Hands, Mind, and Heart

What started as a handful of passionate enthusiasts has developed into a major force—and a significant component—of the aircraft industry.

Metal

Repairing Sheet Metal - Dealing with dents, scratches, cracks, and missing rivets

8/1/2000 12:00:00 AM By Ron Alexander (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, August 2000)

One of the advantages of building your own airplane is that, if you build it, you can fix it. Repairs to sheet metal airplanes fall into two categories: simple, which doesn't involve damage to structural members or affect the balance of control surfaces, and major, which encompasses repairs not covered by the simple category.

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Rivets: Keeping it all together

6/1/2000 12:00:00 AM By H.G. Frautschy (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, June 2000)

Have you ever tried to pull apart two pieces of stuck-together duct tape? Tug as you may on the ends of the tape, the adhesive seems to stick to itself with a tenacity that would stymie a tractor pull.

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The Sheet Metal Airplane

9/1/1997 12:00:00 AM By Ron Alexander (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, September 1997)

Once you have decided to begin the adventure of building your own airplane, you are faced with what type to build. The choices are almost overwhelming.

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Rivets: Keeping it all together

5/1/1993 12:00:00 AM By Tony Bingelis (originally published in Sportplane Builder, May 1993)

Anyone building one of the Van’s Aircraft all-metal RV series kits has a number of options to choose from. One such option is to have the wing spars factory assembled . . . for a price, of course (approximately $700).

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Metal Working Tips for First Time Builders - Part 2

2/1/1993 12:00:00 AM By Tony Bingelis (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, February 1993)

It’s true, anyone can drill a hole. However, not everyone can drill a nice round hole - in thin metal - where it needs to be - and do it right every time.

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Metal Working Tips for First Time Builders – Part 1

1/1/1993 12:00:00 AM By Tony Bingelis (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, January 1993)

Building a metal kit airplane is, in many ways, simpler than building a tube and fabric airplane, a wood and fabric job, or, for that matter, a composite. This is because fewer and less demanding building skills are required of a metal kit builder.

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Rivet Gun Notes and Riveting Tips

1/1/1988 12:00:00 AM By Tony Bingelis (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, January 1988)

Installing solid rivets in an aircraft structure requires considerably more know-how and skill than does working with pop rivets. For one thing, you can install those hollow-core pop rivets working alone with only a simple hand operated pop riveter . . . even if you don't have access to the back side of the parts being riveted together. It is sometimes called "blind riveting".

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Flush Riveting Tips

4/1/1987 12:00:00 AM By Tony Bingelis (originally published in EAA Sport Aviation, April 1987)

Flush rivets are used, primarily, on external metal surfaces where good appearance and the elimination of unnecessary aerodynamic drag are important.

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Riveted Joints-Part 2

1/1/1987 12:00:00 AM By Chris Heintz (originally published EAA Light Plane World, January 1987)

In the first part of this article we examined the advantages (i.e. reliability and durability) of solid "bucked" rivets as well as their disadvantages (i.e. need for expensive equipment, required skill level, noisy operation, and accessibility). Blind rivets have been developed to overcome the disadvantages of solid rivets, and some of the blind rivets now available have retained virtually all the advantages of solid rivets.

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Riveted Joints-Part 1

12/1/1986 12:00:00 AM By Chris Heintz (originally published EAA Light Plane World, December 1986)

Aircraft raw materials come in different but limited sizes due to manufacturing limitations as well as economical distribution. The designer has to choose materials which are available, can be transported to the manufacturing facility (even the homebuilder's basement or garage), can be cut to required sizes with the minimum tools, and can be handled without causing too many rejects due to mishandling ... and still end up with an aircraft of appreciable size, adequate strength and good looks. Aircraft can't just be made out of one big sheet of material and "wrapped together."

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