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January 15, 2018.  0001Z.  Issue #4,479.
  A bit of a rarity occurred Sunday....Susie, Tate and I all flew via RV to lunch.  Tate flew in the back of Chris Pratt's unbelievably beautiful -8 (his first ride in an 8 - pic right).  We ended up with (8) RVs on the ramp and enjoyed a fun walk to and from the Hard Eight BBQ.  Pictures.   It's been too long.  Susie and I launched early so we could stop in Mineral Wells for cheaper gas on the way down ($3.79).  Five minutes added to the trip to Stephenville, but saved nearly $10 total (KSEP was $4.33).  We called Mineral Wells Unicom ten miles out asking for fuel and the nice lady said 'shut down next to the fuel truck'.  The truck was running and ready to go when we taxied up.  Had us on our way in about ten minutes.  What great service!
  It's always nice to catch up with other members of the B.C. Squadron, and we always end up asking ourselves why we don't do it more often.
  Hope you had a nice weekend also. 

She Flies


Old farts converge on Okeechoobee...turbo's words <g>


Wrapping my RV-14A ...Jared Solomon


New 3D Printing Service Bureau Announcement


1st Photo Post ...egp8111's RV-4

Hoping to get the W&B done next week and scheduled with the FAA for inspection


RV-4 MS1095 ...new 'My RV Build Project' thread


Baggage Door Alarm ...RV-10

I put a micro switch in the upper rear corner. It seemed like the best location to not be seen or snagged on something going in or out of the door. I made the bracket loop around the switch to provide protection. The bracket can be lightly bent to position the switch accurately.


Jim W's RV-4 ...Smokey Ray post




Build Update ...kiljoy



January 12, 2018.  Issue #4,478.
  I would like to publicly welcome Gary Platner (RV-8) to the Board of Directors of the airport we are both based at (www).  Scott Doores stepped down after six years of hard work and Gary has replaced him.  There was talk last night at the board meeting of a RV Fly-In at 52F sometime this year - food trucks, fuel trucks and parking need to be worked out.  33.052481, -97.231992.  Centrally located in the middle of the country.  Got to celebrate that new runway Texas-style!
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  


Done ...laz RV-8

"All I have to do is fly."


From the Mothership...


We are now required to collect sales tax on all parts and kit orders from our customers who are receiving shipments within the state of Georgia. This includes engines and propellers purchased from Van’s Aircraft and drop shipped by our OEM suppliers. Since the tax amount varies based upon the county of the shipping address, the tax cannot automatically be applied during checkout for online orders. Therefore, the tax will be computed and included as part of the invoice total, subject to our payment policy prior to shipment. If you are a business and have a Tax Exempt permit, please send us a copy of your permit with your builder’s number to orders@vansaircraft.com so we may attach it to your account.


The Unhappy Cracky Club ...Scott Chastain

On the night of December 1, 2017, I flew my RV-8, N898W, Descending Dove, to Tehachapi, CA (TSP) and spent the night in the pilots’ lounge. I found after-hours access to a room with plenty of space on the floor to inflate my mattress and unroll a sleeping bag. I wanted to explore the town of Tehachapi the next day.  ...


Pics from Petit Jean '17

I'm a little late in posting these links but Petit Jean 2017 was something very special. What a great group of RV drivers and riders! I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves! The links to albums at the end have hundreds of spectacular pictures of you and all your RV buddies and buddettes! What follows is just a sample of all the miles of smiles!


Wrapping ...JasonM

I too decided to wrap rather than paint. Also using the 3M 1080 film. There are a few tricks to learn like when to use heat and when to not along with where to start applying the film when it comes to complex shapes. Overall it's pretty easy and if I don't like it simply peel it off.

Here are a few pictures of my wingtips and ailerons


Updated Panel Pic ...Walt


Tall/Short Pilot Input ...catmandu

Finally got some today, here's the base, aft looking forward, seat back installed in the forward position. You can see there is an interim set of nutplates as well, should we ever have a 5'7" pilot, I guess

Here is a picture of the top of the seatback with the extension I riveted on to the plans-specified extension. Tried to rotate it, Imgur fail on my part.


Seen at Richmond Aircraft (52F)

...I took these pics Thursday.  vafdr

RV-6 Cracked Motor Mount Repair w/Gussets and new paint

scaled / 3504 x 2336

scaled / 3504 x 2336


Attempting to Wrap the Cowl ...sahrens

Well Bruce I took your advice. After finishing the oil door I was going to wrap the empennage fairing but I decided to have a go at the upper cowling. Moving to a much larger peice of vinyl was a little more difficult than I had imagined. The backing material that is removed is fairly thick and does not want to bend. I was hesistant to remove all the backing for fear the vinyl would stick to itself. It did anyway and much like duck tape, it really sticks. There is a happy place in there somewhere where just enough backing is removed to allow applying the vinyl and removing too much.

All that said about 1/3 of the way into this I knew it was going to get pulled off. The material is relatively strong, it will stretch and it will shrink. It will also tear, especially when heated or over stretched. Long story short I had some small pock marks of damage that I wasn't satisfied leaving on the aircraft. Once that decision was made I just made this a learning project working on technique, how much heat was too much and how to work compound curves.



January 11, 2018.  Issue #4,477.
  Please excuse the early push of the Thursday edition.  There is a board meeting for the airport I'm based at this evening and I'm on the board.  vafdr

RV-12 w/Stearman Mirage

RV-12 on the taxiway at 52F with a Stearman in the distance - taken a few months back.  Click on 'Full Size' to see the 4,000 x 2,248 pixel original - if you've got a big 'ol honkin monitor.

Scaled / Full Size


Finally Thawed ...Pete Howell

Got over 40 today in Minne - sunset pic of the Emerald City.......


Flat tire on landing - a little western

So I went goofing off today with my uncle, just a chance to burn some fuel and recalibrate my head. 0.7 on the hobbs and the sun is going down, time to park it. As soon as the mains touched down on the 30-foot wide pavement I noticed it pulling right, within less than a second it was pulling right A LOT and I knew what was happening. Full left rudder was OK through about 40 knots then left brake and more left brake, to the point I was almost sliding the left wheel coming down through about 10 knots but kept it on the runway. It was swervy to say the least, but I kept it on the pavement.

Pulled the wheelpant, the tube would hold air for about 3 minutes so we just aired it up and used our Rhino tug to pull it back to the hangar, took 2 mid-way stops for more air to get it put away. Datalogs showed it was 14 seconds from wheel contact to full stop, that would have been a rather impressive short-field landing if I hadn't been so busy trying to suck the seat cushion up my butt. My condition inspection was due to start in 2 weeks, I guess this just moved the start point up a bit.

Be careful out there...
Greg Niehues


Water Bottle Speed Mod


From the Review of my panel Thread

...Ed W's comments

Here are a “few” comments, and of course, your mileage may vary:
1. The USB port on the left is so close to the throttle that there may be interference with the port or the cables;
2. If there is anything dangling from the ignition key, it may hit the stick when deflected or be a nuisance on your leg;
3. Things that earn their way onto the stick are those that you use frequently and need promptly, or need to access when both hands are busy. Boost pump does not qualify. Also, there’s the concept of flow, that you move your attention around the cockpit in the same order as they appear on the checklist to make sure that the switches are all set. Boost pump on the stick probably wouldn’t fit that concept well;
4. Similarly, the only reason for having flaps on the stick is if you need to dump flaps on the rollout. I’ve thought about doing this on my RV-8;
5. Nice that your stick grip is not left or right handed;
6. I’ve learned to fly my RV-9A with left hand on the stick, and it no longer has the awkward feeling it did when I started. You’ll have all of Phase 1 to get used to it, so you might not need the dual throttles;
7. Good that you grouped your switches instead of having a long row;
8. I’d put strobe at the end, rather than in the middle;
9. If you ever do go inside cloud, it will be strobes off, pitot heat on. You might consider putting them next to each other;
10. The parking brake is in an area normally reserved for power controls, and more specifically, for carburetor heat. I’d move it. Similarly for cabin heat;
11. No point in putting warning lights on the center stack, put them in front of the pilot;
12. Having a light for fuel pump on is no longer considered by all to be good human factors (quiet, dark cockpit concept). The argument is that it gets you used to seeing a light on;
13. Move the seat warmer switches closer to the pilot.

Hope this helps,



Wrapping project

Well, not only am I nuts for polishing my aircraft, I also am using vinyl as well. So I started with the easiest component I could find, the oil door. It took about an hour to explore how much the vinyl would stretch / shrink..it will also tear.

All in all it was fairly easy to work with once I got started.


And more wrapping ...

I did use the end roll piece approach to vinyl wrapping and had my kids cut them before applying (nice family project ...):


Split Screen or 2 Portrait displays

(Des) As a new builder, panel questions are coming up, and I wonder if there are any comments or suggestions about which setup would have better utility.

The 10" model allows a split screen, so I wonder if anyone is finding advantages of using two of the 7" Portrait displays? (well, one could serve as a backup). Looks like you lose a control knob on the 7" model. And I haven't seen any examples of the 7" screen allowing a full screen view of traffic, weather or engine monitoring.

None of the "Show us your panel" images in the forum showed the two Portrait displays side by side (also not shown in the photo galleries of Steinair or Aerotronics).

The mission is for long cross countries, not yet IFR ticketed.

(Walt) I'm a big fan of the portrait displays, probably because thats what I've flown in my own aircraft for a number of years now. The 7" is taller than the 10" but the 2 7's don't have quite as much screen area as the 10". I chose to keep my seperate engine monitor (MVP-50) so that I don't lose the screen real estate to the eng instruments. Doing it this way gives me a larger/taller map than I would have on the 10" display. I also prefer to have both screens in front of me for redundancy purposes, with the flip of a switch or on screen button push the MFD is immediate a PFD so it's a total non event if one of the screens fails with this arrangement. I'll post some update panel pictures showing the 470 touch screens I now have and a few other changes I've made (added a 660 which I mainly use as a full time traffic page or IFR plate). I'm considering (if I ever have time) to change this to a 3 screen setup but honestly I'm VERY happy with the current layout.


Doug Eves RV-6 Ground Pic


Alternator failure ...make sure you read the last paragraph

So there I was 30 miles to go navigating through the rain and wind trying to get home, then a battery warning light comes on, O **** I knew instantly I had to take action and start load shedding electricity to keep the computer alive to fire the sparkplugs to keep the engine running, as the battery is on a limited life and draining quick, if the battery dies, the engine dies! I needed to decide what goes off NOW, all lights off, It was getting dark and could barley see, all fans and heat OFF, windscreen started fogging up and it was getting cold, then the engine rpm started fluctuating unexpectedly, WHAT THE!, more warning lights started coming on the panel and then the most scary, the engine started to miss and started shaking bad, then no power, them more power and stumbling, very worried I was not going to make it home, it then started slowing down and I got real scared! then I touched on the brakes and those lights brought the computer operational voltage below operational threshold and the engine Died!  I used the very last amount of velocity to make the final turn.............into the driveway.

WHEW! yes this was in my car tonight, but it was good practice for my all electric Fuel and IGN powered RV! my goodness I hope I never have to experience this in the air.
7A Slider, EFII Angle 360, CS, SJ.


RE: Thermal Expansion and Canopies ...Chris Pratt RV-8

Hopefully this is not too far off topic, but 5 or 6 years ago, after hearing of a rash of cracked canopies that occurred in cold weather with the aircraft parked in the hangar, I decided that when my RV-8 is parked I would not completely close the canopy, i.e. I do not latch the canopy when parked in the hangar.

I figure there's no need to put stress on the canopy when it is just sitting especially with the rapid changes in temperature we can experience in Texas. Perhaps it has helped, I have no way of knowing for sure, but so far no cracks. If you currently are latching your canopy when securely parked in a hangar, consider leaving the canopy just slightly open. It may make a difference.


Semi-related:  Our Site Mascot

I was going through some pics and found this gem of Moondog.  I thought I would share.  He's a sweetypie, an older, set-in-his-ways sweetypie.

scaled / full size



January 10, 2018.  Issue #4,476.
  Fog at the home field Tuesday 0900 - no RVating before noon.

scaled / full size


First flight today

Finally, it’s been an eight year part-time project but we had a decent day here in Michigan for a first flight. 1.5 hours breaking in a new engine at 75% power and all performed as expected. Chts below 350, oil temp butterfly worked great to adjust oil temp to 200. Fast and heavy on the controls at those settings, did a lot of autopilot flying, checking systems. Today was basically keeping eyes on engine gauges, a few stalls, slow flight. Landings need some work though, takeoff was sweet.
Dave Ford RV-10
Cadillac, Mi


More info on Sam Buchanan's Tug

Got to the hangar today and refined the towbar so it will be more suitable for pushing the RV-6. I removed the carabiner and fabricated a pin hitch:

It is just two steel straps bolted to the Cessna-type towbar handle. This should work while pushing or pulling and is what I would use if I had a nose-dragger. The drawbar is fabricated from steel angle and bolts to the brackets that used to attach the front of the mower deck.


Memories of the Master

...written by our own Paul Dye (RV-8/3) about his former coworker (and moonwalker) John Young.

[ed. And be sure to read Critical Burn also.  v/r,vafdr]


Things Crammed in a RV-10

Cholera Clinic Supplies.  Surgical gloves, bed pans, saline solution, HRP's, gas powered pressure washer, solar powered water purifier.


Page 06-02 step 6 ...RV-14

I ordered my RV-14 empennage kit so now it's time to start asking really, really basic questions. On the very first page of the build instructions, it says to "dimple the rivet holes on the aft face of the VS-702 Front Spar and VS-01401 Front Spar Doubler" and then in the associated Figure 4 it says "dimple flush aft." Does this mean to dimple toward the aft or dimple toward the front so the flush side is to the aft? I assume the latter, but I don't want to act on a bad assumption on the very first page of the kit.

I look forward to getting started on the build. Rest assured that I will have more basic questions as I go, and for posterity I will make future builders even more comfortable asking their basic questions since they can't possibly be more basic than mine


Review of my panel design/layout

Hello everyone.
So I'm working on FWF and will be moving into panel and wiring next. I have held off long enough and think I need some input on my panel design/layout. Please let me know your thought pro's and con's. RV7 - tipup


More on that Dog

We are not sure if Truman likes flying or just hates being left at home. He has been flying in the RV-10 since he was 8 weeks old. We picked him up near Mt Shasta CA on the way home from Oshkosh 2016.


AeroSun VX install attempt #1

Today I removed the right wingtip and read the installation instructions for the AeroSun VX landing lights. I thought I understood them pretty well and started to make the cutout for the light. I placed the template in the tip and drilled both holes to #30, marked out the area for removal with a fine sharpie and used a cutoff wheel to remove a large portion. Then I used a small bit in a air grinder and cut up to the line being sure not to remove it. Some 100 grit sand paper was used and I sanded into the line a little before checking the final fit. It took about 3-4 times of removing just a little here and there before the light would fit in the cutout like it says in the instructions. I think they call out about 1/2" on the inside and 2" on the outside that the light protrudes from the opening. The instructions don't say anything about trimming the light but I had to remove a little material at the flanges that hold the insert nuts so they not hit the tip. (pics below) All looked great and I went ahead and drilled the two screw holes to #27. I assembled the screws and washers and springs.... Uh Oh.... something isn't quite right. It looks like by inserting the screws that the whole light has moved outward by almost 1/8". What used to fit perfectly now fits like ****. I checked the template against the left side light and the holes in the template seem to line up pretty well. Not sure whats going on but I suspect that I may have to fill the holes and drill new ones. I'll figure this out tomorrow but I do want to say that I am looking for perfection here. I like working with fiberglass and I want a perfect even reveal all around the light of about 1/16". Heres some random pics of the process and some of me just taking pics at different angles trying to figure out what to do.


Well that didn't go as planned...opening pandora's box.

So I pulled everything down to ready to remove cylinders, then had one of the engine shop guys come help me pull the cylinders for my piston upgrade.

#1 and #2 no problem, pulled #3 and there is a lifter that's chewed up and it would appear that I have an issue with a cam lobe.

This "inexpensive" horsepower upgrade just changed gears.

On a brighter note, it sure will be easier replacing the two studs on the impulse coupled side of my case for my pmag...with the engine off the airplane.

I guess we all get little surprises like this somewhere in our aircraft ownership tenure...

Well, Poop. That's what I said when he showed me. Poop.


Vinyl shark teeth on a -7a?

Im looking to add shark mouth and teeth to the lower cowl on a RV7-a. Like to do this with quality vinyl press and stick instead of paint so it is less permanent. Anyone know of any US shops with vinyl experience doing this on a -6a or -7a? lower cowl. I can apply. Want to keep it simple, and not obnoxiously big.



January 9, 2018.  0001Z.  Issue #4,475.

Things Crammed in an RV-10 ...N402RH wins the internet today.

Two people, Four full 7 1/2 gallon Kegs, a Dog and his birthday cake to a beer competition in Sisters Oregon.


Aircraft Tug-or how to salvage an old Murray ...Sam Buchanan

Even though the paved ramp outside my hangar is nearly level, the RV-6 just seems to be getting more difficult each year to pull into the hangar.....the plane must be getting heavier.....

In order to avoid straining high-mileage body parts I decided to replace the soft tissue tug with something more substantial. There was a thread on VAF some time back about how to repurpose various means of locomotion so they would move an aircraft into a hangar.

The father of one our VAFers has a yard-full of lawn mowers that is in a constant state of flux as he buys, trades, swaps with the community. He loaded an old, ugly derelict Murray riding mower of 1993 vintage on my truck and I proceeded to resurrect it as an RV tug. After some minor refreshening of the engine, tubes in the dry-rotted tires and a complete tear-down for cleaning and paint after throwing away everything that didn't look like a tug, I have a rig that effortlessly pulls the RV-6 up the ramp and into the hangar. My regular towbar attaches to a drawbar on the front of the tug and it backs the RV-6 into place. My back and knees will live to fly another year.


Go/No Go - Spar Caps Trimming

I started on my van’s RV-10 Empennage kit and in the first step of the Vertical Stabilizer, it calls for trimming the rear spar caps (Section 6, Page 2 - Step 1). I made the markings, drew a straight line and trimmed it. When I came back and read the plans again I realized I didn’t straighten the bow while I drew the straight line.

Attached is the picture of the rear spar cap clamped straight. I placed a piece of scrap aluminum with a straight edge against it to show the issue. Now the question is, is it acceptable to go forward?
Rajiv Chalasani
RV-6 - Red Phoenix (N111BN)
RV-10 - Tail Kit Started


Having No Plan to Fly to Tullahoma

The Petit Jean Fly-in was next on our agenda. That started Friday, and it was only Tuesday. We’d be checking out of the Buckhorn Inn the next morning, with no plan between now and then. I always like to have a plan. I like to know where we’re going, where we’ll find dinner and where we’ll sleep.

With our new vagabond life, we can't always have a plan. Slowly, I'm learning to relax


Sunset Flight ...j-red

I found my old gopro knockoff camera in a drawer this past week and welded up a mount to fit in a tiedown slot. The video quality is pretty poor, as this camera doesn't handle low light very well, but it was fun just the same to get a little different perspective on the flight. This might just be what inspires me to buy one of the newer action cams, and ill have to try some other mounting locations in the future too.


G5 or GRT Mini

I ended up with the G5 and Backup Battery. My panel is mainly Dynon so I wanted a backup from a different manufacturer. The G5 has a serial connection to the GTN650. The Mini would have been my first choice but it didn't fit in the space I had after removing the Dynon D6. The Mini is 4.35" wide, the G5 is 3.42"

I have been very happy with the G5. Garmin did a nice job with the internal GPS antenna. I thought for sure I'd need to use an external antenna but the internal one works great, even at the top of the center stack in the 10.



Michael Kalfsbeck's G5

Get the G5 with battery back up. I've been running it now about 2 months and love it. See pic below...


A case of tall pilot/short pilot

The lady and I both have separate partnerships in certified aircraft but are thinking of selling off and getting our first plane together, an RV-6. Thankfully, we live in an RV rich area with an active EAA chapter. We were able to do a fit check in a local RV-6 to gather more information on whether this platform will work for us. We came away with a few A-HA items.

1. I am 6’3. She is 5’4. The a/c we sat in had about 3” of fwd adjustment on the seat to get her closer but even full forward, she would need the pedals closer to her feet. We could put an extension on the pedal, but we’d also be swapping seats regularly. Anyone dealt with an issue like this? A back cushion might help but then we would need to ensure the ability for full aft stick deflection. Perhaps not a major issue since she is small.

I was told the placement of pedals are one of the design decisions made by the builder and can vary between airframes. The builder of this test bird was tall like me so perhaps this example was ideal for me?

2. Canopy headroom. We sat in a slider. Does the tip up provide anymore clearance? My guess is not. Fortunately I wear a halo headset instead of an over the top, but I probably wouldn’t be able to wear at hat.


Stuff Crammed in RV-10s ...aturner


Quick Update

The 20 year old K&N in my RV-6 was 18 1/2" round. I think that has shrunk around 2 inches from the 20+" of the new one!

I now think the bottom plate on the K&N in my FAB is meant to be there as it is exactly the right length for the rib around the new K&N to go around it.
Rob Swain.


Makin 'em Fit


Doug Eves ...inflight.



January 8, 2018.  0007Z.  Issue #4,474.
  Kinda blue today.  Our daughter is back in CA working on her PhD in 'chembio' as she calls it - visited for 3 weeks over Christmas (rare).  Drove her to Love Field 0500 Sunday morning for the SWA flight back - maybe Smokey flew her back to Oakland.
  The highlights of the break were time with her, of course, but also watching her learn to drive the zero turn mower in the driveway, and flying the drone.  Took her for an hour RV flight and got a couple of waves from her in the driveway as I flew over once or twice.  That's her birthday and initials in the N-number.  The first pass over the house lets her know she has about 30 seconds to get outside before the second.  Rockin those wings...
  I gave her a kitchen knife set and Texas-shaped cutting board for Christmas.  Subliminal.
  During the break she sent me the link here, a newly published paper entitled "Activity-based sensing fluorescent probes for iron in biological systems."  She did the illustration on page one.  It'll be free online for 50 days and then you have to pay to read the paper.
  Advertisers and donations here helped pay for the laptop and undergrad education that went into the skill set needed to produce that illustration.  I thought you might appreciate some of the fruits of your kindness....science that will hopefully make the world better.
  I hope you had a nice RV weekend and have a swell RV Monday. 


Brantel: Running Bad@ss ...and RV-7 builder/pilot ;^)

I did it! Again!  48.6 miles in the bag!


A Steer, A Tandem Bike, Mountain Bikes: What have you hauled in your RV-10?

I saw another thread recently that talked about how great a bearhawk is at hauling things. I don't think many people realize how much you can get in an RV-10. It's got the largest, most comfortable rear seats of any piston single I've been in. That includes a several aircraft noted for their interior volume including a C-182, Trinidad, and Piper Lance. The Lance of course had more total volume, you just had to choose between legroom or shoulder room as a passenger.

Ultimately, the 10 is so useful, so fast, and still so much fun to fly I barely miss the 8. Yes, I do miss aerobatics, and the 8 is a much better formation platform. That said the 10 is surprisingly capable of formation at least up to the FFI limits.

I'll start: I've hauled my family of 4 and a week's camping gear including a huge tent to Oshkosh. I've carried the (frozen and edible parts) of what was once a 1200lb steer, our new tandem bike, and two full size mountain bikes. I'm curious to see what others have done.


J_Turner Status Report ...RV-7

Today I wanted to get the wingtips in place and drilled to the wings. I only got the right one drilled to #40 but it is straight! To start I made an aileron center jig and clamped the aileron to it. Then I had to cut some material off the bellcrank jig to allow it to clear the Garmin AP servo brace. Once those were in place I adjusted the pushrod length and tightened it down. Next I clamped the bell crank jig to the bolt that holds the pushrod so I could get the wingtip aligned.


Cold Wx Flying ...terry.mortimor

Hi gang, with a certain Texan recently complaining about a little cold weather while flying I just had to post a few pictures of some real cold weather flying in my neck of the woods


300 Hours: Then and now ...Bob Collins

I hit 299.6 hours this morning in the RV-12iS project. It's been almost a year to the day since I took delivery of the first kit. In the first year, there was a lot of waiting around. I didn't realize how quickly the emp kit went together so I had 12 weeks to cool my jets before the wings arrived. I knocked those off in six weeks but by then the 12iS has been announced so I chose to delay delivery of the fuselage kit to get the redesign.

I'm continually amazed by how quickly this has gone together, even with the stuck-in-traffic pace.

I looked up my RV-7A build and was surprised to see that 300 hours if about a year's work on that project too. That makes sense. My routine is roughly the same: About 1-1.5 hours of work after work, and a few hours each weekend day.


Pondering if thermal expansion can break a canopy

"...Assuming a canopy built to plans we have the following numbers:

A #40 drill through the steel rail. (0.098")
A #27 drill through the canopy. (0.144")

12 " between fasteners. (Lo in the equations)

The thermal expansion Ct for steel is approximately 0.00008 in/inR
The thermal expansion Ct for acrylic is approximately 0.000417 in/inR

I'm going to take a lot of liberties with my assumptions from here on (feel free to shoot me down)

Lets say we go flying at -5 degF outside. Lets also say that our cockpit/sun heater is able to bring the interior of the cockpit up to 32 degF for a deltaT of 37 degF as we fly around.

The expansion of a material dl = Ct * deltaT * Lo


The steel will expand by: 0.03552 inches between fasteners.

The acrylic will expand by: 0.1851 inches.

Yikes. But wait, we have some slop in the holes of 0.046 inches (#27 - #40)..."  continue


A thank you video...AX-O RV-4 Fastback

I made a video to say thank you to some of the folks that have supported our team at Reno and during airshows in various ways. It has pics and footage recorded over the past 2 years. This video took for EVER to edit. Hope you enjoy it.




January 5, 2018.  Issue #4,473.
  A milestone of sorts is shaping up for the weekend possibly - the 1,000,000th VAF Forums post.  Thanks again as always for goofing off at work ;^), and for being a part of the online RV collective.  Humbled and honored to call so many of you friend.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend! 


G-RMPS Inflight Photo ...Scotland


Fort Bragg CA, weekend get-a-way ...joe_rainbolt

A wine tasting, beer sampling, Christmas Parade watching, overniter to California's North Coast.


J_Turner Status Report

Today was fun, I match drilled approx. 302 holes in the right lower wing skin. Deburred about 1100 holes, dimpled around 500 holes and set about 30 rivets. I think I'd rather be doing fiberglass work but hopefully tomorrow I can finish the skin and start on fitting the wingtips. Oh yeah, I also made one extra hole while dimpling. I didn't get too upset, just but on some flat dies and squashed it flat.


Vandenberg AFB

10 miles out at 5K I watched a launch out of the coastal fog then disappear through a high layer. A clear sky would have given a better result but in the end, hearing my engine drone on instead of hearing and feeling the energy of the launch made it less exciting than being on the ground near the launch site.
RV-7 N314SY


See the Launch Schedule

A good source to keep up with the launches including launch schedule changes is:


(Yes, even us gov'mint types cross reference the civilian web sites to keep up with what's going on...!)
Don Hull
RV-7 Wings


RE: Mountain Bikes in RV-14 Cargo Area ...Jared RV-14A

The RV-14's baggage space is large. With that being said I believe the challenge may be getting the bike's frame between the seat back cross-member and the roll bar. You'd probably have to turn the frame on it side to pass through and then rotate it back to right side up. Not sure if you'd have to remove the fork as well. I doubt you'd be able to get a second bike back there, due to the manipulation required as described above. Possibly if you remove the fork/handle bars. Probably one of those things you'd have to try. Like others have eluded too, if you plan to transport a mountain bike regularly, the wear and tear level on your plane may be high.

related: Jared's YouTube channel


Alton Bay (B18) PIREP ...Glen

As of Wednesday (ahead of the storm hitting the east coast) Alton Bay reported ice ranging between 9” and 10.5”. Still not the 12” minimum everywhere but getting closer.

BTW: if you use Facebook, you can catch their updates including video posts.  here


Frank Jackson RE: Sticking Exhaust Valve

Wish I had read this sooner.

I should have looked at this sooner. Yesterday the #2 exhaust valve on my Lycoming IO360 stuck completely and bent the pushrod. Fortunately I was in the pattern at a nearby airport and immediately landed. It's now at the FBO at the same field getting a rebuilt cylinder. It had been running rough at idle and low power settings but smoothed out at runup power and higher. The engine had only 380 hours on it. I'll be doing a wobble test on the other cylinders.



January 4, 2018.  Issue #4,472.

Stuck in Lake Havasu, bad electric ignition

NotePlease check thread to see if/when problem is solved.  Mike may chime in after publish time with more info (don't want to swamp his phone).


Pushrod Boot Pattern


Aileron Push Rod Boots...Sam Buchanan

Here are notes and photos of boots being constructed using the above drawing from Fred:

Mine have been flying in the RV-6 for nearly 18 years and continue to work as designed.


RV Friend Brantel's 2nd 'Dopey Challenge at Disney World'...wishing him luck!!!

Fellow RV friends,

Just wanted to give you an update on my battle to stay healthy enough to keep enjoying my RV7 (and most of all be around to love, support and enjoy my family). As many of you know I started taking this battle seriously about 4 years ago.

While I have had a few setbacks, I am proud to say that tomorrow I will attempt to complete my second Dopey Challenge at Disney World. It is a 4 day progressive 48.6 mile road race. 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon.

For me running has been the best way for me to maintain my RV performance enhancing weight loss and for me to keep my known coronary artery disease in check!


Twitchy Ailerons

I had an interesting experience regarding this topic with my RV-7. You can read it on the Twin Cities RV Builders website: here
Doug Weiler
Hudson, WI


RV-8 Builder For Sale ...Dan helping a friend's family

Guys: I have volunteered to help sell a deceased friend's RV-8 fastback build. The Kit # is 80406 initially bought July 25 1997, he was the third or fourth owner. This kit is well past the quick build stage.

The kit includes Dynon D-100 and D-120,True Track ADI PilotI/II Autopilot(2 servos mounted and wired),GTX-327 txp, Garmin 496 mount, Flight Comm 403 mc, intercom, hobbs meter, stby airspeed, altimeter, 12 Circuit Breakers, Split Master, 5 switches, and spare blank instrument panel.

Wings, tail feathers, flaps, and ailerons are finished. Fastback kit is 1/2 finished, pull out handle option is finished, finish and firewall forward kit, engine control cables with throttle quadrant, military front stick grip, snorkle, baffle kit, prop spinner kit, Vetterman exhaust NIB, oil cooler, Van's 60 amp alternator, Hooker harnesses, complete set of hand tools, all hardware, heated pitot, 2 canopies, 1-tinted, 1-clear, 121.5 ELT, aileron and elevator electric trim, and landing, strobes, and position light, all included.

I have pictures and will post them on a site or can send on request. The price is $44,500. Not willing to sell pieces, all or nothing. Buyer arranges shipping. Dan from Reno


My photos from the Lake Havasu gathering

I put my photos here.

Had a great flight out and back and the food was very good. Wish I could have had a beer (or two).
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flown over 500 hours!


Cutting Subpanel for Garmin 430

Thanks Scott
Your photos are helpful. I went ahead and cut the hole. Photo at link. Seems ok. Van's told me to reinforce as necessary. Now I need to figure out where to route the cables back behind the subpanel so they can plug into VPX.

Steve Lynn
90% Finished
Working on Wiring


FAA Safety Briefing

Back to Basics | January/February 2018



January 3, 2018  0001Z.  Issue #4,471.
  So Tuesday morning only one aviator on the field was stupid enough willing to go up for a flight in the 23*F morning air via RV-6, and that idiot person was me (note one hangar door open).
  I know, I know…I’m a wuss from TX and people up north take saunas in 23*F water. ;^)
  I should have worn long underwear (and where is mine?), I need to stuff some foam into the NACA ducts to keep the leaking air around the closed vents from bleeding in, and heated motorcycle gloves that plug into 12V are seeming more and more attractive. Other than the 14 minutes it took to get my oil to 100*F, it was a pretty nice flight. The wing sure liked that dense air.  Hadn't flown in five days...felt good to get off the surface for some alumitherapy slash mental re-calibration.
  And I need to tape off some of my oil cooler. We really just don’t get that much insanely cold air down here.
  It's forecast to be above freezing today for the first time in 80 hours, so we're pumped.  That fountain ice near the airport is gonna melt. 


New Years Flights

Very cold here, +9F this morning and got up to +17F in the afternoon but had good sunshine and basically no wind. I couldn't stand it and had to go flying, went goofing off with a buddy and shot some touch and goes, just burning fuel.

Interestingly, we have quite the strong temperature inversion parked over west Texas right now, at 5000' it was 12F outside and at 8000' it was 41F. Altimeter was the highest I've seen it, at 30.56 this afternoon, by setting to my known private home strip altitude.

Bob Mills photo.


Regarding Buldged Control Surfaces

For anyone else interested, there is potential for this to have a negative impact on handle if it exists on other control surfaces as well....

A bulged control surface will make it act as if it were narrower in cord.  That will reduce the aerodynamic feedback... I.E. make the control forces lighter (possibly to a degree that impacts control ability)

It can also impact static stability. If the aerodynamic feedback force of the control circuit is lower than desirable, it has a lower working force against any friction within the system.

A small bit of turbulence or an occupant bumping the stick might induce a small movement of the system that doesn't return to the same position each time because the system feedback is too low to overcome the system friction.

BTW, this is also why friction in the pitch circuit is such a bad thing. Even if the elevators have the proper shape they won't re-center the same each time they are displaced if the friction is too high.

A mis-shaped rudder can also have a negative effect by reducing centering tenancy (once again hinging friction being a bad thing) and making the airplane appear to have reduced yaw stability.


Maintenance Tracking Board

In another thread (which was in danger of being hijacked), I was asked by Plummit about my maintenance tracking board:

Questions, with answers:

Did you apply the divider lines? How?
Answer: I applied the divider lines using line tape from Office Depot.

Where did you get the board?
Answer: Office Depot.

Bonus info: The Event and Interval text is applied using permanent marker (although alcohol will wipe that text easily). The Last Completed and Text Due info is done in normal white-erase marker.


One RV-10 Coming up...Soon...ish?! ...new guy checks in

I'm excited to announce, I have finally decided to build an RV-10. Ordered a kit and built a EAA Work Table (modified to my needs). Tail-kit should be arriving tomorrow (DFW).

I started with a RV-7 and later decide to buy a RV-6. I have flow a bit more than a couple of hundred hours in an RV-6 now and I feel a RV-10 fits my needs better. One of the main reasons for me to decide to build an RV-10 is the VAF Community. Big Thanks to Gary Sobek who helped me fly the RV-6 from San Diego to NJ. I learnt so much from him on that trip, great guy, I can't thank him enough. All I had was 60 Hours of Cessna 172 and 10hours of RV-6 (transition and tailwheel time) so it was quite a jump. Flying along with Vlad for a while, a couple of years ago has helped me immensely to change from a Mission Based Mindset(Flight school) to a Fun Based Mindset.

I assessed my situation and the biggest roadblock I have is time. I travel for work Sunday Night - Thursday (Currently to Montreal). I also have a couple more hobbies other than flying(Motorcycle Track Days, Rock Climbing, etc) so it is going to be challenging. Since I'm already flying, this project is not critical, albeit very significant. It will be an interesting journey working on it and finishing this project.

I'm looking forward to connect with other RV builders in the DFW. Email me and I would love to get in touch.

Happy New Year to all!

Rajiv Chalasani
RV-6 - Red Phoenix (N111BN)
RV-10 - Tail Kit Started


Feb'18 Issue of Kitplanes

...has a nice article about an RV flight over both poles.  "Have you ever wanted to fly around the world? Just imagine the organizational nightmare of it: You would need to book dozens of flights and land in many foreign countries, each with its own language, laws, rules, customs, and regulations. Add to that the dreaded idea of extended traveling with strangers to stranger lands. And after all is said and done, it still could not be said that you actually “flew all around the world,” because in all likelihood you did not fly over the North Pole, not to mention flying over the South Pole."


What does over dimpling look like?

I’ve completed the dimpling on my Empennage skins, I don’t have pictures yet because I can’t seem to capture what I’m seeing. Does anyone have pictures that I can compare to my skins?

I use a C-frame, the dimples look crisp, there is no pillowing around the dimple from what I understand that to be. Looking directly above each dimple there is no distortion, however looking down the rivet line with the skin at eye level, you can see ripples along the rivet line. Only when when light hits it at the right angle. Did I over dimple the skins causing distortion in the metal along the rivet line?


What I Love About This Place

...people like this.


Job Opening at Garmin

Sales Manager Experimental Aircraft and LSA Markets-17001EY

As a leading worldwide provider of navigation devices and wearable technology, our focus is on developing, designing and supporting superior products. Our advanced technology promotes performance, safety and ease of use in every market we serve. That makes us an engineering and technology company with a keen focus on recruiting talent in those fields. But the same vertical integration business model that keeps all design and manufacturing processes in-house also gives us the incentive to hire top performers from different backgrounds, including operations, finance and accounting, information technology, sales, marketing and communications.

We are looking for a full time Sales Manager, Experimental Aircraft and LSA Markets for our headquarters in Olathe, Kansas. This position is primarily responsible for all sales activity within the Experimental Aircraft and Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) market segments and will focus on facilitating Garmin’s growth in this expanding market segment, offer superior support to Garmin dealers and end-customers and identify and cultivate sales channels to maximize revenue.

In this role, you’ll also be responsible for these essential functions:

•Develop and execute sales strategies which maximize sales growth and market share in Experimental Aircraft and LSA market segments
•Participate in public forums such as Van’s Air Force as a knowledgeable product expert and member of Garmin’s “Team X”
•Be immersed in the market to understand LSA manufacturer, dealer and end-user needs, evaluate and communicate competitive landscape, specify market requirements and identify innovative solutions for success
•Assist end-users with purchase decisions and basic avionics installation considerations
•Serve as technical and operational resource to customers who have Garmin Avionics for their Experimental and LSA aircraft
•Aggressively promote all non-certified and certified products as applicable within this market segment
•Aggressively promote the display of Garmin products in this segment at select trade shows
•Coordinate, schedule and present seminars and webinars focused on Experimental Aircraft and relevant product offerings, hosted by Garmin
•Coordinate strategic LSA and/or OEM market-specific initiatives with all sales managers globally
•Build long-lasting relationships with key industry partners
•Identify specific product line and feature growth opportunities and develop analysis for the company’s consideration
•Develop and harmonize product line presentations and marketing communications to this market segment
•Coordinate with the industrial design team to develop or update kiosks used at major tradeshows
•Contribute content and work with others to manage the experimental avionics portion of the website and social media marketing
•Through complete understanding of the competitive landscape, recommend product pricing for new and existing products
•Responsible for the creating and/or updating 1-year rolling forecast (on a monthly basis) for these product categories
•Review and contribute to the 5-year strategic forecast on a quarterly basis
•Provide diligent follow-up to dealers, customers and internal requirements, regardless of travel

Other responsibilities include collaborating with Marketing Communications to deliver creative and high impact printed collateral, video media, website content and product launches. Additionally developing marketing strategies which increase aviation product exposure and sales with Aviation Dealers via their print, digital, web and tradeshow marketing efforts.

A Bachelors Degree from an accredited four year college or university AND a minimum of 2 years experience in Avionics Sales or a position substantially similar to the essential functions of this job description are required for this role.

Qualified candidates for this role will possess the following education, experience and skills:

•Demonstrated experience as an Experimental Aircraft Builder including avionics installations
•Active private pilot
•Demonstrated proficient technical understanding of the avionics competitive landscape, products and systems
•Proven track record executing sales and marketing projects and programs
•Must be team-oriented, possess a positive attitude, work well with others and possess a strong passion for customer satisfaction
•Must be detail-oriented and have the ability to work proactively and effectively with minimal supervision
•Ability to prioritize and multi-task in a flexible, fast paced and challenging environment
•Demonstrated strong and effective verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills
•Proven ability to interact with diverse teams from various internal and external organizations

Job Sales & Marketing
Primary LocationUS-KS-Olathe
Organization Aviation Business
Schedule Full-time
Job Class Exempt




January 2, 2018  0004Z.  Issue #4,470.
  Something we don't see too often in DFW (ice).  Photo taken 1/1/18 near 52F (33.059896, -97.215713) by Randy Richmond.  It should stick around another day, before it gets above freezing on Wednesday.

related: Live Chill Map


New Guy Checks In ...SpeedyMedina

Hi Guys!!!  Happy new year!!!  I'm actually working on an RV-9A! Im trying to have it ready to Sun n Fun, Maria hurricane delay me a lot but still working on it!!
here some Pictures!


Need More Heat!

Happy New Year Everyone,

Flew the RV6A today in this 16 degree weather. To call the heat system inadequate is an understatement. I have a Vetterman exhaust with one heat muff, no mufflers, coming into the cabin in the toe area. Is there anything I can go to get some more heat into the cabin? I'm thinking add another muff to the other side and wrap them with an exhaust heat wrap. What is everyone else in cold climates using for cabin heat?



RV inverted spin no fear

Having done hundreds of inverted spins in my RV4 since it's in my free style for competition for the last three years, I can offer some advice. It takes specific inputs, attitude, and timing to make an RV spin inverted as other RV competitors will concur. I received advanced instruction in an Extra 300 before I tried it. Here's a video of a botched hammerhead that starts a tail slide and possible inverted spin at the 1 minute point, but it never gets to the rotation part:

The error with this hammer head was dragging the right wing, kicking left rudder too late which wasn't effective in rotating the nose down.
Be careful and hope to see y'all in the box this year,
Bill McLean
RV-4 slider
lower AL (roll tide)


-8 acro vid ...ronschreck

There's a half snap at 1:10 and a quarter rolling circle at 3:05.


Canopy fairing fiberglass

Can I do the fuel tanks again? Fiberglass sanding is tough work! When is says don’t worry if the glass overlaps the forward edge the work needed to sand it away isn’t mentioned.

The front center is looking pretty good.

On the left side I attached a pic. Getting the overlap off on the front sacrificed some of piece A. There is also metal showing on the aft edge. You can’t see it but there is a bit of a swale depression between the two.

