N46AT Rebuild

In 2012 the opportunity came up and I jumped into the purchase of a partially completed RV-3 to RV-3B conversion from a local Puget Sound area gentleman.

The aircraft was originally built by Allen Tolle and made its first flight July 7th, 1980.  The aircraft was flown for about 1200 hours before it was parked and disassembled for the conversion from a RV-3 to a RV-3B.

As I finished building out my garage workspace, changing one of my two jobs, raising kids, etc, etc, the airplane has sat and really only been a great conversation piece at parties.

Although I have been slowly collecting parts, done some panel planning and worked on laying out an electrical system, I’ve yet to put serious “tool to metal”.

Last month, a good friend who has an RV project of his own in his shop, came in to town for a visit and gave me the proverbial “kick in the butt” that I needed to get pounding on this program.  I cleared away the bikes and other assorted “flotsam” from the airplanes half of the garage and got to work figuring out how to put all these pieces back together.

Tracking my progress on this blog will be just another part of the greater program.  Thanks for checking this out and comments or suggestions are always welcome!


5 thoughts on “N46AT Rebuild

  1. Am glad that you are doing something that at one time was my dream also. I have met the builder years ago of this AC. I started an RV3, bought one that was supposed to be ready for the engine in CO, NOT, sight unseen. Got one for you, my RV kit was from behind Vans house in what looked like an old chicken coop. Van didn’t say too much at that time, also there was no RV4 flying either or any sight of one. But in the weeds by the shed was a strange AC, it had no wings or engine, it was the RV5. Finally years later found a pix of it flying, it had half a VW engine on it.
    Now a little history, my instructions were mimeographed about twenty pages with some very poor photos and basically said if you don’t know how to build tough luck. It was really hunt and peck back then, nothing to tell you what first to cut or do all had to be taken from the plans even what part to start on. Could go on but good luck, mine was sold after sitting in one at a Prosser fly in as I didn’t like to be that up close and personal with my AC. Good luck and enjoy your build. Boyd Butler now in Chiloquin Oregon retired.

      • Oh yes and the RV5 was put together with pop rivets. Said it was an experiment to see how it turned out. A friend and I years later went to his new house on the airport on a Saturday, flew in to pick up parts. Well he talked then, said would you two like to see something, well yes. Behind the counter was the workshop, he opened the door, inside was the first RV6 being assembled. At that time there were only rumors of it. I said gee that looks like they do it on the SX300, Van replied that’s where the idea came from with a smile. I was going to use the fuse tank on mine the CO rv had wing tanks. Sold both to a fellow from CA about ten years ago don’t know what happened to it.

  2. Mark !!!
    Good to hear you got a butt-kicking. I have a Rocket close to moving out of my basement and up to KPAE. I have a pretty much complete compliment of sheetmetal equipment; brake, shear, punch, notcher; and you are welcome to any / all of them if you require. My Rocket is essentially a scratch-build and I have all the tools that did the work.

    • Wow Larry! I may have to take you up on that offer. Once you get up to PAE, I have a share in a forklift that a friend is keeping in his hangar there, so let me know if you ever have a need. I’ll drop you an email so you have my contact info and it would be great to check out your Rocket sometime soon.
      Thanks for the offer!

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