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September 20, 2017. Issue No.
I'd like to once again thank Jay Pratt of
for letting me go play with his RV-8 for a bit Tuesday morning while
our runway is closed (and my RV trapped). Jaybird, you're a
Grooming the edges on the new runway at 52F.
The W&B thing(part 2)- IS RV-Fun inversely proportional to
A recent thread I posted on the importance of accurate W&B docs
generated a lively discussion and lots of valuable shared experience
from veteran RV builders and pilots, so I thought it might be
worthwhile to expand the discussion in a few other directions. If
this one gets a similar response, the next will be about the
temptation to nudge the GW limit upward a bit during the
registration process. Stay tuned.
This thread makes reference to the "selfie-quote" In my VAF
signature, which seems to have ruffled a few feathers already. Is
"RV-Fun is inversely proportional to RV-Weight" a valid statement?
Should it be of concern to all RV builders? It may be a bit cryptic,
but I think it IS valid for any given RV configuration of engine,
prop, and instrumentation.
I'm not an aerodynamicist, and my hard knowledge here is dwarfed by
my ignorance, but I do have a limited qualification to bring up the
subject based on my experiences as rookie CAFE Foundation
test-pilot/author or flight-engineer/volunteer for most of the CAFE
APR series published in Sport Aviation during the 1990's, which
included four RV models. During these APR's, we measured stick force
gradients, explored stall recovery behavior, and flew a structured
handling qualities protocol in multiple loading configurations for
each aircraft tested, and the overall experience was a real eye
Actually, I'm betting that you RV-vets will have more interesting
things to say than me here, so I'll make just TWO points and cut
1-Absolute Weight- The rewards for lower empty weight are improved
performance at any given load and a higher useful load, both more
fun in my book. Fortunately, one strength of all Van's aircraft is
that they are intrinsically light in weight if built according to
the plans, but the designs are also quite sensitive to excess weight
for reasons too complex(and too over my head)to fully address here.
Ending up with a finished aircraft that is within Van's guidelines
requires incredible discipline every step of the way. Weight goes on
a little at a time, and the temptation to add more features and
equipment because each will "only add a few ounces" is a slippery
slope. Those of you just starting to build are in a position to
adopt a very strict attitude about weight and maintain it through
the whole process. Is it really worthwhile to prime all those inner
surfaces on an airplane that will be babied in a hangar? The tired
old saw has some truth: "If you are thinking about adding something
to your airplane, toss it in the air. If it does NOT fall to the
ground, then it is OK to install it."
2- Polar Mass- Of course, everything you put on that airplane is
subject to gravity, but there can be very compelling reasons to do
so. Not everything has the same impact, though. Comfy seats are SO
nice to have, and actually not a bad place to splurge a little
because they are practically inside the CG range. A CS prop will be
a must-have item on the RV-7A I am looking to buy, and the
impressive speed range of most RV's simply cries out for CS, but
there is a real price beyond dollars to be paid. Unfortunately, the
gold-standard Hartzell is heavy and as far forward of CG as you can
get. Flying with a forward CG requires extra down-force from the
tail, which requires additional up force from the wing, etc.,etc., a
drag-inducing positive feedback loop that, carried to the extreme,
can compromise control authority in flair, reduce cruise performance
efficiency, and make the aircraft sluggish and unpleasant to fly.
The lightest weight solution to these problems is a bit of lead as
far back in the tail as you can get. Now you have a better balanced
airplane for control authority and efficiency, but one that handles
a little bit less like a mid-engine sports car and a little bit more
like a dumbbell. The prop and ballast have slightly increased
resistance to control in the pitch and yaw axis. A heavy paint job
would do the same, but with a price in category one too. A very
strong argument can be made for saving even 8-10 pounds at the nose
with a composite prop if, like me, you must have CS.
Or maybe you are ready to give up the CS advantages for a nice,
light FP prop and maybe even a lighter engine. Great, you have just
solved the polar mass problem and will have an incredibly nimble
airplane that is a delight to fly. Now you must REALLY pay attention
to the CG, limit luggage, hang everything you can toward the front,
and really fuss over making the paint job light, or even go without,
or you may find yourself needing to add one of those 20 pound crush
plates behind that lightweight prop. (Or hey- maybe I SHOULD
consider a whirlwind? Sheesh!) Every choice has a consequence.
Full Castoring Tail Wheel-All The Time
In March 2017 purchased a flying RV-6. Unlike the builders who
learn and understand what the systems do, I have to ask questions
Hopefully someone can help with an on-going problem:
My Tail Wheel is not working properly. It is not working when
applying rudder inputs, in other words it is full castoring only.
Can someone give me a clue why from the photos?
Where to buy the parts needed as well?