I was going to lay in another piece of glass cut to size to cover this metal and lay it over some small strips in the depression.

On the other side that little corner where the window meets the aft structure looks a lot better but a little bit of the tip of the metal at that corner shows. How critical is that? Should I keep glassing it until I get a edge of glass to the top of the metal? Or will the final epoxy and primer cure my worry?


Getting ready to order some wings! (slow build) ...SeanM RV-10

I just about have the RV10 emp kit finished up. I'm just waiting on some composite materials to arrive. In the meantime my mind has now turned to the wings. I need to get things in order before I place my order.

Vans Wing kit options-

1. Landing lights- I will probably go with the sunspot LED landing light kit that vans supplies

2. Aileron trim- Will be doing this. "operates independently from autopilot". If I want an AP system does this mean I'll need different servos for that too? At what point do I need to start thinking about an AP system?

3. Float fuel sending units- Will be going this route.

Things I'm starting to look into:

1. Wing and tail position/strobes.
2. Pitot (will probably upgrade to something heated)
3. Stall horn (is this included in the wing kit?)
4. AOA
5. Would like to do a Garmin IFR type setup /w AP, but I need to research this more. should I be looking into this now as well?

When is the right time to get some wiring/crimping tools? Now? Or are they not needed until mid-way through the wings? (I'll probably splurge on the steinair master kit).

Is that a good list? Is there anything else that I should be researching right now?




January 1, 2018.   Issue #4,469.

January Wallpaper Calendar Online

Ed Hicks photo.


Mothership Closed Today

"We will be closed on Monday January 1, 2018 For New Year's holiday.

Phone, Fax, e-mail and Web Orders placed after 12PM noon (Pacific Time) on Friday, December 29th 2017 will be processed on Tuesday January 2, 2018."


Last flight for 2017 - cold day in Maine ...and video!

My last flight for 2017, cold day in Belfast. -17c and -23c @ 3000 ft. Got the chance to get close to 40 min of flight time searching for warm air, but no luck (just cold).

I installed the Bender mod and have an in-flight adjustable oil cooler shutter. I was able to keep the oil temps up to 215 to 220 not too bad with some warm air from the heater. 


Unknown Black Box - What is it?

I'm helping a friend who purchased an RV8 that has no known electrical documentation. The original builder is deceased. I came across this small black box that has 4 wires and surgical tubing attached. It has no markings on the visible surfaces. I have not yet tried to trace the wiring and where the tubing ends up is not apparent.
If you happen to know what is it let me know.
Thanks in advance.


My landing gear needs some suggestions, quick!

A few weeks ago my left tire went flat on rollout. I bought new tires and tubes which I installed today. My gear has been shaky and I thought the new rubber may help. I previously reviewed the wheel/axel alignment and it looked ok.

Today after the tires were installed I started to check things and found I could move the left gear by hand back and forth a few degrees. I looked up and saw the gear/engine mount bolt moving. I removed the bolt and found this. (yes, JB Weld was involved) 


Alton Bay (B18) PIREP ...Glen

There is a hard cold snap gripping the Eastern United States which isn’t much fun unless you are trying to make ice

Just a week ago Alton Bay was reporting open water but today they are watching significant ice developing!

”Good Saturday Morning! It’s over cast and 3 degrees below 0 in Alton Bay. I checked the ice we have approximately 71/2” to 8” in the bay it’s coming along!!”
They need a minimum of 12” everywhere - runway, taxiway, parking, access routes, and snow removal & equipment areas - before they can open. Then also need to be able to keep everything plowed.


Waiting for Spring


Hangar Lighting - The importance of Color Rendering

  Hangar Lighting is a common topic discussed here and a very important one for anyone building an airplane indoors.  There are many factors that go into a quality lighting design but one often overlooked is Color Rendering. CRI, Color Rendering Index, is a number from 0-100, 100 being the most true representation of all colors as viewed with the human eye.
Traditional older lighting sources still commonly found in our hangars are T12 Fluorescent and Metal Halide. Both of these sources have very poor Color Rendering, usually 60 CRI or worse. Other newer sources like T5 or T8 Fluorescent, or LED typically will have better color rendering.
  Here is an example. The top pic is 400W MH, the bottom LED. The MH I would estimate at 60 CRI or lower as they degrade with age, the LED is 70 CRI. 


DIY SS Firewall Penetration Kit: $7.85 ...9GT


RV-14 Build Status Report Video ...control.


3D Printing Speed Mods Update ...Steve Melton


Scott Black's Panel is Cut



December 29-31, 2017.   Issue #4,468.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled NEW YEAR!!!

Mema One Flies Again

Thursday morning I woke up, checked all the computers, did my stretching, weighed myself (170.6), measured BP (114/72) and resting pulse (58) for the spreadsheet (nerds unite), then drove out to 52F for a little cold Wx flying complete with Red Wing boots and Dickies jacket.  I'm ready for the cold.

I noticed Gary Platner pushing out a Bonanza, and he was wearing a collared shirt, which can only mean one thing - his Mom is nearby.  He was about to fly her back home (5hr drive / 1.3hr flight) after a Christmas visit.

The plane wouldn't start, and you already know where this is headed.

"Take my plane."  "Thanks."  Anne Platner, Gary's Mom, is 97 years young.  A small group of folks helped get all their stuff out of the Bonanza while I went and got my plane.  We helped her in and got the seat belts and headset on.  Large blanket for the trip.  Pulled out the passenger stick.

Anne even waved on the takeoff roll as they went by - her first ride in a side by side RV.  She's ridden in Gary's RV-8, which is currently down for annual.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Gary and I flew my RV a few years back to the same airport for my IFR cross country, then had lunch with his Mom.  It sure was nice to get to visit again and see that infectious smile.

97 years young and 32*F.  Why not go flying?  ;^) 


Sid's A/C MX Board

...on the wall near his RV-7A.  You gotta admit it's pretty handy.



Delay of game? ...Scott Card

So, I took a little time off work this holiday and got to thinking.... I wonder how would be the most fun to cut a new instrument panel (among other things)?

Then, out of the blue (literally!!) this thing fell in my lap at a moments notice for not even a song the day after Christmas! Holy cow, Santa Clause really is real.

It was removed, with my help, "In Service". How often does that happen. It was too heavy for the skid steer, with it's hydraulic bypass saying "yeah, no, try again." But where there is a will, there is a way.

Oh boy, I have some CNC controls to bring into the current decade. Life is good.

What is it? It is a fixed gantry, 4'x4' CNC router, with three 5hp spindles, made by a company called Standard Router Inc. that went out of business in 2005. It is all very heavy steel (can you say RIGID) with a solid 1.5" thick aluminum table setup for vacuum hold down. After having moved it, I'm guessing it weighs over 4000#. I have powered it up in the shop but am already in the process of tearing down the controls for a major update.  more pics


Tail wheel takeoff technique for bumps

I had an unpleasant takeoff from Catalina island. I am a tail wheel noob and my normal takeoff technique is to fly the tail early so I can see. While on the roll at Catalina near rotate speed, I hit a hump in the runway which launched me in the air. I got the nose down and accelerated and continued flying but it was not pleasant (and it was my Wife’s first trip in the plane).

I am pretty sure that when the wheels hit the hump, the inertia of the tail kept it where it was with the nose rising, increasing the AOA inducing a premature lift off. The question is, what is the best technique to prevent that.


Christmas Present- Cool RV-10 Drawing from my Son ...TJ


Physics of Air Pressure in the RV-14 ...Scott

The physics of air pressure is such that just like water, it will flow primarily to the path of least resistance.
Pressure Delta (difference) is what makes air flow from one point to another.

If there is no Delta, there is no movement.

If the RV-14 heat system has both heat valves unblocked there is one pressure source (the heat muff circuit) feeding four paths for the air flow (two waste/spill-off paths and two into the cockpit paths).

Regardless of where you want the heated air to go (how you set the heat control valves), it will flow to the path of least resistance. I.E., if the pilot is trying to get heat on only their side and there is no block-off installed on the co-pilot side valve, the flow can choose to go that way and out through the waste flow path instead.

As designed, there is still a small amount of interaction between the left and right heater controls, but it is not a problem..... as long as they are only sharing one waste flow path.

This is just one of many little design details that RV-14 builders are benefiting from with the advanced level of the kit.... and not having to experiment with and resolve on their own once flying.


3D Printed Ideas ...Steve Melton update

"looking fwd to proto4 install.  I am getting close to buttoning up this project."


My experience running a tank dry

Due to my impatience and boneheaded fuel expectations I managed to run a tank dry on a recent long cross country.

I knew the left tank was getting close to being empty but I thought it would get me another 10-15 minutes along before I switched to the right tank. I was about 20 minutes from home with rapidly diminishing daylight at 3500 ft. "The fuel in the right tank would be enough to get me home with reserves", was my thinking before the left tank went dry.

I did not think it would happen but suddenly the engine quit with the prop windmilling at a good clip. I was pretty quick to switch tanks and after about 3 long seconds the engine restarted. I don't remember if I pushed in the mixture and turned on the boost pump but was very relieved that the power came back on.

So...do I fly on, confident that the right tank would carry me through a darkening sky to my destination? No. I finally made a wise decision and diverted 9 miles to an airport I knew had SS fuel. I made it home later than I planned and logged some night flying and a landing. I would have gotten home sooner if I had just topped off the tanks before I left in the first place.

Lesson Learned: After 11 years and 1100 hrs with my RV9, overconfidence, impatience, and complacency are real dangers. I'm glad this happened. It needed to happen and I am a better pilot for it.

Bruce Sacks
RV-9 N659DB - Flying since 7/1/06


Bent Wing Skin Update

After some scuffing and polishing, with most of the score marks gone, I'm down to 0.0275" at the thinnest part of the sheet.


From AircraftExtras.com

NO WELD HANDLES price increase
Unfortunately, we have to pass along the sight increase in price to you. We will be doing this Feb. 30. You can purchase these handles now at the same price. These handles allow yourself and your passenger to get your aircraft without stumbling or leaning on something fragile, like the canopy.
NEW! We are offering SEAT HEAT
We are now offering seats with heat. The seat and back can be made with this feature. These are great for aircraft that are operated in colder climates. They draw little energy while keeping you warm. They come with dual controls that you can install in your instrument panel.


December is the Month to Help Keep VAF Online

It’s December once again, so it’s time for me to beg grovel respectfully ask those folks who haven’t yet sent in their 2017 donation to please send it in now so I can pay the bills I need to pay to stay in business and do the food, shelter and clothing thing.  If you haven’t heard this year-end speech before, VAF is my full time job, my sole source of income for our family (right), and the donations usually determine if we end the year in the black or not.

If you have already donated in 2017, THANK YOU! I’m trying my hardest to provide the RV community with a quality product that motivates, educates and entertains.  I want to keep doing it, but I don't get to make that call.  You do.

Click HERE for all the ‘how to donate’ details, and thank you again to those who help me keep the lights on.

As for the rest of the fam in '17, Susie is still providing free yoga classes to cancer patients (link), Audrey is currently in her 2nd rotation in year one (research) on her path to getting her PhD in Chemical Biology, and Tate is rocking it as a junior in high school - excelling in English, Art and Physics while refining those incredibly important interpersonal skills at the front counter of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.  College soon.

My wife and children never cease to inspire, amaze and humble me with their dedication, compassion and altruism.  My clumsy efforts to continually bring VAF to the RV community is an attempt at bringing a few smiles to some faces in an increasingly caustic world.  My wife and kids set the bar high, and motivate me.

If you choose to donate, thank you for supporting this site with your hard earned money!  I'll continue to try my best to bring you a good product.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled Christmas Season!

Doug Reeves
Your balding host.



December 28, 2017.  0001Z.  Issue #4,467.
  Cold.  I flew Wednesday a.m. for .2 and it never got above 31*F.  My feet were cold all day.  Stein and the rest of the Minnesota RV gang...I have no idea how you folks do it (chill map).  I saw on the news it was -36*F OAT Wednesday morning at your northern border.  I can't wrap my head around life at those temps.  Shivering nod of respect your way...
  I noticed on downdetector.com and isitdownrightnow.com that a couple of photo sites were offline Wednesday afternoon (TinyPic and Photobucket), among others.  Might take a bit for those to get back online. Tech happens...
  Our upstairs heater is currently inop, and I'm troubleshooting.  God Bless the internet, digital cameras and those RV builders who work repairing heaters and a/c units (and helping schmucks like me over email).  Also glad heat rises...
  Yours in fiberglass insulation scratching,

Been Working in the Wing ;^) ...J_Turner

Been slow on the build the last couple of days but, I did make some progress today. If anyone remembers a few days ago I got the lights in the left wing wired up and tested. Everything was quiet as a mouse in the headset. The problem with that test was that I didn't have the antennas connected. When cleaning my bench for prepping the wing skin, I decided to go ahead and connect them to the plane just to get them out of the way. At the end of the day last Saturday, I wanted to demonstrate how nice and quiet it was to my brother. Powered everything on and had all kind of radio noise when I turned on any light. The lights were breaking squelch on both radios (GTN 750 and GTR 20). After messing with it for a few minutes I just said the heck with it and went home to think about the problem. I read about the auto squelch function and wondered if that was the problem since There have been updates to address this function. My G3X's have never been updated since I got them in early '15. Today I downloaded the latest software from the Garmin site and proceeded to do the update. Problem 1) The GSU 73 wouldn't update and problem 2) the GTR 20 wouldn't update. Called Garmin's tech support and got quickly transferred to a guy that helped me get the GSU 73 to update. Rebooted in config mode and it updated very quickly. I think I wasn't giving it enough time to do its thing. Problem 2 took longer, I called back and we couldn't quite figure out what was happening, I said I'll just wait and call back after giving it some more time. More time was not what it needed. It seems I may have a CAN bus problem. After calling back, he told me to turn everything off except the PFD and the GTR 20. It worked. I have some troubleshooting to do. The good thing is that my GTR 20 radio is dead quiet now with all of the lights on just need to figure out why I'm getting some error on the CAN bus.

I did manage to get the aileron servo bolted in and set a few more rivets in the left wing. Man its hard to reach some of the rivets at the aft side of the wing.  ...


Demo Day at Scott's

Friends Scott and Rob are demo'g an office in a hangar to make room for plane stuff.  Some of the old signs stapled on the top caught my attention.  Probably been up there over 20 years. 

"NO Tools Loaned!!!  Don't Ask."


Autopilot During IFR Checkride ...Scott Stewart

The question of "how much autopilot to use during the checkride?" was something that I discussed with all three of my CFIIs.

The first guy, who is very "old school", said that I may be asked to demonstrate it, but not to expect to get to use it for anything other than a basic demonstration during the checkride. The second guy, who is also "old school" said that I could expect to use it when things got real busy in the cockpit, for example to keep wings level while copying clearances. The third guy said to go ahead and use it in all phases of flight, and explain to the DPE when and why I'm using it. I went with the third guy's suggestions.

I used the autopilot during about 80% of cruise/level flight, but turned it off occasionally just to show I could keep the plane level wings/level altitude without the autopilot. I also used the autopilot as ATC was giving me radar vectors to the approach. I made sure to disengage the autopilot before crossing the FAF, although I did re-engage it after the FAF on two of the approaches.

Finally, on the final approach to KRNT, which was a RNAV/GPS approach, the DPE failed my primary EFIS. When he did that, I engaged the autopilot and let it fly the approach while I reconfigured the secondary/passenger EFIS to show the approach plate. All told, I probably used the autopilot for about 50% of my checkride.


Mothership Stats


Holiday free time and maintenance lessons learned ...Burke Wick in Alaska

Whenever undertaking a maintenance issue be sure and check the simple things first. By way of example I will talk about a fuel leak on one of my aircraft. Now this leak was on my Citabria on floats but since I also have an RV8 I believe the issue is still valid. One day when heading out to go flying I noticed a drip, drip drip...of fuel come from the back on the cowling. Immediately turned the fuel selector to the off position and went to work on the cowling. Removed cowl, only dropping a couple tools in the water. Started checking all the fuel connections and could find nothing loose. Turned the fuel selector back on a sure enough, drip, drip, drip...coming from the bottom of the carb. Went over it with a fine tooth comb...nothing...went back to fuel selector...at which point I noted that the Primer was not in locked!...Always start with the simple things first...happy new year.


Stuff For Sale ...Alex Peterson


January 2018 Issue Online

Quick glance shows RV news on pages: 15, 18-19, 95



December 27, 2017.  0001Z.  Issue #4,466.

IFR training in an RV-7? I did it! ...Scott Stewart RV-7

I completed my RV-7 in 2009 and have over 1100 hours on it to date. Living in the Seattle area, there are a lot of weather issues to deal with. In the past few years, there have been a few times that I’ve had to cancel planned trips due to weather. I’ve also had to turn back from coming over the Cascades due to getting stuck VFR on top of the clouds. It’s never fun at the end of a trip to come home and spend the last hour of the flight looking for a hole in the clouds to circle down through. It’s not very safe either!

So last year I decided it was time to move forward on my Instrument ticket. My goal was to use my own plane to train in, so the first hurdle was to put in an instrument panel that would be legal, and would be easy to fly on instruments. I wasn’t interested in the basic six-pack with vacuum gauges and a VOR. No! I wanted to have something that I would be comfortable with.

Oshkosh is a great place to look at the latest and greatest. I spent an entire week with one thought running through my head – IFR Instrument Panel! By the end of the week, I had decided on my setup and began planning the new panel. The legacy Dynon EFIS and EMS would go away. The Garmin transponder and comm radio are out also.

My new panel has Dynon Skyview 10” Touch and Dynon Skyview 7” EFIS, Avidyne IFD440 Nav/Com/GPS, PS Engineering audio panel, Dynon Comm, Dynon (Trig) Transponder, Dynon autopilot, and meets the 2020 ADSB requirements. I cut the new panel and had a friend do the graphics and silkscreen work for me. The old equipment was removed, and new equipment installed.

I spent a few months testing the new equipment, learning how to use the Avidyne, and looking for any bugs. I found a couple of minor issues that were easy to clear up. The worst issue though, was the Nav radio (IFD 440 Nav). Although the glideslope on an ILS approach was rock steady, the localizer needle was very erratic. It took a lot of troubleshooting to figure this one out, but I finally narrowed it down to one of the BNC ends on a short coax from the Nav/GS splitter to the Avidyne radio. And sure enough, when I examined the BNC ends, I found one pin had not been fully inserted in the assembly. Here’s a video of what the localizer looked like with the bad BNC pin, and a picture of the bad BNC pin next to a good BNC connector.

With everything working correctly, it was time to begin IFR training. I wasn’t interested in going to one of the local schools, renting a G1000 Cessna 172, and spending thousands of dollars to learn a system that I would never use again. I wanted to train in my RV-7, so I had to find an instructor who would be willing to fly with me. Seattle has a great flying community, and I was able to find several CFIIs who could do the job. After flying with several CFIIs, I settled down to three instructors who would team-teach me.

I was concerned about the ability of the RV-7 as an Instrument platform. Would it be too twitchy? Too nimble? There’s a reason why so many people get their Instrument ticket in a Cessna. It’s just a good, stable, reliable airplane. I have done a lot of aerobatics, formation flight, cross country, and sight-seeing in my RV-7. Now it was time to see if it could survive in the Instrument training world.

We began training with standard maneuvers – except the standard maneuvers were done with my foggles on! And the RV-7 behaved… OK. Not perfect, but not bad! I had to learn to have a very smooth, light touch on the stick, and really focus on the gauges. It took a few hours of maneuvers to get my skills up to par. Holding altitude, heading, and speed isn’t easy at first, but eventually I figured it out.

Approaches, holds, and course intercepts turned out to be extremely easy with the equipment I had installed. One of my instructors said that flying with my panel felt like cheating, because the instrument scan all happens on one instrument, the auto-pilot can fly straight and level (or a heading and altitude) while I was trying to plan the next maneuver. We moved onto the Cross-country flight relatively quickly, with a flight from Renton (KRNT) to Hillsboro (KHIO) to Astoria (KAST) to Hoquiem (KHQM) to Renton (KRNT). Along the way, we did an ILS approach to full stop, a Localizer to full stop, a VOR to the missed approach, and an RNAV-GPS/circle to land. The cross-country was done in about 75% IMC conditions, and my RV-7 performed wonderfully!

Fast forward a few months, I had racked up a whopping 41.0 hrs of actual/simulated IMC, and it was time to take my checkride. Once again, I had to find a DPE who would be willing to do an Instrument checkride in an RV-7. Sure enough, I found my victim. I briefed him on my equipment, the experimental RV-7, the tailwheel, the panel, etc. Oddly enough, he still agreed to go along for the ride! Because of the experimental nature of the plane, as well as the engine, as well as the panel, I had to be prepared to answer all questions about airworthiness! We spent about 45 minutes going over airframe and engine logs, discussing the work and logbook entries that I could do as the builder, and then going over ADs and service bulletins for the plane, engine, propeller, and equipment. Finally, he declared that my RV-7 may indeed be airworthy, and we completed the checkride.

In summary, if you feel like you’ve got a good handle on flying your RV, if you are very comfortable with the instrumentation on your panel, and if you don’t want to go back to a Cessna for your Instrument ticket, there’s really no reason for you not to use your RV!

Good luck!


Drilling out CCR264SS-3-2 rivets ...Bob Collins RV-12

RV12 Section 21. Page 21IS/U-5.

Unbeknownst to me, the nutplate had fallen off as I pulled the CCR264SS-3-2 rivets.

These are those hollow rivets (once pulled) that are used for nutplates and they don't seem to drill out as easily (if it at all) as regular CherryMax rivets, plus they're steel . And because they're small and the hole is mostly hollow, they spin like a sonofofagun.

Who's done this before and can recommend a procedure?


Where We Have Been (Video) ...Don Schwartz RV-9A



Fwd'd to me by a reader.  ~$18.  Can buy from two VAF advertisers (ACS and Cleaveland) at the bottom of the link above.  Looks like it solves a couple of problems...so, cool!



December 26, 2017.  0119Z.  Issue #4,465.
  Besides having the family around, the best part, I got exactly what I wanted.  Audrey and Susie made me homemade fruit salad Saturday like my Mom made it.  Recipe HERE including typo on the last line.  Mom copied it out of the Waco Tribune Herald over 50 years ago and typed it up on a manual typewriter for her file.  That card is in my sister's possession, but she sent me a pic with her phone.  Skinning those orange slices down to just the INSIDE of each slice (no skin) takes over an hour, and usually results in cursing.  Makes about a gallon and a half, and it's already in the lower GI - like piranhas on a cow in a stream this bunch and their fruit salad.
  Our family drove down and back to Waco for Christmas lunch with Susie's mother (92 and kicking @ss) and her sister Patty and brother Gary.  All great folks.  On the drive home we counted three places open for business.  They are, in the order we saw them:
 1) Denny's   2) Walgreens  3) Hooters.  Only in America ;^).
  Hope you had a great weekend and Christmas.


Rob Reece Christmas Day Trip...RV-7

DFW to Abilene and back with the stepdad - he got tailwinds on the way back as a present.  217kts GS.  Ho Ho Ho.


Bent Top Wing Skin ...Draker looking for input

Merry Christmas everyone!

Some days it seems like it's disaster after disaster on the RV-7 project. Today's one of those discouraging days. After a mishap with the deburring wheel, I'm left with a pretty badly bent wing skin:


Engine Misfire Help ...Michael Burbidge 9A

I just finished my third condition inspection. Before the inspection my engine was running great. On the first flight after the inspection I was about 15 minutes into the flight, at full power, climbing through about 4000 ft. when I got what I can only describe as a misfire. I continued to climb to 7000 ft. and got 3 more misfires, on the way up. I then leveled off, pulled back the power and headed back to the airport. I did not get another misfire.

In the first 15 minutes of the flight I was cruising at about 2500 ft. and probably 50% power. I did not experience a misfire during that portion of the flight nor on takeoff.

I have basic Van's instrumentation, so I do not have recorded flight or engine data. I also did not have the presence of mind to do any diagnostics. I was focused on gaining some altitude and getting back to the airport.

Mag checks on the ground were fine.
Startup and idle were normal.

Here's the basics of my engine:

1 P-Mag, 1 slick mag
TSMOH @1150 hours

Here's what I did during the condition inspection that could potentially be related:

Ignition related
Replaced auto plugs on the p-mag, gapped
Cleaned aviation plugs on the slick mag, gapped
Removed and checked p-mag, retimed.
Retimed slick mag, it was about 1 1/2 degree off (it was overhauled last condition inspection. I think some drift is normal.)
Slightly re-routed plug wires
Ohm check on auto plug wires

Induction related
Replaced intake pipe gaskets. (two were leaking)
Replaced intake pipe hose and hose clamps.
Cleaned air filter
Cleaned gascolator (no debri found)

Oil related
Removed oil cooler, repaired baffle cracks, replaced oil filter
Rerouted bottom oil cooler line to avoid chaffing
Replaced, rerouted breather tube to avoid new oil cooler line placement

I'm not sure where to start looking for the problem. So far I have rechecked p-mag and mag timing. Replaced the new auto plugs with another set. Looked for signs of intake leaks (blue stains, I'm not sure how long it would take so show up) Rerouted plug wires so that the aviation wires do not cross with the auto wires. (they were touching in one spot) My auto plug wires are separated as described in the installation instructions.

Having done this, my inclination is to go for another flight, staying close to the airport and if the problem persists, I will do a mag check at altitude, turn on the boost pump at altitude to see if the problem goes away.

I would appreciate any other diagnostics suggestions to help me find the problem.


Oil Leak on Top of Engine? ...Steve Melton

I don't understand this one. It's not the fwd crank seal. Has anyone had anything similar? thx, Steve


The End (of the Wing) Is Near ...PilotjohnS RV-9A

The end is near, both of 2017 and this wing build.

The ailerons are finished, and I am quite happy with the results. One aileron trailing edge is dead straight, the second took a little work to get out a very minor ripple; I think the ripple was caused by not riveting the trailing edge together as soon as the pro-seal was dry and letting the trailing edge sit unclamped for a few days. No worries should be fine.

I think the secret to building ailerons with no twist is the leading edge straightness. I spent a little extra time making sure the bottom skin was absolutely flat from the stainless steel leading edge weight to the spar. Since drilling the leading edge is very difficult due to the super hard stainless steel, I ended up having some extra "lightening" holes in the stainless steel bar. During final assembly, I made sure the leading edge ribs sat flat on my super flat surface plate (granite kitchen counter top). Once the leading edge is riveted to the spar, the aileron becomes enormously stiff. I am glad I took the extra time to make this part perfect.


3D Modeling Speed Mods Cont. ...Steve M.



December 22-25, 2017.  0001Z.  Issue #4,464.
  It's not lost on me just how Blessed I have been in this life so far.  I have family who love me, friends who can tolerate me and a career that I enjoy.  I don't ever want to take any of these things for granted, and this Christmas Season gives me the opportunity to remind those reading how grateful I am for all of you.
  Susie, Audrey, Tate and I would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.  See you Tuesday...


Bending Blue

I took a picture of Rick F's RV-8 fresh out of a condition inspection at Monk's and noticed later how interesting the blue band of sky looked reflected off the freshly polished canopy.  The aircraft was in the hangar in shade, making the blue that much more vibrant.  dr


Pitot install critique please!

Hello all, wanted to get opinions if my Dynon heated pitot install looks good before I carry on. I wanted to get this done before riveting the outer lower skins. Wiring isn't done yet but that's just a matter of installing a connector on the 3 power wires. I was going to use a molex connector for that but I don't have one. I do have molex pins though. Is it OK to use the pins without the plastic connector part and use heat shrink tube over each wire to hold the pins and wires together? I thought I read that on VAF somewhere. It's not like I'm going to take that connection apart frequently.




Is my engine self-destructing?

I love to learn. That's one of the things that got me into the airplane building thing. It's also taught me that there's a lot I have yet to learn...

I have a lycoming o-360, 675 hours SNEW, but was recently rebuilt (by me) in response to a prop strike. Case professionally cleaned, cam and crank polished, tappets overhauled, new bearings, overhauled jugs, new pistons, piston pins, etc. It now has about 75 hours on it since the rebuild. These 75 hours have been accrued over the past 9 months.

The engine uses virtually no oil, and has made good compression (78+/80 at 10 and 50 hours, haven't checked it since), and runs smooth and strong. Oil temps are a little low, but fine and pressure is about 80psi in cruise, 60 at idle.  ...




The Third One ...Sylvainsting

The Team would not be complete without the third chief...  Mine was finished last year. Same configuration than Alain and same painter.  Great machine. Already 170 hours on hobbs !


Help finding torque value for idler gear shaft

Lyc gurus: I am reassembling a 540. I could not find a specific torque value in the overhaul manual for the 5/16-18 x .87 bolts that fasten the idler gear shaft flange to the case.

The standard torque value listed in the overhaul manual for 5/16 bolts is 204 in-lbs. That seems awfully high for this application.

Am I missing anything? Thanks.



December 21, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,463.

The Flat That Wasn't

enlarge the carnage

Before all the recent storms and fog here I took Flash up for some quality time in the Tropo.  After landing I taxied back up to the hangar, mental gyros all recalibrated, and felt what I was absolutely certain was my right tire going flat FAST.   Flop.  Flop.  Roll.  Bump.  Clang.  Flop.  Uncommanded right turn.  Flop.  Wheel pant obviously being destroyed.  Mixture cutoff and on the brakes to ponder my next move.

I sat there in the cockpit for a minute or so turning off switches, unlatching harnesses and re-stowing the headset, starting to mentally plan the next two hours of wheel pant removal, finding a tube, breaking the seal and all the other fun of tire love (a.k.a. Crap Sandwich).  I got out and walked around to view the carnage...

There was none.

the offending rat bastard

The reflector on the taxiway in front of my hangar had broken from its glue on the concrete on my taxi out, and when I returned Flash's right main slid it roughly 15' in fits and starts.  Hopping a little, sliding a little, making grinding noises - grinding down that reflector like nobody's business.  Noises and vibrations translating through the airframe and into my headset cups doing the best 'I have a flat' imitation I've heard or felt.

Take away lesson:  Before you sit in the plane planning your morning's damage repair....maybe get out first and see if you're plane really has damage.

I know...right?!?! 


Nice short flight in the French Alps (video)

Short video of a nice flight in my RV-7, late afternoon in mid-December in the French Alps.


Finished 7A Post Card ...skydive911

Here is mine, also freshly painted by the same painter as my friend Alain, who becomes a reference for the French RV's!

First Flight: 5/16/17 after 1851h construction (QB)

Engine: Lycoming IO-360, horizontal induction, 180hp + smoke system

Prop: MT Prop. MTV12B, 3 Blades, constant speed

Instruments/Avionics :
Dual Skyview SV-D1000 touch-screen EFIS displays
SV-ADHARS 200+201
Dual SV-GPS-250
IVP-X Sport to control it all.

Interior : Classic Aero



Old Eagles ...Bob Miller RV-6A (and 182)

Last weekend I was able to take an old F6F pilot up. Actually had to completely pick him up to get him in a 182 - said he didn't mind. He can't see well but I watched him feeling the controls. We had a great time.

I dragged and dropped in for the "carrier" landing and braked hard. He laughed and said it would do. These guys are treasures and we are losing them fast. Wish I had the $$ to get him into a Hellcat. I'm still thinking about how to get him into the RV.


Dynon Holiday Hours

As a reminder, Dynon Avionics closes for business for a few days around Christmas and the New Year. Sales, shipping, and support services will not be available during this time. This year, we will be closed on the following dates:

Monday, December 25
Tuesday, December 26
Wednesday, December 27
Thursday, December 28
Monday, Jan 1

We'll be open Friday, December 29th. Order today and we will ship before we close at the end of the day on December 22nd.


Dimple Screw Up ...pilot tender

Hi all, I started building my -8 Empennage last month. I'm just about ready to start riveting the skins but somehow while i was dimpling the skins I managed to get a double hole...Do I need to purchase a new skin and replace the whole thing? or is there a fix for this?



December 20, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,462.

Oregon Wx temporarily visiting Texas.
It rained all Monday, and I'm already
tired of it ;^)


Trial fitting the HS 1213 hinge brackets to the F1211 bearings and they are to tight  ...Jeff Wright RV-12

Hi all, I'm at the point where I'm trial fitting the HS 1213 hinge brackets to the F1211 bearings and they are to tight. They fit when there are no washers included but too tight when there are washers installed. I'm at a loss about what to do about it.....

The brackets are square and the stops are not undersized. Everything seems good according to the plans but the fit is just a smidge to tight. I'm guessing that installing the stabilator after the emp cone is done would be a real pain if this fit is not "slide right in" tight.


Can I?  Yep.


In flight Rotax power loss

First this is kind of long. Background: Rotax 912 ULS over 200 hours. A few hours after annual. On annual new plugs and the floats replaced on left carb. One float was heavy. Carbs were balanced before I found out float was heavy so they now appear to be a little off balance. Prop pitched a little coarser than before, testing the denser winter air with static around 5000 on ground and about 5100 in climb out. Flown about 5 hours in the latest configuration. Climb solo at around 1400 fpm today.

After take off climbed to 3000' and ran a few minutes at 5500 rpm at 124 KTS TAS. Slowed to 5350 for cruise and shortly after stabilized rpm suddenly dropped to 4700 and felt a little rough. Full throttle application caused no power increase. Reducing power the engine was much rougher. I turned around and limped along back home until the Dynon showed well within glide distance. I then stopped the prop and requested traffic clearance for a dead stick landing. In retrospect I should have kept the engine at WOT since it was relatively smooth there and not reduced power and shut it off until in the pattern but I was afraid whatever was wrong would be made worse. With prop stopped and holding 60 knots until touch down I averaged 600 fpm descent rate. I now know stopped engine glide performance.

On ground the engine started fine with normal engine run up. Powering up the engine felt starved and would not go over 4600 rpm and would shutter and run rougher the more throttle you added to increase rpm. Pulled plugs and if anything they looked lean with slight light gray deposits. Compression felt fine but I will run a compression check. Gasolator clear, everything in the green and as before except the in flight EGT difference.

Downloaded Dynon. It showed all in line up to about 1/2 way in my 5500 rpm run when the right and left EGT deviated from 712 and 700 to 726 and 793. That spread continued until I shut down the engine. Before I lost power fuel flow was 5.1 gph and it then deviated from 4.4 to 5.1.

I'm thinking a fuel line obstruction after the totalizer but before carbs so after the compression check I'll start disconnecting lines and checking fuel flow. Other idea is an ignition breakdown at rpm or under load. Hopefully nothing internal.


Before I start another s... storm on 5100 rpm in climb as I see being heavily discussed, that is at 75 kts climb which is only maintained for a short time. Cruise climb is well over 5200 rpm with rate of climb decreasing accordingly. Yes I'm pitched currently as a trial to exceed 120 kts but not at sea level or full gross weight but 3000' solo. It will even gain another knot or two when you run it up to red line.


Countersunk Too Deep ...Eztroller RV-14

My question is replace the spar (HS 00903-1), or move on...? What surprised me was how fast the single flute countersinking cutter grabbed the material and took off!



December 19, 2017.   0002Z.  Issue No. 4,461.

Give Hope Wings

The Give Hope Wings www.givehopewings.ca crew would like to introduce ourselves to the VAF community. Two Canadian RV’s (C-FYQS & C-GTDP) circumnavigating Central & South America in January/February ‘18. What started out to be a “joy-ride” for 2 adventurous (some say crazy) RV pilots, turned into a successful fund raising effort for a cherished Canadian charity www.hopeair.ca. Hope Air has been arranging and paying for flights for low-income Canadians so that they can get to medical attention far from home.
Give Hope Wings has raised over $450,000 for Hope Air, on the way to $500,000 through this promotional adventure. This will get no less than 2000 needy Canadians to medical attention that they desperately require.

We would love to meet up with any RVers south of the border and share our stories as we have now quite a following on social media. We will also be live tracking our journey on our website. We will be circumnavigating C & S America counterclockwise, mainly sticking to the coast starting January 6th.

Muchas Gracias!
Russ y Dave


New Guy Checks In

My name is Jim and I have purchased a partially complete (40% complete 80% to go) RV12 .I am CERTAIN I will need lots of advice! While I await delivery in January, I would ask for a little help:
I bought the plans thumb drive , but have been waiting a week for it to arrive. Does anyone have a digital set of plans they could load to dropbox, etc.for my review until plans arrive?
Thanks for all the future guidance.


3D Snap Buttons Addition ...Steve Melton

"...proto4, snap buttons and 3 deg down trim on the fairing airfoil"


Bending Back Skins

I was skeptical about bending back the skins.  Be slow and methodical, you'll be OK.

You can do it solo, pull the skin toward the center of the wing from both edges to allow access with a bucking bar at the center, and then work outward.


Heat Muff Tip

Two things I have learned for better heat muff performance:

1) You want the opening in the baffle to the SCAT tube to be no larger that 1" diameter. Use tape or a restriction plate to close it down. You need to give the air time in the heat muff to pick up heat. More air flow than that just means more cold air into the cockpit.

2) Use coiled solid copper wire inside the heat muff to improve heat transfer. 18g or 14g solid wire wound into a tight coil about 1/2" diameter so it looks like a long spring. I use a pencil or a 1/4 socket extension for a mandrel. Take those coils and wrap them around the exhaust pipe inside the muff so the air has to flow between the wire loops on its way to the outlet.


The Clear Choice! ...RV-8 guy

And, the clear choice after this detailed assessment is ... the RV-8, of course! <g>.


Upgrade Status Report ...Dayton Murdock

I have started to assemble things.  This is the pitch servo..


Fitting SB 16-03-28 on new wings

So, I had already riveted the top skins on before I installed the SB. What I didn't think of was riveting the aileron gap cover to the web of the main spar. I thought I was going to be able to get my bucking bar flush but the picture shows otherwise.

What's the best option here?



December 18, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,460.
  No flying for me Saturday or Sunday due to Wx and a drained battery - EFIS software updates had me leaving the panel on too long for the juice I had - slaps palm on forehead) ;^).  The charger is fixing the problem and the outlook much better ;^).
  I'd like to brag a second regarding two things, one of which is important and means something, and the other just fun.  First, our son Tate got his first raise at his first job (Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers).  An extra .50/hr and he is now a 'trainer' for new employees.  He's been there six months, and his grades have gone up during that time to boot.  This is important and worthy of recognition.  Take THAT, world!
  Second, and in the fun category, my 15-0 High School football team in Waco is going to the State 6A-Division II Championship.  That they also beat Danny 'Beautiful Doll' King's Carroll Dragon's two weeks ago is just icing on the cake <wink to my good friend Danny>.   They play in AT&T Stadium (Jerryworld) Saturday the 23rd at 7pm.  Go Panthers! ;^)
  Hope you had a nice weekend and your week goes smooth.

Eagle's Nest First Solo Video  

Check out 904EN piloted by Anthony Medina for his first solo


Life Update (good news) ...our friend Brian (hydroguy2)

"...so, it has been about year since I listed Aurora for sale. It was a sad decision, but the right one. Kris and I were about to start the battle of her life.

Short version: We won..for now.

Longer version: she went through Hel*, hung around there for too long but crawled back to the surface. We are forever grateful for all the thoughts,prayers and good wishes. She suffered some pretty bad radiation burns to the neck and throat, had to stop treatment and in ICU. Feeding tube since she couldn't swallow even water. But at the point of giving up...we didn't. She has had several checks since treatments were done and there is no sign of the tumor and all tests show Cancer Free!
Thank you all for being there for her. I also highly recommend the Cancer Treatment Center of America. Let me know if you want more info.

Now onward to the future!

I can't afford a flying plane or buy back Aurora...(plus I think the owner is kind of attached to it). We have decided, we have room in our budget to build again. Looking for a dormant project RV-7 would be ideal, but open to other RV's too.
I have a '59 C-182 that might be able to work into a deal with someone. I'm in a 50/50 partnership situation, but other owner isn't flying it.

Life is good, go enjoy it.
Merry Christmas everybody"


Which RV is Right for Me? ...some charts being drawn

I've been looking for a guide on visually and functionally distinguishing the different Van's aircraft models, but all I found was the "Which RV is Right for Me?" page. In the absence of a guide, I copied the 3-view diagrams from the Van's site and made a simple set of "Airfield Identification Guides for Van's Aircraft"


Status Report ...Jereme Carne

After working with some PolyGone Gel it was time to seal in the anti rotation bracket and hopefully have these tanks behind me! The PolyGone Gel works really well at removing the gorilla snot. It is way thicker than I thought though, not bad just unexpected


Flying in Maine Dec 16, 2017 ...Dvalcik

Yesterday a gaggle of 5 RVs headed to breakfast (2 RV7s, RV8, RV9, & RV12). We had some snow in the week that made it a little difficult to get out planes out of the hangers due to the ice since all of the RV hangers but one have full sun during the day. We had about an inch of dusting Friday night with a planned departure of 9 am Sat morning. When I left the house it was 8 degs Flew to Lewiston–Auburn for breakfast and the headed to Fryeburg for a holiday flying.


RV-Lancair Brotherhood Day

The winter weather finally allowed some of us to meet up at GMU for lunch. Darwin had a previous engagement, but Owen, Steve and I made it.


Wingtip height RV14A

Q: Does anyone have the dimension from the ground to the underside of the wingtip area of the RV14A. Trying to figure out where to place a few items in my hangar.

A: One might expect the lowest point to be the red arrow which measures ~36”, but the actual lowest point is the blue arrow at ~34.5”, and is no lower than the wing at that point.


Status Report in Pics ...J_Turner


Milestone: Wings ON! ...Mike Brown RV-4

Very tight fit, but all is good so far. Lots of attaching and in attaching again to paint


Happy First Flight Day ...17th



December 15, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,459.
  Wednesday evening during the annual property owners meeting at my home field (52F), the property owners voted to restore the name of our airport back to its original 'Aero Valley' (a sectional from 1975).  A 'sea change' event reflecting a new era of awesomeness.  It will take a bit of time to file the paperwork, and the freq. might change, but we're all pretty stoked with the new vibe.
  You can view a PDF version of all (42) slides shown during the meeting HERE.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.


