the rear spar.
One really big problem - where to get the material locally to remake the wooden brace rib that cracked. Dave (English Dave to Yahoo group readers) bailed me out of a big problem, he gave me the materials I needed. Saving about four weeks to get hold of them. Thanks Dave.
Continued reassembly of the wing making wood parts for the rib fill in. Next job was to tighten the drag wires and this is where it all went wrong.
Continued reassembly of the wing, fitted wing mountings, root rib and compression strut.
Continued to fit the ribs (takes a while to fit all the screws). Fitted the brace rods Fitted the pitot and static line - did it now just in case I forgot later.
Started fitting the ribs back on to the spars. Shipment arrived from Aircraft Spruce, the replacement Odyssey battery for the original Gill.
Started refitting the spars - brackets fitted. ** Jo's birthday today 'Happy Birthday Jo'
Time to drill holes in the replacement spars, I need to replace the front and the back spars.
Finished taking the wing apart. Got replacement spars out ready to start drilling holes.
Right Lower Wing - My inspector Barry came over to have a look at my right hand lower wing - we had previously discussed the condition of the rear spar but i was unsure about the front spar. He decided there was a small crack and as the wing was being stripped it was best to replace it.
So I decided to get on with stripping the wing down - not bad progress for three hours work this evening!!!.
With the Christams holidays I have not really been able to do much work on the Great Lakes. So today I pushed on with the L/H Upper wing. Fitted the fiberglass wing tip and fitted the leading edge skin - I used solid rivets rather than blind pop rivets as I prefer them.
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