The Slow Road — Section 28 Fwd. Fuselage Lower Structure

Hours to Complete: About 30

I started Section 28 in early June, but didn't move on to Section 29 until late September (and as of early January still have half a dozen steps to complete). Part of the reason was I elected to do a lot of grunt work (drilling/deburring/dimpling and surface prep for priming) for Section 27 and 28 before beginning any assembly. The theory behind this was to be more productive with my time…..which in hindsight didn't really pan out. In practice, and combined with all the distractions of work and family, I was less productive as it was easier to put aside a session in the garage when I knew the required work wasn't going to be very interesting. It also didn't help to have NOT logged a single hour during the month of July (and I did NOT even attend Airventure 2015!).

I'll also admit to losing a not inconsiderate amount of overall motivation for the project during 2015, so the tangible possibility of achieving completion seems to have drifted a ways over the horizon. Unlike others, who are now far ahead of me and chomping at the bit to complete their aircraft, I've “lost contact” with the RV-14 frontrunners. Those guys will likely be flying in 2016 or 2017. At his point, I can't see being complete until 2018, and that's going to be dependent on finding a completion partner. The remaining kits are approximately $18,000, the engine and prop probably $35,000 at the minimum and more likely $45,000, another $25,000 for avionics, $8,000 to $12,000 for paint, $2,000 for interiors, and a host of other miscellaneous items. I, er we, will also need a hangar for a least the last year of final assembly, probably a minimum of $500 per month. So some of the de-motivation is feeling the relentless pressure of the financial commitment that will be required to complete. Some is related to a huge uptick in my day job workload. Some was related to the hoop-jumping in securing my medical (which resulted in a huge reduction in my flying hours during 2015), and although that was resolved in late September, I've yet to get back into any kind of regular flying.

So hopefully, 2016 brings fewer headwinds, and I can get re-energized and back to steadier progress and the attendant positive reinforcement one gets from visible progress.

Practiced drilling out some flush rivets...



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