RV-6 Getting Some Motor Mount Love at Aero Valley Aviation ...Monk's place

Cracked motor mount requiring some welding.  Click to enlarge...


Revised Electrical System ...please review

Only odd spec is the mounting requirement, a 0.125"x16x16 aluminum plate for the full 200 amp rating. Surely the heat sink is needed only for continuous use at high amps?  The heat sink size is the same for all three from 100A through 200A so I would think there is some wiggle room. If I decided to go with an SSC I only have room to mount on a .125 sink slightly larger than the contactor. I'm thinking with typical buss amps there should not be heat issues.

Excellent points! I have revised my diagram to reflect your inputs.
Thank you


Problem Solved: Cannot transmit only static ...Stan Bahrns RV-7A

Evidently when I last installed the radio I didn't didn't get the lug on the screw that draws the radio into its mount in the right slot & even though it was tight it didn't draw the radio in far enough.So it evidently made good contact with the pins ok for about 125 hrs & then started losing connection intermittently & finally not at all. Was an easy fix once I figured it out. Probably would have saved a lot of work if I would have just pushed in on the radio in by hand.

Stan Bahrns
N868B 365 hrs
RV12 40 hrs
Effingham,(southern) ILL


Garmin® announces availability for the GDL® 52, an industry-first all-in-one portable ADS-B and SiriusXM Aviation receiver


Easy Software to Draw Electrical System? ...kaber56

Q: I apologize if this thread is redundant but does anyone know of an easy software program that can be used draw up my electrical system?

A: Visio has an electrical system component in its built in templates.

A: I used MS Visio for my RV-8 (painful). I'm currently using TinyCAD for my Bearhawk.

A: I used Visio to draw my schematic (24 B-sized pages and counting).

However, I was to do it again, I'd use a bona-fide schematic capture program.

There are some great programs out there (Altium, Eagle, OrCad, Pads), which I used at work in the past, but no longer have available, and I didn't want to spring for the three or four figure price tags.

There are some good free ones, though: KiCad, TinyCAD, EasyEDA, and others.

- Does a great job keeping track of all the wiring, including maintaining netlists between all components.
- Easy search of connections by user net name
- Forces you to include all connectors and other misc components
- Generates a bill of materials (often directly exportable to Mouser, Digikey, etc)
- You can build virtual cable bundles by combining individual wires into busses, helping fuselage wiring layout.

- Have to learn a new SW tool, and these tools are not easily "self discoverable"
- Have to make individual "components" for all the non-generic stuff like avionics, special relays, fuse holders, etc. This is a big job if you're going glass.
- Are constrained to their grid system and schematic presentation styles (ie, your schematic may look a bit uglier and be more confusing that you'd like)

In the end, though, the benefits outweigh the initial investment to set up the components in the system. It make tweaking and schematic management much easier in the end. YMMV.

A: ExpressSCH is stone simple.

Example schematics here http://www.vx-aviation.com/sprocket/.../schematics-2/


Whatever you choose, congratulations. A thoroughly documented electrical system will significantly add value to your aircraft.

A: The electrical diagrams in this thread were done in Power Point


The files are available for download (links in the thread somewhere) if they provide any help.


Status Report ...J_Turner RV-7



December 14, 2017.   Issue No. 4,458.
  Please excuse the early push of the Thursday edition (4pm Wed).  The yearly property owners meeting for my home field is this evening and I'm on the board.  Gotta get cleaned up ;^).

Review my electrical system plan

Looking for opinions on my electrically dependent main power distribution concept. RV8, VFR mission, single alternator, aft mounted batteries, dual-boost pumps, ignitions, and ECU's. Battery 2 functions as a brown out battery and additional endurance. No interest in an E bus simply turn off one or both batteries and land. No interest in using battery 2 for engine start.


Flap Linkage Bolt ...Dave Romuald RV-8

I thought I would share this discovery since I appreciate other posts when members share important issues. I was performing my annual condition inspection with my local A&P. I decided to pull the interior side panels of my RV-8 to inspect the flap linkage. I had recently made the mistake of taking off with full flaps and although I was confident I didn't overspeed the flaps I thought it would be worth a look. To my surprise I found that the nut on the bolt which connects the flap motor to the linkage almost completely backed off. Although it has a nylon insert this nut could be turned with my fingers.

I have owned the a/c for five years (not the builder) and regret that this was never checked on my previous condition inspections. I can't vouch for whether or not the nut was installed properly but I do see some evidence that a wrench was used on the nut prior to this photo.

Although I have no idea as to why this nut came loose I thought it would be something of interest to this forum.


A Blast From the Past ...Pete Howell 3rd Year Performance #s (2009)

I just signed off the 3rd annual condition inspection on the -9A, and I thought I would re-run some cruise performance #'s to see if she has lost anything. Plus, a meeting was cancelled, and the weather was perfect!

I preflighted, took off, ran on up to 8500ft, and set up for cruise. I locked on the Trutrak and took some 4 way data on the cardinal headings.

22.2" MP, 2270 RPM, LOP 6.0-6.1 GPH, carb heat about 1/4 on.

Here is the data:


20% Off Kit Plane Cowling Kits ...VAF advertiser


Headset Theft at T74 ...David Nelson (Taylor, TX)

Discovered the other day that one of my Quiet Technologies headsets and my Bison RV Flight Bag had been stolen from my plane while locked away in my hangar at T74. After bringing it to the airport managers attention, it was discovered that other hangars were recently broken into and their headsets stolen, too. Tools, avionics, etc weren't touched.

Contact officer A.Clifford @ Taylor PD (512) 352-5551 if you have any information or discover items have stolen from your hangar.


Year end surplus items (Garmin, TruTrak, Dynon) ...SteinAir


Panel in Progress ...JR Davis RV-8



December 13, 2017.   Issue No. 4,457.

Proof of Fun:  RV Curves...it never ceases to amaze.

Gas run up to GLE, rendezvousing with Smokey on the way.  3-ship of usual suspects turned into 4-ship as planned at the time we were shooting for (amazing).  I mean it's just a gas run, but the discipline and skill sets are something you start to take for granted, and occasionally when looking at the ground tracks later you're brought back to the stunning realization of just how beautiful the geometry can be....and what satisfaction this RV hobby can provide when you practice.

The ground tracks spotlighted (start here) ...and captioned.  Garmin Pilot screen grabs.


100 Hours

Approximately one year ago, N104ST made its first flight powered by a prototype CD-230. Today, it passed the 100 hour mark.

Fuel bill for the first 100 hours---$2084.27-----713.2 gallons ------- Price range $2.50 to $3.57
---There are still 33 gallons in the tanks!---

Condition Inspection time is here, so the fun will come to a temporary halt.

Known items to be worked on:
1- enlarge oil cooler inlet duct- oil temps are acceptable but need to be better.
2- CHTs - there is TOO much cooling air.
3- start working on empty weight reduction

I’ll be sure to post any findings from the inspection when its finished.

Scott Flandermeyer
Rv-10 TDI #40816
Fayettevile, GA


Titan II missile museum

Our recent trip to Tuscon to see the Titan II missile museum.


J_Turner Status Update

Today I got the left gear leg and the upper and lower intersection fairings in place and drilled and cleckoed together. The lower intersection fairing took quite a bit of heat from a heat gun then I held it in place with a shop towel while it cooled. I trimmed the aft edge a few times and continued the heat gun process about 3-4 more times until it finally laid down where and how I wanted it.


Baggage floor to center section riveting  ...Bob Collins RV-12

And we're back.

Tonite's question involves the RV-12iS, Section 21 page three instructions for riveting the three ribs and baggage floor to the center.

Specifically, this line of rivets -- AN470-4-9's -- 12 of which are need on each floor to the center section. Simple.


Practice on scrap!

Reason number 148 for why you should practice learning how to use a tool (in this case a nutplate jig) on scrap rather than the workpiece:

Sometimes I make a mistake and say, "Well that happens--lots of builders learn this one the hard way". Other times I have to say, "Wow there really isn't any excuse for this. Use your head, dummy!" This is one of those times.

If you're a new builder, heed the advice constantly given here on VAF to practice on scrap first!



December 12, 2017.   Issue No. 4,456.
  Monday morning at 52F was an RV beehive.  I showed up with the goal of adding a quart of oil, some air in the tubes and a quick ILS over at KAFW before getting on the keyboard.  Ended up also going over to DTO for their ILS 18 practice.  What I observed instead was the whole RV spectrum:

1. Rob working on his -8.
2. Monk working on three different RVs
3. Kay getting ready to go practice acro in his 8A.
4. Three of the other usual suspects briefing for a formation hop...planes on the ramp waiting.

  When I came back into the pattern Kay was on short final, the formation gaggle was joining up and cruising out to the NW and I had a text on my phone from Alex D. saying he saw me go missed over at KAFW (he was standing on the ramp between three F-18s and two T-38s).
  Oh, and Smokey Ray later texted he wants to join up Tues at an appointed time in the air for a formation fuel run.  Agreed!
  RVs Baby!   If you're still building...it's worth it, IMHO.
  And good morning...

Doogie's tracks from Mon morn.  Click to enlarge.
Garmin Pilot screen grabs.


Victoria News


Graduation Day

457PapaMike waiting on ride to Hanger U for a set of wings after 5 years


Fitting SB 16-03-28 on new wings

Hey, I've just unpacked the aileron hinges and prepped them for assembly. While I was at it I grabbed the SB 16-03-28 kit and prepped the angles. However, when I fitted the parts to the rear spar it was immediately obvious that I was going to have a problem.

Fitting the angles in the SB 16-03-28 kit will prevent me from being able to rivet the two skin to spar holes on the bottom skins in that area because a bucking bar won't fit. In fact, I don't think a blind rivet will fit either!

Has anyone else fitted their SB kit on a slow build new wing yet? Is there any advice from Van's on this I've missed?


Out with the old & in with the new - Plug for TS Flightlines


Roll Construction Angles

On Page 29-4 for RV10 getting ready to roll my side skins. Step 2 gives me dimensions for making F-1070a&b Roll Construction Angles, but can't see which stock I'm suppose to use.

Do I make this out of AA6-063x3/4x3/4 (1/16") stock or the AA6125x3/4x3/4 (1/8") stock?


Air cleaner bracket keeps getting bent

puzzled why the inboard lip of the air cleaner retaining frame keeps getting bent upwards. When I straighten it, after the next flight, it's bent upwards again about 3/16 to 1/4 in at the fwd inboard corner. It happens whether the rubber seal is short or long. Could the airflow over the bracket create a low pressure region which causes this?


Bragging a Little on my Son Tate

...his recent art project...in charcoal.  Some video game thing.  Better than I could ever do....that's for dang sure.  dr



December 11, 2017.   Issue No. 4,455.

Christmas card photos

An Outback adventure in Australia ...Dustyone

RatFlight Departure ...ChiefPilot

Is this corrosion?


RV-8 Bent Stick ...Scott Hersha

It looks like it works! The stick is offset 2 inches and the offset clears the front edge of the seat pan. Some of the top of the stick will be removed when I install my infinity grip, but there’s still plenty of room for it to clear the bottom of the IP and in the full forward position it doesn’t reach the gear tower cross brace. Cut angle is 65 degrees - 2 cuts 2.3 inches apart. That cut off piece makes the offset piece - rotated making the upper and lower parts parallel.

Working Them Angels....overtime*

A webcam video showing an almost Piper crash at my home field Friday.  Around 10 seconds in you hear the engine sputter after takeoff.  At 20 seconds you see the shadow pass down RWY 17.  Then for the next several seconds you hear the engine cut in and out as the pilot tried the classic 'impossible turn' (much to the displeasure of a few watching).  Around 1min 10sec you see the plane approaching from the SE, bank nearly 45* and land at most likely over 100kts.  If the engine hadn't surged there at the last second it probably would have cartwheeled.

IMHO, this pilot is lucky to be alive.  Two big flat fields were overflown.

Panel Pic ...olyolson RV-4

Here's Your Sign! ;^) ...J_Turner

Status Report ...jcarne

White Doesn't Look Bad ...Steve Melton 3d printing

Paint has started ...Don Patrick



December 8, 2017.   Issue No. 4,454.
  A cold front pushed through N. TX on Thursday and the temps are a dropping - dipping into the 20s shortly. I took the RV-6 up for 20 minutes Thursday morning between phone calls and emails to see how the front passage affected viz. Humidity 31%. Winds 20kts at 350*….down the centerline.
  From 2,000’AGL at the northern tip of Lake Lewisville I could CLEARLY see the landing lights on jets in the flare, landing, and rolling out on RWY 36L at KDFW (25) statute miles away (measured later using GoogleMaps). The red lights along the north end of the runway were also extremely easy to see…and crisp. What a nice visual treat….something rare for N. TX.
  I paid for the view as I was cold the rest of the morning. Red Wing boots and Dickies jacket barely made a dent. It was still worth it though. ;^)
  Hope it’s not too cold where you are and wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Eagle's Nest Projects - Anthony Medina / 1st Supervised Solo at Central HS (WI)

...R.E. Butcher post

December 1, 2017
Central High School (WI) Eagle's Nest Projects (Team Senft)
Anthony Medina - 1st Supervised Solo (Executed flawlessly)

Team 'Senft' at Central High School (WI) is turning out private pilots at a record pace. Central's team of student-builders, mentors, and community supporters are near completion of their 2nd Eagle's Nest Projects RV-12 build and continue to expand their flight training program for the student-builders.

Please welcome Anthony to the VAF community and don't be bashful to share any words of wisdom or encouragement.

Congratulations Anthony!!! We're all VERY proud of your accomplishment.


Status Report ...J_Turner RV-7

Didn't get much done today but I think I have my head wrapped around the process. I didn't read the instructions all of the way through for the gear leg fairing and this caused a little extra work on my part to get a straight gear leg fairing.  ...


Control linkages and washers ...Chjris Mitchell RV-4 project

Q: I am trying to install the various control linkages from the sticks back to the elevator. There seems to be a shortage of information on the plans, though I might well be missing something. Not helped by these odd washer sizes that are called out in various places.

So, F-635 on drawing 38. The center bearing has two AN960-416 washers and two 5702-95-30 washers. Nice clear diagram and I understand that the 5702 95 30 washers capture the bearing if it fails. These funny washers are 0.25id and .75 od. Fair enough?

Drawing 30. Where F-441, the big pushrod, is attached to the elevator horns, there is an AN3 bolt and an AN365-1032 nut, plus enough washers between the elevator horns to fill the gap.

Drawing 28, F399 and F-440, are connected to the front stick base, the rear stick base and back to the bottom of the bell crank. Two of those locations (F-440 to back of rear stick and F-440 to bottom of bellcrank.) indicate to use the little 5702-75-60 spacers/washers. Should I use the same little washers on the other two locations (front stick to F-439 and F-439 to rear stick)? That would use up all 8 of the supplied 5702-75-60.

What about he top of the bell crank to the F441 big push rod? Can't find the details for that at all.

Finally, two possibly dopey questions:

Why do we not use the larger washers in all these locations as there are still rod end bearings that could, presumably, fail?

Why do we use nyloc nuts in these locations rather than AN - (non-A) bolts, castle nuts/split pins?

As ever, many thanks.

A: (Scott Hersha)  Here's the way I like to think of it - If I was a bearing in a rod end, and if I became separated from the rod end (either by failed bearing race or some defect), then what would happen next. If the answer is that the rod end and whatever it is connected to could fall outside of the safe operating area where it is supposed to be in - it could then jam the control - well then you have to have something to prevent that from happening. On your large elevator pushrod that is captured in the elevator bellcrank, you don't need a large diameter washer because if the rod end bearing fails it is held in the same relative position because it can't get outside the jaws of that bellcrank - as long as the bolt doesn't break. On your aileron inboard bracket where it connects to your aileron push pull tube rod end, you will need to have the large diameter washer on the bearing side of the approximately 1/2" spacer that's there. Even though the whole collection of spacers, and washers is inside of the aileron bracket, a failure of that rod end could allow the now liberated bearing to slide laterally a half inch or more, which would possibly jam the control tube in the aft spar opening. That large diameter washer prevents that from happening.

As far as those very small (and difficult to install) 5702-75-60 washers - I think the only place I've seen those used is in place where a normal size washer would contact and drag on the part that the ball is pressed in to - like the outboard aileron bracket on some models, or on a rod bearing where the rod pivots a lot. That small diameter washer gives a space between the ball and the normal washer or surface, so it can move freely without interference.

A: (Gil) There is another interesting twist here for owners of very early -4 and -6 kits.

Vans changed the vendor for the rod ends, and if you have the Heim rod ends that were supplied in the very early kits they had a different profile at the end of the ball portion. I looks sort of like the tiny Vans washer was actually built into the design.

I believe this explains why some early kits did not need the tiny washers while later kits did.

Nevertheless, the aileron pushrods should not bind in any position of the stick. If they do, add the tiny washers.

These two pictures show the difference:


From the Mothership...



December 7, 2017.   Issue No. 4,453.

Pearl Harbor: 76 year anniversary.
fmi: https://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm


RV Alumitherapy: 12/6/17

The Wx around DFW is going to be cold and windy today, so yesterday many of us got in our every-few-days RV quicky.  Below are (4) pics and (1) video I took to sum up the flight.  What started as a 'I really don't know where to go' flight turned into much more....and a movie reference.

Visiting Monk's before the flight my attention was drawn to some nice spark plug wiring and oil cooler duct recently installed on a -4.  Neat wire standoffs...


Over to Frisco and the morning traffic jam on southbound 75.  Nice to be above it and not in it...


Back over to Lake Lewisville and a radio call to see if Rob 'Smokey' Ray was RVating in the RV-X on his day off.  Yes!  I got a short clip of his takeoff before he joined up on my wing for some form work.


Scorch was monitoring 122.75 and ask for some wing work also.   VERY still, cold air made for fun practice.  Random iPhone taken w/o looking cropped the following.  Some 360's on the left and right, some echelon, two pitch outs/rejoins.


Back on deck at the U.S.S. Aero Valley (52F) later Smokey showed up with a rug he didn't want anymore.  "Anyone want it?"  Yep.

This rug really ties the room together, does it not?  Thanks Smokey!



Video of First Flight ...Matt K. RV-7


Oil in weird spot in cabin

Noticed a couple drops of oil underneath the throttle cable where it meets the throttle lever in the cabin. In my RV-8, I have the side panel throttle quadrant mod, but for purposes of this discussion should be considered identical to a stock build.

The other end is connected to a Lyc IO360M1B. The end of the cable is in the vicinity of the low pressure oil return lines, so I decowled to investigate. There was a touch of moistness in that area but nothing more than usual, and certainly nothing obvious that caught my eye. I tightened the hose clamps and buttoned everything up.

Any thoughts? Am I missing something? I checked the other two cables - prop and mixture - and they are completely dry (none of them are in the vicinity of any moistness anyway).

Finally, do any of you replace those short runs of hose from the aluminum return lines to the case?

Here are some pix:



December 6, 2017.   0030Z.  Issue No. 4,452.
  Useless trivia: In 1996 I started the North Texas Wing of Van's Air Force online.  Over the last 21 years it morphed into what you're reading today.  Thanks for spending time here (when you should probably be working).  ;^). 

Last Harvest: RVator Day Jobs ...Denny RV-12 (wing kit)

The harvest is wrapped up. Not just for the year but for a career. It has been quite a run but for everything there is a time. I started the 12 project three years ago and with a lot of seasonal interruptions I ordered the avionics kit today.

Building has been a lurking dream for a long time. To give you a clue, there is a Dyke Delta manual in my library archives. As I always tell my wife, "it doesn't cost anything to dream". Well that line has run into some serious headwinds so now it has morphed into "it cost a fraction of a combine". It seems to be working and she is thrilled to see me head to the shop for the day rather than pace around the house foraging for hidden holiday snacks.

So come summer of 2018 I hope to transition from the Warrior to the 12.


Overcooling the RV-8? (Warning – Long Post)

Guys I suspect we are overcooling our RV-8 engine and suffering with excess cooling drag in the process. We built and installed a nearly leak free plenum.
The James Cowling exit area appears to be huge in comparison to the inlet area. The 2 round inlets total 33.6 square inches and the exit measures 84.2 square inches. We plan to reduce the exit area during the condition inspection in January, but the question is how much? Is there an inlet/exit area ratio that we can use as a starting point?
I did a test flight to collect a little data as follows:

RV-8 CHT and Oil Temp Test

Climbed out at 100-110 mph WOT to 8000' DA, Surface OAT 23c. Full fuel with 1 pilot at 170 lbs.
Max CHT as #4, 3, 2, 1 (oil cooler is behind #4)
355, 319, 292, 286
Max oil temp 168

Level at 8000' DA, 2500 RPM, OAT 13c, leaned to 7.5 gph resulted in:
Max CHT as #4, 3, 2, 1
297, 273, 278, 272
Max oil temp 168
Indicated/true AS in mph 166/187

WOT at 8000' DA, 2850 RPM, same lean position, 11.4 gph:
Max CHT as #4, 3, 2, 1
333, 306, 318, 311
Max oil temp 170
Indicated/true AS in mph 192/216

150 hours on the engine / airframe; First flight - January of 2017
Superior O360XP with 9:1 pistons and Phase 3 camshaft, Slick mags; Vetterman 4 into 2 exhaust, no mufflers
James cowling; Cato 3 blade composite FP prop; Grove airfoil gear; Wheel Pants and all fairings in place
Bottom line, I have never seen a CHT > 360 at any time, even the heat of a Louisiana summer.


Ding in wood prop. Repairable?

Aymar-Demuth epoxy-on-wood on a 150 hp o-320. Repairable? Advice?


J-Turner Update Status

Today I made a support for the plane to sit on while getting the wheel pants and gear leg fairings aligned.

Used a chair and some spacers at the rear and an engine hoist to support the plane from the engine mount to take measurements for the support. Made saw horse style support 30.5" tall. This places the wheels about 1/8" above the ground.

Then placed a centerline to take measurements from. More pics tomorrow. On the right side I had to enlarge the opening for the wheel to allow the wheel pant to turn enough to be somewhat in line with the centerline of the plane. Also tied the rear of the plane down to my mini tug with ratcheting straps because the engine hoist "leaks"down a little in a 10 minute span so, it's not up to the task of supporting the front all by itself.

Wasted a lot of time rereading the instructions trying to get the best alignment of the wheel pant. Not much success today but tomorrow I might have this thing right......


Another Stuck Valve

A year ago I had a sticky valve on #2. I was going to do a precautionary check on all the cylinders as soon as the weather turned bad for a few days. Sunday was perfect weather in NE Ohio so I planned a breakfast run of about an hour over some rough terrain to W Va. My buddy canceled so I stayed close to home. After 30 minutes of local flying #4 cyl went dead and I was able to land at a nearby airport. Borscope revealed a perfect impression of the exhaust valve in the top of the piston so I pulled the cyl and the valve is very stuck along with bent pushrod and tube. The piston feels ok but I am having a qualified shop inspect everything. My understanding is that this problem is often caused be a poor hydraulic actuator so that will need to be inspected also. 40 Year’s of flying Lycoming Engines and never had a cyl removed.


Rotax Drip Tray

If the carb mount is removed from the manifold so that it can be inspected, a raised area around the flow path hole can be seen. It is basically a molded in O-ring that will seal on the aft side of the drip tray (if installed).
There is an o-ring in a groove on the intake manifold that seals the fwd side of the drip tray.
If no drip tray gets installed, the manifold o-ring compresses on the flange of the carb. mount producing a double seal.
In the case were the o-ring was incorrectly installed, the builder moved the o-ring from the grove in the manifold and attempted to put it in the very small grove that surrounds the integral seal of the carb. flange. It does not fit... so it squirted out during installation.

The statement "this should be used when the air box drip pan isn't used" actually is indicating that a drip tray is required. The airbox they are talking about is this.

It is produced and sold by Rotax and is very expensive. It attaches to the back of both carbs and does away with the need for a drip tray because it is a closed plenum that has nipples for connectiong the carb vent tubes to. Note that it does still have a heat shield for each exhaust pipe that has a place for drain hoses which to me are pointless because any fuel that ever drains from the carb will go into the airbox. So what they are saying is if you are not using the airbox, you should use the drip tray.


Help with slight loss of engine power/running rich

I have an RV-6, O-360, 850 hours, built it 2000.

On take off and climb out the other day it felt a bit low on power. As I was climbing I started leaning it a little and the power came up. It felt like I was at a high altitude airport or like the carb heat was on. It has not normally required leaning like this before. I am basically as seal level and 70-80 degrees. Something seems to have changed. I checked to make sure the carb heat door is fully closed and it is. I checked the idle mixture (which understand does not really effect full throttle) and I got a 20-30 rpm rise right before shutoff idling at 1000 rpm.

This is the original carb and I have not touched it since I purchased the plane. Been running fine. Is it time for a carb overhaul? Could the float be causing a problem. I know very little about the internals of the carb but I can always learn.

Any suggestions on where to start troubleshooting?



December 5, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,451.
  Below you will find Rob Reece's modern RV-8 art piece entitled 'Abundance'.  Rob is making some snorkel mods for his hardware and needed to cut off one end, add some foam, shape when dry and lay some fiberglass.  Aviation through chemistry!
  It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the iconicity of the gesture makes resonant the essentially transitional quality.   It should be added that the optical suggestions of the Egyptian motifs brings within the realm of discourse the distinctive formal juxtapositions.
  My idea of art is a clean living room carpet, so don't ask me to interpret what the piece below means.  And I used this link to generate the paragraph above. ;^) 

modern art by Rob Reece.

click to be at one with the piece


RV-3 Status Report ...David Paule

After the gluing came the clean-up, and then the usual bunch of small things before anything major ever happens. Yesterday, though, Larry Larson came down from Estes Park, down to the valley, to help me rivet. You folks know him as Wirejock. His RV-7 is much higher build quality than my little RV-3B, so I was glad to have him over today.

We riveted the left side to the frame. We got all but the top longeron, of course, and we even managed to include the bulkhead shoulder rivets in between the lower longeron and those replacement bulkhead flanges that you saw earlier. So it was a good day.

He even brought treats. He bakes bread and brought me some really delicious sourdough he'd made. Yummy!

When we weren't talking about bread, he riveted and I bucked.  ...


Austin Exec Trip PIREP ...Keith RV-7A PIREP

Completed my relocation flight with Warner Robins GA my final destination.
Left Cable airport in SoCal at 7am. Made 2 fuel stops - Marana regional (KAVQ) AZ. Very nice airport with a cafe and self service pumps. Then on to San Angelo (KSJT) TX. Lots of jet traffic which got most of the ramp attention. I'll just say that I dont plan on stopping here again. Landed at Austin Exec at 5:45. They took care of me and the plane even with jet traffic arriving. Very good service. Reasonable self service gas and Low overnite parking of $10. Had great BBQ at the downtown Coopers.

Left the next morning with varying cloud layers and had to stop in Natchitoches (KIER) due to IFR. (Pronounced "Nak u tish" for us non-locals). Another nice GA airport with good service, a courtesy car and nice people. Actually spent the nite in the pilot lounge. Departed at 7 into clear skies.

Stopped for fuel in Moton (06A) AL. Great little airport with good service. Plan on going back to see the Tuskegee museum. Landed at final destination Perry Houston KPXE Georgia at noon with a welcoming party.

Had a great series of flights, great adventure and almost perfect experience for 2000 miles in 3 days with my son Kyle. The RV is a magical machine.


Gear Shimmy Video Update ...Rusty

For anyone playing along, I ended up replacing the tires and tubes. I got a cheap balancer, and found that the left tire was significantly out of round, and would have required 2.5 oz of weight to balance. The right tire was fairly round, but still would have needed about 1.25 oz of weight.

The new 6 ply rated Desser Monster retreads with Airstop tubes are nice and round, and spot on balance. I literally couldn't identify a heavy spot on either tire/wheel combo. I had to open up the wheel pants a bit more to fit the monster tread, but it's back together now.

I decided to remove the left stiffener too, even though it wasn't loose like the right one was. I figure I'll have them both be the same when I install new stiffeners. For today's test, I had the wheel pants on, but no gear leg fairings or stiffeners. I'm going to leave the tires at 30 psi since the goal is to fix the problem with the stiffeners.

I didn't note the groundspeed for the original test in the video, but it was way faster than I hit shimmy today. Today, I could feel them starting around 7-8 kts, and by 10-12kts they were both going wild. The good news is that this is exactly what I would have expected, so it seems predictable. The tires are heavier, so I effectively added weight to the end of the "spring", and also made the spring less stiff. Both of those changes would reduce the resonant frequency, and that's just what happened.

Next step will be to install stiffeners as close to Van's drawings as possible. They allow for mounting these in front or rear of the gear leg, and I'm going to mount them on the front side since that's less in the way of my brake lines. With cold weather and a distant hangar, it might be a while before that happens.


Kwik EFIS release candidate 3.10 is now available.

...open source Android EFIS in development (free download to test)


New Guy Checks In ...falconer

"...received the empennage kit as well as the airfoil pratice kit from Vans. One quick question on how to dimple the holes located near the trailing edge. I can dimple all of the holes except for the last couple of holes. How are they dimpled?


Tip: Bending Windscreen Support Weldment ...goatflieg

Most builders have had fit issues with weldments at some point. I had a fairly major one with my WD-814 windscreen support/roll bar. When I test fit it initially, it had the usual problems; the forward part of the triangular gussets were raised up a bit, and it didn't fit very well between the vertical tabs and the fuselage cockpit rails. If I snugged up one side, it left me with a 5/16" gap between the tab and the rail on the other side. That's quite a gap:  ...


More Formation Pics ...RV8Squaz

Here are some pics of the father/son duo Robin and Max Maiden. The interesting thing about son Max (Robin's son) is that he is the proverbial airport kid. For as long as I have known them, Max hung around the airport as much as he could. Nearly every day, he would show up to help clean, polish, and turn a wrench hoping to score a ride in an airplane. Now 21 years old has flown more than 50 aircraft types, has a couple of thousand hours, and earns a living doing any odd and unique flying job from banner towing, giving Waco rides, ferrying airplanes across the country, crewing on a DC-3, etc. He hopes to land a fire bomber job out west soon.

And More ...RV8Squaz



December 4, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,450.
  Some of us flew over to Lancaster, TX for breakfast Saturday morning (route).  The BEAUTIFUL RV-14A pictured below was holding court with a few RV folks afterwards on the ramp.  Rides were given and I'm assuming RV grins had.  What a beautiful airplane!
  Hope you had a nice weekend. 

Usual suspects inspecting a new RV-14A at KLNC.
Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.


10,000 Flying RVs Milestone Reached....Mothership press release.

...'nuff said.  Congratulations to the wonderful folks that make up the mothership and this amazing community.

Thread.  dr


J_Turner RV-7 Status Pics ...skirt progress


Dayton's Upgrade Status


RV-6A slider IP CAD


Time Flys 2017 - An aviators video yearbook


UK Formation Flying

Here's a couple of videos from a recent formation flying day in the UK run from North Weald airfield. 8 aircraft in total, 2 trips flown, morning trip was in small formations before flying a 6 ship in the afternoon - splitting into 2 x 3 ship formations for some fun.


RV-12 Wheel Camber


Photoshoot Pics ...RV8Squaz


RV-9 travel distance non-stop

Yesterday I flew non-stop from 82IS Landings Condominium Airpark (northwest of Chicago) to KPIM Callaway Gardens (northeast of Columbus Georgia). Total distance was approx 585 miles and took a little over 3 hours, and burned only 28 gallons of fuel. Had slight headwind half way and slight crosswind over Georgia. Never got a good tailwind but that was ok cause the air was SMOOTH. Hung out at 9500ft all the way.

Thanks again to Vans for an efficient time machine!


Tanks for the Memories ...kiljoy update


Antennae Airfoil Mod Video ...Steve Melton



December 1, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,449. 

RV-7A N4956T Is A Plane!!!...Rich Macrafic

So many folks/businesses to thank. Please accept our immense appreciation for your part in making our dream come true! Details are in the attached (PDF).


HDX panel upgrade ...Michael Kallenback

Recently had Saint Aviation replace a 6 pack with 10" HDX, install new G5, XM radio and upgraded 430W to 650. He did an outstanding job. The combination is a great IFR/VFR platform. It works well with Vision 385 AP. They guys did an excellent job with the wiring and the install. Truely a profession install. I would highly recommend both the product and Saint Aviation to anyone thinking of an upgrade.  more pics


RV-9A Themed Funeral ...Scott Millhouse post

My 9A was sold a few years ago when I switched to LSA. It passed hands a couple of times with James Swilley being the last owner. I contacted the latest owner to chat and found out he passed away. His family raved about how he loved the plane and made it a big part of his last year. They also gave me permission to post pictures of his aviation themed funeral. A sign shop wrapped the casket to match my color scheme and they had a fly over with a missing man. First picture of the flying plane was when it was mine from the Petit Jean event 2013. As they said "Life is Good" especially with a RV. Also notice that the picture shows him as "Gone Flying". A great tribute!  continue


Help me troubleshoot rough running

Ok, bear with me, this may be a long post..

2 flights ago, during a cold start (on a chilly day) the plane fired right up and then quickly **** back down. This is abnormal for our 6. Normally always fires right up. Anyway, fired it right back up, started fine, searched for idle for a bit but stayed running.. Good runup, no issues. Went flying.

Today, the same deal. Fired up, shut back down, fired back up and zero issues. Good runup, went flying. No issues.

Fly for about 30 minutes. Land. Plane sits for about 45 minutes, crawl back in, fire it up (starts fine), decently short taxi out, normal run up and depart.

While climbing out, above ~2250 rpm the engine starts running rougher than I like, pull the power back to around 2100rpm and all is fine. Turn downwind and land.

Taxi in and do a quick runup. Oil temps climb a littler higher than normal, about 240*ish, and the plane runs s rough at 2200 rpm and above.

Taxi in, pull the cowl, look it over. Everything looks normal, but there was a funny smell. Semi-electrical. Semi-heater on for the first time in winter. Semi-burnt electric motor type smell. Not a normal smell.

Let it rest, call our mech and he suggests mixture setting as the first place to start looking. Mixture was slightly off. We set it for about a 50rpm rise when killed from idle.

Do a couple quick run ups to about 2250rpm static and then idle shut offs messing with the mixture.

Taxi’d back out for a runup just to see how it’s acting. Run up is good until a few seonds into high power and it begins running rough again. Rpms drop to 2000-2100ish. Back to the hangar. Smell is kinda there, but nothing like the first time.

Call A&P and he suggests maybe it’s fouled plugs and to attempt to burn it off.

Taxi out, attempt to burn off plugs with high power/leaning on the ground and am unable to get steady enough running to really accomplish anything. EGT’s got to around 1250. No improvement.

Pull the power back and just for grins, I checked the mags. Nothing. No drop on either mag. Ah ha! I think. Found it.

Taxi back to the hangar and before shutting down, power back to ~1800rpm and check mags. Got about a 75rpm drop on both. Decent check.

I’m stumped.

Unmetered Air? Bad Venturi or float in the carb? Mags toasted?

Engine details:

Recent (<100 hours) rebuild O-320.
Bendix mags.
Running non-ethanol mogas.


From a Recent RV Flight Around Dallas, TX ...dr

Cotton Bowl with skyline behind.

full size

UT at Arlington campus and 'Jerry World'

full size


Not sure about brakes

Q: I noticed both sides( Rt + Lt) seem to not be releasing completely.  I have relatively new pads (Grove).  Visual inspection looks fine.  When I jack up one side, the main wheel just doesn't seem to roll as freely as it used to.  I've never experienced this issue before.  Any thoughts?

A: pull the calipers and make sure the pins are clean and corrosion free. I put a light coat of lubricant on them. if the pins get gunked up, the calipers cannot float like they should.

A: Amen to what Bob said.
Additionally, take some 150 grit sandpaper, roll it up where it will go inside the pin holes and lightly hone the holes. Then do the same on the pins. LPS 3 on the pins and reassemble.

Should solve your issue...


Mothership FB page...



November 30, 2017.   0001Z.  Issue No. 4,448. 

December's Wallpaper Calendar ...for your computer

Rob 'Smokey' Ray and his RV-'X'.  VAF Drone photo.


3D Printing Idea ...Steve Melton

"...a concept idea for a fairing for a bottom mounted whip antenna to add an airfoil section to the vertical section. however, this addition will make it ripe for flutter. I will do some reduced velocity calculations to verify how bad it is. appreciate any feedback on flutter potential. this printed pieced is split and will clamp around the antenna. another option could be to let it swivel. I'm currently 50/50 on this one, not sure I'm even going to try it.  ...


Bonehead Move - Garmin Pitot Tube ...simatos

Q: trying to do a pitot leak test on the Garmin pitot tube. System had leak but all tubes checked out. Bite the bullet and disconnected pitot and yank out. The pitot has 2 tubes set up one ahead of the other, problem is I didn't mark which is pitot and which is Angle of Attack. Anyone out there know which is which???????
I don't want to sign this because I'm too embarrassed

A: (Mel) If the pitot is off the airplane, blow into the hole that points forward. That one is the pitot. The AOA inlet hole will be on the bottom angling about 60° down from horizontal.

A: (Aaron) The g3x install manual shows the Pitot on the fwd and the AOA on the aft. Page 5-7 in my version.


Ongoing Maintenance

...Kay's RV-8A step finally broke (flying since 2002).  D.Reeves iphone pics.

full size

full size


Headset/Mic Jack Wiring ...Pete Miller RV-7

Q: Help!
I have stereo headset jacks and mic jacks from Spruce. I got 3-conductor shielded wire from Stein, per their recommendation.

My question is how to wire them. I've seen some video online where the shield is grounded. Stein documents say not to connect the ground. The Stein video is pretty straightforward, but again, there's no mention of doing anything with the shield. Grounding it makes more sense to me, but I don't want to redo this later.

I don't have anything else for the panel yet. Does this wiring depend on what will be in the panel, or is it standard?



Are you thinking of selling your aircraft? ...Gallagher Aviation

We wanted to remind you that most insurance companies will short rate you when you cancel a policy, but sometimes we can work around this. If you are thinking of selling your aircraft, ask the buyer to contact us for a quote. If we are able to write the buyer with the same company that you currently have, we have a much better chance of talking the insurance company into prorating your cancellation. It’s a win-win for everyone! You will get more of your remaining premium back, the insurance company gets to keep the business and the buyer will be working with a Vans specialist who will find the best options available to them. Even if we are unable to write the buyer with your current company, you are doing them a favor by introducing them to an insurance broker that prides ourselves on having close relationships with our underwriters to make sure your policy is the best to fit your needs. We also have an in-house claims advisor to work for you, and we were just mentioned as the World’s Most Ethical Company for the sixth year in a row. Remember, our business is built on referrals. The biggest compliment you can give our agency is to pass on our name.
Leah Ringeisen, Shanna Linton, & Jennifer Cummins


RV-8A Panel Upgrades ...Tim

"...made some updates to mine recently - best was notching the center panel to accommodate my knees - I have a 36" inseam..."



November 29, 2017.   Issue No. 4,447. 
  John, Ross, Rob and I flew 20 minutes to Mineral Wells for lunch at Natty Flats BBQ Tuesday (scroll down to TX/Mineral Wells section).  I got the smallest sandwich they had, leaving room for peach cobbler with ice cream.  After that we toured the remains of Fort Wolters in the courtesy car before heading back to DFW.  A little bumpy, but a nice lunch with RV friends.  Of note in the few pics I took, the number of error lights the car was throwing ;^).  That and a little whine from the power steering pump had us thinking we might have a long walk in our future.
In this video clip, around the 5 minute mark you can see the main helicopter pad at Fort Wolters.  Over a THOUSAND helicopters at this location.  Anyone flying helicopters in Vietnam started their training at Fort Wolters.  Now it's an industrial park used mostly for oil drilling equipment.

fmi: http://www.fortwolters.com/sitemap.html
(map out about an hour to explore this link)


Splitting Lyc Case ...DIY tool

Just did that with my recent overhaul. $5 wrench from Northern Tool. Ground the top and bottom of the neck down and heated with a propane torch to dull red. Bent, cooled, ready to use in just a couple of minutes.


Gear Shimmy Reduction Testing Plans ...Rusty


For further entertainment, I decided that I'll try to keep this thread updated as my testing progresses. It may take a while since the hanger is a looooooong way away, and it's winter.

The last time I was at the airport, I removed the fairings to see what sort of stiffeners exist. They're not exactly as specified, but at least they were in the ballpark. The most obvious problem is that one of them had come loose from the gear leg, and since the leg is tapered, it slides down, and becomes even more loose. I'll give you one guess which one that was

I cut the loose stiffener off, and besides coming loose, it was also coming apart, and the ends were somewhat water rotted. The other one appears to be pretty solid, though there is some hollow sound as I tap on the upper end. Since I could never stand to have the two not match, and since I figure that one has some water rot as well, I'm going to remove it on my next trip, and plan to replace them both.

I also brought the fairly well worn Condor tires home, and have a motorcycle wheel balancer on order. If the tires appear round, I will balance them as best I can, and then reinstall them. If they are not round, I'll order new tires. The Desser monster retreads seem to be well recommended.

The first step in my experiment will be to install known round and balanced wheels, but no stiffeners, fairings, or wheel pants for the next flight. I'll try to determine if there is shimmy, and if it's at a higher or lower speed. Sadly, I didn't note the GPS ground speed when it happened before, but I have a pretty good feel for it.

Following that test, I'll install the wheel pants for another test, then stiffeners, and finally fairings. I really don't think the gear leg fairings will have much effect, so I'll probably try to get it shimmy free before installing those.

related: The awesome video Rusty shot of the shimmy


Emp Fairing Update ...J_Turner

Last Friday I decided to try and get a nice finish on the empennage fairing. I started with this:


Phoenix Area Builders Group Looking to Form ...Steve Thompson

It seems there is no Phoenix area RV builder’s group. I’d like to start one, if there is sufficient interest. The group would need to be loosely knit (no formalities), meet regularly, and focus on education and knowledge sharing.

If you live in the area, and if you’re building, thinking of building, or have built and want to be part of the group, let me know. Feel free to respond here, or contact me directly (contact info is below).



