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Old 11-29-2021, 10:31 AM
Dan 57's Avatar
Dan 57 Dan 57 is online now
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 999

This -6 had the most sensitive elevator control I have felt.
Generally speaking, yes, the -6 (and the -4, and probably the -3) have the most sensitive pitch. And roll. And maybe yaw (for the ones sporting the -8 tail). If it ain't over-sensitive, it permits precise flying, prompt manoeuvring, almost instant think/do reaction. And pure joy

One of the problems is that lot of builders build their panel (or add a sub-panel) much taller than specified on the plans, then load the panel with clocks or glass, and finally once all installed... have to cut the stick short to fit
- ain't the Destination, but the Journey -

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:31 AM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 1,836

Good point Mike. You must have seen this issue (too) many times to prompt you to post it to this forum!

Originally Posted by RV7A Flyer View Post
From the Construction Manual, in the section on building the ailerons:
The bent skins must be straight up to the radius and the radius must be between 3/32” to 1/8”. Match the degree of bend to the full size end view drawings. The upper and lower skin should just touch the spar when placed in position.
It should be noted to not make the TE bend any tighter than the radius measurements above. Minimum sheet metal bend radius allowances assure that stress cracking does not develop in the bend. I came across one elevator that had been over bent & cracked in some places, and had to re-skin the unit.

The manual describes a bending fixture to use during construction. I found this good for the initial bend of the TE, but later after riveting, to finish off with a hand seamer as Mike described. Specifically a vice grip style hand seamer that can be adjusted to gradually pinch in the TE radius to a consistent radius. The other trick I use with the vice grip hand seamer is to lay a towel folded 3 layers thick inside the jaw to protect the seamer from making pinch marks at the ends of the jaw all along the TE.
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built a few RVs, rebuilt a few more, hot rodded more, & maintained/updated a big bunch more

Last edited by Ralph Inkster : 11-29-2021 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:47 AM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 13,084

Many folks don't get the subtlety (or subtle difference) between teh final radius of the trailing edge bend itself, and the “flatness” of the slopes leading up to it - this is the thing that needs to be emphasized in the links that Scott provided. If you lay a straight edge on the surface of the control surface, it should be absolutely straight leading up to where the actual final radius begins - any bulge will make it more sensitive, and any con cavity will make the controls feel very heavy.

I haven;t flown as many different RV’s as Mike (probably no one has!), but I have flown a wide enough variation to have experienced heavy RV-3’s and extremely light RV-8’s - and everything in between. Our RV-3 is the most delightful handling airplane I have ever flown, and I have flown an RV-8 that was so much lighter in roll as to be uncomfortable. Examining the ailerons proved to me the importance of the shape of the surfaces ahead of the final radius.

BTW - our RV-6 (the tail number is N164MS….which gives you a clue to the builder….) is a perfect example of how the RV is supposed to handle.

And Mike - the RV-1, as revolutionary as it was for the day, felt heavier (and a bit slower in roll) than a typical RV-3, more like a -7. At least by the time I got my hands on it!

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:53 AM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Originally Posted by Michael Seager View Post
---I seldom write on this forum---

Michael Seager
Too bad, many of us would gain a lot from your wisdom/knowledge/experience.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 11-29-2021, 11:19 AM
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azrv6 azrv6 is offline
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Fit this up against the aileron every inch along its length and you will quickly see, top and bottom, where the trailing edge needs adjustment. Made from the plans for my RV6.

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Dave Binkley
RV-6, O-360-A1A, C/S
1932 Monocoupe 110, Warner 145 (
Sedona, AZ
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Old 11-29-2021, 11:54 AM
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rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
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Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
Too bad, many of us would gain a lot from your wisdom/knowledge/experience.
I agree, but many would debate what he shares as well (from talking with him in the past, I think that is the reason).
Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
Van's Aircraft Engineering Prototype Shop
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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Old 11-29-2021, 01:27 PM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,794
Default Trailing edge

Several years ago Barnaby Wainfan did an article or maybe a series of articles on trailing edge shapes.
Based on Non RV experience it is possible to go overboard with the crimping and wind up with heavier than desired controls.
On my Wittman Tailwind I have all metal ailerons with just a slight bulge in the skin. The controls are perfect for me. Light stick forces but not excessively light and good centering.
On a Pitts the trailing edge is 1" wide and the ailerons are fabric covered. A bulge in the trailing edge results in zero centering force and when the stick is released the ailerons will move nearly to the stop by themselves. Proof that it's the very aft edge of the aileron that is causing the problem. With fabric covered surfaces the fabric normally bulges outward at cruise speeds or higher.
A square trailing edge 1/2" to 3/4" thick enhances the centering force of the controls and is alleged to be beneficial regarding flutter.
Extra used square trailing edges for a while and then went back to sharp edges.
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Old 11-29-2021, 04:18 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 826

Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
Short enough to clear the standard kit supplied instrument panel is appropriate.
Shortening to clear a custom, deeper, panel would be staring to deviate towards unacceptable.
Thanks for the info. I just measured my Infinity grip after I got home this afternoon. It is 14.5 inches to the top of the grip. It's 13 inches just underneath the button group (the top portion of the hand where the thumb and index finger grip the stick)
RV8 (N38PV): 90% completed (90% to go)
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