Progress continues on first RV-10

Jean and Ken Barto, proud owners of the first RV-10 kit to be delivered, report they are making excellent progress on construction of their aircraft.

The Bartos took possession of the kit in the fall of 2004 and have been providing General Aviation News with regular updates on their progress.

When we last heard from the Bartos, who live in New York, they were in the process of moving their project from inside the house, where wing panels and tail surfaces were stowed behind pieces of furniture, to their one-car garage. There was some concern that they wouldn’t be able to keep the garage warm enough to continue working during the winter months. However Jean reports they are able to keep the garage at a reasonable temperature.

“We’ve been working pretty consistently on finishing touches on the fuselage,” she says. “The two parts have been married permanently in our one-car garage, all the internal aspects are done, such as the brakes, lines, etc. Ken has primed and painted all the panels for future final assembly. The floors and side panels all have permanent sound dampening material, as well as the firewall. That makes it quieter and much warmer in the cold climate. Van’s tells us we should be receiving the finishing kit March 12.”

The Bartos have picked out the instruments, radios and GPS equipment for the panel and now they are trying to pick a color for it.

“We are looking at some shades of red and burgundy,” Jean says. “We get to be a bit more daring on this one and enjoy it. The new colors and designs are so different and vibrant from 10 years ago when we were looking,” she says, referring to the RV-6 they built when they were first married. That aircraft has won many awards at fly-ins around the country.

Building in the one-car garage has been a challenge, says Jean, because, once the empicone and the fuselage were together, it became even more difficult to maneuver in the small space. The tradeoff is that having the aircraft at home makes it more convenient to work on as opposed to having to travel out to the airport. “So we tend to put more hours in,” Jean explains.

The couple is currently shopping for their engine and propeller. It is proving to be a daunting task, says Jean, because every time they think they’ve found the right combination, they open a magazine and see another possibility. “That’s part of the fun,” she says.

The Bartos note that before they finish building the aircraft, they’ll have to do a different kind of building, as in adding additional space to the back of the garage.

“So that we’ll be able to put the engine on and still move around,” Jean explains. “All just to build a plane!”

For more information: VansAircraft.com.

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