November 28, 2017.   Issue No. 4,446. 

Bird Strike Photos ...Gary Platner RV-8 (buzzard over Justin, TX)

full size

Broken Air Box ...from bird strike.

full size


Sub in a cherry for standard rivet?

Hey Guys and Gals,
I am new to building and have a quick question about subbing in a cherry rivet for an standard flush. If this topic has already been in a post let me know and I will have this one removed.

I am about to prime and rivet my HS and a useful trick has been mentioned and I would like to know its validity. Is it common practice to substitute a standard flush rivet for a pulled rivet in these tight spaces where a standard slim bucking bar even has a hard time getting to? I have seen/heard of a few tricks for these locations, but feel a pulled rivet will have the least likelihood of me causing damage. I understand there will be a small amount of filler/sanding required to clean up the head of the pulled rivet to keep my skin looking smooth. I inserted a few pictures of where it might come in handy. Like I said, I am only priming my HS and have not yet even looked too far ahead. Just circled a few parts on the plans that look a tad...snug.


Thank you.


RV-12 SB 16-05-23 PIREP ...Peterk

I removed my wheel pants over a year ago just to be able to look for a nose gear crack prior to each flight (and after) My RV 12 was one of the first ten built (2009) and now has close to 900 hours of landings.

I flew from North Texas to Norman Oklahoma yesterday and back. After returning I found a crack exactly where the lower circle is on SB 16-05-23. It was NOT there when I left Norman. I have always used virtually full-stall landing techniques and never on unimproved strips.

I was debating if it was a function of poor landing technique, hours or just poor design. Still don't know for sure of course but my greatest fear was ripping off my prop so I was anal about checking it. That part worked out.

Keep on eye on yours.


Over-countersinking? ...Mort04

Ok, I’m not sure why I feel like I’m struggling with the Front Spar on my Empennage, but here it is.

I countersunk HS-710 and HS-714. I think I may have gone a little too deep in an attempt to make the dimples on HS-702 fit into the countersunk hole. I know section 5 says 7 clicks past flush is the proper depth, however it didn’t seem like the dimple fit properly. Attached is a link to a picture with a AN426AD4 rivet inserted into the hole for reference. I’m worried I’ll need to order new reinforcement angles. What are your thoughts?


Is My Engine Broken In? ...Rich/Cindy Macrofic

Background: Just completed RV-7A. IO-360 engine new. Started with 7 qts of oil, with the assumption that the better part of 1 qt would go to the oil filter. At 2.0 (tach)/3.5 (hobbs) hrs, I added a quart of oil. Probably could have waited another 2-3 hrs, as not quite a quart had been consumed. I now have 13.8 (tach)/16.8 (hobbs) hrs and am not needing to add additional oil yet. Maybe another couple of hours? So, in summary, I have 11.8 (tach)/13.3 (hobbs) hrs on this last quart of oil.

CHTs are behaving, but I did not unfortunately record the very initial CHTs at a particular power setting for a current comparison. As a result, I don't know if I have experienced the 50 degree drop in CHTs that I have heard about (as another indication that the engine has broken in).

In trying to summarize the various VAF posts on oil consumption, it seems to be the general opinion that 10 hrs per qt is a pretty decent consumption. Obviously, some are getting less and some more than that. So, I am definitely above that. I have read Lycomings documentation, but they only specify the max allowable oil consumption, not a desirable range. They also only specify a maximum schedule for mineral oil (25 and 50 hrs), with a stipulation that the key criteria is stabilized oil consumption.

So, the questions I am pondering. With so few hours, could the engine already be broken in? The oil has gotten much darker the last couple of flights, so I would like to change it. Should I again use mineral oil or go to standard oil?

Anybody have any other perspectives/thoughts/experiences that I should contemplate as I make these decisions? Any thoughts welcome.


Solidworks, Vans 3D models, and Garmins 3D models

Ok, this is just plain cool. With Van's recent release of the 3D models for the fwd fuselage area I decided to start playing with a panel design for the RV-10 I am building. I downloaded the RV-10 3D model, the Garmin avionics 3D models and started plugging things together. I'm nowhere near done but even with this simple picture you can see the potential for this. The images on the avionics are just screen shots I took and placed on the screens for a coolness factor.


Cannot Transmit Only Static ...Stan Bahrns RV-7A

My Push to talk on both sides has so much static on both sides now that I am not able to transmit at all but receive very well.
I have checked all the connections on the headsets & wiggled everything I can think of even pulled out the skyview but didn't find anything. Does anyone have any idea where or what I should do to find the problem? It seems like there is something that switches when the push to talk switches are pushed that don't switch completely. If anyone has had any problem like that? If so it may help me know where to stare looking for the problem.



November 27, 2017.   Issue No. 4,445. 

Classic Profile Pic ...Simon Hitchen


Flying Jackson ...petehowell

We had a very welcome streak of warm, sunny weather in the upper midwest this week that made for some great flying. I was able to fly down to Des Moines from Minne to join my wife Andi's family for the Holiday, and catch up with some old friends.  ...


Alaska Kenai Peninsula 11/24 ...mbauer trip


Pop Rivet Gun Modifications ...vernon smith

Why would someone butcher a perfectly good pop rivet gun like this?  ...


Update ...Dayton Murdoc


Fly-out Friday After Thanksgiving ...Weasel PIREP


1,900 Hour Borescope ...petehowell

1900 hour Exhaust Valve Pics with the sub $10 camera on a piece of bent wire. Pics are not great, but they do the job:


Reflections on the Build ...Jpm757

Thirty years ago I got the BUG. Past all of the flashy Lancair and Glasair ads in Sport Aviation, there was a small black and white ad for Van`s Aircraft, "Total Performance" it stated. If true, it was exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to pay a visit to North Plains, OR, and the modest facility of Vans Aircraft. I met Van and was shown the RV3, 4 and brand new RV6 prototypes. The weather was lousy so I didn't get to fly that day, but I sure liked what I saw and plunked down a deposit for an early RV6 kit. 2 years and $29,000 later I was the proud owner of one of the first flying RV6`s. Boy was that a great airplane, and I enjoyed it for 15 years. When I reluctantly sold it. I sure hoped I'd get another.

Fast Forward to 2016 when a friend had an RV7 QB kit that had to go. Just like that I was back into homebuilding! My son had been bugging me for years to get another RV, so he was totally on board. It is amazing how much has changed in 30 years, QB kits, pre-punched everything, and aftermarket vendors by the dozens. Of course there was also the internet with its wealth of information. All of this combined with the incredible community of RV builders made the new build a pleasure. Still a lot of work and a lot more expensive these days, but 14 mos. later we had another flying RV. What a great success story Van's has become, but yet I still feel they are still the same mom & pop operation they were 30 years ago - and that's a good thing.

Bill & Jake Mahoney

RV-7 N767T first flight 11/21/2017


It Begins ...Kevin Lippert


RV-10 Question ...Alex

just started to work on VS and afraid of pure riveting quality. Herewith need your judgement on riveting of my VS stab.

If installing the Rudder Hinge Brackets I used a different rivets as Vans is calling. For VS1010 i used AN426AD4-8 instead of AN426AD4-7.
For VS1011 i used AN470AD4-8 instead of AN470AD4-7



November 24, 2017.   Issue No. 4,444.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

RV-8 First Flight ...Jon Thocker

A note to let you know that RV8  #83272 N804RL made its maiden voyage today 11-21-2017 at 1 pm EST.  I was at the controls and had my friend and fellow repeat offender Scott Hersha flying  my RV8 #82689 N486JT as chase.  Since my friend Larry Wolf wasn't busy he flew RV8 #82688 N80XL  (ex N485JT) also as chase.  Hangar mate and repeat offender  Bruce Brielmaier flew his RV8 as photo ship and RV9 builder Scott Balmos operated a camera from Bruce's rear seat.

This is the 10 th RV I have built and probably the 20th first flight I've made.   They have all been uneventful and today's was no different with the exception of a clogged #1 injector that surfaced about 40 minutes into the flight.   Rough running with EGT and CHT dropping rapidly warranted a RTB.    Cleaned the injector and all was well for the second flight.

The plane is equipped as follows:
Superior kit engine built by JB Aircraft Engines of Sebring, Fl.  IO-360 parallel valve with cold sump, 10 to 1 pistons, AvStar fuel injection, dual mags including Slick Start.
Hartzell 76 in. Advanced Structural Composite prop and aluminum spinner
Garmin Panel with G3X Touch, GTN 650, GMA 245 audio panel, GTR 200 comm,  GTX 45R transponder, G5, second AHRS.
Oregon Aero Seats, Hooker Harnesses, Grove airfoil gear, EarthX lithium battery, Whelen Orion 600 Nav/Strobes and Parmetheus Plus landing lights.

SteinAir cut the panel and hydro dipped it and the associated switch and circuit breaker panel in carbon fiber.

It weighed in at 1109 lbs.


RV-7 First Flight ...Jpm757

After just under 14 months of building, RV-7 kit #72018 received her Airworthiness Certificate yesterday. After another day of putting everything back together, she took to the sky this afternoon. Quick Build RV-7 slider, Lycoming IO-360-M1B, MT prop, AFS-5600 panel, Classic Aero interior, manual trim and flaps. Came in at 1081 pounds empty, fuselage and wings vinyl wrapped, tail and cowl painted to match. She flew straight and level hands off with no squawks!


And So the RV-14A Journey Begins ...didja

Received the empennage kit Oct 30th and just yesterday was finally able to put some quality time toward it! That honey do list will be the death of me!

Looking forward to putting this RV-14a together over the next several years with the slave labor...... I mean loving help of my children and wife!

Here's to the journey!


FlyLEDs Black Friday Discount

Come on over for a 10% discount off the price of our DIY kits!
The optional Wigwag heatsinks are also on special for $1, so that takes the total discount to 15%.

It'll be just the project you'll need in a few weeks time when the weather is keeping you in the house and you're going stir crazy not being able to get into those rivets...

If last year's experiences with the postal service during December were anything to go by, now would be a good time to order for pre-Christmas delivery too!


FreeReal Discount

Happy Thanksgiving from Martin Product Design! We are running a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale until 11/29 (details). Get a deep discount on the FreeReel system plus wall mount or with a 25’ power cord.

FreeReel with Wall Storage Mount and Power Cord
FreeReel with Wall Storage Mount

Liam Martin - COO
Martin Product Design LLC





November 22-23, 2017.   Issue No. 4,443.
  This isn't RV-related, but I thought some might be interested.  My wife's car threw a Check Engine light Saturday, and since it's a 10-year old car I'm thinking O2 sensor.  A friend at the airport suggested looking into the Bluetooth OBD-II scan devices that plug into the OBD-II port, so I did.  A few reviews later I ordered a $99 BlueDriver from here and downloaded the free app.  Hardware arrived Monday night...problem fixed Tuesday morning (it wasn't the O2 sensor).  Reset the codes via the app.  It has already paid for itself, and it goes w/o saying that my friends at the airport are going to want to borrow this when their cars throw error codes ;^).
  If you like looking at graphed engine data from your RV, you might like this for your cars (if they were built after 1996 - when the OBD-II standard was made mandatory for all US-build vehicles).
  Nerds of the world unite!

PS:  There won't be a Thursday Thanksgiving edition, but I'll most likely work up something for Friday.  Gobble gobble...

RV-12 Documentary? ...Paul Straub video (1hr 5min)

Don't know what else to call it....I never did a 'blog' but now that my build is over, I wanted to document the story somehow. When I was considering building an RV-12 a couple years ago, I watched Dave Gamble's "Building a Van's RV-12" on YouTube and that is what pushed me over the edge (in a good way) to build the plane. I'm hoping this might help someone that is just thinking about building or on the fence. If you ever can't sleep and are willing to give up an hour of your life that you can never get back, it may or may not be interesting, but this is the story of my build.


Sunset over MN ...Alex Peterson

This was simply too amazing not to share, taken tonight over Vadnais Heights, a NE suburb of the Twin Cities. The view is towards the SW, with Vadnais Lake just touching the wing, and Lakes Wabasso and Owasso a bit further in the distance. This view lasted only a minute or two. This was one of the best I've viewed in the 16 years this plane has been flying!


Water leak from underside

My 6A is pretty tight up top, even with a tip-up. I posted previously about a 3 piece fiberglass tray which prevents any leakage from the front canopy seal from making its way into the instruments, although the canopy seal rarely lets any water in. Flying some practice IMC approaches the other day in heavy clouds with 700' ceilings resulted in water dripping out of the drain holes in the bottom of the fuselage, specifically the forward most drain hole which is centerline, just aft of the seat back bulkhead. I'd say that approximately a pint of water leaked out after I parked the plane in the hanger, following about 1.5 hours in the clouds (no rain just lots of moist humid clouds).

I found this extremely disturbing and set right away to identifying the source of the leak, while everything was still wet and I could hope to track it. Off came the seat backs, floor panels and the baggage bulkhead panels. I figured it must be coming from the wing area, even though I had sealed the outer floor ribs to the skins at construction which had been recommended. I found that virtually the only evidence of water was along the center of the aircraft, between the two ribs which create the tunnel for the elevator pushrod. The drain hole is in the baggage compartment portion, but there was also water in the portion of the tunnel forward of the compartment in the seat area and even the aft part of the insulation in the center tunnel of the floor area was very wet. No evidence of it coming from outboard and working its way to the center. Aft of the baggage bulkhead was virtually dry, with only a few drops of water visible.  ...


Windscreen Fairing Status Shots ...J_Turner

Rolled the plane outside in prep for some sanding...


EGT and CHT at WOT

Not sure if this is a problem but its not something I have experienced yet. At WOT on takeoff, my #2 cylinder egt rapidly climbs to 1560 deg and the CHT also goes up more than the other cylinders. After leveling off and setting cruise power, the temps come down but #2 is always warmer than the other cylinders. I removed the air dams in front of #1 and #2, checked for induction leak, borescoped #2 cylinder but do not see anything out of the ordinary. Fuel flow seems adequate and engine is very smooth running. Any ideas? The engine is an O320 150HP and has about 15 hours SMOH on an RV6A

Takeoff and climbout WOT.  ...


Self-discharge or parasite drain?

I've had an EarthX ETX680 in my project for many months now. Usually it is on the Optimate charger they recommended. A few months back I unplugged the charger to move some things around. I went to start avionics today and the battery was dead, showing 7v. I charged and it came back to 13.65v but I'm trying to figure out what could be causing this.

This happened over maybe 3-4 months unplugged. The battery is in the plane and everything is wired up but the master is off. There should be nothing draining the battery, and if I put an ammeter in-line with ground I see 0.000A going through it.

What am I missing? Their install doc claims a discharge at ~3%/month so it should not have been a self-discharge problem.

Here is my wiring diagram:


Overtaking by 80 knots please slow down (RV-7A)

The other day I was #2 landing on rwy 21 at Tucson. The main runway is under upgrades and the airliners are landing on rwy 21. Approach asked me to keep my speed up as I approached the airport. When I switched to tower they told me I was #2 behind a Comanche on final. Then they told me to slow down because I was over taking the Comanche by 80 knots.

Honest officer, I wasn't going that fast......


Mothership Thanksgiving Sched

November 21, 2017.   Issue No. 4,442.
  Yesterday I wrote that the winds were 000000KT at nearby KAFW.  Later in the day I re-read what I wrote and saw I had added one too many zeros.  In hindsight it really was so calm that an extra zero might have been warranted ;^).

Milestone ...bruceh RV-9A

I have been flying my RV-9A now for 500 hours.  We hit it coming back home from a nice long Veteran's Day weekend trip to Texas and Big Bend National Park.

I realize 500 is just an arbitrary number, but it got me thinking, what sort of maintenance items should be looked at more critically as I hit the first quarter of my engines TBO. Is there anything you would focus on to inspect or replace just based on engine hours?

Tires and brakes are recent. I do oil changes every 35-40 hours. The plane has been flying for under 4 years (around 140 hours per year). My annual condition inspections have been uneventful. I've got P-mags and the automotive spark plugs get replaced each year. At some point I know things like seals, hoses, spark plug wires, control cables, etc. will need to be replaced.


Silicone under canopy screws ...RV-14

Q: On the rear window the plans call for a dab of silicone under the screw heads. Is this not done for the main canopy? It isn’t mentioned.

A: Roll bar screws only.  The purpose is not to seal the screw head, but to retain the screw so it doesn't back out of the plain threads tapped in the roll bar.  That is why it is called for in the hole / on the threads, not under the screw head.


Gear Leg Stiffeners / Plenum / Electric Rudder Trim ...videos

I just learnt how to use windows movie maker so I thought I'd make a few videos of some stuff I've been doing....


Mothership Thanksgiving Sched


Why the Big Hole? ...unitink72 RV-10

Q: Drilling the hole in the tailcone aft bottom skin for the tiedown. Instructions say drill it to 11/16. I got to 1/2" and it already seems too big. I'm going on the assumption that just the eye bolt has to pass through.  Why would they want it bigger?

A: And best practice for installing the anchor is to thread a 3/8" nut on it all the way and then install the anchor.
The nut allows for adjusting the alignment of the anchor and it extends it a little lower to help assure that the anchor will be the first thing to touch in a tail strike.
The bigger hole allows for the nut.



November 20, 2017.   Issue No. 4,441.
  While it wasn't in the RV, Sunday afternoon I got to spend some quality time with the Tater.  .7hrs doing TnGs over on the grass at 16X.  000000KT reported at KAFW during this flight, and we don't get that often enough.  Please excuse this proud dad bragging on his teenage son a bit.  I mean come on, look a that centered ball!  ;^)  
  The new boost pump is here for the RV-6, so that is front and center on the to do list.  Hope you had a nice weekend too.

Sunny November Sunday ...Pete Howell RV-9A


RV-8 Panel Access Pics ...greghughespdx

Or, put two screens in there and pop 'em both out when you need access. By the time all is said and done it's almost like there's no panel in your way at all.

Mine also has a baggage compartment access door cut in, which I cut before I realized how much thru-the-panel access I'd have. Flexibility, I guess.

Ignore the wire mess. It's much worse right now. <g>.


RV-6 #24871 ...Joe Webb

Hey All
About 2.5 years ago I bought an unfinished (about the same stage as a Quick Build )project RV-6 from New Jersey USA and shipped it Down Under.  With family, work and everything else that gets in the way I have been working away at a moderate pace.  I have done all the SB's and replace the 6 Vertical Stab/Rudder with an 8.  Lots of little mods here and there make building a little slower.  I'd like to share this one in particular, so i made a little video.  I made my slider canopy open fully using RV8 tracks.


RV-14A Builder Site ...Tom023

An RV14A builder, not on the forum, who is just about to make his inaugural flight asked that I post a link to his site and recently developed POH for others to use. I have used his site extensively during my build and appreciate his efforts so that others can benefit. Please take a look.


Classic Aero Website Change ...Luke @ Classic

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to pass along a heads up that our website may act up a little over the next day or so. We just completed some big changes behind the scenes, and moved to a new server. The DNS changes on our ".aero" domain are going to lag behind the other domains because that registrar has a more manual process.

Anyway, for the best results, use any of these domains:


Any links going to www.classic.aero will be going to the old server for a bit longer.

Also, please let me know if you experience broken links on our site, or to images here on the forums. I'll keep tabs on my PM, and this thread.



3D Printed Pics ...Steve Melton



November 17, 2017.   Issue No. 4,440.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Gear Shimmy Video ...13brv3

I'm familiar with the shimmy causes and fixes, so this is mainly being posted for your entertainment. Don't say I never gave you anything :-)

And a GREAT Landing Video ...same guy


Vinyl Wrap Weight ...Bevan

I weighed a square foot of vinyl (3m-1080) and multiplied that by my calculated surface area of the entire airframe. The calculated result was 17lb. I rounded that up to 20 to account for some overlap and estimating errors.

A local pro aircraft painter and I had a "why vinyl" versus paint discussion and weight came up. He confessed that an RV he recently painted in three colours base/clear system probably left 55lb of material on the airplane.

Even if his estimate was high by double, the vinyl is still lighter.

BTW, I ended up painting most of the fibreglass parts to color match the vinyl including engine cowl, spinner, wheel pants and wing tips.


Breaking the Mishap Chain: Human Factors Lessons Learned from Aerospace Accidents and Incidents in Research, Flight Test, and Development

...free e-book from NASA (updated August 2017).  This volume contains a collection of case studies of mishaps involving experimental aircraft, aerospace vehicles, and spacecraft in which human factors played a significant role. In all cases the engineers involved, the leaders and managers, and the operators (i.e., pilots and astronauts) were supremely qualified and by all accounts superior performers. Such accidents and incidents rarely resulted from a single cause but were the outcome of a chain of events in which altering at least one element might have prevented disaster. As such, this work is most certainly not an anthology of blame. It is offered as a learning tool so that future organizations, programs, and projects may not be destined to repeat the mistakes of the past. These lessons were learned at high material and personal costs and should not be lost to the pages of history.


Status Report ...David Paule RV-3B

Before I could rivet the long belly skin, the side skins need to go on. The bottom of the belly skin was already riveted to the various stiffeners and bulkhead flanges, so the only remaining parts were at the ends and the bulkhead shoulders, and they can wait till I do the lower longeron and bulkhead riveting for the side skins.

The tape bumps roughly in the middle are folded-over tape, giving me aen easy place to grab on to for removing the tape. I now like 3M's model 33 electrical tape. I've tried blue painter's tape, which is harder to remove, and green painter's tape, which is fine if there's a wider area to tape but is slightly harder to remove. However the green painter's tape conforms down into the dimples better.

One of the steps to this gluing is to mask off the areas adjacent to where the glue goes and then do a dry fit check to verify that the tape is in the right place. At the upper left, you can see that I needed to adjust this a bit. The tape is slightly apart from the joint so that I can form the glue squeeze-out into a fillet there.


Refurb Status ...BruceMe

The canopy on there now is 100% sikaflex built ~2006 (about 2 yrs before first flight). I honestly did a messy job. Others have posted better work. My canopy has never cracked or de-bonded to the frame despite really awful abuse. The "non-critical" skirt which I sikaflex'd as well, has de-bonded when the canopy slammed open rev'g to taxiing in wet muddy grass. I will rivet the skirt to the frame as well as sika. I will also repeat the Sika with this canopy re-cut project as I do really like it. I'll likely have to carefully die-grind (scotchbright wheel) off the old Sika in some spots, but I'm mostly cutting down the existing glass.

This is what I plan to do to the canopy...


Argument FOR filling empty hole with rivet ...Tdeman

Without knowing the exact circumstance (regarding where the hole is etc), the one question that can be addressed is:

"So, will driving a rivet do anything to restore part of the lost strength in this longeron?"

We'll see the greatest effect of this rivet itself in compression, where it will in fact carry some compressive loads.
That being said, there is still a benefit of having the rivet in the hole while the longeron is in tension, as pointed out in the article shared above by Kurt W (as well as other texts on mechanical behavior of materials...)

In case anybody didn't read the whole thing , one part that stood out is...

"Both cold working and interference fit fasteners set up residual compressive stress fields in the metal immediately adjacent to the hole (Fig. 14.26). The applied tension stress during fatigue loading must then overcome the residual compressive stress field before the hole becomes loaded in tension. The fatigue improvement due to cold working in 024-T851 aluminum is shown in Fig. 14.27"  ...


Rear Seat Heat ...DonPro

In my 6, my wife often wears a jacket and wants the heat full on and I am down to a T-shirt and still warm so I knew the 8A would need rear heat. Learning from the 6 I have aileron and elevator push tube boots to seal the tunnel. I had Larry Vetterman make both of my heat muffs and control boxes with 1.5" outlets which works great and he did for no extra charge but 2" will work too. The key part is made on a piece of 1/2 X 3" pine that is actually 1/2 X 2 1/2" from Lowes which I routed two corners off of. I rapped it with packing tape and put PVA release agent on it but it was still a bear to get the wood out when done. I had to drill it some. The inlet is leftover 1.5 push tube from the kit. At full deflection there is still 1/8" clearance and a plethora of hot air is coming up between the backseater's legs. Full disclosure, I am preheating my heat muff air with the oil cooler to save on cooling losses in the summer but you may not have to. My heat is very hot though!  more pics


RV-14A Build Site ...Bob Meyers

Here's a link to mine, first flight was in late June. Made it to Oshkosh and now have just over 100 hours.



November 16, 2017.   Issue No. 4,439.

Never Met an RV I Didn't Like ...turbo

"...had to take a tour of grass roots airpark last saturday while attending our club event. found this beauty lurking near by. nice one here. great airpark to."


Air to Ground Freq. ...JackinMichigan

I took my RV-10 up on its first flight this past Saturday, and I was talking to my father on the ground with a handheld tuned to 123.45. Mostly I was keeping him informed as to what I was doing and how the plane was behaving, but 10 minutes in someone broke in with a curt 'Get off this frequency!'

It's my understanding that 123.45 (known as 'fingers' apparently) is reserved for air-to-air and civilian flight testing, so I'm not sure who I was intruding on or if that person had any business telling me what he did.

What's the proper frequency I should be using to communicate with my ground crew while flight testing?


From Adam Burch...


Trailing edge rivets ...vernon

My instructions said straight trailing edges was one of the most difficult parts of building a flying surface. With that in mind, and being far from accomplished with the rivet gun, I decided to find a way to get good reliable results with a dead straight trailing edge. I'm accustomed to building race cars in jigs and fixtures so Van's "in the air" method is all new to me, and a little scary. Point is, I'm blessed with tools and equipment most of you do not have and do not want to buy. One of them is a six foot by six-foot by .625 steel blanchard ground surface plate flat and square to .010. With this one can usually get a true result.  ...


Garmin Press Release


Flat Tire and Ground Loop - RV-6 ...fbrewer

Got to thinking about flat tires on the RV-6.

I had a right main tire blow out in the air on a Beechcraft V tail. The landing was sporty. As I slowed, the drag to the right was very strong.

Full left rudder did not stop the drift to the right. Only when I applied left brake was I able to stop the drift and keep it on the runway.

So, as I think about my new RV-6, I could imagine a flat tire could easily lead to a ground loop on landing.

Has anyone here experienced a flat tire when landing a tailwheel RV?

Were you able to keep the bird from ground looping?

I'm thinking a 3-pt landing would be better than a wheel landing in this situation.

Any thoughts?


From Cleaveland A/C Tool...

fmi: https://www.facebook.com/clevtool



November 15, 2017.   Issue No. 4,438.

Collecting Stories with our RV-7A ...Sandra Thoma

We had a day to wander before we were due to visit Roy’s cousin in Tennessee.   I noted on the chart we were a 20 minute flight from Gassville, Arkansas. “My Dad’s parents are buried there,” I said to Roy. “Let’s go there. You can see where my Dad’s family is from.”


From Cynthia Schrantz at the Mothership

​"I have a French resident interested in looking at a flying RV-14 or RV-14A in Europe, and, at this time, I do not have any listed flying RV-14’s in my data base. However, that may not be the case because not everyone lets me know when the project starts flying because they are too busy having fun!!!

Also, someone is looking for a custom builder preferably located in France.

If anyone knows anything regarding the above interests, please give me a shout!

Lastly, I will be out of the office next week, so if anyone has bought a plane or project and needs to transfer ownership, or is in need of an 8050-2 Aircraft Bill of Sale in order to get registered with the FAA, please let me know this week!"

​Cynthia A. Schrantz
Administrative Assistant
Van's Aircraft, Inc.
14401 Keil Road N.E.
Aurora, Oregon 97002


Structural Benefit to Filling Hole With Rivet?

Probably a dumb question, but I wouldn't want to disappoint my friends.

I have a 1/8" hole in a longeron that I no longer need due to change of plans. It would certainly look better if it had a rivet in it, but with the curvature of the rear fuselage skin this is not an easy slam dunk operation. Its not in one of those places where it will stick out like a big "DOH!" sign. At the same time, I don't like anything weakening the structural integrity and especially if its not doing anything beneficial.
So, will driving a rivet do anything to restore part of the lost strength in this longeron?
Running wires RV8

A: According to the document linked below, installing a driven rivet produces a local area of residual compressive stress in the material surrounding the rivet, resulting in improved fatigue life for certain loading conditions. See section 14.11, pages 18-19:

As with everything, a bunch of caveats apply. Care must be taken to also consider the, adjacent structure, maintaining proper fastener spacing to adjacent holes, etc. Whether or not fatigue life is a concern given the part properties and loads is another question.

A: On a fighter jet, or an airliner, there is much effort spent at making every bit of structure as light as possible. Skins are chem milled to thin them in areas where they are not loaded. spar caps are tapered etc etc etc. On an RV the longeron is the same size and cross section throughout its entire length. It probably only has to be that size for a very small portion of its length. In fact, when he was designing it, Van might have sized the angle and then used the next size up, because you can't buy a 37/64" angle that is 7/64" thick (I invented those numbers). The extra material is left in, because who is going to bother trying to get it perfectly optimized.

If you want to do a major stress analysis at each hole, go ahead. It's your airplane. And drilling a hole does reduce the cross section and therefore makes it weaker in tension by definition. But this is only a problem if that part is optimized to be exactly as strong as it has to be. The longeron will be in tension at full rudder 1 way, and compression with full rudder the other way. Same with pitch up vs pitch down. So if you increase the compressive strength for left sideslips, but you don't address the reduction in tensile stress in the other direction, you have not made the structure any safer.

I would only really worry about holes in the longerons up near the steel gussets that tie them to the firewall. That would be the area where they are most highly loaded and there are 4 -3 bolt holes in them. An AD4 rivet hole further down is not going to compromise flight safety.

No, I am not a Vans employee but I have been an Aero Eng for 28 yrs and I do know something about loads and aircraft structures. And I have a 4 that has some holes in places they shouldn't be


Naming the RV ...Saville

Originally Posted by Jeff A:  Funny, every time I tell a guy I built an airplane they ask how fast it goes. Every girl asks what I named it.

I get precisely the same reactions.  I've been mulling over names since I got the plane in 2015. Nothing really perfect has jumped out at me.

My girl's first name is Rosanne, and I'd like to include that somehow.  First thought was "Ramblin' Rose" because the plane takes me everywhere - and quickly. But the character in the lyrics isn't, shall we say, loyal And this plane is very loyal.

I also like:

"Red Hot Rose"
"Racy Rose"

I kind of like "Happy Gregg's Go Buggy" (after "Happy Jack's Go Buggy") because of the alliteration. But it's a little long.  But nothing really stands out. I'll know when I hear it.

[ed. You will enjoy re-reading this post from Larry Pardue, who started this thread back in 2013.  I certainly did!  v/r,dr]


Using Map Box for Remote Items ...JDA_BTR

I kept looking at that map box hole in the subpanel and finally decided to dig in. I put angles in either side. Plan is to have folded 0.04 sheet on either side mounted to the angle. This will screw to the chassis for the gtx45r on the sides. The fold on either side will make a mount point for the gtr20 to sit on top. I’m using a scrap of j-channel to brace one side higher. I’ll post pics as I go but here are a few as it gets built up.


10,000 In Sight ...mothership

November 13, 2017

10,000 in sight.....

You will notice that Van's Aircraft is approaching the magic "10,000 Confirmed" number of flying RVs.

Obviously, this is a huge milestone that reflects the popularity of these wonderful aircraft designs. However, it is also a somewhat arbitrary number - we do not know all the flying RVs out there, and there is no way to determine exactly how many there are. Most likely, the 10,000th RV flew some time ago, but we never heard about it here in Aurora. We frequently learn about airplanes that flew many years ago, simply because the builder never shared their glad tidings.

Naturally, we want to mark the 10,000th RV in some way. But we don't want builders to agonize over when to send in their first flight reports, waiting til the website Hobbs meter ticks over to 9,999.

Therefore, we have temporarily suspended updates to the Flying RVs page on our website. At some point soon, we will receive the first flight report for the airplane that will be deemed to be the notional 10,000th RV, and announce the event. We anticipate that it will be in December sometime, if we continue to receive reports at the current rate. On average, at present, we learn of about one new flying RV every day.

So - keep sending in your tales of triumph, and watch this space.


Hobbs Meter Update ...Scott M.



November 14, 2017.   Issue No. 4,437.

Engine Upgrade ...Dayton Murdock

I have decided to upgrade my RV-4 with a O360 C/S and this will be the thread of that process.  I look forward to any commits and advice.


Still working in the top while it's off and accessible...Bill Boyd RV-10

Masked off the lift strut brackets and the window "faux trim rings." Matte black should go with most any upholstery scheme I come up with. Fingers crossed. These decor decisions I would prefer to put off till whenever, but they're upon me if I want to do this while access is easy.

No matter how careful I am with masking, I _always_ seem to find a way to point something at a gap and let 'er rip. I'll try to fix this little blem with a Q-tip and lacquer thinner later. There's clear coat underneath, so maybe I can coax the black overspray off of there. Might have to reapply gray with a toothpick to hide it, though.


Refurb Project - Finishing the Dream ...Bruce Meacham

Hey folks, this isn't a "new build" project. And it's not even a major repair project. It's more of a picking up where I left off on an airplane I built.

The goal.. a safe, clean, capable, efficient 40+mpg RV-4 that I can cruise around the country in.

I created a blog to track my progress and report on it.


Jim Pappas is Selling his Near-Airport Lot (GoogleMap)


Sylva, NC. Build your dream home or subdivide this land. Endless possibilities. Currently 1 parcel , 17.2 acres. County has said it can be subdivided up to 6 homesites. Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina between the Blue Ridge Parkway and The Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Close to precious historic downtown of Sylva , Dillsboro , Waynesville and less than 50 miles from Ashville, NC.

Near WCU, Jackson County Airport, and all the action and fun, yet serene privacy and a bold creek.

35.323262, -83.225771    (35°19'23.7"N 83°13'32.8"W)

[ed. In striving to keep the signal-to-noise ratio in the forums as RV-specific as possible, I am happy to post a non-RV personal request like the one above up here on the front page when emailed to me.  v/r, ]


That Feeling...

...when you take three times as much time as should be required so you can string together five bits of hardware just to see if it'll work.  And it does...dr


Update on SB 16-12-16 ...Andy Karmy

Just a quick update to this old thread. I had the "pleasure" of helping a good friend install these 12 bolts this weekend! What fun. Once he had all of it opened up and removed the center control column and sticks I was ready to work. Took 5 hours. We were able to get all 12 in without any holes just using the center access hole. 10 of them went in from the back (inside the spar box) and 2 had to go in from the front due to interference with the nuts on the rear spar that hold the seat rib in place.

The only thing that we found to work was to use a camera (I had a cheap USB camera) and put it on a stick. Then use 12" forceps with a slight notch ground in about 1/4" from the tip to hold the bolt. Then with one hand on the camera and one on the bolt you put it in the hole (Mars rover style)

Boy it feels good to have the last one go in place. And the defeat you feel when you bump the bolt that's half way in the hole is real

But in the end it's doable if you have the right tools at hand.

Thanks to those of you that posted above, we took lots of those ideas in mind before starting. (now how long will these bruises take to heal on my forearms).

PS, even though I have a slow build 8, after finishing up his, I had to go home and take a peek with a mirror to make sure mine were in place... WHEW.


FlyLEDs Install ...eddieseve



November 13, 2017.   Issue No. 4,436.
  Veterans Day trip out to the airport Saturday morning. The electric fuel pump failed after a short 15 years of service. Time to replace ;^). Smokey Ray showed up in his RV-X, and a visiting Doug Bell showed up with his sister. They were in town for a FoldsOfHonor.org  thing later in the day.
  Sunday was filled with 0730 Mass and installing a replacement garage door opener that has been partially assembled and lounging in the middle of our living room for over two weeks ;^).  Programming these sure has improved in the last 20 years.
  Hope you had a nice weekend.


RV-14 Trip Review ...Tom Martin

My wife and I recently returned from a flight to Arizona in the new RV-14. We departed southern Ontario, CYQS and cleared customs in Port Clinton KPCW, Ohio. The next stop was Mt Vernon for fuel and then on to Branson Mo, for the night. My wife does not handle rough weather well so we typically only fly in calm morning hours. This was our first trip to Branson and it defines the word "tacky" The ribs, however, were awesome.  ...


3D Panel Models ...Mothership

Van’s Aircraft, Inc is pleased to announce the release of 3D models of both the panel and sub panel areas for our popular kit aircraft to enable builders to design their panel installations in CAD.


RV-8 N657AR Updates ...goatflieg

I haven't posted in this thread for quite a while. I've made 5 more blogspot blog entries since the last post and a LOT of KitLog entries, documenting a lot more progress. The most recent blog entry was last week; as always, see the links in my signature. Most recent event was the arrival of my finish kit. I'm a big step closer to have everything I need in my inventory. Everything had been purchased, and I only have to take delivery of my engine and prop... and I'll have them both by January.


3,000+ hours nose gear bolt replaced ...Vlad

Short story long that's how the stock nose wheel gear bolt looks after 6 years of constant abuse. RV9A with over 3,000 of flying hours and 4,200+ landings some of them at places I wouldn't even think of going second time. No modifications to the gear whatsoever all stock.

Replaced with the same AN5-20A bolt per plans added an extra thin washer and used red Locktite on threads. Surprisingly there was no play after cleaning out the hole in the engine mount and the gear leg. Snug fit. If anybody has an ability to analyze the old bolt I would gladly mail it. It would be interesting to know how fatigued the bolt is and how far it is from the failure.


Pictures of a 'Might Buy' RV-4 Project ...MS1095

Here are some pictures of a project that I am looking at. I realize they are not the best and not closeups, but does anyone see anything that jumps out at them as a problem?


Vic Syracuse: New Chairman of EAA's Homebuilt A/C Council



November 11, 2017.  Veterans Day

The White House, November 11, 1919.

picture courtesy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jointcolors.jpgA year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of inter national relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. - With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we re modeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with - solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.




November 10, 2017.   Issue No. 4,435.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

The new runway at 52F.
Come visit.  Cheap fuel in area.
(full size: 3,264x2,448 pixels)


Garmin G5 Flight Display V4.10 Software


Antennae Mount Seen on 8A at Monkeyville

(click to enlarge)



SteveT's RV-14 Web Blog

The adventure begins. I’m diving into this as a first-time builder, without any builder classes or practical experience. I’m documenting the process using Wordpress, and it’s my goal to make an entry after each work session.


Leave it in an open T-hangar and see what happens <g>.

Cessna at 52F.  Click to enlarge.



3D Printed Heater Duct ...Weasel Cub


Garmin Service Alert ...aera 660 and D2 Bravo



November 9, 2017.   Issue No. 4,434.

Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum ...joe_rainbolt RV-7A

I'll admit that the last thing Oregon needs is more Californians, but we went anyway.  It was a quick overnight getaway to the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum at McMinnville Oregon.  On the way back, an overflight of Crater Lake.  ...


Notification 17-03-01 (RV-12) ...Mothership

RV-12 Winterization Kit (optional)
RV-12 coolant radiator and oil cooler block-off plates for use in cold climates when ambient operating temperature is below 50°F (10°C).
The use of these block-off plates allows the oil temperature and coolant temperature to be maintained within the normal operating range during cruise flight and improve cockpit heater performance. With the RV-12 not having an oil or coolant thermostat, it is not possible to add winterization parts that will properly regulate oil and coolant temperatures at all temperature conditions.
The use of this winterization kit will require any pilot flying the aircraft to actively monitor the engine temperatures and make adjustments to the installed parts, to coincide with air temperature changes that are common from one day to another. Example - It is possible that at warmer temperatures, a particular airplane may allow for partial blockage of the radiator with the Radiator Cover, but require that no Oil Cooler Cover be installed.  ...


Steve Smith VFR-->IFR PIREP

Out west here, one likely scenario of VFR into IMC is with fire smoke. I've made some pretty marginal flights. On one of them, the vis went from 5 miles and a good horizon to 1 mile and no horizon fairly quickly. But not instantly like going into a cloud. It gives you a little bit of decision time, but you better make the right decision. I had started a descent to maintain good sight of the ground ( I knew I couldn't get on top of it because I knew how high it went) so I made the descent much more aggressive, and turned back.

On another occasion, I was flying east across basin-and-range country with 4 mile vis, but the periodic ridges crossing in front of me gave me a good horizon. At a certain point in central Oregon, the ranges stop and it is just a big basin, which happens to be the same color as the smoke. Now no horizon. In this case I climbed until I had a good horizon on top, although I could only barely see the ground at all.

For me, the key is recognizing the evolution of the conditions and acting soon enough to prevent a complete loss of horizon or ground vision. It is a bit different with smoke because it happens gradually, not suddenly like going into a cloud. But that also makes it insidious. Its easier to say I will keep going unless it gets worse, and it keeps getting worse. And of course next time I might not recognize the trend and make a good decision soon enough.

The "experience" I've gained from these is two-edged. Part of me has gotten more conservative and more willing to turn back. But part of me has gotten more confident that I can recognize the situation and react accordingly. I have to remind myself that this is dangerous stuff, and this thread is really good.

To Dan's point, although I am not instrument rated, I have done a lot of hood work, including a BFR two years previous with 1.5 hrs under the hood with lots of extreme attitude recovery. The rub is not having appropriate equipment in the airplane.

With the advent of glass cockpits, it is now more common to have a good artificial horizon. But I really favor old-fashion round gauges. I don't want a vacuum system. So for now, I have just a Trutrak ADI-pilot. But it is not a "real" AI. It synthesizes AI information from rate gyros updated with other sensors. I'd like to think it would be a good fall-back instrument for inadvertent IMC, and I have practiced a little with it, but I find that it does not always know correctly which way is up. (maybe something wrong with it?) An electric ADI is pretty expensive, but I am pretty seriously considering the investment. Or perhaps succumb to the glass side and get a Garmin G5.
Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV


AOA Pitot RV-10 Install Pics/Words ...Bill Peyton

I installed the AOA pitot in the Van's specified location with no issues. I also ran the tubing down the center j channel using a caterpillar bushing in each penetration. No additional holes needed. The strobe wires were run separately for EMI separation just in case. I did not use wire sleeve for the remaining wires, I just ran the wires and cable tied. I ran a couple of extra wires down to the end just in case.


Mountain Rotor Diagrams ...Carl N.