Reminder from Cynthia at the Mothership
Dear Builders and RV Owners,
This is a gentle reminder for those of you who are about ready to
register projects with the FAA, and others who have purchased
projects from other builders.
For FAA paperwork, you need to have the License Agreement and Waiver
on file with Van’s. ( And, yes, the License Agreement needs to be
notarized). Also, you will need to fill out the questionnaire aka
Document Request Form, so I have the correct information for the
8050-2 Aircraft Bill of Sale. Please note that the
account/builder/serial number assigned by Van’s will be the only
number used to identify your project on the 8050-2.
For ownership transfers, I need a copy of the bill of sale as well
as the License Agreement and the Waiver signed and on file. This is
inclusive for projects and flying planes. For “orphan” kits, an
affidavit detailing the history of the kit to the best of your
knowledge with as many possible names and addresses relative to the
kits’ history will need to be written up and signed before a notary
public to create the best paper trail possible for the FAA. I will
need a copy of the affidavit for the file.
Without exception, all documents can be scanned and emailed, faxed,
or posted in the mail.
If you have any questions, please contact me Monday-Thursday from
8am-4pm PST at 503-678-6545x322 or cynthia "at" vansaircraft "dot"
Milestone: 3rd Class ...Tom Swearengen
Significant event today in the life of TS Flightlines.
Finally heard back from the FAA about my 3rd class. YESSSSSSS!
I want to thank all of you that offered words of encouragement the
past 6 months. I means alot.
Guess there are no more excuses for not working on my 7.
Day Twenty-Two ...Scott Chastain RV-8
The next morning in Culpeper, I met Carter out in the CAF hangar
where he and another guy were making repairs to a bifold door.
Longest flight legs?
I originally built my RV9A with the intention of taking that
"some-day" trip around the world with it, which means some rather
long flight legs over water. With that in mind I installed outboard
wing tanks that give me 67 total gallons, and with a 66 gallon
Turtle Pac in the right seat that puts every reasonable oceanic
route within reach. As I've been building time on the airplane I
like to take longer and longer legs to learn what is needed to keep
the airplane happy for those long flights as well as keeping the
pilot happy. Yesterday was my longest flight leg to date, coming
back home to west Texas from Carson City NV after the Reno Air
Races. I logged 1005 nautical miles in 6.5 hours (engine start to
engine stop) at 17,500' all the way, burning just 40.3 gallons total
with a bit of a tail wind. I'm finding that I'm perfectly
comfortable sitting in the cockpit that long and could easily do
more, and I'll continue working my way up to the 14 hours that would
be needed for California to Hawaii. I'm flying the Classic Aero
Sportsman seats and love them.
Curious to hear what other folks have done for very long legs in the
Belfast Lobster PIREP ...PilotBrent
Despite the weather, another extremely well organized and great
event Governor. Only regret I have is not being able to arrive
sooner and stay longer. Bruce and I debriefed our chapter last night
about the trip and how well you've fined turned the planning year
after year. Its the flyin that completes the summer flying season
Status Report ...jcarne
Well starting the new school year has definitely slowed down my
progress these past few weeks but I will not yield! I have also been
kind of behind on my posts because I am at a point working on the
wings where it doesn't look like much changes as you log the hours.
However, I have started the fuel tanks and am trying to get them
done before it gets any colder here. Here are some pics.
Tie down holes came out really nice, just have to fabricate some
kind of nylon spacer and make the holes ever so slightly larger.
52F Runway Replacement Status
and Video Clips (Updated Daily)
- Drone videos: Day 1 vid
Blueprints of New Runway
- Chris Pratt PIREP
from the air
9/18. Paving the run-up areas.
Van's Calendar Pics ...it's time to submit your entries.
everyone, we need calendar pics for this year's Van's Aircraft
Calendar! Please send your HIGH RESOLUTION pics to
Please include pilot and photographer info as well so we can give
credit where credit is due!
If I don't get enough images I'm going to have to use these photos
of Daryl I found lying around...
Bribes, blackmail, can be sent to the same address. Thank you in
How to Minimize the Chance
You Could be Dealing with a Scammer
...when using the classifieds.
VAF Calendar ...upcoming Events
for the Next 60 Day(s)
09-23-2017: Annual Morristown, TN (KMOR) EAA Flyin
09-30-2017: Fish Fry Fly-in KFRH Sept. 30, 2017 10-1, Fall Classic
Fly-In Lebanon, TN (M54)
10-07-2017: Ramona, CA Air Fair & Fly-In
10-20-2017: 2017 Pine Bluff Formation Clinic
10-21-2017: 2017 Pine Bluff Formation Clinic
10-22-2017: 2017 Pine Bluff Formation Clinic
Previous Day's VAF News
honor system site by Doug Reeves (contact).
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