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September 20, 2017.   Issue No. 4,398.
  I'd like to once again thank Jay Pratt of RV Central 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 national treasure!  


Grooming the edges on the new runway at 52F.
Asphalt curing...

The W&B thing(part 2)- IS RV-Fun inversely proportional to RV-Weight?

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 opener.

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 this loose-

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 about issues.

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" com.



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 air.


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 for me.


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

- Pictures and Video Clips (Updated Daily)
- Webcams:
North, Middle, South.
- Drone videos: Day 1 vid 1, 7, 15, 21, 28, 35 NEW, 44 NEW
- 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.

(from Adam)
Okay everyone, we need calendar pics for this year's Van's Aircraft Calendar! Please send your HIGH RESOLUTION pics to AdamB@vansaircraft.com.

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 advance!


How to Minimize the Chance You Could be Dealing with a Scammer

...when using the classifieds.

Model-specific subforums

photo courtesy Van's Aircraft, Inc.






photo courtesy Fred Bauer, Jr.

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

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