I've flown mountain wave in sailplanes, and the wave is usually very smooth since it is a laminar flow phenomena (requiring a stable atmosphere) and forms above the convective layer. The rotor is caused by friction with the ground, and can be extremely turbulent. If there is enough moisture in the air, the rotor will be visible with a cloud forming at its top and should be avoided.

When flying wave in a sailplane, you basically stationkeep in the lift areas of the wave (watching the ground drop away), climbing past the leading edge of the lenticulars, if they are visible.

Notice that there can be Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, etc., bounces of the wave, depending on the wind strength, angle to the mountains, and stability of the atmosphere.


Playing with the 3D printer...Weasel

"..needed a bracket for carb heat on the Cub."



November 8, 2017.   Issue No. 4,433.

Rob Reece RV-8.  Click to enlarge.
Colder temps arrive at 52F....door closed.


First Flight RV-6 N641S ...Scott Manning

N641S is a 17 year slow build #25688 rv-6, has 0-360 a1a.whirlwind rv-200, duel dynon 7000, icom a210, gtx 240, gtx 320. weight came in at 1028. thanks to everyone on this site for the inspiration and help, and thanks to vans for such a cool project.


To all RV-3, RV-4 and RV-6 builders: (Mothership)

"Van’s Aircraft has always prided itself on customer support. One aspect of this support is our commitment to continue the ready supply of parts for older models that have been superseded in design and ease of assembly. The RV-3, RV-4 and RV-6 were the basis of our product line for quite some time. In recent years we have seen their respective kit sales decline significantly. Although kits and spare parts for these models remain in our inventory, the cost to produce and warehouse parts that rarely sell is ever more burdensome. Therefore, to mitigate the costs and logistical difficulties that arise from low sales, we must adjust our production, pricing and delivery schedules.

This is to inform builders of these models that prices for these kits will significantly increase after January 1, 2018. Production runs for these kits will not cease, but the period between them will increase dramatically. We estimate production gaps of one year or more that can easily translate to delivery dates of one to two years from date of order.

We at Van’s want you to continue your project to completion and therefore suggest that you place an order for an empennage, wing, fuselage or finish kit now at current prices. If we receive enough orders for these kits beyond current inventory by years end, we will institute a production run to cover them all. This will yield reasonable delivery times. Spare parts will also remain available as supplies last. However, once depleted, parts may still remain available, but will be produced on a one-off basis. Production of any one part is expensive so an elevated price compared to a similar part in another model RV is to be expected.

Kits available for order are:
RV-3 Empennage, Wing, Fuselage and Finish
RV-4 Empennage, Wing, Fuselage and Finish
RV-6(A) Fuselage and Finish

Current prices will remain in effect for all kits ordered prior to December 31, 2017. Subsequent orders will be subject to the increased prices.

Van’s Aircraft"


Pete Jean Highlights ...Bill Schlatterer

Just have to double down and say what a great weekend it was! Weather was marginal to say the least but 20 pilots and crew decided to show up on Thursday just to help and be there early! What a nice surprise :--) Including 5 or 6 worker bees, we took 40 to dinner at Mather Lodge Thursday night. The completely unplanned Thursday Gathering was a big surprise to all of us and turned out to be one of the highlights of the weekend. :-D


VFR into IMC ...crabandy's PIREP

Toolbuilder nails it pretty well, we rationalize ourself into a situation.

So there I was, several years of instrument currency and even flirting with proficiency every now and again. Weather triple checked, lots of extra fuel for the IFR flight plan filed with an alternate and VFR areas duly noted. Uncontrolled departure airport reporting OVC 1700 double checked visually, I'm sure center is gonna be busy given the conditions but I don't want to spend an extra 20-30 minutes picking up my clearance via FSS. It's a familiar airport with no terrain and with 1700 OVC I was more than comfortable departing VFR.

Normal startup, runup, taxi and takeoff with my course and frequencies pre-loaded. As I turn on course and switch to center frequency it appears my 1700 OVC/VIS is obscured with some newly formed mist and lower clouds so I level off at 500 AGL to stay clear of clouds. I momentarily thought about returning to land and pick up my clearance through FSS but press on because it's familiar territory.

I confidently called center requesting my IFR clearance, center was busy and I eventually received a "sqwuak and maintain VFR" currently 15 miles from my departure airport still at 500 AGL. Because of my low altitude I can only hear center with the squelch on and seems my transmits are broken as well, I know the farther I go the worse the frequency gets at low altitude.

30ish miles (minutes at RV speed) from my departure airport I still don't have a clearance and even with the squelch on I can barely catch half of what the controller is saying. Seems a NASA test flight is non-radar in a low block altitude in my vicinity that also can't hear center on frequency. Again I contemplate turning around but my closest airport is 30 miles away. Surely I'll get a clearance soon, I press on watching my terrain page as a clearance in a couple minutes is safer than flying back at 500 AGL.

I wasn't shy about my clearance request at this point and eventually had my IFR clearance relayed through another aircraft after center finally determined the NASA test flight position, an IFR clearance never felt so good.

How did I rationalize myself into this situation, as always it was a chain of events:

-familiar airport
-didn't want a FSS delay
-1700 OVC was comfortable for departing VFR and pick up clearance airborne
-squawk code and talking to center feeling I would get a clearance anytime
-I've got a squawk and ATC is expecting me to be on route
-I'm too far away to turn back
-If I could just get my clearance I would be fine

Looking back when I hit the OVC/VIS at 500AGL I should have turned around and landed. I wouldn't think of departing without an IFR clearance in 500 OVC yet I rationalized and flew for 30ish miles because. Judgement isn't taught, it's gained through experience.


Status Report ...Bill Boyd RV-10

After months of work, I can stand back and look at the top and doors and realize that one of the scariest parts of the build is behind me. The glass parts have been trimmed and fashioned into two well-fitting doors, the overhead console has been fabricated and installed, copper foil antennas epoxied in, and the interior "fake Zolatone" applied with good results.



November 7, 2017.   Issue No. 4,432.
  I updated the donation list over the weekend.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to those who help keep it going...and apologies for the commercial.

RV-8A panel from aircraft visiting Monkeytown last week.
Full Size (3,166 x 2,346 pixels)

Mountain Flying - More Lessons Learned ...pvaslovich

Saturday afternoon passenger drop-off flight over the Southern Sierra Nevada Mountains from Inyokern (IYK) to Kern Valley (L05) - less than 30 miles. Wind 260/12 at IYK. Climbed to 8500 in clear skies to safely clear the two major ridgelines enroute. A little bumpy, but nothing unusual for the Southern Sierra. Uneventful leg - except noting winds were on the nose at 42kts at 8500 ft.

Return leg at 7500 ft. Fewer bumps than first leg until lee side of westernmost ridge. First roller banged my head off the canopy (thought I was tightly strapped in - but I was wrong) and induced an uncontrolled right roll. Second roller immediately thereafter continued roll with nose down pitch. Ended up about 120 degrees right wing down, 30 degrees nose low, accelerating. + 4.5, -3.1 g's on the g meter. This occurred within 2-3 seconds under clear skies, in pretty calm air with no warning.

Lessons learned:
1. Be wary of ridge crossings with high tailwinds.
2. Ensure you have enough altitude for recovery from nose low unusual attitudes.
3. Be comfortable with sudden unusual attitude recovery (I'm a former Navy A-4 Adversary pilot; joke about being more comfortable upside down than right side up).
4. If you suddenly find yourself nose low with excessive bank, roll wings level before pulling to the horizon - otherwise you risk increasing bank into a tight nose down spiral.
5. Be aware of your nose low airspeed - Vne is a real number.
6. Clear skies does not correlate to smooth air in the mountains.
7. Be wary - and prepared.


Flight Conditions Wall Art (external link)

I needed something to go over the expresso bar in the house. Saw something similar to this on the internet and decided to drag out the raspberry pi and some LEDs and make one for myself.

I used PHP to grab the current metar every 15 minutes and updates the LED colors via Python. Used LED string individually addressable RGB lights.

its about 30x20 inches. I used a digital sectional of LA and added an inset of the Bay area since I fly up to WVI pretty often.

The code turned out to be the easy part. Glueing and splicing all those dang LEDs was why it sat on the living room floor for a month. Finally pinched myself in the ass and finished it up today.

It shows green/blue/purple/red for the flight conditions.


RV-4 Firewall Wrinkle Update ...from other -4 owner (Vac)

It's fairly common for -4's to suffer wrinkling in the lower corners, usually as the result of a hard landing load or continuous operation off of rough surfaces. The aluminum fuselage structure flexes under load (as it's designed to do), but the hard stainless firewall suffers stress wrinkles or cracks. As long as there is no permanent fuselage primary structure or landing gear leg deformation, the firewall itself is non-structural. If the stainless has any holes or cracks, they should be smoothed and/or stop-drilled, as appropriate and filled with high temp silicone to preserve firewall integrity.

Similar to your situation, I also watched my brand new replacement lower RV-4 firewall crack in the lower corner within a few landings because I didn't "pre-stress" the lower firewall thru-bolts...i.e., before drilling the replacement firewall rivet holes and riveting, use a nut, bolt and fender washers to properly compress the stainless in the corners to mimic the compression imparted by the engine mount. So that would be my primary suggestion in addition to adding the RV-8 style gussets as suggested by Van's!

Likely you are already aware, but be sure to check the engine mount for any cracking as well, since the same stress that induces the firewall wrinkling causes stress at the welds in the gear leg sockets. Engine mount fatigue cracking is not uncommon (mine cracked at about 1100 hours). If your mount is finished in black powder-coat, visual inspection can be difficult, and may require you to remove the powder coat in suspect areas to make a determination. If the engine mount is dark, sometimes the presence of a small amount of grease at the weld can provide a visual cue that the weld may be cracked. If the weld cracks, it's possible for some of the grease to be forced out of the gear socket through the failed weld as the area flexes during taxi, takeoff or landing. Given the option, a painted mount that uses dark primer and light finish color can simplify visual inspection.


RV-10 Top Antenna Reinforcement ...Bill Peyton

Because there is a slight curve where you are mounting it, if you make a stiffener it will flatten the area above the stiffener and it will show. Ask me how I know. What I ended up doing is creating a stiffener that is fastened to each stringer, I then made shims and installed washers between the aircraft skin and the stiffener so the shape of the outer skin is unaffected by the stiffener. You will never notice the slight leaning of the antenna. The antenna is extremely stiff doing it this way


VFR pilot into IMC.

That was me yesterday in Springfield Missouri And I didn't get on the gauges for almost 30 seconds. I was at 600 ft AGL under a ceiling totally in the goo and in a turn back to the airport. I was doing what every mishap pilot does, looking out the window searching for the ground. I was lucky and learned from the scare. For 30 years as an Air Force Aerospace Physiologist I taught pilots to get on the gauges. I got humbled, it's easier said than done.

What I learned
- transition to instrument early and especially in a turn
- God saved me this time, I won't ask again
- instrument training starts now


AKarmy's Manual Aileron Trim (RV-8)

It works fine, just slide the lever on the sidewall to balance out your fuel load. With the 8 it's always fuel load you are leveling since the rest of the plane should be balanced side to side. Of course you can also just burn from the heavy wing if you like to balance it too!

Here's a picture of the under seat portion of the install.



November 6, 2017.   Issue No. 4,431.

A little hootenanny out at 52F Saturday.
Taco truck, C/W band....RV-8A in the background.
Click for full size

Status Report ...David Paule -3B

Today's job was to glue the long belly skin to the fuselage. I'm using G/Flex epoxy, the thickened variety, which has a 45 minute pot life. A dry run showed that it took me 1/2 an hour to get the skin and the hardware all set up, so I knew I needed some assistance. Dave Dooley stopped by to lend a hand.

The skin and substructure was ready to go, with tape on and the cleco tips oiled.

I mixed up a couple tubs of the glue and we started buttering it on. It went to the perimeter and the shoulders of the bulkheads. Then we lifted the skin into place and with the exoskeleton, started clecoing it all together. We only needed one cleco every four rivet holes but we added a few more, here and there, for assurance.

Then we wiped the epoxy off the tips of the clecos and pulled off some of the tape and made fillets at the edges of the joints. Dave left and I took this not-so-great photo.


Make RV-12 Cabin More Habitable in Winter

The weather is getting cold and I decided to tackle the problem of cold air passing forward from the baggage compartment.

The solution consists of one piece of sheet aluminum, two pieces of cardboard, and three pieces of foam. The RV-12 seat backs are aluminum frames with 1” angle sides that contain the upright upholstered cushions.


Hurricane Damage Q/A ...Greg B.

Q: In preparation for Harvey I put my nearly completed fuse up on a table, resting on a piece of old brown carpet. While we did not get flood water in the garage nevertheless somehow moisture got between the carpet and underside of the fuse. This I discovered yesterday(so about 2 months) when taking it down in prep for prime/paint the interior. The carpet stained 2 approx 1 sq foot areas along with depositing some glue-like material. I have been able to remove the material deposits with acetone and lots of elbow grease and even more cussing. But the aluminum appears to be permanently stained a lite brown color. It will be painted so I don’t really care about the cosmetics but am concerned if I have compromised the integrity of the aluminum. I have put a thick layer of paste wax over the area to try to limit any further corrosion. I wish I could post pix and that’s something I’ll learn to do soon but in the meantime any thoughts are appreciated.

A: If the aluminum surface is still smooth and shinny and the only visible change is coloration/staining, I don't think you will have any problems.

A: Just make sure you get rid of every bit of the wax before painting or you'll have fisheye problems. It's really hard to clean contaminants like wax & oil out from around rivet heads when prepping for paint.


Another Hole in The Rib Question

I want to drill another hole in my main wing ribs.

This topic has been covered before but I am still confused if this is OK

I've read most of the threads about this and even talked to Van's about six months ago when I originally added some conduit holes. Van's led me to believe that there could be more holes drilled than their guidelines spelled out.


Hat sighting ...Dvalcik

Visiting my Grandson and brought him a VAF toddler hat and a t-shirt I had made for our lobster flyin ths year. He wore the hat all day and wouldn’t take it off till bed



November 3, 2017.   Issue No. 4,430.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Selfie ...Jen's RV-4


Riveting F-1055 rudders stop skin stiffeners ...RV-10

Emp page 10-20 Step 7- "... Rivet the stiffeners to the F-1056 rudder stop brace using AN470AD4-4 rivets"

I am not sure how to reach these 4 rivets. My double offset set isn't long enough (or offset enough) for my gun to clear the longerons. The squeezer can't reach it either.

How have others gotten to these rivets? I see Aircraft Spruce has a 10-1/2" length 1/8" straight set. I'm thinking this may be the way to go--if it'll clear the longerons that is. I figured it would be wise to ask here first. Thoughts?


Pictured are the holes in question. I have rivets in two of the four the holes, one on each side:


Milon Whittier Picture of Oregon Cascade Mountains

Full size

Taken from Vans RV-6 Built by Master Builder Larry Davis Of Pleasant Hill, Oregon. Picture taken by Milon Whittier

Oregon Cascade Mountains; part of the "Ring of Fire"; active and dormant
Right to Left, Looking North.
Broken Top 9,177'
South Sister 10,363'
Middle Sister 10,046'
North Sister 10,085'
Mt Washington 7,795'
Three Finger Jack 7,844'
Mt Jefferson 10,495'
Mt Hood. 11,250'


Best advice you got from another builder?

Build On

Do something every night.

Don’t be a hermit builder, seek advice, use your resources...from the late, great Joe Blank, my tech advisor!

You're building an airplane, not a watch. Ken Scott - Vans Aircraft and hangar neighbor.

Don't rivet anything until you absolutely cannot go further on that assembly without doing so.

Building is a perishable skill. If it's been a while, practice on scrap first.

Perfection is the enemy of completion.

Compromise is the enemy of quality

Compromise is natural to good design

Do I absolutely need to order avionics now?

If it can chafe, it will chafe

If it is difficult, you need a new tool

Use the right tool for the job - even if you have to invent the tool.

Think garden tractor, not space shuttle

Don't fix problems you don't have.

Paint your wheel pants one color!

Buy a QB kit


RV-10 Test Pilot in Michigan area


RV7 + Drone

Today I needed to test the indoor flight characteristics of a new drone so what better to film than the RV! Nothing too exciting but I thought I'd share.



November 2, 2017.   Issue No. 4,429.

J_Turner Build Update in Pics ...570 of them

I think I'm in the 90% there and 90% to go stage. Here is access to my build pictures... HERE (iCloud folder)

Need all of the critique I can get. I'm using two G3X touch screens, A GTN750, and a VPX pro. Remote mounted 2nd radio and transponder. Engine is a Superior IO400 and prop is a 3 blade MT. I'm working on fiberglassing in the tips on the elevator and rudder now. Let me know what you think...


Guess Who is Going to OSH Next Week for a Big 'O Award

Rob Hickman.

"While building an RV-4, Rob drew on his background in electrical engineering to design and build his own engine monitor. He thought he’d just make one for himself, but then a friend wanted one, then a local avionics shop wanted one, and suddenly, Rob had a new business. Advanced Flight Systems was born, focused on manufacturing and selling the ACS 2002.

The monitor evolved from the first color screen available to the experimental market to an EFIS with synthetic vision, attitude, AOA, mapping, weather, traffic, and integration and connectivity with other outside components. After joining forces with Dynon Avionics in 2013, Rob was able to focus on his latest innovation, which is designing and building complete plug-and-play panels using a central control module that eliminates most of the wiring involved in building an airplane.

What started at the dining room table in the late 1990s is now a company with 10 employees and a 7,500-square-foot facility in Canby, Oregon, and customers throughout the world. He is respected by his employees, industry peers, and customers alike."


Misshapen match-drilled holes

While match drilling the W-707 doubler plates for the rear spar I'm accidentally causing the original holes to widen and become misshapen. I'm assuming this is because I'm not holding the drill straight, or I'm moving it around, or I'm applying pressure laterally. I'm not sure.

Anyways, two questions:

1. Is the biggie in this pic useable or am I going to have to order a new rear spar?

2. How do I match drill without doing this? Do I need to get a drill press?


1st condition inspection,IO320 AIRFILTER?

I have a K&N airfilter. A friend said (A&P) every year you throw it away and put in new no matter how many hours. ( I have 30 hrs ). OR,,,,OR use the RENEW kit from K&N sold on Vans parts website. The kit is $8.50 and the K&N airfilter is $32.00. As a experimental aircraft owner is it up to my discretion. It doesn’t look dirty and no grass blades on outside.

Ron in Oregon


Wingtip Lenses w/FlyLEDs

Trimmed and installed my wingtip lenses and had to set the flyleds in there to see how it looks. Very cool I say!!!!! My wiring/electrical items order from Stein is coming tomorrow so I can fire them up for the first time with 12 volts. Can't wait!! Need to mount the wings for the first time so trying to finish them up. Monday marked my 1 year anniversary working on the fuse


Milestone: Wheel Pants .. DONE!

I just need some VAF love .. wheel pants done .. wow what a chore.  It's about 12-16 hours worth. I could probably do a second set in half the time. Mine turned out good but I had to fight for it.  Yep! Popsicle stick and a tiny dot of CA is perfect for sliding in those impossible washers


Nov/Dec FAA Safety Briefing


MGL V16 transceiver about to be released

The V6 and V10 radios where based on an original MGL design many years ago that was never put into production. Subsequently another South African company called South West electronics took on the original hardware design and packaged it into the V10 and then V6 formats. MGL itself provided the firmware. These radios where then sold under the MGL brand name.
This arrangement has come to an end a year ago. The V6 is still available through MGL Avionics in the USA but is no longer a branded MGL product. Ownership of the IP has passed to South West electronics.

Thus a year ago MGL started the design process of a new radio to be called the V16 - this time a true MGL product, fully designed and manufactured in house.
The first production batch of the V16 is now ready to be released.

Here are the bullet points:

1) 10W+ TX power, very high efficiency, low DC power needs.
2) Built in SWR meter for antenna checks and power measurents
3) World's first fully digital airband receiver, easily surpassing all required certification requirements for any receiver class. Based on direct conversion I/Q zero IF technology. No spurious receptions, excellent sensitivity, selectivity and large signal handling abilities. Very high audio quality, zero distortion. 8.33Khz and 25Khz channel spacing with full support for offset carrier operations in each.
4) Impulse noise detection and removal (removes typical ignition noise and many other noise sources from received signal).
5) Recording and simple playback of received transmissions.
6) Two circuit intercom, fully digital 24bits. Newly developed noise gating combines the best features of a traditional VOX and MGL's Vogad into a single, simple to use and highly effective system.
7) Independent RX and intercom volume controls.
8) Split module design. Transceiver body can be used stand alone with any MGL iEFIS G3 or combined with either a 2.14" head or a 3.1/8" head. Both heads are color and the larger one has a touch screen as well. You can also use multiple heads and connect to EFIS at the same time.
9) With any of the two heads, the V16 is protocol compatible with industry standard protocols (selectable in head setup). Note that NAV/COM protocol compatibility requires the MGL N16 navigation receiver which should be available by February.
10) Lowest cost of any COM transceiver available, combined with N16 lowest cost of any NAV/COM available.

Manuals including ICD for third party use at www.mglavionics.co.za/vhf.html

CEO MGL Avionics



November 1, 2017.   Issue No. 4,428.

First flight ...Simon Hitchen RV-7 (video)

I'm really pleased to report that on the 25th of October/2017, after a longer than expected build time, RV-7 C-FCSH took to the air for the first time.

Everything went as expected with no major issues. The left wing is a little heavy but was trimable, that'll be addressed shortly.

The time stamp on the video was out by a few years, ooops.

I can assure you all that it's a great feeling to fly the maiden flight, well worth all the effort. I completed 6.5 hours over the next few days, such a fantastic little airplane. LOVE IT!

Enjoy the video!


Wallpaper Calendar for November ...Chris Pratt's RV-8


Another Take on Oil Door Hidden Hinge

Initially, I was using a formed sheet-metal hidden hinge for my oil door. Similar to a number of products available from experimental AC suppliers. I didn't really like this solution. I thought there was too much flex in the hinge system to work with my push-button camloc latch. I was able to pop the door open with light outward force since the hinge would flex.

I designed a new hinge that works much better. I am probably not the first to make it this way, but haven't seen it posted here. It works very well. The final version incorporates a spring to hold the door open. Total weight is only slightly more than the Vans setup, most of that is from the latch.

Note: I made my oil door from aluminum. I had already drilled it for the formed hidden hinge, that is why there are extra holes. In the end, I filled those open holes with rivets.

The hinge pivot could also just be a solid shaft. I machined bushing on my lathe. The bolts are fully torqued, the bushings have a step machined in to set the end-play. There is very little play (less than a piano hinge) to allow fretting of the door/cowl.

Normally, on the pink cow at least, the area where I have the hinge mounted is a low spot between the cowl honeycomb core and the oil door flange. I filled this area with epoxy/flox for the hinge mount.


Forward Stick Authority on takeoff RV-6

I finished my tailwheel endorsement in a Super Cub two weeks ago. So now that I have 6.5 hours of TW time, I am obviously an expert. ;^)

In the cub, the takeoff procedure was stick full aft for two seconds, and then take 3-4 second to go full forward on the stick and hold it there. The tail would raise, but would not raise further than approximately level flight.

I was surprised that it really was generally not possible to raise the tail too far and have a prop strike.

My question in the RV-6 is this: if I go full forward on the stick in the RV-6 and hold, will the tail continue to rise as speed builds and eventually cause a prop strike?

Or is the design of the RV-6 such that full forward stick on a normal takeoff (no gusting winds), will not cause a prop strike?


iPad Pro 12.9" in RV-9A Panel ...dannyatc (Brussels)

The ipad can run 2 apps together using its sensors , one is running Skydemon (a mostly european nav - app) second app is A-efis which is quite nice

I also made my own ipadholder :I slide it in , including its cover and it's kept in place by the canopy , had to cut a small hole since it's the 12,9" ipad



October 31, 2017.   Issue No. 4,427.

My Son's First Flight ...Paul

So, it's actually been about three and a half years since I took my (then) three year old son for his first flight in our RV-7. I took some video at the time, but never got around to editing it into something watchable. I finally finished it today. Enjoy!


Copperstate 2017 photos and...bruceh

I spent 2 days at the Copperstate Fly-in and had a very nice time hanging out by the airplane and talking to a bunch of VAF folks. The weather was superb and the turn out was great.


Non-builders/second owners projects

Well, I've done it now. After owning our 7 for under a year, my son and I have started down the new panel road. It's kind of scary to take a perfectly flying and operating RV and just rip it's heart out! After two full days of careful work, the panel rode home with me tonight in the backseat of my car. I'm in A&P school (crazy at 66 years old but having fun) so I have access to experts that are going to help me with the panel cutouts, new brackets, etc. and then a new carbon fiber overlay. A new Skyview is waiting to be installed! Just want all you builders to know that us second owners are willing to get our hands dirty too!


Lunch With the Sister 'n Law

Saturday the Wx was nice in N.TX, Susie was at yoga, Tate was asleep, and I was bored by 0645. 34*F at the house. I haven’t stretched Flash’s legs in a while so I drove out to the airport with no plan other than to fly somewhere and eat.

I called my sister in Houston. No joy. Busy. Asked Kay at the field. Already flown. Danny and MJ warming up Beautiful Doll….on their way to Reklaw.

I called my Sister-in Law in San Marcos (south of Austin). “Wanna eat lunch?” “Sure!”

I have a mission.

200kt GS on the way down at 6,500’ (25kt tailwind). Flew over my hometown (Waco), the Space X complex outside McGregor, east of Fort Hood, over the top of Austin and dropped down into San Marcos. 1hr 10min. Nice turkey sandwich. Fun company.

I wonder if any readers here work at Space X there in McGregor outside Waco.  I would love a tour someday of all that rocket porn. Free lunch in it for you ;^).

On the way back I saw the Blue Angels doing their show at KAFW - I was just outside the TFR with a vantage point I hadn’t planned on. Very nice surprise!

It was nice to see Patty. I don’t get down that way enough.

2hrs 30min total flight time Saturday. Amazing airplane.

Hope you had a nice weekend, too.

Yours in promoting The Force (Van's Air),
Yoda Doogie

Pictures: Here

Blue Angels off my left wing...



October 30, 2017.   Issue No. 4,426.

Spinning in the Sun... with smoke (picture and video)


David Paula RV-3B Status Update

Trimmed some edges the other day to save some weight. I saved about 40 grams, almost 1 1/2 ounces, and it only took me four hours. Anyone can make a bargain like that if they want it badly enough. To honor the effort and keep blood off things, I put two timely bandages on my fingers.

One unexpected workshop observation is that I seem to need a number of different kinds or sizes or colors of tape. They take an entire shop drawer. Who'd have expected that?


Prop strike and an AD question

Prop strike occurred, insurance mandates a full Tear down and IRAN. Connecting rods are affected by AD (replace at 1500 hours, if removed, cannot be reinstalled, engine has 200 hours). Rods had to be removed for tear down as a result of prop strike, otherwise I would have run them until 1500 hours.
Question is, should insurance cover the cost of new rods? All opinions appreciated.
RV-4 #2750


Spin Loop Sequence

Nothing special...just thought I'd share


Broken Piston Ring

So....last year # 2 cylinder was at 72/80 not too bad but I kept an eye on it, well this year it was at 65/80, dang it! time to pull a jug, so there it is, now I need to find some parts, anyone know where to start to find the correct part # and vender? its narrow deck, IO 360 A1A angle valve with chrome cylinders. Thanks. sorry for the pic size...


Firewall wrinkle ...RV-4

The aircraft is a fairly early 4, and had issues here when I first started flying it. 9 years ago I rebuilt it after it suffered a landing accident, using new engine mount, long legs, firewall, side panels and new style corner weldments.

The aircraft operates from a grass strip, and has not had a heavy landing; I'm the only pilot. Within weeks of the rebuild I could hear the firewall flex as I taxied, and just new what was going to happen!

It's now back in the workshop for instrument and radio upgrade, and I'll be doing the firewall as well.

Vans have suggested incorporating the gusset in the lower corners, and I'll be taking great care with alignments.
Does anyone have any other suggestions. I don't really want to do it again!


Heater Vent Valve

I was vacantly staring at my firewall today waiting for the last of the required parts before I lift the engine in place when I realized that there was potentially a massive heat dump starting me right in the face.  ...


RV-7A rebirthing ...status update



October 27, 2017.   Issue No. 4,425.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.


Overdue report on an upgrade

At the beginning of the year, I took a look at the number of AMU’s just sitting around in the form of items I had collected to upgrade my bought-flying RV-6a.


Why don't I buck these rivets now? (Elevator on RV-14)

I have some confusion as to why the rivets in the picture below (lower left in red oval) aren't to be installed now? Any time I see "DO NOT RIVET YET", I try to find out: 1) why 2) when they are to be riveted.

In the case below, I can't find where the plans tell you when to install these rivets. If I'm reading the plans correctly, after the foam ribs are glued in, there's no way to get the "special bucking bar" on them. In reviewing various web pages, I don't see where anybody has had an issue with this so it's got to be something I'm missing. So for those of us who learn slowly and retain little:

1) Why are we to wait?
2) When do we install them?


Propeller blast etiquette……

It is always frustrating when this happens but even more so when done by an RV owner/pilot. I always have hopes that they are above average when compared to the general pilot population but time and time again I find that is not the case.

An RV-10 owner (I don't know who so they can fully remain anonymous) just left Van's Aircraft in what from a distance looked like a beautifully built airplane after a short visit.

If you have ever visited you know that there is a pretty good sized paved ramp area in front of the hangar for aircraft parking. The typical parking method is to pull onto the ramp facing towards the hangar (you will find all of the company airplanes positioned this way if they are outside).
When any airplane leaves, it can turn 90 degrees, taxi down the ramp a short distance and then make the big turn to taxi away from the ramp towards the runway.

What happened today (third time this week actually), and is far too common, is the RV-10 pilot used high power to do a 180 degree pivot turn (they were the only airplane parked on the ramp) which left their tail only about 60 from the open front of the hangar.

I am getting tired of cleaning out the hangar so often.....

Over the years, I have seen other airplanes sand blasted, canopys blown shut (and damaged), control surfaces damaged, and yes, hangars filled with CR%p.....
All by other pilots that failed to think and often times taxied away totally oblivious regarding what they had done (as likely is the case in this instance).

Good reminder lesson for all of us.....
When operating the engine on the ground (whether taxiing, doing a run-up, or whatever) please keep in mind where your airplane is pointed and what is behind you.


Tube-like positive mold in high density PU

I’m trying to fabricate a tube-like glass fiber duct between a NACA inlet and an fresh air vent. I thought the most straight forward method would be to use a positive mold of high density PU, wrap it with glass fiber and after curing, dissolve the PU with acetone.


RV-8 Conundrum

I haven't been on this forum in a while mostly due to life situation. I have a RV-8 wing and tail kit, done up to the pre-close inspection. I started building my plane in London Ontario. Then work had me hopping all over Manitoba and Ontario for a couple years, and now I am finally settling down in Thunder Bay. My problem is the very small general aviation community here. There are a couple 172s, Cherokees and the like, but that's it. Certainly no active home-buil community like I was used to in London.

My wife and I are buying a house with a nice 1.5 car garage. There is certantly room to move the project up here, buy the fuselage kit and continue building. She is also supportive of this project. However, without a general aviation friendly airport and no builder community, it becomes very difficult endeavour and really isn't within my means. For example, the airport authority recommended I build my own hangar as they said there aren't any available.

I am really hoping there is someone in the area who can point me in a direction that makes this realistic and feasible. A building partner would be great! If I can't make this come together, I will unfortunately be forced to sell the project.


What are these, and where do they go? ...-14

These two aluminum strips, each 29 1/4” long, 5/8” wide, 0.018” thick; may have originally come attached to each other and had to separate. They are now primed and the part numbers removed. There are 15, #27 holes equal spaced 2” O/C and about 1/16" off center down the strip's length. The holes align with the forward 15 holes of the 16 holes each side of canopy frame part C-01419-L&-R. They align perfectly with the zone 2 screw tighten sequence called out > RV14 Finish Kit, pg 38-27 figure 4. I have scoured instructions and cannot locate or identify. They would fit perfectly in the canopy frame there but no instruction that I can find to put them there.

I have also looked through the Fuselage manual, as well as the packing lists for a description that would match, NO FINDY.

The clouded highlight identifies the holes that align perfectly between the C-01419-L part and these strips.


Mitch will be at COPPERSTATE Fly-In

...with the RV-12IS October 27-28, 2017.  Dont Miss him.


Fly-out Friday after Thanksgiving LULU's - Gulf Shores, AL KJKA

Howdy Airplane People!!!!

Coming up next month I am inviting you to fly to Gulf Shores, AL for the day!!! In the past years we have had a great turnout of airplanes and lots of fun. I have confirmed the Restaurant will be open.

Airport: KJKA
Date: November 24, 2017
Time: All day – Lunch suggested time ~11:30am local
Place: Lulu’s Restaurant
Fun: Everywhere
Who: Anyone interested in airplanes,
You will need to plan your own transportation from the airport.


Scheduled Site Maintenance 10/28/17 10pm CT - 10/29/17 6am CT

Our regularly scheduled maintenance window will be used to perform maintenance on the servers.  This is in order to keep the data safe and improve the reliability of the hosted environment. Readers will experience intermittent service accessibility during this window.



October 26, 2017.   Issue No. 4,424.

Another overhead canopy ...RV-10

I finished my overhead console a couple of months ago. Have received a lot of help from others, and was pleased with my finished product. Thanks for all the help and advice along the way.

Access panels and switch plate are veneered with amboyna burl (off of ebay). I intend on doing the same to panel inserts. Had a disaster first run with spray adhesive, was finally successful bonding veneer with G-flex epoxy. And found that my wife's food sealer is great for vacuum veneering. Finish is a 2k clear, spraymax.

Paint is Sherwin-Williams JetFlex Solvent-Based Polyurethane Enamel
L09027 - Blue Black, satin. Over epoxy resin and micro, some fiberglass to cover the 3/4" flex conduit in the anterior groove adjacent to the windscreen. I extended the Aerosports console to hide the conduit.

Various LED bolt lights, map lights, and mostly rocker switches that have LED indicators on them. A few bump outs to help position things.

Lots and lots of sanding and filling, but in the end I enjoyed it and the final result.


New AF-5000 Pilots Guide Manual ...Rob Hickman

We have posted an updated version of the AF-5000 Pilots Guide.  We have had the new V15 software flying in three planes for the last few months. It has been flying in our RV-10 with our new Electronic circuit breaker module since the beginning of September. We also have it flying in a Canadian customers RV-10 so that we can validate the Canada XM Weather. We plan on releasing the V15 software for beta testing next week and should have the production release in the next few weeks.

Version 14 had a lot of new software to support a very specialized project that we developed an EFIS for. Since we also upgraded the Skyview network software in the release to the latest HDX V15 software it seemed to make sense to keep the versions the same.


Pneumatic Carb Sync

Syncing the carbs is one of the most satisfying aspects of the annual condition inspection — or the most frustrating.
When I took my Repairman course the instructor showed us how to use the CarbMate tool to pneumatically synchronize the carbs. That looked pretty cool, so I bought a CarbMate. Bad decision. The fittings that it came with were US automotive dimensions and the Rotax carb tubing is metric. I had to make adapters. After working with it I found the moving LED lights hard to interpret and confusing and had to school myself each time I used the tool to relearn how it worked. Syncing took a long time. The CarbMate went on the auction site as a motorcycle sync tool. Hopefully another Rotax mechanic didn’t buy it.


Prop vibration

Over the past 20 hours or so I have noticed that for the first 45 min to 1st hour of flight I have a slight vibration at most any RPM, which previously was not noticeable. Over a period of 45 min to hour of cruise flight, the vibration continuously gets less and less until it is not longer noticeable. This is not a lot of vibration, but enough that my wife noticed it. It's enough to notice in the glare shield, and on the stick. It is consistently repeatable and can be duplicated by letting the aircraft sit for several hours. Flying again for 45 minutes fixes the vibration. I can shut off each ignition in flight and not make any change to the vibration, so it's not an ignition issue.

Engine: IO540 D4A5 690 engine hours

Propeller: Standard RV-10 Hartzell Two blade blended airfoil HC-C2YR clocked in the standard position

I just concluded my annual inspection and did the following, with no change in the symptoms:

•Reamed all 4 exhaust guides per Lycoming Service Instruction 1425
•Removed left mag inspected, replaced points and cam, set e-gap etc. and re-timed
•Verified timing of Electroaire electronic ignition
•Serviced, gapped and measured resistance of all plugs
•Measured resistance of all plug wires

When I review my Saavy data online it looks absolutely perfect, I can tell the engine is developing full HP in that my cruise speeds have not changed. My fuel flows and leaning have not changed. My CHT spreads are the same as prior spread a year ago as are the EGT spreads. I bore scoped the cylinders.

The only remaining idea that I have is that the prop grease seal has been compromised and grease is getting into the center of the hub and settling when the plane is sitting idle. When the prop starts spinning and the hub gets filled with warm oil, the grease redistributes itself and the vibration disappears.

So as I write this I am about to leave to drive Hartzell this morning to have them tear down the prop. and hoping that is the issue. Any other ideas from the VAF brain trust are appreciated.
Bill Peyton
RV-10 - 700 Hrs
First Flight Oct 2012


Now the lights...

As most of you know, 52F now has an amazing new runway.  Come try it (cheapest fuel in the area here).  With the runway now done, the P.O.A. is tackling the run down lighting system that is in real need of some loving up.  There are (120) lights currently on airport property, and as they burn out are being replaced with more efficient (and bright) LEDs.

The property owners back in the day didn't have input on how the lights were done.  Much of the existing wire is NOT underground Romex and the Scotch Locks are not in waterproof junction boxes - you can imagine the voltage leakage after decades of sitting in damp soil corroding.  Four lights are inop due to this - we're fixing those now.

And it's being done correctly.  Thank you P.O.A. at 52F!  www.Fly52F.org

(click images for larger pic)

A new LED runway light...

Running conduit under a taxiway...

Out with the old way (above)...in with the new.



October 25, 2017.   Issue No. 4,423.
  Heads up.  POTUS TFR DFW on Wednesday (info).  From October 25, 2017 at 2030 UTC (October 25, 2017 at 1530 CDT) to October 26, 2017 at 0015 UTC (October 25, 2017 at 1915 CDT). 

Seen in Monkeytown ...Tue

(Click for full size)

RV-4 panel upgrade

RV-4 panel upgrade


Well %#@&!!!

It's taken me a few days to gain emotional distance enough to deal with a huge setback in my project. I had bought an aircraft lift, which seemed like a great assist, both letting me move both aircraft into the hangar and also positioning the aircraft to work at a convenient height. I had contacted the lift manufacturer for maintenance info (it was purchased from the estate of a pilot here in Flagstaff) and they recommended retro-fitting the jack-screw mechanism with a chain hoist. Well, I should have listened because the lift failed on the 16th while I was lowering it to work on the project. Fortunately, that meant that the -6A was safely outside the hangar and I was not under it because it is operated from the side.

I would estimate the weight of the lift yoke (which the fuselage on gear was strapped to) and the fuselage to be close to 3000 lbs. It did not free-fall due to the geometry of the lift but I came down very fast from between 3 and 4 feet, to a sudden stop on the hangar floor. Due to the added weight and the fact that the wings weren't on (no aerodynamic drag like you'd find in a stall landing at that height), I'm sure it's like stalling in from a greater height.

So, the good news first. You'd definitely survive such an incident. I'm not sure what the wing attachments would look like but the fuselage structure was largely intact. Now the bad news. On closer inspection, the side skins were wrinkled low behind the main spar carry through and the bottom skins were wrinkled behind the mains all the way across. The pictures don't show it too well. The was also slight wrinkling at the panel attachments to the side skin. More good news: I won't know for sure until I disassemble everything but it looks like all the rest of the structure is Ok. The floor and seat pans are fine and I'm hoping the ribs underneath are the same (though I will, of course, check. All lateral forms are fine. I expected to find some stress around the baggage door, which was open, but found none. The entire tail cone, including empennage attachments, show no signs of stress. And likewise on the firewall, which had the mount and engine. The gear also checks out. ...


Flutter...the movie.

I bet you watch every second.


Information on the new AeroLEDs wingtip lights.


Glamour Shot ...tim 8A

Bright sunlight made this one pop for me…


Tailwheel Transporter Sale (Copperstate)

I'm writing to let you know about our Copperstate Fly-In sale.  It starts tonight and runs thru November 2nd.  TAILWHEEL TRANSPORTER's and TAILWHEEL TRANSPORTER ll's can be had for $359.00 plus shipping.  Anyone who calls me to order and mentions Van's Air Force will receive an EXTRA $10.00 off.

fmi: www.tailwheeltransporter.com


Panel Pic…bret



October 24, 2017.   Issue No. 4,422.
  Heads up.  POTUS TFR DFW on Wednesday (info).  From October 25, 2017 at 2030 UTC (October 25, 2017 at 1530 CDT) to October 26, 2017 at 0015 UTC (October 25, 2017 at 1915 CDT). 

4th Annual Primitive Camping Fly-in at Alpine County ...pics

Photo album online


Pics of Rosco Armstrong’s RV-7

...arrived at Richmond Aviation (Monk's) for an annual Monday.  What a beautiful airplane!  iPhone pics thrown into my SmugMug folder - don't do it justice!


Granbury Regional Airport - (EN-17) Ceremonial 1st Flight ...pics and video

Granbury (TX) High School Students Celebrate the Completion
of their Eagle's Nest Project (EN-17) - a Van's Aircraft RV-12

10/21/2017 - Granbury Regional Airport
Granbury Mayor, Nin Hulett, GISD Superintendent, Dr. James Largent, GISD CTE Director, Judy Gentry, and many other airport, city, and school dignitaries joined the "build-students" from Granbury high school in celebrating the completion and ceremonial 1st flight of their aircraft build, an Eagle's Nest Project Van's RV-12. NBC Channel 5 news was on hand to record the event and Granbury's generous and supportive community donated over $4,000 in continuing support. A new group of "build-students" have already started construction of the school's 2nd airplane, Eagle's Nest Projects (EN-21), that's scheduled for completion late next year. In the meantime, EN-17 will be based at Granbury Regional Airport and Eagle's Nest Projects will make it available to all "build-students" for flight experiences and limited primary training. "Mentors build the student... Students build the airplane" -Glen Salmon is the motto of Eagle's Nest Projects and the community of Granbury has demonstrated well that with proper mentoring of our youth, they'll live life empowered and in confidence that nothing is beyond their grasp. /reb

Aside: If you're attending the Alliance Air Show this weekend, Granbury and McKinney high schools will be displaying their Eagle's Nest Aircraft. Pay them a visit... you won't be disappointed! Also, the following weekend (11/2), McKinney will be celebrating their ceremonial 1st flight of EN-14 with a fly-drive event at McKinney Airport.


Welcome Free Flight Systems (RANGR ADS-B)

“ADS-B by 2020, and after 2020 – rely on a RANGR for your ADS-B solution. Our systems are fully TSO-certified, and have been flying since 2011.”


Close Encounter of the Bird Kind ...vid

Yesterday I was honored to temporarily join a flock of birds as I was preparing to land at Watsonville Airport (KWVI) in California. I just happened to have a camera rolling. Fortunately there was no contact between myself and my feathered friends.

I was on base and flying at about 70 mph indicated.

I don't know if this was due to the camera lens or my own interpretation but those critters sure looked closer to me than the video shows. I saw one then a split second later I saw all his friends! Keep your eyes peeled!


Show us a pic of then + now

I completed this RV-4 in 1989 and the picture was taken at a grass strip in Wyoming. The second picture was taken recently in front of my hangar.

This -4 is built to original plans and minimally equipped for daylight VFR. The only changes and additions are a Catto prop five years ago and the smoke tank installation. She has served us well for 28 years now and is a permanent part of our family. Every flight is as satisfying as the first and there have been many


Press Release: New Color Singles from MGL Avionics: Vega Series



October 23, 2017.   Issue No. 4,421.

Electrically dependent engine - Dual Alternator Single Battery

I wanted to have a detailed drawing of my electrical wiring so I sketched it using TinyCAD and also did a wire by wire fault analysis.
I'm sharing my documents via google drive for those who may be interested and hopefully for peer review.


The madness deepens! (polishing)

This is the left wing half way through the process.


Cracked canopy! WTB a new one.

Looks like I'll be down for awhile. Is there a source for tinted RV-8 canopies? Or does someone have one I can purchase?  Don't know why this happened. The canopy has served me well for 2150 hours and all kinds of abuse. It cracked on a 75-degree day. Go figure!


Non-electrical systems.

Discussion at the airport today amongst some RVrs. What constitutes a non electrical system? Can one have a battery and starter but no generator/alternator and qualify as a non electrical system in an airplane? I have not been able to find an FAA definition that addresses this.


Baggage area in the tailcone ...-12

Baggage area in the tailcone for items required to pre-flight and tie down.  It will also help with the W&B problem caused by the six cylinder Jabiru Engine


RV Commuter

Q: I'm looking into buying an RV for commuting to an airport about 100nm away. I have so many questions about this ambition and I would appreciate some insight.  I'll apologize now for the long-windedness of this post.  ...

A: I’m an airline pilot and I commuted from the Florida Panhandle to Memphis in our RV-4 for five years.

A -3 would do the job, but the -4 has a nice trunk (rear cockpit) to strap a big bag into, and you still have the baggage compartment for miscellaneous gear—plus you can take the occasional friend flying! A -6 would do just as well. In commuting mode, I’d pull the rear seat stick and upholstery and used a small plywood false floor with rubber padding underneath my big roll-away that I strapped in with the harness.

After three years of hand-flying IFR, I added a Trutrack autopilot. If I had to do it over, I would have added that much sooner! I had a couple of canned flight plans, and always filed IFR even when the weather was cancelled . This simplified planning and execution. I always had a back-up plan. To reduce the “get thereitis” I always allowed sufficient time on a front end commute to be able to land enroute, rent a car and still make it to work.

The RV was a full hour faster door to door than total commute time by jumpseat, since I had to drive almost two hours to catch a direct flight.

Paul is spot on, the weather will be the biggest factor (an RV isn’t a Boeing when it comes to weather flying); so you might want to set your personal weather mins, and then start looking at how often you’ll be able to fly the profile...there were plenty of times the weather dictated Plan B...but, the bottom line is you’ll enjoy flying RV’s whether you're commuting or just boring holes in the sky!


Mystery of the Coughing XP-400 Finally Solved!

For those of you that have been following my "XP-400 Still Coughing" thread, I'm delighted to report I had to start a new thread with a different name since the problem has been identified.

After spending 2 months and changing out fuel servos, mags, exhaust, checking plugs, spider, injectors, confirming fuel flow and pressure, etc. etc., and not finding anything, I spent today at the airport, pulled the engine off the airplane, removed the accessory case and there it was....the cam to crank gear train was "one tooth off".  ...



October 20, 2017.   Issue No. 4,420.

The RV 'French Curve'

This from a short morning flight Thursday.  Glancing at the groundtrack later on my phone (tracked with a Garmin D2 watch), my first thought was how pretty those curves looked.  Take off to the south and a smooth, climbing left turn to the NW for some wildlife spotting (2 deer grazing, 1 turtle floating in a lake and a couple red tail hawks).  Back for the overhead break.  Kind of a french curve feel to it.

Throw a couple of chicanes in there and you have pretty decent F1 track ;^).

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 


Mothership Hobbs Update

9942 this morning, 41 new First Flights in 16 days.  Only 58 to go with 73 days in which to do it.


I'm OK and Thanks

Departing Othello WA October 14, 2017 with full fuel I decided to test the frangible connectors of one of their PAPI unit boxes. They work. Unfortunately the connectors and the PAPI unit box didn't survive the test.

I also thought I would test the structural strength of my right wing and fuel tank. The fuel tank failed but the wing passed...almost.

I also decided to do this test with my wife in the back seat to test her reaction to stress induced by fuel spewing out from under the right wing. She passed but just to make sure I declared an emergency.

On a more serious note, even though my takeoff was a complete fiasco, the RV8 took an incredible hit and yet held together long enough for us to safely land 30nm away as if nothing had happened. Sitting on the ramp she shows no indication of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her pilot. It is only when you look underneath the wing that things look different.

My wife thinks I handled the situation 'very professionally' but truth to tell, professionals generally prefer to stay on the runway during takeoff.

I would like to thank everyone for their help and concern. Special thanks to the Air Traffic Controllers, the pilots on the radio, and especially Grant County Approach and Tower. A special thanks to the MillionAire Club and Columbia Pacific Aviation (CPA) at Grant County International (KWMH).

At this point in time, the Starboard (right) tank is toast, the flap has a repairable gash on bottom, the elevator fiberglass tip needs to be replaced and the spar is dinged / bent. Other than that my RV8 is OK and yes it flies fine on one tank.

The wing root shows no sign of damage including the tank flange which has the break away modification. The internal spar bolts have undisturbed torque seal and there is no obvious skin distortion on the wing.

The fuel tank punctures (2 of them 1' apart roughly 2" square are directly next to the spar leading edge and in front of the two inspection panels. With these panels removed, there is no sign of spar damage, but the front of the spar (with fuel tank removed) tells a different story. The deformation is slight, but to me (And to Vans) the spar is compromised and thus not airworthy.

I will post some pictures to my blog site when I am up to it.

Where do I go from here? Well, I have sent some pictures to VANs asking about spar repair/replace options. I will be scanning the forums for posts from those of you who have tread this depressing path. So far I have done little other than respond to information requests from the FAA, insurance, etc. and look at very used and grossly overpriced GA aircraft pictures/videos with horrid antique panels.

I refuse to end with 'be safe'. Point of Fact is that none of us sets out to have an accident. Instead, I wish you all 'good landings'.

Vince Himsl
RV8 N8432


Charging System Health

Seems like we read an awful lot about alternator issues on this forum. I’m wondering why we seem to suffer disproportionately with these issues compared to the rest of the motorsports/industrial world? After all, when was the last time you had the alternator in your car go rogue and fry the computer? There has been a lot of attention given to OV crowbar protection, fuses, alternator shutdown schemes, etc, but shouldn’t we also focus on what can we do to minimize the frequency of failure in the first place?

I’m no expert, but it seems we are turning these units much higher than needed. Reading suggests that the output curve flattens out at around 6000 RPM, so if we take the typical 3.25 overdrive ratio of the large Lycoming pulley (9.75/3.0), we see we are spinning the alternator at almost 8800 RPM at takeoff (and maybe cruise for you FP guys). ...


Very slow oil warm-up?

Q: I have recently acquired an RV-8 with an angle-valve IO-360. At lower OATs (below 60°F?), I find it takes inordinately long to get the oil temp up. I prefer to get up to 150-160°F, especially when doing formation TOs that require lots of throttle jockeying. At those temps, I'm seeing 90-100 PSI at 2700 RPM. Temp regulation in flight appears to be normal and cruise numbers for temp and pressure are good.

SO... I thought I understood the operation of the Vernatherm valve. But to more expert guys - Is there a failure mode of the Vernatherm that would not bypass the cooler at lower temps, ie. always have the oil cooler in the circuit? (At home base, I know I can install and use a sump heater, but sometimes when out X/C there is no power available.)

A: The vernatherm valve system always provides oil to the oil cooler. When oil temp is low, the valve opens allowing a bypass line around the oil cooler in addition to some oil still going to the cooler. It does not stop flow to the cooler, just reduces it.

I installed a butterfly valve to control cooling air to the oil coolers on both the RV-8A and RV-10. Even at OATs in the 70s I need to close down the oil cooler air a little to keep oil temp at 180 or so in cruise.

A: I have 1/3 of my cooler blocked off in the summer to get the oil temp > 180, which is should be your minimum target temp.

Temps here the other day were in the low 70s and my oil temp only made it to about 175 in a 30 minute flight. Planning to install a slider mechanism for a more permanent solution that I can control from the cockpit.

That pressure is a bit on the high side and can be adjusted, which might also reduce the amount of oil going through the cooler when the vernatherm is (mostly) closed.

A: Oil cold: Flow is through both the cooler and a cooler bypass port, in parallel.

Oil hot: Flow is through the cooler alone. The tip of the vernatherm closes the bypass port.



(guy at my airport)
"Want to buy - RV7A or RV8A with nice panel and decent times, prefer constant speed prop with professional build and nice finish out.
Contact Clinton Pye 972-273-9606."


Day 40 ...Scott RV-8


NavWorX T.U. ...sigh



October 19, 2017.   Issue No. 4,419.

Danny King's 'Beautiful Doll' from the Drone

Danny stopped by the hangar Wednesday morning around 1030, so we put his RV-8 out in the grass and cranked up the drone for some 15' shots/passes.  'Droney' looks higher than it really is - the wide angle FOV is misleading.  The drone was really only about 8' over the top of the plane.  And, Danny flew it around more than me (he's flown r/c airplanes for decades).  The morning light was already gone, but I got a few shots that look promising.  Sample below.  Sorry the grass wasn't greener.  It was short notice <g>.

Click for full size
(click for 3,449 x 2,014 pixel full size)

(scaled to fit any screen)


Shop Regrets ...Bill Boyd chimes into Tdeman's thread

Working in the kitchen - good job! I hope that continues to work well for you!

Our biggest regret rebuilding after the house fire 2 years ago is not putting the shop "off-campus" out in the yard. I can't run any tools or even accidentally drop a wrench without waking the wife sleeping overhead in our first-floor master. And the fiberglass dust and aluminum shavings that get tracked upstairs despite the doormat and the carpeted stairs drives us both crazy - mostly her. I make a lot of runs up and down the stairs in a typical work-session evening, so taking my shoes off as she suggests would gobble up a lot of work time, which as for many of us, must be carefully regulated and apportioned so as not to neglect wife and children.

Despite the downside to a backyard shop (long walk in the dark, need to run power and water, the big air conditioned and heated basement was already there needing only interior finish) I do wish I had done it - my useable work hours would be so much greater. There was the psychological perception that being right downstairs was not as for removed from the family hearth when everyone else wanted to veg and watch TV, but that's an empty premise in retrospect.


In-Flight Smoke Incident Report ...Bill Palmer


On Feb. 8, 2017, an RV-8A experimental aircraft experienced smoke in the cockpit; in-flight. The following VAF posts describe this smoke incident in three parts: Incident, Technical, and Probable Cause with Recommendations. This incident report is being written in the spirit of promoting experimental aircraft safety. Specifically, the pilot/owner of the RV-8A wishes to share his experience with the experimental aircraft community so that we can all learn some valuable safety lessons and improve flight safety. Also, this incident report supports, expands, and supplements a recent VAF thread entitled “Overvoltage required for EarthX battery” initiated by “EarthX Lithium” (Kathy Nicoson) referring to this incident.

The authors, including the pilot, have done their best to write this report as accurately as possible, but we have the following disclaimer:


This report has not been written or compiled by professional accident/incident investigators and has not been reviewed, checked, endorsed, or recognized by any government agency (FAA, NTSB, etc.). This report is simply an attempt to state facts as accurately as possible in relation to this incident. The data, conclusions, and opinions offered in this report are solely those of the authors alone and should not be regarded as comprehensive, definitive, or precisely accurate.

This report is for consideration by the experimental aircraft community as they design, build, and fly their experimental aircraft. The authors are not responsible for any report omissions or inaccuracies or actions taken as a result of this report. Actions, if taken, are the individual responsibility of each individual reader who must determine his or her own conclusions and risk decisions. In other words, any liability is the reader’s alone; not the authors’.


The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of EarthX, Inc. (including Kathy Nicoson, Global Sales Director and Reg Nicoson, Chief Technology Officer) in the development of this report. EarthX provided us with battery inspection results, data analysis, and technical data which greatly helped us understand what occurred during this incident. We must emphasize how fortunate the experimental aircraft community is to have a great company such as EarthX supporting us, communicating with us, educating us, and supplying us with the latest in battery technology . . . THANKS, EarthX.

PLEASE NOTE: It is not the intention of the authors, including the incident pilot, to respond to questions, corrections, opinions, or suggestions about this incident or provide additional information. What you read here is all we have to offer for your consideration. Please review this incident report in the spirit of experimental aircraft safety and draw your own individual conclusions. THANK YOU.


On February 8, 2017, the incident aircraft (an RV-8A purchased by the pilot from its original builder), departed Sedona Airport (KSEZ) on a return flight to Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (KDVT) with two pilots on board. Total time on the aircraft/engine was 880 hours since new. The pilot had owned the RV-8A for over 6 years and flown the aircraft over 320 hours without incident.

At the time of this incident, the aircraft had flown a total 6 flights and 2.7 hours since undergoing an instrument panel upgrade. A Dynon Skyview HDX system was installed in place of the standard “Six Pack” of instruments and Van’s standard engine gages. In addition to the Dynon HDX system, to save weight, an EarthX ETX-680 Lithium-Iron-Phosphate (LiFePO4), battery was installed in place of the standard lead-acid battery. Both pilot (front cockpit) and copilot (rear cockpit) were experienced, current ATP pilots.

Approximately 16 minutes after takeoff, while accomplishing an in-flight compass calibration test, consisting of 360-degree turns at 7,500’ MSL (3,000’ AGL), both pilots noted a brief acrid smell (for about 2 seconds). Engine/electrical indications were reviewed, and no anomalies were noted. Specifically, volt and amp readings were observed to be within the normal range – 14.3 volts and 14 amps.

Approximately 18 minutes after takeoff a climb was initiated from 7500' to 9500' MSL along with a turn to the southwest toward less challenging terrain; just in case an emergency landing was required.

Approximately 1 minute later (19 minutes after takeoff), the voltage and amperage indications started to increase rapidly and fluctuate (voltage fluctuated between 19 and 25 volts, and amperage fluctuated between 40 and 44 amps). In addition, the electrically-powered fuel quantity indicator failed. Because the pilot thought he was experiencing a component electrical problem behind the panel, all electrical component switches were turned off; however, the Alternator/Battery Master Switch was inadvertently left on. The pilot acknowledges that he should have confirmed that the master switch was turned off when he first observed the high voltage and amperage fluctuations, however, he was focused on a "behind-the-panel" component failure; not an aircraft electrical power system failure. (Note: the alternator's main 35-amp breaker had not tripped).

Approximately 4 minutes later, while maneuvering the aircraft to an area where an off-field landing could be attempted, a strong “solvent type” odor was detected, and an immediate descent was initiated. Several seconds after initiating the descent, smoke entered the cockpit from behind and below the instrument panel. The source of the smoke confirmed to the pilot that he probably did have a behind-the-panel component failure. With the appearance of the smoke, a high-speed emergency descent was initiated via a Split-S maneuver. The copilot suggested opening the canopy, however, lacking any knowledge as to the ability to maintain structural integrity of the aircraft when opening the canopy inflight, the pilot initially elected not to open it. As the smoke intensified, visibility in the front cockpit was reduced to near zero, and it became very difficult for the pilot to breathe. The copilot in the rear cockpit had better, but limited, visibility and some fresh air from the rear air-vent sourced from the underside of the right wing. Having no other option, the pilot transferred aircraft control to the copilot, and the decision was made to open the canopy.

The pilot then attempted to open the canopy with one hand, but was initially unsuccessful. The canopy would not easily open as it normally does during ground operations. Using both hands on the canopy handle and much greater force than normal, the canopy slid aft approximately two feet. As fresh air flowed around the windshield, most of the smoke vented out of the cockpit via the canopy bottom skirt. Although smoke was still entering the lower portion of the cockpit, the pilot had recovered visibility and the ability to breathe. The pilot did not detect any heat or fire, and the copilot found that he could easily hold the canopy in the partially open position. Therefore, aircraft control was transferred back to the pilot while the copilot held the canopy to prevent it from sliding to the rear stop.

The pilot originally intended to land on a nearby stretch of interstate highway located approximately 5 miles ahead; however, the copilot observed a street pattern at 3 o'clock and less than a mile. The pilot circled to slow, and successfully landed on an uphill residential street, without any related damage to the RV-8A. The airplane was stopped, and the engine was shut-down approximately 27 minutes after takeoff and 3-to-4 minutes after the emergency descent was initiated. The descent covered approximately 5500 feet, and the descent rate averaged approximately 1600 feet per minute with peak descent in the neighborhood of 3000 feet per minute. TAS (true airspeed) during the emergency decent was recorded as high as 194 knots; with the canopy open.

After landing, smoke continued to enter the cockpit from behind the instrument panel. Halon was discharged underneath the panel, and the crew exited the aircraft. The forward baggage compartment was opened, the instrument (rear-access) panel was removed, and halon applied to the back of the instrument panel. At this point it was discovered that the source of the smoke was from the battery compartment located directly below the front baggage compartment, on the right side of the aircraft. This area was repurposed by the original builder as a battery compartment, complete with an access panel on top. The battery compartment access panel was removed, and the remaining halon applied directly to the battery. After the halon bottle was depleted, dirt from the roadside was used to completely extinguish the smoldering battery.

Note: No radio transmissions were made during this incident, since the radios were turned off to protect them.

The pilot was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital and has fully recovered. The pilot did not suffer from any burns or additional physical harm. The copilot did not suffer any physical harm. The FAA and NTSB were notified and classified this mishap as an unreported “incident”, since there were no serious injuries or structural damage to this experimental aircraft. The RV-8A was dismantled and transported to a repair facility. Subsequently, the RV-8A has successfully returned to flight with no further problems.


The battery involved was an EarthX Model ETX-680 Lithium-Iron-Phosphate aviation battery with a dual-redundant Battery Management System (BMS). The EarthX battery was the aircraft’s sole main battery. The EarthX battery was hard-mounted in the RV-8A’s lower forward baggage compartment in place of a Concorde lead-acid aircraft battery; in the same location.

There is no record or evidence of an EarthX battery physical installation problem; however, EarthX’s installation manual says: “Installation of the battery in the cockpit is not recommended, unless the battery is properly vented over-board.” Technically, the battery was not mounted in the cockpit, but it was mounted in an enclosed compartment internal to the fuselage, aft of the firewall, and adjacent to the pilot’s right foot and leg. The battery compartment had a top cover, but unfortunately did not include an overboard vent.

The EarthX battery’s remote, discreet warning output (LED panel light or EFIS input) was not installed as recommended by EarthX. Since this installation seemed to be optional, the pilot/owner delayed the installation in favor of testing his new Dynon HDX system. The Dynon Skyview HDX EFIS was equipped with its own internal backup battery plus an advanced aircraft/engine instrumentation system which continued to record all flight, engine, and electrical data from takeoff until landing.

The highest recorded peak voltage was 29.1 volts although it is very likely that the voltage greatly exceeded 30 volts as there was a two-second voltage data drop-out at that time. There was also an initial, half-second voltage data drop-out about 4 minutes earlier as the recorded voltage increased above 20 volts and fluctuated. The highest recorded peak amperage was 44.8 amps. The Dynon data shows that a simultaneous, average voltage / amperage level of 21 volts / 42 amps (approximately 880 watts) was applied to the aircraft electrical bus (and EarthX battery) for a total of approximately 5 minutes although all other components connected to the bus were switched off (disconnected from the aircraft electrical bus) as soon as the fluctuating excessive voltage (19 to 25 volts) and high amperage (40 to 45 amps) readings were initially observed. The master was left on, because the pilot was focused on a panel component failure; not an aircraft electrical power system failure.

Unfortunately, the aircraft had no automatic overvoltage protection circuit as “strongly recommended” by EarthX's installation manual (at the time of installation). When the RV-8A was purchased, the new pilot/owner was unaware that the aircraft was equipped with an automotive alternator/regulator with no overvoltage protection. Also, lacking a detailed aircraft electrical system schematic, the pilot/owner was unaware that the aircraft electrical system had no inherent, built-in overvoltage protection. Also, the installation of overvoltage protection seemed to be optional at the time (“strongly recommended”), so the pilot/owner did not inspect the alternator/regulator and aircraft electrical system to see if overvoltage protection was installed.

After the incident, the automobile-style alternator, a 35-amp-rated Bosch AL204X with integrated regulator/rectifier, was removed for bench testing and found to be non-functional. There was no output from the alternator. The Dynon data shows the alternator output starting to drop at 24 minutes after takeoff and the alternator output failing completely 1 minute later (2 minutes before landing). Please note that this bench test was only a functional test. There was no additional testing or detailed failure analysis to pinpoint the cause of alternator (regulator) failure. Also, there was no attempt to duplicate the high voltage and amperage recorded in-flight. The alternator was simply “dead.”

The alternator output breaker was rated at 35 amps, but did not trip during the incident despite the Dynon-recorded high voltage (21+) and amperage (42+) levels. The breaker was tested after the incident and tripped at less than 36 amps with 14.3 volts. After developing an aircraft electrical system schematic and reviewing it (including the Dynon shunt location in the alternator output between the alternator and the 35-amp breaker), the authors have no definitive explanation relative to why the breaker did not automatically trip in-flight and thus save the battery. There are several possible answers, but there is no information clearly pointing to one answer. The authors have decided not to pursue a more detailed analysis.

The damaged EarthX battery and the Dynon instrumentation data were sent to EarthX for analysis. Also, the authors subsequently communicated with EarthX to determine what EarthX discovered about the battery and the incident. Based on the Dynon data and inspection/analysis of the battery, EarthX concluded:

The battery was forced into thermal runaway for two reasons:

(1) The alternator/regulator failed resulting in the application of sustained, excessive voltage and current to the battery which was above the rated limits of protection for the battery’s Battery Management System (BMS). Battery inspection clearly showed physical evidence of extremely high voltage being applied to the battery which was above the rated limits of the BMS.

Authors’ Note: According to the Dynon data, the power applied to the battery was sustained at about 880 watts; peaking at well over a kilowatt (1,240 watts).

(2) The pilot/owner should have shut-off the master switch as soon as the fluctuating, excessive voltages and amperages were observed.

To quote EarthX:

“The aircraft voltage regulator failed and the battery was subjected to voltage greater than 20V charging with high amps for more than 7 minutes which caused the cells to reach thermal run-away. At a couple of points, the voltage spiked so high that the Dynon didn't record. Based on feedback from Dynon technical group, the voltage must have been above 30V. Our Battery management system indicated that the voltage exceeded 70V.”

“An over-voltage protection circuit in the alternator regulator would have shut-down the alternator within 100ms in the event the voltage exceeded 16V, but this equipment was not installed on your aircraft.”

Authors’ Note: THE EARTHX BATTERY DID NOT CATCH FIRE. Although the battery over-heated in thermal runaway, the heat given off during thermal runaway event was not sufficient enough to burn the pilot’s leg or foot through the thin aluminum battery compartment wall. The pilot does not recall detecting excessive heat from the battery compartment. The main effect of the thermal runaway event was the eventual emission of smoke as the battery overheated. The smoke was emitted though wiring grommets in the battery compartment wall as well as small gaps at the edges of the battery compartment. Smoke emission would be expected from any battery, lithium or lead-acid, experiencing a thermal runaway event.


NOTE: This PROBABLE CAUSE is SPECULATION . . . a definitive cause of this incident based on detailed technical analysis is UNKNOWN.

PROBABLE CAUSE (Automotive Alternator Regulator Failure):

The most likely probable cause of this in-flight smoke incident is alternator voltage regulator failure and the resultant direct application of extreme overvoltage and excessive amperage to the EarthX battery which was above the highest levels of the stated, rated design of the Battery Management System (BMS) protection and, thus, the battery was forced into thermal runaway; heating up and eventually emitting smoke as it failed.


1. Install an overvoltage protection system for each aircraft alternator, generator, or dynamo. The authors note that EarthX has amended their operation and installation manual to “require” overvoltage protection circuitry for alternators exceeding 20 amps of output. The authors agree that overvoltage protection is required.

2. Install the battery’s discreet warning output to either a panel LED or to an EFIS as shown in EarthX’s manual. This installation should also be viewed as required.

3. Install cockpit and/or battery ventilation to expel smoke overboard. The EarthX manual states: “Installation of the battery in the cockpit is not recommended, unless the battery is properly vented over-board.” Installation of overboard ventilation should be viewed as required.

4. Each EarthX battery and its integrated BMS are extensively tested at the factory before shipment, but field-testing of BMS functionality is not recommended. The authors’ understanding from EarthX is that the BMS’ overvoltage protection and charging current inhibiting features cannot be successfully field-tested without risking some residual damage to the battery. Thus, installation of overvoltage protection circuitry and the discreet warning output (LED or EFIS) is very important in lieu of being able to safely field-test and measure BMS functionality.

5. If it can be done safely, the aircraft’s overvoltage protection system(s) should be tested after initial installation in the aircraft and then periodically. A sustained overvoltage beyond 16 volts should cause the overvoltage protection system to disconnect the source (alternator) from the aircraft electrical system and battery(s).

6. To protect against smoke emission in the cockpit, fire detection and suppression equipment should be installed if a battery (lithium or lead-acid) is mounted aft of the firewall. This equipment should be readily visible and accessible. For enclosed units like a battery, an injection port would be needed to apply the retardant. From the standpoint of a battery thermal runaway event, the application of fire retardant is most important for the prevention of smoke emission.

7. IMPORTANT: For Non-Builders Purchasing Experimental Aircraft: Make absolutely sure that you have a detailed, current schematic of the aircraft’s electrical system. Carefully analyze the schematic and understand what it means in terms of aircraft electrical system operation, design, redundancy, and safety. Physically inspect the aircraft’s alternator/generating system(s) and aircraft electrical system to confirm that overvoltage protection is installed. Also, if the battery manufacturer supplies a discreet warning output as EarthX does, definitely install it prior to any flight operations.

In summary, it is important to realize that if you purchase an experimental aircraft built or modified by someone else, you effectively become the aircraft’s engineer and design decision maker; not just its pilot, owner, and maintainer. Buying an experimental aircraft is not like buying an FAA-certified aircraft whose design/build is formally reviewed, tested, and controlled. For an experimental aircraft, you must make sure that the aircraft’s systems are acceptable to you based on your own design, cost, and flight risk decisions; not the builder’s or modifier’s. If you do not feel confident in your ability to properly assess an experimental aircraft’s design, definitely find a respected, experienced aircraft builder to help you determine the aircraft’s design, build condition, and relative level of safety. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED or fail to analyze the aircraft’s build quality and systems from a safety standpoint! In other words:

Bill Palmer
Chino Hills, CA


Day 39  ...Scott RV-8


Video Status Report ...kiljoy RV-14

So I finally found time to make headway on the left flap. After a couple of days of deburring duty I found myself ready to prime and dimple. Everything there went normal. I did have to do a few pop rivet close quarters dimples in the front of the leading edge skin for each rib. Doesn't matter much they all get pop riveted in the end anyways.

The biggest challenge with the final construction has been having the ribs be one piece attached to the spar first vs the zipper method of the rudder or the stiffener design of the ailerons. With both skins in place you need to put your hand between the skins with a small bucking bar and buck the rivets for the leading edge/spar/bottom skin holes. I have a 1x1x2 tungsten bucking bar that thankfully fit but where the ribs are you have to get your bar in there and the angle of the rib doesn't flex like the skins do in between the ribs so you need an even smaller face'd bar. That way it will buck all the way in without being stopped short by the rib or the skin and doesn't run the risk of causing a dent in the skins as well.

Anyways here is a mess load of video feeds I've accumulated. Enjoy




October 18, 2017.   Issue No. 4,418.

Sunrise and localized fog...(click to enlarge).











October 17, 2017.   Issue No. 4,417.
  We had one of those brochure mornings here in North Texas Monday.  A CAVU, 50*F, 00000KT morning that you dream about while building.  By the time I got out to the airport the pattern was already thick with RVs.  I didn't fly long, but long enough to get in four touch 'n gos.  The last one a nearly perfect constant radius 180* descending half circle to the flare with minimal power changes.  Right as all three wheels touched I dumped the flaps and rolled to my exit at the Charlie taxiway, a short 958' from the displaced threshold.  Rob Reece was in an RV-7 at the Rwy35 run up area and saw the whole thing, which made it even better ;^).
  This RV-6, and mornings like this, just makes me smile. 

Finally Flying the Grandkids! ...MikeyDale

For three years these kids would come visit me and see my project in the hanger and I would tell them, "Someday, you are gonna fly with me in this thing!". Three years was almost half a lifetime for them! .....Almost three years after my maiden voyage, 250+hours and 250+ logged landings, I finally acquired the clearance that was needed to take on my three oldest Grandchildren for their first ever flight in an airplane this weekend! That's right! First flight ever in Paw Paw's RV7! What a way to be introduced to the world of aviation!





Eclipse- 21 August 2017 ...joe_rainbolt

Although I've always been interested in astronomy, I've never had the opportunity to see a total solar eclipse until 21 August 2017.  Sometime back in 2015, I first read about the coming eclipse and committed the date to memory.  Then for the next two years, I tried at various times to get my friends as excited as I was that this was about to happen -- without any success whatsoever.  As Yogi Berra once said, "If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them."  And so it goes, Carol and I would have to experience this magnificent celestial alignment by ourselves.


RV-7 'After-Midnight Aircraft Factory' ...Tdeman (Salem, OR)

Hey guys, first time (aircraft) builder who finally has enough progress to show something off! Initial progress was slow due to buying/making tools as needed, however it has sped up recently. Most building time has been late in the evenings after class, work, and assignments, but I've been doing what I can this last (busy) semester!


Odd Engine Sound - any ideas? ...Dgamble RV-12

This just started - it had happened once before after the pitot tube got bumped, but went away almost immediately. That was six months ago. I had the spinner off last week for annual and now the sound is back, and louder than before. It's just in the one RPM range you can hear in the video.

YouTube link:


Update: talked to my Rotax guy, he's thinking gearbox. I'll have it looked at tomorrow.


Removing plastic from under rivet

Q: It appears one aileron that came with a project I purchased had the rivets set prior to removing the blue plastic. I searched the archives but didn't see any discussions on how to remove the telltale signs of the plastic.
Picking it out with tweezers seems work intensive. Anyone have an easier solution?

A: If you think you are removing it with a pick, all you are likely doing is removing the portion that is visible around the rivet.
The only way to remove it from under a rivet is to first remove the rivet.
When rivets are installed properly, they fit very tight against the bottom of the dimple or countersink. This would make it impossible to remove the plastic. Even if you could, you would then have a rivet that wasn't tight in the bottom of the dimple.


Day 37 ...Scott RV-8


Improved oil funnel



October 16, 2017.   Issue No. 4,416.
  Lotsa RV news....just pictures going to more info.  And good morning.


















October 13, 2017.   Issue No. 4,415.
  Susie, Audrey, Tate and I (and Moondog) would like to wish you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.  dr

After-lunch Flight Spaghetti Track ...Thursday.

Tracked via APRS (huh?).  Most I've flown in a long time.  Just kinda enjoying the countryside throttled back with some light acro over the unpopulated farmland.  Fresh batteries in the APRS tracker.

Of note below:  I need to get that iGate antennae up on the roof of the hangar....only getting sporadic packets when the hangar door is open (little whip antennae on the shelf).  I'll get there....


Filter shrank - in three hours  

I had 25H TT on my filter before needing to do my condition inspection. I removed the filter which fit just fine, it did not snap off or anything odd. It sat for a couple hours, still fine. I washed it (K&N filter wash) , set it out to dry (breezy sunny day after a gentle air blow off). Was wrapping up and pulling stuff in to find one side of the filter had shrunk significantly, diametrically, over three hours of drying time. It looks like a trunchated cone now. I can't say if just letting it sit would have caused the same shrinkage, but I'm suspicious of the washing process. I'll go to blow-off/shop vac/re-oil for regular condition inspections now, and a periodic replacement (3 years? 5? Depends on degradation or deformation) rather than washing.


Photo of Brandi's DIY RV-10 Seats


Finishing up RV-10 Tailcone - Questions Antennas, Magnetometers and riveting top skins

Well, it's time to ask for some advice from "the collective" as I'm basically trying to decide my next steps. (Regardless of the advice, I realize I am responsible for my own decisions )

Currently I have finished the tailcone (Section 10), but have not riveted either of the two top skins on yet. I had a local EAA Tech Counselor visit that suggested that I determine what antennas I want to install (including magnetometers) and to NOT rivet on the top skin (F-1075) until much later.

While I can see the benefit of maintaining mostly full access to the tailcone, has anyone else done this that can provide some advice? I'm leaning towards riveting it on before I attach the tail feathers for better rigidity (and following the plans).

My other questions are regarding antenna choices and mounting locations. All along I have wanted to get a G3X Touch system, however I didn't plan to purchase any avionics or antennas until I basically done with the aircraft. Looking at some other build-logs (Looking at you rdamazio), it seems that I really am not thinking far enough ahead in my build!

I'm currently plowing through the G3X Touch install manuals and trying to spec out what I would purchase today if I had to pull the trigger and I feel like I'm missing something regarding the GMU-22 and GMU-11. I see quite a few posts of RV pilots using the GMU-22, however based on the current install manual, the GMU-11 is recommended unless my RV-10 will do over 300Kts. Is the GMU-11 just a newer option or is there a reason to go with the GMU-22?

For antennas, and things like ELT's, when is it recommended to purchase / install? I guess there is nothing wrong with holding off to install this stuff much later in the build. Worst case is I have to stuff myself in the tailcone to mount these items once everything is buttoned up?


Show us a pic of your FINISHED RV-9/9A!!!  ...bruceh


From Mark P.

AircraftStickers.com announces the early release of the new 2018 Series of kitplane stickers. These stickers are smaller and simpler than our regular full size detailed stickers and are only $4.99 each. This new series is made from the same high quality vinyl graphic material as all of our stickers and will last for years and year outdoors. If you're looking for a cool new way to display your favorite RV airplane, visit our website today and view all of the new "2018 Series" stickers. Available in white or black.

Visit our website at AircraftStickers.com  for these and more!"


Day 35: Part II ...Scott

As I taxied onto the ramp at Beach, I saw a man in his seventies standing by his car. He was wearing a baseball cap, and a pair of suspenders were pulled over a flannel shirt and holding up a pair of blue jeans. He walked gingerly over to the Dove as I swung the tail around and shut down.

When I opened the canopy, he asked if I were going to tie down for the night. I told him that I did not know. I got out and introduced myself. He said that his name was Boyd. I told Boyd about the 40-day and 40-night flying mission I was on, and he took me over to a recently constructed pilot’s lounge with after-hours access. It had rest rooms, a couch, and a courtesy van that was nearly new.


Luvin up the RVs at 52F Thursday

Rob Reece new tires...

Grody new battery...



October 12, 2017.   Issue No. 4,414.
  Gas run up to Sherman early this morning when it was 00000KT and 50*F.  The morning colors were so nice I got a pic.  Back on the computer shortly thereafter, all mentally calibrated for the day. 


RV-10 Ride Thanks ...Tom Swearengen

While on a business trip to Wisconsin, I was able to spend some time in Steve Tschurwald's (Aircraft Specialty) awesome RV10. First time I'd been in one. Its easy to see why families love it. Lots of interior room, great power, easy to fly even for me.

I was excited to be able to fly with Steve, and spend some time with him. His plane really gave me a new respect for the 10.


Finally happened ...Scott McDaniels

It's been a bit over 11 years ago that I completed the rebuild of the damaged RV-6A project that I purchased, and got it flying again.

It has gone though a number of upgrades since (Advanced Flight Systems panel upgrade, etc.) but most notable (appearance wise anyway) was finally painting it just over two years ago.

The Junkyard Special (as it is known) was previously too ugly to even bother with photos and since painting it the opportunity just hadn't come up, but it finally happened this week.

Ed Hicks (yes, that Ed Hicks) was in town working on some other projects and the opportunity presented itself for me to form up on his camera lens.

I couldn't be more pleased with the results.

Thanks again Ed


Seen at Monk's (card)

Randy recently did the HS SB14-01-31 on a friend's 6A tail, and I got some pics.  Nothing too special, but I thought the labels were a nice touch for A&Ps downstream. 


Day 35 ...Scott

I woke up to a spectacular sunrise on a crisp cool morning in Walhalla. I did not waste time packing up. I knew I had a lot of flying ahead of me that day.


More on Tom Martin's RV-14 Exhaust Hanger

I have 25 hours on the 14 now, 10 with the "new" exhaust hangers. If your system is working ok, leave it alone. If you are getting any vibrations in the tunnel or side skins then consider what I did.  Go to your local automotive supply house and purchase one of these exhaust hangers.  ...


Flight restrictions removed ...Tom Martin RV-14

We had a 8 day period of beautiful weather at the beginning of October and I was able to get my 25 hours flown off in 8 action packed days. Today after submitting the paperwork yesterday I got my final flight permit and the plane is ready for some adventures.
Nearing the end of the flight test period I was getting really comfortable with the airplane. Approaching the airport from the north I joined a mid field circuit at 1000 agl and immediately chopped power. At the time airspeed was about 100knots. A gradual curving approach easily had me make the field about 1/3 of the way down the runway, as planned. The RV14 is not a glider but it handled the situation with ease and it is a comfort to know that you can make the field if you are in a normal circuit. My rocket would have just made the field, maybe, depending on winds.
This little video was taken unbeknownst by myself, by Gary Wilcox. I believe it will give you an feeling for the landing.


Two RV-10 Questions ...Miguel

1) was going through plans and an op-38 section fell out. No clue where I had it. Brought a question to mind about the timing of optional plans and kits and when to do them. Any list out there for a slow builder. I know the elec aileron trim isn't too crucial for timing but thought I'd ask for the other ones. I plan to order the full plans soon to be able to read ahead and get a much better idea of what I happening after I finish the wing kit.

2) was talking to a friend about being extra careful working with the main spar assemblies. What do one of those bubbas cost? I found a post mentioning the central spar that is part of the fuselage at $1400, but can't find anything on the wing spars here or on the Vans part list.
Thanks all!

A: When you buy the full set of plans on the memory stick (why they don't have a secure download location is beyond me) it will include all the optional plans as well. Well worth the 10 + shipping they charge for it. I have made mental notes and a few written notes about certain ones. Such as OP-48 with regards to the AHRS bracket and not to rivet those rivets in the tailcone as I will simply have to remove them later.

As for the price of the spars, No idea. You are correct in the 1400 for the center section. I would be willing to guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 2500 each. The total wing kit is just over 10,000 so half is comprised of the spars. Makes sense to me as the other components are not that expensive. You can look up almost every part except for those using this "list".



Tate's Birthday Cake

Normally I wouldn't include this as it's not RV news, but it was so funny I think I need to.  Six inch by six inch ice cream cake that was blank when we went to pick it up after dinner with the boy last night.  "The words aren't on it yet, and the person that does that isn't here."  The 17yr old kid behind the counter offered to give it a try - he'd never done it.

We laughed all the way home, and still haven't eaten it.  Absolutely got our money's worth!




October 11, 2017.   Issue No. 4,413.  

New Builder Critique ...requested by OP

Hey everyone, I’m a new builder just looking to have someone critique my work. Right now I am getting the shop ready for a RV-7 Empennage build this winter. I’ve started the practice tool box kit to get a feel for my tools and riveting for the first time. I just have a few questions.

Am I using the rivet gauge correctly?  How are my dimples?  Do the Flush head of my rivets look ok?


Day 34 ...Scott

I woke up several times that night in Longville because the pilot’s lounge was built into a shared complex with an ambulance service. They never slept over there, and I could hear every conversation that took place through the air ducts. The registers were like loud speakers and the voices of the paramedics sounded tube-like and concentrated coming through them.  ...


Melting Wingtip Lens....time for LEDs?

My RV7 appears to have a "standard" lighting install, and the builder may have place the strobes a tad close to the lens, resulting in some melting.  ...


What is Your Age? ...poll of RV builders/pilots

I am a Director on the staff of the International Aerobatic Club (IAC). As a long-time RV pilot and IAC competitor I have been actively promoting IAC membership to RV pilots whether they are interested in competitive aerobatics or recreational aerobatics for FUN. Your responses to this poll will help target marketing to the RV community. Thank you for participating.  ...


Firesleeve on Hose

Wondering if this rubber? coated stainless fuel line needs to be firesleeved or is this good to go as is?


Chatter Update

So a big thank you to all who chimed in on my question! I learned several things from your replies. Among them was the obvious that my sawtooth edged holes really were a problem....
I also learned there are some good options available for me to try different bits. I also heard that my Avery tool with a three flute cutter should give me good results if I use it properly and possibly “break in” my cutter or replace it, if required. I also learned that I should try going much slower.

Based on all of this advice I decided that I would start by trying to make my existing tool work and then move on to trying replacement cutters. I very carefully ran the top edges of my cutter across my 3M cut and polish wheel to try to clean up the edge. This seems to have done the trick. After a gentle brush across the wheel and spinning very slowly I get this:



October 10, 2017.   Issue No. 4,412.  
I'd like to wish our son Tate a very happy birthday.  He's a wonderful son and we love him very, very much.

Experimenting w/the VAF Drone ...42sec video clip

I spent a few minutes fiddling with iMovie and ten seconds of drone footage I shot this morning over Chris Pratt's stunning RV-8 --- a plane he built (his sister laid out the scheme).  Slowed the footage (it wasn't really in focus to begin with...my bad), threw in some cross fade transitions, found some royalty free music online and shot it up to my SmugMug.com space to see what the work flow was like.  Not too horrible.

Nothing fancy, but it gives me hope I might be able to stitch something together later that isn't spectacularly awful.

A nice teaser for the future... dr


N811EB, Van’s S.N. 72811 First Flight

N811EB, Van’s S.N. 72811 defied gravity on Friday morning at 09:35, October 6, 2017 climbing to 4K while orbiting Castle (KMER) airport. Everything in the green with only two (2) squawks, a heavy left wing (not the pilot) and some unwelcomed vibrations over 2400 rpm. Called the mothership regarding the heavy wing and down loaded their heavy wing recommendations, also will try re-clocking the prop and balancing it on the AC seems to be in order.

N811EB is a RV 7A QB with an empty weight of 1,063 lbs., Lycoming (LY-CON overhaul) 0-320 D2J, Sensenich 70CM7S9-80, and basic (analog) VFR. Nothing really unique about this 7A other than it took 10 years to build, having started a RV 6A in the mid 80’s (divorce) and a RV 8 in the late 90’s (wife medical issues) with both kits sold and finished by other builders. For those builders like myself;

Never Give Up, Never Give Up, Never, Ever, Give Up! (Winston Churchill)

Many thanks to Fresno FSDO John “JJ” Jensen with his patience in helping me navigate the registration, airworthiness and repairman certificate process, Van’s Aircraft, VAF (Doug Reeves) website, my wife Daria and son Russ.

Cecil “Ed” Banks, Jr.


Fiberglass.  Help. ...RV7ForMe

If I try to close the edge #1 then edge #2 is not going to be in line with the LE of the VS. I cant move the whole thing up because then I wont have enough material on the bottom for the rivets with ED...

What is the route you guys have used or would use?
Thanks for all the help.


New Guy ...Tim Baynes in Missouri

Ok. I'm finally, finally pulling the trigger. I've been lurking for years, and have settled on an RV-8 build. My chief delay, or concern, has been my availability at home - I spend about 70% of my time on business travel. But during the 3-4 years I've been thinking about this, and I know this might be shocking: I haven't gotten any younger.

I'd welcome any comments on my plan. Are there any significant gotchas in this sequence?

1) launch the empennage build working with Jay Pratt. I'd like to get off on the right foot and learn some good techniques.
2) get the fuselage in and start building. To me this will be the most challenging and time-consuming by far. I plan to do a showplanes fastback kit, and a few other things in the interior. I want to complete fuse/interior/panel/canopy, aside from any wing-related connections and setup, before finishing with wings and fwf.
3) QB wings with HW extended tanks.
4) Finish kit and fwf.

Head over to the hangar and finish up. This should be, what? About 2025?


Day 33 ...Scott



October 9, 2017.   Issue No. 4,411.  
I went to 0730 Mass Sunday and the OAT was 56*F while driving there - it hasn’t been this cool here in months and months. The same morning low was forecast for Monday so I forward shifted my Sunday work so I could be off the surface 0700 Monday. That first cool air RV flight after summer is something I look forward to. Tuesday’s low is forecast to be 47*F. Oh yeah…
  Hope you had a nice weekend and got some time with your project/airplane.

Marriage Proposal in RV

Timelapse RV-7 Construction

Status ...kentlik 7A Re-birthing

RV-4 Pic ...mattsrv7

After 20+ years of looking and building a -7 tail almost 15 years ago I'm finally an RV-4 owner by adoption.

New Flight Instructor - vian an RV!

This week Austin Malcomb got his CFI! Austin started out with me in an Eagle's Nest Project, and helped build the plane in which he soloed--and in which he got his Private Ticket. He did the first on his 16th birthday, and the second on his 17th. He now is at Purdue and has gotten his Commercial, Instrument, Multi-Engine, and Seaplane ratings. This week it was time for his CFI, and he made it! ...

Baja Designs LED in Duckworks Assembly

Fall flight of 3 in Maine going to visit a RV14 build in Rangeley

Day 32 ...Scott

Engine Hung ...N890GF

RV-14 Climb Test ...Tom M

Spark Plug Depth

Nice Fly-in... Only one RV-12 (mine)

Panel Completed (sahrens)



October 6, 2017.   Issue No. 4,410.  
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

Fall colors in Colorado.  Rob Ray photo.


Another RV-9 Takes Flight ...agirard7a

It’s been a six year project. It’s finally finished and flies well. Weighed in at 1025. 160 hp.


Will contact with automatic transmission fluid harm aircraft tires?

Could not move my build project into my hangar because of ATF residue on the hangar floor.

The previous occupant had a container of ATF that leaked from a stored container onto the concrete floor when he was vacating the hangar. The airport crew cleaned it up, but a substantial residue covers about 400 sf in the middle of the hangar. I put some green absorbent stuff down, but it didn’t help.

Next step is to power wash. I'm not on wheels yet, but won't move if there is a chance the ATF might harm the tires.

Thanks in advance,


Night Currency ...catmandu

I was at the airport fiddling with some data distribution among the various boxes late today. The sun started getting low in the sky, only myself to worry about for dinner, so I decided with the impending "fall back" I would hang out and get night current, so as to have more options if travelling with someone else in the plane.

Usually it is depressing to taxi out under the fading sunlight. Why can't a pinkie landing count, man!


Day 31 ...Scott Chastain RV-8

I packed up the air mattress and sleeping bag and went downstairs at about 6:40 that morning. It was Sunday. The TV was on with the volume up loud but nobody was in the FBO. I put my camping gear and other bags in the Dove, then went back inside and put the keys to the Ford Five Hundred on the counter. I turned off the TV and took the coffee pot into the bathroom to fill it up with water.

Just as I finished getting the coffee going, Steve showed up from the maintenance hangar and asked me how Detroit went. I told him that I had a great time in Detroit and that Michigan was a great state to visit. I told Steve about the Tigers game and the arts festival and the friendly spirit that filled the streets that night. When the coffee was ready, I took a cup and sat down under the staircase with Steve and started talking with him about airplanes. Steve showed me how the phrase, “He bought the farm,” may have originated at Grosse Ile because of a forced landing made by a TBM Avenger nearby. There was a framed accident report below the theory.


Front Tire Shredding

Two weeks ago I got a flat on the nose wheel of my 9A. I always have a new tube in stock so remedy was fast. However, when I removed the front tire from the rim, I noticed the inner carcass was shredding. It looked like spaghetti hanging from the walls of the interior of the tire. Typically, I keep the front tire @ 40lbs but it's possible that during the slow leak period it was lower.
I sent photos to Desser (tire vendor) but received no reply (thus far) so I am asking for comments what may have caused this.


Garmin GTN 6XX/7XX Software v6.41 and Service Bulletin 1723.

Good news! GTN 6XX/7XX software version 6.41 is released and for EAB customers with non-certified aircraft. You can download the software and the associated service bulletin with detailed instructions for how to load. Please see the service bulletin for complete details and make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the software update process outlined there before attempting it on your own aircraft. If not, the option of seeking assistance from a dealer is still available. Link to the software and service bulletin downloads:



October 5, 2017.   Issue No. 4,409.  

Flew the RV 6min 47sec on Wed morning (.1).  Two TnG's and one full stop.  Never left the pattern...just enjoying the new, smooth runway.  Garmin D2 watch screen grab - note the .3 mi scale.  It wasn't exactly a bomber pattern <g>. 


RV14 Exhaust hanger ...Tom M

I am noticing a bit of vibration in the tunnel and side skins of the RV14. The aircraft is also a bit louder in the cockpit then I am used to.
When I installed the aft exhaust pipe hanger I wondered why such a solid metal arrangement had been used.
In the following picture you can see the stock hanger on the right side and the "rubber" isolator that I fabricated on the left. I made the hanger from automotive exhaust pipe hanger material. Both sides now have the modified hangars and I will test fly it tomorrow. I have never seen, on any equipment, such a rigid exhaust pipe hanger as was supplied by Vans' for the RV14. The new set up securely holds the pipe and I can not help but think it will help with both vibration and sound. I will report back

Finally something on the RV14 that looks like it was made by a homebuilder;-)


Granbury, TX High School Eagles Nest

October 21st will a fun day at the Granbury Airport. The Granbury High School student built aircraft will be back from the paint shop ready for its first public viewing. Come out, join in and be a part of the first aircraft built by Granbury High School kids and celebrate their accomplishment.


Awesome! Visit to ITEC at PTZ, Shell, Ecuador ...punkin

On a whim and a nudge from above, I shot Jesse Saint a message here last night. My wife and I have been in Ecuador the last two weeks supporting our church plants and projects here. With a couple days to decompress, I thought it might be fun to see the ITEC shop and hangar.  I'm so glad we did! Galo was such an awesome host, he showed us the shop and introduced us to the young guy who was working up an RV-10 elevator. They are awaiting the arrival of a new RV10 kit, and building what they have on hand while waiting.


Debur chatter

Q: This is the result I get when i give my Avery speed deburring tool a 360 around a drilled hole.  This is a #40 drilled hole deburred and then dimpled on DRDT-2. Dimple was done to improve visibility of the jagged edge of the deburred hole.

I have tried using light pressure and heavy pressure fast and slow with similar chatter. Do I just need to buy a new 3-flute cutter? This tool was purchased new (in 2007) and has only been used on about 100 or so holes. If this is normal and I am just looking too close, I will be thrilled with that answer.

I am seeking your collective advice as I am now frustrated before I have even started (this is a piece of scrap from a 2007 Oshkosh sportair workshop that I was using to experiment on this afternoon). I have also been having some issues with my drilled holes not being round, but hopefully I solved that with a new set of drill bits.

A: 1/4" shank 3/8 diameter 100 degree countersink, six flutes. MSC supply or industrial hardware store. If you can't find a handle for it make one. I can't find a source for the handle I have had for years. I used to be a fan of single flute countersinks for deburring but got over that a long time ago.

A: Chatter results from a cutter that repeatedly digs in, breaks loose, digs in, breaks loose. etc.. It is a harmonic with the machine (you) spinning the tool or work piece.
There are lots of ways to address this, but often the easiest is to change the cutter speed. Try spinning the tool faster or slower while adjusting pressure.

The tool can also have the tip of the blade ground to an angle that adds to chatter. In that case I have sometimes had success 'breaking in' the tool by deburring a few holes in steel. Tools will change over their life, depending on the wear, chattering only when fresh or more typically when forcing a dull tool.

Otherwise replace with a different brand/batch tool to find one that works for you.


RV-7 Airshow Routine (Argentina)



October 4, 2017.   Issue No. 4,408.  

JJ and Dana Johnson (RV-4 and T-6) leading Sid and Kelli Mayeux (RV-7A, ScrollF4 on VAF) at the 2016 Ranger TX antique airplane fly-in.


Construction Video Update ...kiljoy RV-14

I've finally finished off both of the ailerons. Once I redid the top skin for the right aileron everything fell into place nicely. I've now just started in on the flaps. There aren't many pieces thankfully so it'll probably just be one full day of deburring.

It's sad that I think about it like that. It's not, 'oh wooo the flaps' its, 'oh woo more deburring'.

Anyways in my side job as maintenance officer I've got some interesting real world stuff coming up. Going to assist in a field change of a cylinder on one plane and change out a starter and battery on another. By the time I get around to having my plane completed I think I might actually be ready for it.

Here's the latest vids of the aileron work including finishing up the left aileron, the foul up with the right aileron, the fix of that and most of the right aileron riveting. Enjoy.



Status Report ...David Paule RV-3B

My mentor suggested that I install supports for a future tailcone work platform now, since this would be a lot harder after the tailcone skins are on. Here are the supports at the two aft-most bulkheads.

This is for the F-309 bulkhead, as far aft as the platform will go. Those clecos are simply making sure that the skin, now glued on, stays good until I can get some rivets on it.


Next Generation Pilot ...Jim Stricker RV-12

We babysit a friend's one-year old a couple of days a week. Yesterday we introduced him to the flying machine...


Anyone Attained Their A&P Through Experimental Builds? ...Nick

I'm three quarters of the way through my second build and working with the FSDO to get permission to take my A&P test. The DME I've talked to about taking my academic and practical said he has done this before but doesn't have a copy of what was sent to the FAA for approval. I sent the guy working on my case at the FAA a 12 page document with pictures and descriptions of all my building. He said the EAA has some sort of build sheet that he would like to see but he doesn't have a copy of it. I've been working on this for 3 months now and I'm just trying to get the ball rolling. If anyone has this sheet or an example of what they sent in I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your help and advice in advance.


Fire Extinguisher in a -6

This RV-6 was in Randy Richmond's shop (card) the other day, and I got a pic of the extinguisher location.  Easily reached from the left seat.  I got some pics.  (click to enlarge)

Angle 1

full size

Angle 2

full size



October 2, 2017.   Issue No. 4,406.  

52F's New Runway Opens

It's finally here.  Come enjoy it! 

Take a moment to research the cheapest fuel spots in the area and read the airport history before you visit so you'll know the battles we had to fight to get this finally done.  This new runway was a (4) year long, arduous, difficult process that absolutely could not have happened without the Property Owners Association and some amazing volunteers. 

VAF drone pic while airport still closed.

All (277) construction pics and videos

PS:  I pay $3.99/mo for UNLIMITED photo/video storage at SmugMug.com.
It's worth it, IMHO.

See the (40) pages of plans HERE.  It's detailed.

fmi: www.Fly52F.org


RV14 first flight ...Tom Martin

Took off this morning for a first flight, serial # 140153, from my farm grass strip.


Here is a picture of the brand new aircraft in my friend Ed Perl's brand new hangar. It will stay there tonight as the winds do not favour my runway.
A total of three flights today with a total of 3 hours. The aircraft is in good flight trim with no serious squawks. The 390 engine is quite powerful and the shortened RV10 wing is an excellent match for the aircraft. Roll rates are a little firmer then for the RV7, an improvement in my opinion. Cabin space is very good with excellent visibility.

This is my 12th aircraft completion and my 14th first flight. First flights are always exciting and I look forward to them. There is a lot of time and thought that goes into getting the aircraft, and myself ready for a first flight.


First engine start ...rvdave RV-10

Been waiting for this day for eight years, first engine start went pretty well but a few items to address. Engine had been pickled so a lot of smoking, left a wet trail on the ground and some on the belly but quit smoking after a while. Rpm pulses needed to be adjusted was showing double rpm. Thing I'm concerned about is I have dual lightspeed ignition and when trying a "mag" check backfired and so didn't try it again. Prop cycled ok after letting oil get to hub. Brakes wouldn't hold during high rpm, need to check that maybe break in brakes better. Need to look into lightspeed wiring before another start. Happy though that this new engine is working, engine parameters look good.


Synergy Air Fly-in pictures

The turnout at Synergy Air in Eugene, OR to see their build assist operation and the RV-12iS was fairly light today due to the rain. But I snapped a few pictures for those that couldn't make it.


RV-7, F-PRVZ ...High_Flyer (France)

Here are a few pictures of my freshly painted RV-7:


First borescope inspection VA-400

I received my Oasis Scientific VA-400 borescope today, and was excited to try it out on my 75hr IO-360. I must say for $200 on ebay it seems to be quite the buy!

Both fuel and ignition is controlled with SDS EFI, and I've been doing plenty of experimenting with running ROP, LOP, different timing curves, as well as burning both 100LL and 91 mogas.

I plan on regularly scoping the cylinders to build history as the hours on my engine increase. That aside, this is the first engine I've scoped. I've red some basic info on what to look for, but open to any knowledge out there.

How am I looking?


Day 29 ...Scott Chastain RV-8



September 29, 2017.   Issue No. 4,405.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend!  

October Calendar Wallpaper


Officially Joined the VAF! ...Even Levesque chimes in

Finally joined the club! I just flew my new Vans RV-8 from Paine Field, Washington to Hanford, California.

In 2010, when I was a midshipman at the Naval Academy, I went out and got a tailwheel endorsement, in a Bellanca Super Decathlon, because of an awesome little airplane I saw at the local airport called an RV-8. It looked like a little P-51, and the owner said it flew better than any other airplane he’d ever flown. It became a dream of mine to someday own one of these beautiful airplanes.

Going online, I researched the airplane, and looked a numerous build sites, to include Randy Lervold’s which had link to Michael Robbins build site for his RV-8, N88MJ. The instrument panel and striking Red and Grey paint job immediately captured my fancy, and those pictures were my desktop background for a long time in college.

Anyway, I graduated (barely), and got busy with work and eventually got to fly some pretty cool airplanes for the Navy, but I still had the desire for an airplane of my own. I bought a share of a friend’s Lancair 320 for a year to get a taste of airplane ownership, and discovered that the weekend traveling lifestyle that a light airplane brought was like catnip to me. Not to mention the awesome airport community that begins to emerge once you are a fellow airplane owner.

As time went on, I’d continued saving pennies and the dreams and tire-kicking looking for an airplane became more serious. Except now that I had the ability, the number of RV-8’s on the market that met my criteria (IFR, IO-360, Constant Speed Prop) that were within my price range were slim.
I looked and looked until despair set in. Maybe I had waited too long and all the good airplanes had already swapped owners. I didn’t think my dream plane was going to be out there.  continue


Status Report: RV-7A Rebirthing ...kentlik

I have a few more updates of the build. Finished the step install with Cherry's. Van's cleared them and it was easier for me given the side panel was in on one side, oops. Had to weld up the PO holes as they were in the wrong location. Didn't get too anal about the plug welds, a little feather fill will most likely take care of the pits. If not then aluma lead will.

Flap actuator in. How much if any resistance should there be on this bad boy?  ...


Please Welcome Crow Enterprizes (new VAF advertiser)

(DeEtte Crow)
"Crow Enterprizes is spelled with a “Z” because it is our PRIZE. Crow is a family owned business; owner and aeronautical guru Fred Crow has been manufacturing automotive safety equipment for over 50-years. Our RV line is manufactured at our facility in Anaheim, CA and is designed to the specifics set forth by Van’s Aircraft; custom systems available. Order-to-ship date is usually less that 1-week. Crow RV restraints are routinely shipped all over the world. The RV industry has been a pleasure to serve, never hesitate to give us a call with questions."


Cylinder Wall Rust ...vluvelin

Today during pre-purchase decided to look in to cylinders of perfectly flying RV and was sure it is perfect!!! IO360 had adequate power well balanced cylinders (no abnormal vibration). But was disappointed. To my understanding it is petted too deeply, honing is not visible. Compression was checked using automotive compression tester 150psi +/- 5

Need opinion of knowledgeable people. How much corrosion is acceptable???


Day Twenty-Eight ...Scott Chastain RV-8

When I woke up, I went over to the FBO to wait for Heather. It was kind of cloudy and overcast and I hoped the weather would cooperate enough to let me depart Towanda that day. I thought I would go into town to do some laundry. I had a lot of dirty clothes to get washed, and I saw a good laundromat the night before when I was exploring Main Street.

When Heather showed up, she brought me fresh coffee and I thanked her. She asked how I slept and I told her that I slept great. I asked her if I could use the vehicle again to go into town to do laundry, and she said certainly.

Then a guy named Neil came in and Heather introduced us. Neil was a local who gave flight instruction there in Towanda.  ...


N815DG, RV10 Painted ...Gaylon Koenning pics


Thanks VAF for a Great Day ...Brad

I am feeling highly motivated tonight after a couple of great experiences with the Vans community today.
First I met Deene Ogden at GTU where I not only came away with my shiny new used DRDT2 dimpler, but also tons of builder tips and things to watch for, techniques, etc... I am amazed how much he managed to teach me in the 45 or so minutes I spent in his hanger, hanging out next to his RV-8.  continue


This Saturday...



September 28, 2017.   Issue No. 4,404. 

Striping 52F's New Runway.  VAF Drone photo.
(click to enlarge)

All the construction pics


Status Update in Videos (RV-14)  ...kiljoy

Aileron work continues. I've gotten the left one completed and I've just got a box from vans containing the replacement aileron top skin for the right aileron. Why do I need a replacement aileron skin? I MAY have scuffed, primed and dimpled the top right aileron skin on the wrong side... which is ironic because I'd written all over the skins with 'inboard', 'outboard', 'fore', 'aft', 'top', 'bottom', etc with arrows just to avoid this very thing from happening. A ounce of prevention is worth $13 in shipping costs apparently!

Thankfully unlike a rudder skin, the aileron skins can be rolled and shipped in a much smaller box!!

Anyways we'll get to that **** up and fix in the next set of feeds. For now here are the next videos of the aileron construction from earlier. It goes through deburring, dimpling, riveting etc. Enjoy.



Day 27 Part II ...Scott Chastain RV-8

I hit a lot of bugs going over the lake. My windscreen was splattered with them. It was bumpy climbing up through the cumulus, but pretty soon I was in smooth air again and topping out at 12,500. I went through Vermont and over the Mt. Washington airport and proceeded to the southwest into Pennsylvania. In about two hours, the Lord sent me into a descent for the Bradford County Airport (N27). There was a pilot in a twin with a foreign accent landing ahead of me. He asked where the fuel was after he landed, and a woman came on the radio and told him to go where the Phillips 66 sign was posted. After I touched down, I did the same.


Status Update ...David Paule RV-3B

Finally got the aft-most belly skin glued on. This is the one right in front of the rudder. On the RV-3B it's .040 thick and in previous posts you've seen it in progress at various stages.

I used West System's G/flex epoxy, the pre-thickened variant. This is just thick enough that it doesn't run. It's too thick to laminate with, being intended strictly as an adhesive. It's a relatively tough, flexible epoxy but that's relative to stiffer varieties. I chose this on the basis of good results reported by two very experienced and knowledgeable friends. 3M's 2216 adhesive is another that would work well, and perhaps better.

This particular skin was small enough that I could manage it all myself, within the 45 minute pot life. I think that for anything larger than this I'd need assistance.

In the photo, I've got the longer tailcone belly skin clecoed on just ahead of it, to its left.

This aft-most belly skin still needs rivets. More than that, it needs countersinking too. I decided to wait on that until after gluing because even for .040, there's not much cylindrical bore remaining after countersinking, and I wanted the clecos that were in place while the glue set up to give good alignment.


Seen at 52F

John Goodloe's new RV-8 throttle quad....

The trash cans Sid made using angle and stainless...



September 27, 2017.   Issue No. 4,403. 

N214WJ First Flight ...Jared Solomon RV-14A

I'm happy to report that on Saturday, September 23rd 2017 N214WJ (RV-14A Ser# 140328) took to the skies for the first time! The first flight was conducted with assistance of Vic Syracuse in the right seat utilizing the Additional Pilot Program. The aircraft flew wonderfully. This is the second RV I have built and finished, completing an RV-7A back in 2009. I received the Emp/Tailcone kit August of 2016. 13 months and 1400hrs from start to first flight building from a "standard" build kit. The aircraft is equipped with an IO-390 and Hartzell prop, along with a dual screen Garmin G3X system. It's in the process of being vinyl wrapped in place of paint.  pics / video


High River AB Direct To Fairmont BC ...Troy Branch

On Sunday I took a friend up for a first flight in a small plane. The day was one of those perfect go any direction days. We say that living next to the rocks as there is many days you cannot go west. We climb out west bound for 10,500 on a perfectly smooth flight over the Rockies. The Elk Valley was fogged in but other than that, perfect weather. He liked the 30min flight much better than the 4 hour drive. To say the least, he was impressed with what our small aircraft can do. Every flight makes me smile and this flight might have made me smile a bit more.  continue


"Interesting" wake encounter ...Steve Smith RV-8

I was cruising north along the Sierra foothills, close to Auburn, when ATC alerted me to a DC-10 Heavy descending across my path 15 miles ahead of me.

The controller initially recommended a heading change 15 degrees right, which would mean that I would have crossed the flight path of the DC-10 farther behind it, and at a point where it had been higher.

I replied that I had the heavy in sight, and the controller said, "resume own navigation, caution wake turbulence."

It looked to me like I would cross the jet's flight path at a point where it was still a few thousand feet above my alt, and about 25 miles in trail. I know that the wake does descend a lot (wake modeling was a big part of my Thesis research), but I just continued on.

Sure enough, right when I was directly in trail of the DC-10, now about 25 miles away, BOOM! I hit his wake. It was a very sharp up-down-up jolt, of which I predominantly felt the 'down'. As I was getting my eyeballs tucked back in where they belong, I noticed that I had a low fuel pressure alarm. About as quickly as I noticed it, the fuel pressure returned to normal. The engine never hiccuped.

I find this interesting. The tank was within 5 gallons of full. So it is not like a big slosh would have left the fuel pickup dry. Or would it? The heave was so fast, and over with so quickly, it is hard to imagine a large air bubble at the outboard top area of the tank could quickly travel to the bottom inboard area of the tank. In order for that air bubble to move, fuel would have to move to displace it.

I wonder if the fuel pressure loss could be due to something other than the fuel pickup momentarily being in a big air bubble. Could the rapid acceleration interfere with the mechanical pump function? I don't know.

My G-meter showed +4 and -2 g's. Thats a +/- 3 g excursion from level flight.


Day Twenty-Seven- Part I...Scott Chastain RV-8


Local news

I've gotten some local attention on my 48 state trip in the form of a newspaper article from the Grass Valley Union:


0.0 Fuel pressure while on cross country  ...Rrhsch

I think I need a new fuel pressure sensor. Shortly after a refueling stop with 100LL, the fuel pressure started to swing rapidly from 1.1 to 5.0 psi at 5400 RPM and suddenly stopped at 0.0 psi. Engine was running fine. I made a precautionary landing to check out the problem.

On the ground I determined that I had fuel pressure that wasn't registering on the G3X. I could hear the electric pump running and tested the flow from the gasolator to confirm the pump was indeed working.

It was very hot out and I decided to let the engine cool for a couple of hours. When I powered up the G3X the fuel pressure showed max fuel pressure 14+ psi. As soon as I started the Rotax, the fuel pressure started to swing up and down and stoped at 0.0 psi.

I unplugged the sensor, removed the rubber seal and reattached the plug with no change in the reading.

After extensive taxi testing and run-ups I finished the flight.

I will order a new sensor unless some one has had the same symptoms and resolved it using a different method.



September 26, 2017.   Issue No. 4,402. 
  I would like to send out a huge thank you to 52F property owner Sam Daniels for quickly troubleshooting the a/c problem on our '07 Honda Accord.  I had it up on the lift and was looking for the low pressure sensor a few days ago to jump it to test the compressor.  Sam strolled in today and found it in three minutes.  Compressor still didn't work.  "Which relay is the compressor?"  "It's that one."  Sam swapped it with another relay that was identical and it came alive.  $6 replacement relay from O'Reilys and we're back in cold air.  Thanks Sam!

Introducing the 'VAF Drone'...investing in the future.

It's been about six years since I've spent a penny on camera/video equipment for the site.  I just bought my first drone.  A business expense for more creative RV photography - 12 megapixel stills and 4K/30fps video.  I've been looking at these for awhile, but couldn't justify the expense.  The technology is mature, and the feature set now is insanely robust....it was time. 

I'm still getting acquainted with it, but it's getting easier.  It is a DJI 'Mavic Pro', and the test footage above is using the 'Point of Interest' intelligent flight mode.  Basically, you mark a spot and it will orbit it until you tell it to stop.

Back in 1989 I flew an X-cell 60 r/c helicopter.  No gyro stabilization - Mark 1 eyeball only.  Stress.  This drone thing isn't even in the same solar system.  It's crazy simple.  Crazy. 

Of note:  This 327 MB video file is hosted on my $4/mo SmugMug account.
Unlimited storage for four bucks.


10 days touring through Southern/Western Australia ...Eddie Seve RV-7

Lots of photos in this album but it will help you decide if visiting and flying around Australia is for you, we used our trusty RV7, enjoy.


Fish Fry Fly-in KFRH Sept. 30, 2017

I just wanted to remind everyone the Fish Fry Fly-in is this Saturday at KFRH.

The weather is going to be gorgeous. Come see beautiful Southern Indiana and eat some of the best fried fish with cole slaw, baked beans, potato chips, and drink.

It will be start at 10:00 and end at 1:00. We ran out of fish last year so we have bought more for this year.

Thanks and Hope to See Many of You There!!

Darren & Traci Kerns
RV7 N599DT


How to minimize ground loops

I had a quick question about ground loops. I am going to be wiring a PMA 8000 series audio panel to an old KX-170B Nav/Com. The KX-170 used unshielded wiring and lacks pinouts for "audio low". I wanted to know which would be the proper method to wire the com output to a modern audio panel.

The first option would have the audio low outputs for nav and com brought together to the current airframe ground at back of the KX-170B. The shield terminations would be grounded at the audio panel back shell with everything else.

The second option would have the low audio outputs for nav and com brought back to ground with the shield terminations at the back of the audio panel (all grounds shared at the back of the audio panel).

Seems like the second option would be the preferred method for minimizing ground loops, but I wanted to check with the group. I can't seem to find much in the way of printed guidance on these old - new interconnects.


Day Twenty-Six ...Scott Chastain RV-8

When I woke up, it was plenty light outside, but there was a low, thick overcast and it did not look like good flying weather.


24 years ...Tom Martin

The month marks a milestone for me. I was 24 years ago, this month, that I purchased a RV4 kit, sept 1993. There was no VAF, very little internet action; I was not even aware of the EAA. I had a citabria at the time and wanted something faster. A friend suggested a RV4 and I had the very good fortune of going for a ride in Rick West's award winning 4. He and Gord Baxter, RV6, another excellent RV builder provided my support network. I knew nothing, but I had built many projects on the farm and was well equipped with a shop and misc tools.

I stared at the project for two months and then got to work. Seventeen months later it first flew. I thought that I would own that plane forever but I was now addicted to speed and had heard about the Harmon Rocket. I built two of those and then along came the F1 Rocket. I completed 4 of the standard wing F1s and then built a F1 with the EVO wing for myself. I love that plane and still fly it. For five or six years I was quite active in the Sport Aircraft Racing league and the plane did really well. Constant changes to the cooling system, airframe cleanup and prop changes added over 30 knots to my top speed. The aircraft is remarkably efficient and my wife and I typically do a few cross country flights. We have been to the east and west coast, and most of the midwestern and eastern USA.

Along the way a RV7 and a RV10 were also completed in my shop.

I took a couple of years off and have just finished a RV14. The final inspection was last week and I am waiting for the flight permit. The "kits" have improved remarkably over the years but it does not seem to have shortened the built time. When I started there were no autopilots, basic simple panels and gps was just being thought of. Every year the aircraft get more complex with more and more systems. These systems add time and weight to the aircraft. Although the equipment is truly amazing it does add to built time. I am looking forward to flying the RV14, I have about 30 hours in the 10 and I loved the lift and I expect this plane to climb similar to the 10. It should be a lot of fun solo with half fuel.

It is hard to believe that 24 years and 12 aircraft have passed and I have met the most wonderful people in the aviation world. People ask me if I am going to build another one and I just purchased a high end cabinet saw as I would like to get back to my first love, woodworking. I have this big pile of Ash in the barn and I am thinking an all wood motorcycle or car would be a neat project. I might even throw in some aluminum bits here and there!



September 25, 2017.   Issue No. 4,401. 

52F's new runway.  *Should* open this week.
Hydromulch seed put down along sides 9/24.  Striping next.


Ryan Malcomb - The Rest of the Story ...Ernie

Ryan Malcomb - 1st Solo Flight on his 16th birthday (8/30/17)
Continuing a family tradition, Ryan is the 4th member to complete a 1st Solo Flight on a 16th birthday!

Pictured below is Ryan on the ramp at Sanford Intl (KSFB) after his 1st solo flight. Sanford is a very busy controlled airport that requires skillful communications skills. After demonstrating to his instructor that he had "the right stuff" to do his 1st solo flight at KSFB, his instructor signed him off and the rest is history. Way to go, Ryan!

Ryan's mom, dad, and brother were on hand to witness the event and to congratulate Ryan when he taxied back to the hangar. If you've ever watched your child fly an airplane solo for their first time, you understand the roller-coaster of emotions experienced; highs filled with joy, happiness, and pride of their accomplishment and lows filled with fear of what might no go as planned. In typical Ryan style, he made us all proud and left everyone at the top of the roller-coaster.


Carburetor Failure MA-4SPA ...1001001

Not in an RV but...

In the interest of safety I want to let you know I had a carburetor failure on my Warrior the other day. It is a Marvel Schebler MA-4SPA. Not sure, but this might be a standard model on RVs as well.

In this carb, the fuel bowl assembly is bolted to the venturi/throttle assembly via four body-bound bolts that mount through holes in the throttle assembly to sockets in the bowl assembly. The bolts are secured with locking tabs and not safety wire.

Due probably to vibration and in spite of the locking tabs, the bolts had loosened and then damaged the threads in the bowl assembly. The carb bowl was separated from the throttle assembly by about 1/32 to 1/16 inch and very wobbly. One bolt was almost completely loose.  ...


Status Report ...bk1bennett RV-14

On Friday night, 9/22/17, I finished the Rudder (Section 7). It took me over 40 hours.I had to patch an area on the right skin because I creased it during back riveting (ran off the end of the plate as I merrily riveted away without thinking). I have a couple of minor flaws, but I think it is airworthy. Hopefully, someday the FAA will agree.

After two months of building, and I have two assemblies.

What I have learned so far: ...


Day Twenty-Five ...Scott Chastain RV-8


The Dimple Fairy?

R-903. The last four holes have been dimpled, but not by me. Any suggestions.....?  Brand new kit I picked up from Vans myself. Don't get me wrong, I know these are difficult to do. But, I did not think Vans was in the business of helping builders with dimpling.

A: Van's does some dimpling for us on occasion. I for one welcome our new preemptively dimpling overlords.

A: I've noticed that dimpling has been done when it's an odd sized dimple die that the majority of builders won't have in their tool kits.  In the end I see this as a way of increasing the quality of the end product. Thanks Vans.

A: RV12's have quite a few pre dimpled bits and pieces - like you say, difficult places or strange material like firewall.

A: Not a -14, but I was thinking the same thing looking at a rudder piece. I was wracking my brain trying to remember if I dimpled it or not, but realized that yeah, it was pre-dimpled. It would have been a pain to dimple (trailing edge rudder rib), so I welcomed it. Now if we could convince Van's to do more...


Engine Failure Photos (Update) ...strahler13



September 22, 2017.   Issue No. 4,400. 

Tour the Entire Length of 52F's New Runway from a Drone

This latest video courtesy Tyler Chance of www.MyRod.com.  Some clean up still needed, but striping next week and then it's OPEN!!!!  The dirt on the edges has been mostly sculpted and is about ready for seeding.  A 4+ year process finally coming to fruition.

We're excited....obviously.  ;^)

Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend.

view video


What we started with back on 8/1.
Yeah, you could say it was worth it.


Panel Update ...taverroi RV-7A

Its taking some time for sure but its ready and installed. So busy with other parts of my life!! But we are getting there! Time for the wiring..working on the harnesses now.


Nose Gear Lessons Learned ...BMW_X6M

Oversize AN175-20A bolt solution worked for me.  My RV-9A has 800 hours now, and made some noise from the front gear when using the toe bar. I found I could rock it back and forth very slightly with the weight off of it. I purchased the oversize bolt and metal lock nut, and it went back in snugly, having to turn an old nut on the bolt to seat it. After final torque with the new nut, I have no more play in the gear.  This is obviously a huge relief and thank you for the creator of this thread. It proved to be valuable information for this non builder.


Eagle's Nest Projects - Two 1st Solos / 1 day and 1000 miles apart


Mothership Hobbs


Day Twenty-Four ...Scott Chastain RV-8


Lycoming Carbureted O-290-D2 EGT out of Family

Something went amiss two days go on a 1 hr. cross country flight at 7,500' and I'm searching for ideas. Perhaps someone here can point me in the right direction. My normal routine when reaching cruise is to pull out the mixture control maybe 1", let things stabilize for a couple minutes as the speed builds up, then start the leaning process with my JPI EDM-700. I usually lean to peak and leave it there unless the engine is running rough. In that case, I enrichen 50 degrees. My four bar EGT display usually isn't quite level, so I adjust the throttle a tiny bit until all four EGTs are a straight line on display. The throttle butterfly works magic to even up my fuel distribution.

So on this flight, EGT 1 (red line) was way low (230F), and EGT 2 (green line) was also low (150F). No matter how I fiddled with the mixture and the throttle, I couldn't get that nice straight line. The engine wasn't running rough, but I could feel an unusual vibration. My airspeed was normal, so I kept on to my destination. (My runup had been completely normal with equal mag drop on both mags.)  ...


Going to Morristown, TN on the 30th ...M McGraw RV-14

My brother and I hope to attend. I'm still working on wheel pants. I may just leave them off and fly.<g>


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.




September 21, 2017.   Issue No. 4,399. 

52F Runway Update (video)

A short 19 second video showing the progress.  Runway curing now, grass seed down, paint next week some time.  (hosted on my $4/mo smugmug account)  dr


One fun lap around the Reno pylons ...AX-O

A short and very minimally edited video around the Sport track. Not at full speed and not the race line. Just fun!  Thanks to Matt for the video.


First Build Milestone! ...Bradley Cheshire (Flower Mound, TX)

Hit my first major milestone today! I finished the toolbox practice kit.... :-). Not really a huge deal but that really means I have my shop and tools finally ready to build, which is huge!!!  On to the airfoil kit!!! Hopefully I will have a flying aircraft before it's time to replace the runway at 52F. [ed. That gives you about 30 years ;^P.  dr]

Heading towards Austin to pick up my DRDT next week so I am looking forward to playing with that...  I look forward to the next several years of being an active forum participant and RV builder.


the TAF Board


I recently found this page and have grown somewhat fond of it.  Click on the 'INFO' button top right for the 'how to read the data' instructions.  Click on an identifier (bottom red arrow below) to drill down into the data more (you can change the URL to any TAF-reporting airport that isn't listed here).  For example: https://www.aviationweather.gov/taf/board?ids=KAFW is a little closer to my house, so I saved that bookmark on my smartphone. 

Link added to the Wx page...


Status Report ...David Paul RV-3B

I've been doing a bunch of small boring things like trimming, countersinking, priming and deburring. I finished making the access hatch covers and doublers but haven't riveted any of that together yet.

Both tailcone belly skins are ready to glue on.


Hat Sighting ...The Cards

Tanya and I took the week off of work and were transported across the country to Yakima, Washington for a week of experimental aircraft construction. We're two days in and I'm just having a ball working all of the big-boy toys along side some real experts... ...

related: About the charity cap


Day Twenty-Three ...Scott Chastain RV-8



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?


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.



September 19, 2017.   Issue No. 4,397.

An RV-10 Milestone! ...Ivan Kristensen

1000 Hrs.

Yesterday during an IPC (Instrument proficiency check) I topped the 1000hr. total flight time in my RV-10. This airplane has proven to be a great traveling machine with trips from coast to coast. From Moosonee in northern Ontario to Grenada in the Caribbean and many many places in between.

I began building this airplane in April of 2008 with the first flight on June 28th. 2010.  The picture was taken at the Marathon airport in the Florida Keys about a year ago.  Oh yes, did I mention that I passed my IFR flight test...

Three in-flight failures
1. An alternator failure at 10,000ft. over lake Erie, returning from Florida, in semi IMC was a significant event in that is caused a spike in voltage causing the VP-200 to shut everything down. In other words ALL instruments and both EFIS screens went dark, a pilots worst nightmare. With some difficulties hand flying using the standby and internally battery powered Dynon D-100 on the far right of the panel the problem was resolved by re-booting the VP-200, no instruments were damaged so the sec. alternator was brought on line and landed 1/2 hr later at our home base.

2. Again, returning home from the US we were at 14000Ft to top some cloud and icing in very cold temperatures. a further climb was needed to stay out of icing. The A/P was set to command a climb but instead of the airspeed going to 120kts it started to climb. This situation was soon recognized as a blocked/frozen Pitot even though the Pitot heat had be an all the time. Some of you will remember that the Dynon Pitot head had an issue with passing water past the mast into the line allowing it to freeze. Dynon has since replaced all affected units free of charge

3. A complete Magneto failure was experienced returning from Oshkosh in 2014. This was a total non event in that I didn't even know it until a couple of days later when I went to do the pre-takeoff run-up. During the Mag check when I switched off the EI the engine almost quit. Oil had gotten past the seal and saturated the Mag. (One magneto and one Lightspeed EI)

Some notable upgrades along the way
1. With my alternator failure it was obvious that my electrical system was inadequate. An 6amp IBBS system from TCW for backup pwr. to both EFIS' and AHRS' was obtained and installed. Bob Neuman from TCW was a great resource with answers to design and installation questions.

2. A Garmin G-5 EFIS with GPS and internal backup battery was installed on the left side on the instrument panel where it can easily be seen.

3. The Garmin GNS430W was replaced with an Avidyne IFD440 which is a "plug and play" upgrade. This was a significant change and definitely one for the better. The IFD440 is a modern, easy to use large bright touch screen interface with many new features incl airways etc.

4. Recently I also upgraded one of my Grand Rapids Technologies (GRT) EFIS screens from the 8.4" HX to the 8'4" HXr touch. GRT are doing a great job in bringing the latest technology to market and the HXr touch is no exception. This unit brings with it many new features, a great upgrade.


Belfast Lobster Flyin - Debrief ...Dvalcik

Mother Nature wasn't too kind this year, but we still had a good time for those who could make it to Belfast Maine. Due the the weather we had 18 RVrs call or email cancelling their trip early. Fortunately the ones in Florida and the east coast reported they were safe and no damage. Many even local didn't make it due to local IF conditions on Friday.

We had 7 RV show up early and we took advantage of the good weather site seeing around Maine. Robert and his wife had his RV ready for lift off from North Carolina, but weather wasn't good so they switched to the auto and drove up. (Robert we hope you can get your 8 up here next year.). John did get in from Baton Rouge, Peter from Toronto, and Bill from NJ came in Friday afternoon in time for the Lobster Dinner.


New RV 12 Builder in Arizona ...Casey White

Hi everyone

I have an RV12 empennage kit scheduled for delivery on tuesday. I cant wait to get started!


The sleeper awakens! (My engine, that is) ...Scott Balmos

This past Saturday afternoon, after 5 years and 9 months of building, I successfully managed to awaken my plane's engine from its 13-year slumber. She kicked and protested, wanting to go back to sleep twice. But the third time around, I got the gas-to-noise generator to stay up and going.


For reference, it is a Lycoming IO-320-E2A, running the full EFII injection/ignition system, spinning a Catto 3-blade wind generator. The engine was overhauled by its previous owner between 2004 and 2006, and then put into storage. Needless to say, I was subconsciously a nervous wreck, deep down not knowing what to expect. I readily admit that once I had run up to 1800 RPM, saw the temps and oil readings were fine, I took a few seconds to just sit back and enjoy the wind and noise.

A thank you to my Dad for the videography, RV-14 builder Bill Schweinberg for a few checks on attempts 1 & 2, and then a major major thank you to RV builder extraordinaire Jon Thocker of Redline for doing the run-up walk-arounds once the engine cooperated on attempt 3. Jon just happened to be doing his usual biking around the airport Saturday afternoon when he stopped by while I was prepping for attempt 3.

Afterwards, more than anything, there was a huge sense of relief. Here on out, it's bug-fixing and finishing work. But now I know I have, in the most important mechanical sense, a working plane.


Status Report ...kentlik 7A


Elk Strike on Runway ...pilot and pax OK


Reno Results...the RVs


Mid-air Reno w/RV (all OK) ...Ironflight


VAF Cap Sighting ...Reno

Gary Platner (RV-8) with Gold Unlimited 'Strega' pilot Jay Consalvi.


Day 21 ...Scott Chastain RV-8

When I woke up that morning in Blairsville, GA, the second half of the 40-day mission began with me folding up my towels and putting my dirty clothes away and getting dressed. It was Thursday, July 20. It was a little foggy outside and the air was warm and felt a little like melted butter when I stepped out with my bags. The canopy immediately fogged up after I pulled off the canopy cover, and as I was folding it up, my feline friend came over to say good morning. 



We are offering up to $80 off on our standard FPS Flap Positioning System till the end of October. For more details on this and more GREAT PRODUCTS, please visit aircraftextras.com.

FPS-Plus Reflex
Flap Positioning system features are often overlooked. Please take a fresh look at the three systems we offer, the FPS-Plus, Fps-Plus-nt, and FPS-Plus Reflex. Our systems offer the customer a variety of standard features. One feature is the customer’s ability to program the system to accept 1 to 10 flap positions customizing it to your plane. There are no hardware flap stops. You can also reprogram this at any time. Another great feature of our FPS-Plus is the ability to automatically position your elevator trim for every new flap setting. This allows you to stay right on your glide path without ballooning up or sinking every time you change flap settings. This is a GREAT feature for you IFR guys like me. I love that feature. Another good feature of the FPS-Plus is the ability to sense if the flap is bound up and not moving. It will sense this and remove power to your flap or elevator trim motors to prevent motor burn-up. Our FPS-Plus Reflex model was the first flap system available that will operate the reflex flaps properly. This is important for planes like the RV-10 and Murphy Rebel. For more details on this and more GREAT PRODUCTS, please visit aircraftextras.com .


Karl Kruger Panel Pic

Karl emailed me a copy of his panel for my 'hi rez panel pic project'



September 18, 2017.   Issue No. 4,396.
  Sunday was the 15yr anniversary of our family RV-6's first flight.  Thanks again, Van!  

First Flight ...Rob Rickards (Melbourne Australia)

As you all know everybody always asks when will it fly? My answer always was...16 Sept 2016. Ok why so specific? My 60th birthday of course.

Well one year later on my 61st birthday the stars aligned. After a frustrating delay of two weeks due work , weather and a bad head cold my RV7 took to the air.  The first takeoff was so quick and short!

"Kamina" flew dead straight , everything worked and an hour of circles over the field flashed by, with a small skip on landing. Had a good look around and Took her up for another 20 mins. More today.

Thanks to Doug and all on VAF for the incredible resources.

Engine is an Aerosport IO 360.
6 year build.


New Guy ...Mikeandmaz in England

Ordered the Empennage kit today. I've been reading posts on here for a few years now, visited the factory and had a test flight in the 14, and today took the plunge. Never built anything bigger than an air fix model so looking forward to a steep learning curve.....


Garden Valley Eclipse Fly-Out ...BruceEicher

28 planes full of 60 friends enjoying the long epic weekend!  (slide show)


New Guy ...Damien Graham Watertown, NY

Hello. I received the empennage kit for the RV-12iS yesterday, kit number 1072. This is going to be interesting.


Final Report Issued ...RV-6A tip up Australia

In October 2014 an Australian registered RV6A crashed catastrophically into a laneway in a densely populated suburb of a major city. The aircraft hit two houses and several cars and the pilot died on impact.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigated the accident comprehensively and subsequently issued a final report. It suggested that the most likely cause of the crash was the tip-up canopy coming open during flight. For those with a tip-up canopy RV this report will be compelling reading.  ...


Plagued by Engine Stumbling ...Azjulian

I have posted about this before and I thought that I was past the issues, but they seem to have started again. At full throttle I occasionally get an engine stumble, this happened again today twice just after take off and led me to abort the flight.

I have done the following

- taken both carbs completely apart, cleaned with air and carb cleaner
- checked all my fuel lines, at each connection I have run a volume of fuel over time test and I have run several gallons through the lines
- checked my fuel bowls for any contamination several times
- re-synchronized my carbs both mechanically and pneumatically.

The problem had all but disappeared until I experienced it at alititude (9500') on a trip to Payson recently. I confirmed my engine was on the float exchange service bulletin and I swapped all my floats out (one side was 7.7g). But after the float exchange problem seemed to get worse...

As you can see in the image below, when the issue happens its preceeded by the left EGT going 100F hotter than the right (this always happens when you look at the logs).

I also should point out that my static WOT RPM and my climb RPM are pretty much the same, and in climb I seem to lose 50 or so RPM as I climb out, that to me is wrong, but I cant seem to trace any cause and my CHTs and EGTs are cool...

At this stage the only thing I can think of doing is trying to swap out carbs, that it is some strange carb related issue... Can anyone help ? Please I have to say this has totally sapped my enjoyment of an otherwise perfect plane.


Day 20 ...Scott Chastain RV-8

I woke up early in the morning in Claremore, OK, just as it was getting light in the pilot’s lounge. I packed up the plane, started up, and taxied out---thankful that I was able to get a restful night of sleep. I took off on Runway 17 and banked to the southeast, climbing to 11,500. There, I crossed the Mississippi River for the seventh time on that mission.


From Rian at the Mothership



September 15, 2017.   Issue No. 4,395.
  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and RV-filled weekend. 

Formation Flight - AirShow Display Practice ...lucaperazzolli RV-8

As formation flight team we started training in 2014, in a couple of weeks we'll have our first official presence in a local Air Show. This is the 'homebuilt' video that shows last practice flight.

ps: we are flying in full accordance with the tower with our ATZ free of other traffic.


Farewell Cassini, and we thank you...

(off topic but an interest of mine)  The Cassini spacecraft will burn up in Saturn's upper atmosphere early Friday morning at 4:55 a.m. PDT, sending back scientific data until the last of its maneuvering fuel is used up.

1-hr long briefing  (around the 10 min mark it gets fascinating)

JPL Cassini link    NASA Live

related: VAF Thread


ADS-B "Save"...GalinHdz

On Sept 7 I was at 4,00ft IFR talking to Eglin approach on my way to Milton, FL (2R4) when my SkyView display started giving me a "Traffic Warning". The ADS-B indicated I had traffic 3 miles out, approaching me, head on at my same altitude. When the alert showed the traffic at 1 mile, still approaching me head on and still at my altitude I firmly pulled the nose up and turned to the right. A few seconds later I saw a twin engine airplane, about 100ft below me, right where the ADS-B was showing pass by.

When I got over the "scare" I told the controller what had just happened. The controller sheepishly told me it was a Seneca maneuvering in that area. Needless to say I let the controller know I was a little upset about what happened. When I got on the ground I filled out a NASA form just so my little grain of salt is entered into the system.

I don't know if I would I have seen the traffic without the ADS-B "point out" but being able to know where to look for traffic is a significant safety enhancement. In this case I didn't actually see it until it was extremely close. I am so glad I have this in my airplane.


Short Trip Around Belfast ...Dvalcik

Today 5 ships to Knox County Airport to visit the Owls Head Transportation Museum. Vintage vehicles (aircraft, cars & more) are on display inside & around a cavernous hangar.


Breakaway Park Fly-in 9/23 (Austin, TX area)...tcard

Come join us for our annual fly-in picnic on Saturday, September 23rd at Sasser Breakaway Airpark (40XS) in Cedar Park, TX.


Status Update ...Bill Boyd RV-10

Late summer progress.  Got the overhead console out of LeoK's mold and fitted in, more or less.



September 14, 2017.   Issue No. 4,394.
  Wednesday was a red letter day at 52F.  The asphalt is being laid down!!!  Lots of pictures and videos at this link, so please enjoy. 

Some highlights:

Rob Reece (RV-8 Finishing)....and cap sighting.
Many trucks full of 200*F asphalt in background.

The first asphalt goes down.  0800.

Testing compaction and density.

30 second video clip of the action.

See all the pics/videos


Blast from the past- Paint or polish?...Smokey Ray

I recently found this photo I thought I had lost many moons ago, my RV4 over Johnson Creek ID circa 97'.
I couldn't afford paint or amenities so I opted for Met-All polish, "rag bag" from Home Depot with a drill attachment buffer and corn starch. A couple of rattle cans of Kry-Lon for trim, hardware store N numbers from the mail box section and voila', a $16K Sport Plane.

I enjoyed the polished look and weight/cost savings with only two noticeable gripes:
1. On bright sunny days the reflection off the wing shined perfectly into the cockpit with associated temperature increase.
2. Living in FL required monthly polishing touch ups to avoid corrosion.

I finally decided to paint while at a rural KS fuel stop coming home from ID.
The elderly airport manager took one look at my RV4 and said: "Paint or polish, make a decision!"


You know when they teach you to not get too slow because you might enter a spin?

Meet the luckiest pilot on Earth.  That tree was in the only place it could be to save his life.  Minor scratches and released from the hospital the same day.



We qualified 28 pilots today ...AX-O at Reno

We qualified 28 pilots today in the Sport class.  There were 5 planes that had some sort of issue before the sat 1200 dead line. I was the last stand by to make it.  This years speeds will show lower because the way the speed is calculated changed.  Come by and say hi. We are outside by the T-6s.

Ken Linde photo of AX-O (2016)


Day Nineteen- Part I ...Scott Chastain RV-8



September 13, 2017.   Issue No. 4,393.

From The Mother Ship: The first RV-14A to fly in Europe

Plane is based near Stuttgart, Germany.  Builder is Stefan Schroter.

"The story started at the AERO exhibition in 2016... where I sold my RV7A.

Actually, the real story started at Vans in Oregon in 2005 when I visited Vans Aircraft.  The adventure began when I met DARYL (Mr. VERY EASY and Mr. NO PROBLEM).

I bought a RV7A because Daryl was so enthused and spoke so much about this model that I didn’t dare not to sign the order. Please don’t ask me how many problems I had to face, or the mental battle I had with myself after signing the order.

As a result of this signature, I spent more than 3 hard years of my life building an aircraft. Thankfully Daryl was always at my side from across the water with plenty of support and advice. (Sometimes he solved the problem).

At the AERO 2016 exhibition last year, a genuine earl came to the stand and asked Daryl if he could buy my aircraft.

Daryl simply suggested, “ask Stefan NO PROBLEM”... and this in fact was the trigger to the second story.  Again I went to Oregon, visited Vans or better still visited a very enthused Daryl and again he spoke a lot how great a RV14A would be especially for me... same story. And we all know how the first one ended.  This time after only 12 months of building I could put the painted parts together (prop., engine and all other pieces mounted à la Daryl) and I had my first flight on 29th of August in EDTY.

My special thanks go to: (please ignore the sequence of names)

Daryl Sahnow (a real friend – no joke)
Marcin Oberski (specialised in riveting)
Armin Kienzle (specialised in canopy adapting)
Klaus-Peter Morhard (specialised in all things)
Christoph Koal (specialised in handling)
Steffen Aufrecht (specialised in handling)
Werner Koch (my examiner)
Roger Hiller (painter)
Tihomir Katic (saddler)
Farmers of my little village
(many of them gave me a third hand)

Es grüßt aus dem schönen Altersberg
Very best regards from lovely Altersberg,

Stefan Schröter"


Q: Avionics Cooling Fan

What have you guys done about that? I am at that point so trying to get ideas. I love to use the cyclone 21-3 but the price is pretty steep for a fan!
Got ideas and pics to share?

A: (Stein from SteinAir) Many of the modern avionics and EFISes have their own cooling fans in or on them, and in addition to that perhaps the most important thing is to have some sort of vent holes in the glareshield (or even a couple muffin fans). That should allow that dead space between the main panel and sub panel to be ventilated and kept at a good temperature, so everything should be good (as Bob noted, those glareshield fans also work as defrosters too).

Just my 2 cents as usual!



Day Eighteen- Part II ...Scott Chastain RV-8

It was still morning when I heard the memory of a sheriff named, Matt Dillon, to get out of Dodge. I blasted out over the bumpy air and cruised to the northeast for about sixty miles before I made my approach into the next town.


Time for Some Overdue Refurbishment ...Bill Boyd RV-6A

I'm looking at a disgusting mess, here. Almost sorry I didn't snap pictures last evening to illustrate. None of this is new, but it's in my face now, having reached a point where I can't keep ignoring it simply because flying is more fun than fiberglass work (who knew, right? )

I pulled the cowl to begin replacement of my alternator and DC power distribution wiring. It was ugly. The glass is wearing badly where the nose gear strut meets the lower cowl. The lower cowl is heat-discolored from gradual loss of the aluminum foil I glued inside (not well-enough) 20 years ago. The engine seeps some oil, now, which finds its way to the bottom and has saturated the composite where I failed to seal it well enough, or at all, with resin during construction (I could fill a book with things I know now that I didn't know then. This is such an educational activity ) The gel coat, and with it, the paint has spider-webbed in a thousand different stress concentrations all over the outer surface. The shoulders of countersunk screw holes are wearing oversize and thin...

The DuPont polyurethane paint formula I'll need when I'm finally ready for basecoat/clearcoat repair was lost in a house fire, so we'll have to color match by other, imperfect means.

I am confident after all my recent RV-10 canopy top experience that I can fix these issues with epoxy, cloth and micro. But I'm not confident I can get epoxy to adhere properly to oil-soaked fiberglass. It's literally oozing through exterior pinholes that have opened up in the toasted areas near the exhaust pipes.

What's the best way to try to clean this mess up for repair? I'm sure it's going to involve elbow grease and a hazmat suit


John Mastro Checks In ...in IRMA's path (RV-8)

SmilingJack made it throught the storm without me!

I am not back yet, but my friend stopped by the hangar and did awalk around. Floor a little wet from all the rain, but that was water that made it 50 ft from the hangar door.

The office carpet was dry, no broken windows or doors. Lost a few pieces of facia. But nothing else.

I can't post pictures, but as Vernon said in another post Naples got hit hard!

Half a dozen hangar damaged.

I hope everyone is safe and ok and their airplanes too.

What a massive storm! Harvey, Irma....go away Jose!


Naples, FL VAF User Checks in ...vernon smith

Naples took a pretty good hit, Naples airport reported max gust at 149. Fortunately, the eye wall started to fall apart shortly there after. When it went 4 miles east of my place wind speeds were estimated to be less than 130. It was quite a ride. 7 Kv Honda portable generator running the refrig and a one room AC unit plus plenty of lights and computer/hand held charging equipment. Comcast will not be seen again for a week, this is coming to you by Verizon Jet Pack. Kind of a Mother Nature imposed deluxe camping trip


Relocation from Hurricane Ins. Info ...Gallagher Aviation

With the payout usually only being $500 to $1,000, most insurance companies will not take the relocation reimbursement into consideration when writing the policy. The insurance companies would still need to know about the event, but it would be more of an activity rather than a claim.

The point of offering the relocation reimbursement is so the insurance company does not have to pay for the full hull value of the aircraft. You are taking care of your aircraft in a time of need which helps both you and them so the insurance companies will not punish you for that.



September 12, 2017.   Issue No. 4,392.

EAA Podcast With Richard VanGrunsven - The Green Dot! ...32min

On the most recent episode of EAA’s The Green Dot podcast, the team was joined by legendary aircraft designer and EAA board member Richard VanGrunsven to discuss the history of Van’s Aircraft, the most popular RV models, and why flying an RV brings that signature grin to a pilot’s face.


Centre Section Bulkhead #10 Countersink ...Richard Connell RV-10

I think I'm going mad.  I've drilled all the WD-1021-PC Landing gear mounts to the bulkhead with a #12 drill as instructed.  I need to machine countersink the 2 holes shown for a #10 screw.  My #10 countersink pilot clearly won't go in a #12 hole.  What am I missing?  How do I countersink these holes. Is such thing as a #12 pilot countersink?


RV-10 Tug ...Jason McKay

I converted a snowblower into a tug for my 10. Works really well for one person and can covert it back in 30 minutes or so.


Day Eighteen- Part I ...Scott Chastain RV-8


Day Eighteen- Part I (cont.)


Day Eighteen- Part I (cont.)


Video Status Report ...kiljoy RV-14

So the last week has been interesting. I had taken the week off in hopes of rest and recuperation. Instead it was frantic work and trying to get my head wrapped around the responsibilities of being a flying club maintenance officer.

Anyways, that's all still a mess but there is at least a light at the end of that tunnel. I did manage to get some build time in between work emergencies and plane maintenance work. The ailerons are now doing just fine that I secured some proper drill bits. High speed steel = ****. I mean they're fine for aluminum but stainless steel just laughs at them. I almost had a L vs R mirroring part issue but I managed to avoid that so no ordering of new parts for me!

Here are a few of the vids I put together. There's a few more but those will have to come later. Enjoy:





September 11, 2017.   Issue No. 4,391.
  It’s a somber mood today, with so many lives being disrupted by Harvey and Irma, and it being the anniversary of the terrorist attack of 9/11/01.  I wish I had more feel good news to make the vibe a little lighter, but I don’t think it would be appropriate.
  I’m profoundly, unwaveringly grateful for my family and friends, and have those who have been impacted by natural disaster and hate in my thoughts and prayers.
  One uplifting thing to report from over the weekend - Jay Pratt of RV Central fame let me fly his RV-8 Borrowed Horse* for an hour over the weekend. It’s been (5) weeks since I’ve been off the planet's surface (runway closed for replacement), he told me to 'come back when I got tired'.  I’d offer up my RV to him if the roles were switch.  Much more sensitive in roll and yaw than my -6 (to me), but you get used to it quick.  Jay, thank you!  Great guy...great friend!  Read about the 'borrowed horse' at the link below...you might enjoy it.

*Paul Revere rode a borrowed horse (source)


Finally Done ...JOEPILOT RV-12

After 5 plus years, RV-12, N731JN is finally licensed, inspected and insured.

Special thanks to DAR Jon Ross for flying into 3N6 to do the inspection on August 31. And again to him and his friend Mike who graciously let Jon give me a two hour checkout to make the insurance man happy.

Thanks again guys, the two of you are what make general aviation such a great endeavor.


Flights for Lt Col Dick Cole's 102nd Birthday ...ChrisF16 RV-4

I was honored to participate in the flyovers for Lt Cole Dick Cole's 102nd birthday bash this week. I was #4 in a flight led by a 1944 SNJ (T-6) and the other flight was led by the B-25 Yellow Rose and included a P-39!

FMI on Doolittle Raider Dick Cole HERE.


New Wording for Passenger Warning ...Mel

Just a "heads-up", as of September 21st, 2017, new ruling on the Passenger Warning;

Except for single place aircraft, the following placard must be displayed in the aircraft in full view of all occupants: “PASSENGER WARNING—THIS AIRCRAFT DOES NOT COMPLY WITH FEDERAL SAFETY REGULATIONS FOR STANDARD AIRCRAFT.”

Note that Experimental, Light-Sport, or Amateur-Built is no longer required wording. This makes for a more "standardized" placard.



September 8, 2017.   Issue No. 4,390.
  We're at the end of week five of what is (hopefully) a seven week runway construction project.  I'm missing RV flight something awful.  The yearly annual is now done on the RV-6, and it waits to use its new runway sometime soon.  Going to be nice.
  Hoping all the folks in the path of IRMA have their families out of harm's way.  Wishing you and yours a happy, safe and hurricane-free weekend.

Annual complete...waiting on the runway


48 States in two weeks ...joe_rainbolt RV-7A

...I've been everywhere, man...

Get the details in 4 parts. The first two are available now and the next two will be posted within the next week as I finish them.


Tank Repair Question ...Gil Alexander RV-6A

After 18 hrs I have the start of the "dreaded blue stains" from the right tank upper baffle.

I have Vans repair kit and now have 5 large holes in the rear baffle. I have started scraping away the somewhat marginal proseal fillet along the rear baffle, fiddly work but quite doable.

My real question is "what tool do I use to add a new fillet?" Since it's essentially in a blind location and mirrors are needed my usual popsicle tool or SEM air powered dispenser won't work.

How have others got their goop into place?

I intend to remove as much of the existing skin/baffle proseal and hen use adhesion promoter under the new proseal. Since it will be 85 F plus in the afternoon in the hangar the proseal should flow fairly well.

Some things I found out already that might help others -

1. 5 inch holes are easily cut with a m Milwaukee hole saw from the local Ace store. The manager said it's probably the only one he's sold of that size.

2. The part of my Pepto-Bismol cowling that was cut away for the oil door makes a great proseal scraper.


The VAF Hurricane Inland Relocation List ...offer up some space if you have it.

Tip: Once in the thread, scroll down to the bottom and look for the field below.  You can search this single thread for a city name or state that would be a spot you might be wishing to go.  Find it fast.


Wheel/Skis Drawings for RV-8 ...Planenut

If you wish to install fixed penetration wheel/skis on your RV8 (only RV8)
These wheel/skis were designed as a safety solution in case I need to land urgently flying during winter, they are used on semi-prepared snow and ice, I have flown out of 18 inch soft powder but it was kind of its limits, not designed for real deep or slushy conditions. I've been using them for 5 years and a good friend recently did the drawings for me, I have photos and will be working on the bill of materials.
I will not provide answers to questions or design a set of skis for any other RV models.  continue


Rudder Repair ...kstone

I have a bought -7A that rode out Harvey in Houston. Only issues were water over the wheels and slight damage to the rudder due to rudder lock breaking. Insurance says I need two bids for repair. Any suggestions in the Houston area? Airplane is flyable (after wheels/brakes repaired). Thanks in advance!


Day Seventeen ...Scott Chastain RV-8

I woke up to my alarm the next morning at 6:00, but I was so groggy that I rolled over and snoozed for another thirty minutes before I got up and went downstairs to get my laundry out of the dryer. ...


Because my Life Isn't Complex Enough ...kiljoy RV-14 videos

Hi all,

So I've polished off most of the elevators. The leading edges are done. I learned from my rudder experience and these went down very smoothly. I only accidentally put the lower skins on top of the upper skins on only one section of one elevator. Thankfully that was caught before riveting.

Anyways I've moved onto the wings. Inventory is done which is always fun. I've started on the ailerons first. I'll be doing those and the flaps first since they're small and I can hide them away. I'm basically doing all of the smaller work first. I may even do the tanks before the main wings? Not sure yet.

One thing I do know is that I bought crappy drill bits and trying to drill holes through that stainless steel counterweight bar has ruined about 3 drill bits so far.

On a side note my available building time I'm afraid is going to possibly be going down. The maintenance officer on the board of my flying club has retired. I was approached for the position and I've been elected to do the job. Now on top of my plane I'm responsible for maintaining a fleet of 4 aircraft and the 130 member's lives that fly them. It's a crash course to be sure but I'm leaning a lot. Just hired a great A&P to be the club's mechanic and I'm learning everything I've ever wanted to know.

Anyways, here are some videos from working on the wing. Enjoy:




September 7, 2017.   Issue No. 4,389.

George Michaels (Corona, CA) RV-7A Gets Its Paint

Now the the terror of scratching begins...


Another new Rv-12 builder! ...Jeff chimes in (Charlotte, NC)

After probably 20 years of dreaming about it I sent my kit order into Vans (empennage and wings to start).

I had planned on building an RV-9 as soon as my daughter was finished with school (and I was finished paying for it Lol). But the more I looked at the 12 the more I liked it and the better it fit my mission. I was able to get an intro ride from Vic in Atlanta and I was hooked.

I ordered the tool kit from Cleveland a few weeks ago and sent my kit order in today. I ordered the wings at the same time thinking I would have a long wait (Vans website says a 20 week wait) but AnnMarie said it’s down to about 10 weeks currently. So I guess I’ll have the wings in a box for a while.

I want to thank Doug [ed. You are very welcome!!!] and this site for keeping me interested for so long and Vic for the great 12 intro.

Any words of wisdom before I dive in?


Day Sixteen ...Scott Chastain RV-8

I got up at about 6:30 and prepared to depart Liberty. My devotion that morning concluded with Paul’s final appeal to Caesar for exoneration and for the freedom he ultimately would attain only through death in Rome. I finished my reading and prayers, then packed up the Dove for departure. It was time to fly over Houston.

Departing on Runway 17, I made a turnout to starboard and set up for cruise at only 1,200 feet to stay well below the Houston Class Bravo. The oil industry infrastructure prominently whitened the landscape as I flew toward my first waypoint at Baytown.


Lose 2 Cylinders at Idle ...Jesse

I have a plane here with a Lycoming O-360 that has been down for a panel upgrade. When we start the engine, Cylinders 1 & 4 drop out at Idle. At power (pretty much anything over 1,000RPM) the EGT's and CHT's come up, but at idle, they drop back out. It flew fine and made good power. The engine has 2-300 hours.

We checked for stuck valves and they are fine, not stuck or even a little sticky.

We can test new plugs, but the chance of having both plugs on two different cylinders dropping out the same is very low.

We have looked for intake leaks, and haven't completely ruled that out, but everything looks great on those cylinders.

Leaning out at idle doesn't change anything, but the RPM does increase significantly.

Any other thoughts, things to try?


Sept Sport Aviation...read article featuring Mr. Bob Vosburg on page 34

[ed. Side note: Bob completed his RV-8 at Jay Pratt's RV Central (where I finished my RV-6).]


DID YOU KNOW about hurricane relocation reimbursement 2 ...Gallagher (VAF advertiser)

First and foremost, we here at Gallagher Aviation hope that everyone was able to stay safe during Hurricane Harvey. With clean-up just beginning, another part of the nation is getting ready to face the same situation, We decided to put this information back out there if in the event you need to contact us or your insurance company.

Did you know that many aviation insurance policies will reimburse you to move your aircraft out of the path of a named hurricane or wind storm?

In light of Hurricane Harvey and the incoming Hurricane Irma, we wanted to remind you to check with your insurance company about a possible hurricane relocation reimbursement program. Each company is different, but several offer a reimbursement program if you have relocated your aircraft to be out of the way of an the oncoming hurricane. These companies would rather pay the reimbursement expenses (usually up to a set limit) rather than pay for a totaled aircraft. If you’re wondering if your insurance company partakes in a program like this, it will be listed in your policy. You can also contact your insurance broker for more information.

If you were unable to move your aircraft and need to turn in a claim, here are numbers for the companies we insure Vans Aircraft through:

• Global Aerospace - 913-451-9660 or 888-228-2281
• AIG - 866-463-0408 / AerospaceClaimsPhoenix@aig.com
• AIM/Aerospace – aimclaims@hallmarkgrp.com
• Starr – 404-946-1400 / aviationclaimreports@starrcompanies.com/if an emergency Jeffrey Greenawalt 214-223-0202
• U.S. Specialty Insurance Company - 801-467-8731 / claims@ussic.com
• QBE – Western USA 208-891-3275 / Eastern USA 513-833-7076 / Southern USA 470-277-0048
• SAU – 877-371-9774 / 7356ANSA@yorkrsg.com
• Old Republic – 770-590-4950 / http://www.oldrepublicaerospace.com/...t-a-claim.aspx
• USAIG - 866-789-1986 / Michael.wilhelms@usaig.com AND Carol.Turner@usaig.com

Gallagher is thinking of everyone affected in the path of Irma and hoping everyone stays safe.


Gallagher Aviation & Irma ...Tom Valenzia


I just notified Jennifer Cummins at Gallagher that I will be unable to move the -12 if Irma becomes a factor in the Charleston, SC area. I have the aircraft disassembled for service bulletin maintenance and engine overhaul / upgrade. I sent Gallagher current photos of the aircraft in its current state of disassembly. I received a callback from Jennifer 30 minutes after sending the email. She discussed my situation with the underwriters and they agreed to waive my 5% hurricane loss deductible in the event of a total loss of the aircraft.

What a great company! Hopefully this post will be of value for some of you that are insured through Gallagher and unable to move your aircraft.



September 6, 2017.   Issue No. 4,388.

N16GN is No Longer Flying Naked! ...airguy


First Flight - Yahoo ...Mike RV-9A

Yesterday my plane took to the skys at Lebanon-Springfield airport here in bluegrass country. At the controls was Bobby Hester a fellow forum member as well as an RV-7A builder/pilot. Bobby flew two 1/2 hour sessions feeling out the performance and characteristics of the plane. Even though I've had transition training within the last year my flying skills still aren't to the level of being a qualified/capable test pilot. Bobby graciously accepted that task for me. Feedback from Bobby is such that I have a sweet flying plane.

Thank you Bobby. Glad I didn't have to make that call to your wife.

Also I would like to thank Terry Kohler who I flew with in his 9A recently to improve my flying skills after a decade layoff. Terry's wisdom and honesty made it easier for me to make the decision to have someone more experienced take on that test pilot task.

A few more hours of dual and then I can do my first flight in my 9A. Need to improve my crosswind skills seeing that's all we have here at Lebanon-Springfield.


Day Fifteen ...Scott Chastain RV-8

It was Friday, July 14, in St. John the Baptist Parish when I got up that morning to make some coffee in the kitchenette. As I was packing up, there came into the terminal building a man by the name of Landry, the flightline employee and fueler for the airport. He was wearing a white U.S. Air Force hat and he spoke in a thick southern drawl when I introduced myself and told him that I would be topping off shortly and taking off.

After I packed up and preflighted the Dove, I pushed her over to the pumps. I was filling up when Landry and three other men in dark blue uniforms came walking over. One of them said, “Good morning!” and I did the same in reply. Landry introduced the men. They worked for the Port of Louisiana Marine Division.

I thought I was in trouble for something. There were those grain elevators loading up a ship on the Mississippi the night before, and for a split second, I thought maybe the port authority was there to investigate me. I thought maybe the guy on the golf cart reported the New York license plates on the Sentra and maybe found my witness of the levee operation suspicious.

Ritchie, the oldest in the group, introduced himself as a Commander in the Marine Division, and he said that he had worked there for 17 years. Then Ritchie told me that he and his men had come out onto the ramp to learn about the 40-day flying mission I was on, to learn about the Dove, and to just walk around her for a few minutes to admire the aircraft. Ritchie asked about where I came up with the name, Descending Dove, and when I alluded to the anointing of Jesus by the Holy Spirit following his baptism, everyone in the group knew about that biblical scene and suddenly took a renewed interest in the mission I was flying through America.  continue

Day Fifteen (cont.)


Completed first solo ...RV-7A builder Garet Hess

A bit of a pat on the back moment for me...  Well happy to report that I have completed Ground School and wrote my PPL written exam, so I finally have time to get back on the build.  But more importantly August 28, 2017 marks my first solo!!!  It's strange how quickly things fall into place for a student pilot. I was feeling so out of place on landings not long ago, then all of a sudden things click. Next thing you know your all alone in the plane with so much elbow room and your knocking out circuits all by yourself!! Sad that the first solo is over so soon....Looking forward to all the future solos.


Sep/Oct FAA Safety Briefing 

The September/October 2017 issue of FAA Safety Briefing explores the critical role flight instructors play in keeping the National Airspace System safe. Feature articles focus on flight instructor requirements and best practices as well as the many tools and educational resources that can help sharpen your teaching skills.



September 5, 2017.   Issue No. 4,387.
  Over the long weekend I updated the RV White Pages, Probable Cause List, Courtesy Cars & Food list and Calendar Wallpaper.   On Friday they mixed in the last bit of Portland cement base into our new runway project (pic).  All mixed up, flattened, watered, leveled and cured hard as concrete down to 12" (pic).  Asphalt scheduled for end of this week.
  Hope you had a nice weekend. 


Meeting VAF Friends in Northern Italy ...Lucaperazzolli

It's always a joy to receive a visit from a VAF friend.  It's the beautiful thing of RVs family.  Here we are, in my hangar with Ray and his loved Jenny (she's taking the picture).  We spent an afternoon together (RV talking) with pizza for dinner in company with my wife Katia and my daughters.  They are from Australia and Ray is building an RV-7A, ready to install the engine.


Rest in Peace Logan Mason ...Bob Kelly post

Logan Mason passed away last evening. He was 19.

Most of you didn't know Logan, although some may have met him at Oshkosh, 2014. Logan was an RV-12 builder, first with Eagle's Nest, then with AviationNation. He had worked on three airplanes and was a dedicated kid.

At Oshkosh, I was quite disappointed in Logan--he couldn't keep up with the group. He was 14 and I was 70. Two weeks later he was diagnosed with bone cancer. Logan laid out of school for one year getting treatment. When we started AviationNation, he was back for his senior year and back to building. He really wanted to build, and to fly. He was a big plus to the build process. All the students will miss him. So will I.


Day Fourteen ...Scott Chastain RV-8

I woke up earlier than usual in Adel, then went back to sleep. Eventually, I got up and packed my things. I did not want to say goodbye to Adel. It was such a friendly place to stay that leaving, although it was something I had to accept, almost felt like a very unfriendly thing to do given how well I was treated there.

A pilot came early that morning and took the C-150 up for a flight. I saw the Dove sitting alone on the tarmac as the morning sun reflected through the glass patterns of the terminal building onto the asphalt.

Day Fourteen (cont.) part 2
Day Fourteen (cont.) part 3
Day Fourteen (cont.) part 4
Day Fourteen (cont.) part 5
Day Fourteen (cont.) part 6
Day Fourteen (cont.) part 7


NE Acro Contest ...Oliver Spatscheck

Last weekend I finished my 3rd acro contest (2nd sportsman contest) and I am still somewhat disappointed that there are no other RVs around in the North/East. Only one I saw was Ron last year at Mason Dixon which is really the southern part of the North/East.

Anybody out there?

Next contest I will go to is Keene Fall Classic


I haven't been there but that seems like the perfect contest for somebody to get started. Only one day long, only primary and sportsman offered.

So you don't have to worry about the 3 overnights. Taking vacation on Friday etc... .

Anybody up for it? I am at N40 if you want to chat.


Reno '17 ...Ross Farnham

With Reno fast approaching, I'm looking forward to meeting many VAF members and others there on Saturday and Sunday. I'll be hanging around the Sport Class pits near Andy Findlay's orange Stihl Lancair (Race 30) a lot. Look for the guy with the SDS T shirt and feel free to tap me on the shoulder.

There will be some new entries in Sport Class which is good to see.

Should be a great time!


Petit Jean '17 Status Report ...Bill Schlatterer

Hard to believe it but it's Petit Jean time again. The leaves will be turning, the air will be brisk, and the trails will be perfect This year the Gathering is on for Nov. 3, 4, & 5 and the Petit Jean RV'ator group(s) are planning on making this years RV Gathering one of the very best! Always big thanks to the Rockefeller Conference Center and Arkansas State Parks & Tourism. Couldn't do it without them. :--) Lots of news so don't expect short

Last years event started with 300 OVC and ended with maybe the most successful and satisfying Gathering ever! When the OVC lifted on Saturday, we had 71 airplanes arrive between 11:30 and 1:30. ATC said we were the busiest airport in Arkansas .... for a day.  ...



September 1, 2017.   Issue No. 4,386.
  Several links dedicated to helping victims of Hurricane Harvey can be found HERE.

RV-10 First Flight Report ...Fredrik in Stockholm, Sweden

I finally made the first flight on the 27:th of August. This is the first 10 built in Sweden and it was also the first time I ever flown in a RV-10. It handled beautifully with no surprises.

Building started in January 2014 and it took 3.5 years or 2225 hours to finish.

About SE-XTE: Engine - Lycoming 540 with electronic fuel injection and ignition from flyefii.com
Propeller - Hartzell two bladed constant speed.
Instruments - Dual Garmin G3X, GTN 650, Garmin autopilot from SteinAir who also did panel engraving.
Interior - All Aerosport Products except for home made overhead console.  continue


Harvey Relief Flights ...smokyray

For those of you interested in Operation Air Drop, here is the gouge:

If you plan on being a part of Operation Air Drop (link) and file IFR into KCXO…the TFR should not be a problem. If you want to enter VFR (via Flight following), you will need to call the FAA and receive a squawk code (same code used for departure).

Call 512-782-5447 and tell them you will be delivering supplies (baby formula, diapers, sleeping bags, toiletries) into KCXO and need a squawk code to enter the TFR. They should provide the code. Be sure and call before you depart. It is important to squawk the code upon departing the TFR as well and then release your code once clear of the TFR so others can get a code. ATC should accommodate you.

Thanks for caring...


Day Thirteen ...Scott Chastain RV-8

It was dark outside when I got up around 5:45 the next morning in Immokalee. I stuffed the bag into its sack and brought my gear out to the plane to pack up. I found a bright green tree frog enjoying itself on the vertical stabilizer. Condensation covered the plane and the air felt like something you could almost swim in. Before I cranked over, I pushed the Dove over to the pumps to top off. 

Day Thirteen (cont.)

Day Thirteen (cont.)

Day Thirteen (cont.)


ADS-B Rebate Flight Success (I think) ...Ed Wischmeyer

When I bought my RV-9A, it had a primitive UAT out transmitter, the kind that, if I recall correctly, had a non-approved GPS position source, the aircraft N# code (in hexadecimal) and transponder code had to be set before each flight with a cell phone app, and no barometric altimetry. I flew with that a while, but it got 86ed when I did the big panel rework.

So along comes the rebate program, and the first step of the web application was rejected because my plane was previously ADS-B equipped. I wrote to adsbrebatehelp.gov and explained the situation. They saw no evidence of any earlier flights with ADS-B so we’re good to go.

Then that evening, they wanted make and model of the removed equipment. No problem, as fortunately, I found a photo of the data plate of the removed unit with the serial number written in magic marker. That was satisfactory, we’re good to go.

I also asked what I needed to do on the acceptance flight, and they referred me to a web page that said what airspace I needed to fly in, and for at least 30 minutes, but nothing more specific. That web page referenced AC 20-165B, which calls for an hour long flight, but not as restrictive in the airspace. I called AOPA, and they said two 360s each direction, plus flying over a fixed point N/S and E/W. OK, can do, we’re good to go.  continue


Dry board on Audrey's First Day Teaching

[ed. Off topic, but a LOT of donations went into filling this kid's brain with this, so call it proof your donations were spent well <g>  v/r,dr]
As you might already know, our daughter Audrey is required to teach as well as take classes at Berkeley while she gets her PhD in Chemical Biology.  She sent us a picture of the dry board of day one.  I understood only her name....

click to enlarge


Advice on Older RV Avionics Full Upgrade ...ansonfogel in Salt Lake

Oh Wise Wizards of the VAF - I am a recent buyer of Tom Whelen's 1994 built RV4, a wonderful machine, well maintained, low hour, impeccably built - in 1994. All steam, barely useful GPS, etc - and showing signs of wear on the various electrical systems. So. I've been obsessively researching (I am an engineer by training, so get ready for a nerdy post):

I am fairly settled, and have quotes from Stein, for a single 10" G3X based EFIS and mostly garmin parts including full ADSB in/out, etc. My mission is VFR only, but I do fly often cross country for work and personal travel. I fly in mountains a lot - based in Utah, fly over CO Rockies at lot, etc. Space inside is a big limiting factor in RV4's, and I'd love to delete the lower between legs stack altogether. I fly by myself 75% of the time, with a passenger 25%. I do light aerobatics but no competition - I mostly fly to and from places in the west, XC. I cruise often at 12-14K feet, and my airfields are mostly at least 4K feet ASL.

Plan to is install all electric, no more steam. Garmin G3x, w/XM (like the better resolution and reliability over ADSB only), engine monitor, GPS20 adsb complaint GPS, heated pitot/AOA replace, Garmin pitch and roll servos using on board G3X controls (only, plane has no autopilot or electric trim now), GTR20 remote com, integrate existing King Com as Com2, Garmin GTR45 ADBS source/out/transcvr, and G5 backup instrument with its own battery. Update/move analog switching, alternator, battery - but keep those analog breakers and switches, no solid state new control box for that (?) in a new panel.

My debates are a few:  continue


Panel Status Pics ...YvesCH in Basel, Switzerland

I am also installing a G3X in the back seat but I cut out some space for the knees to slide in.


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