Tim's Unofficial RV-10 FAQ
FAQ was put together to answer some of the more
common questions I get. Hopefully you will find
it useful as you
investigate the construction of your own RV-10. Keep
in mind when you
read it that these are my opinions and experiences
only, and if you ask
other builders the same questions, they may have very
How fast does it go,
how fast does it climb?
What is the RV-10's
approximate service ceiling?
How much fuel does
hold, and what is the the RV-10's range?
I've heard it's
short or grass fields, is that true?
Can the RV-10 haul
adults? How is the back seat leg room?
I've heard the RV-10
Nose Heavy, is this true?
Build it light, right? And what
the gross Weight?
How much does it cost to
How well does the
heat work...my wife gets cold?
What engines can I put in it?
How smooth is the engine
Does the RV-10 need
electric rudder trim?
Does the RV-10 need a
How stable is the
for IFR Flight?
What about the
elevator trim speed...I've heard it's fast?
What are the
weaknesses in construction?
What mods are
for the RV-10?
I've heard there's
problem with tunnel heat, is this true?
How about CHT's, Oil,
inter-cowl temps....is it too hot?
How long does it
to build an RV-10?
What is the
point in building the RV-10...it's taking me soooo loooong?
Should I use a Throttle Quadrant or Push-Pull Cables?
How well do
and Com antennas work?
If you were doing it
over, what would you do differently?
How Noisy is it
inside the RV-10?
After I'm flying, what should I do
How fast does it go, and how fast
RV-10 has an approximate top speed of about 183-185kts if you
with a a standard 260Hp IO-540. Refer to Van's
for their official specs, but what is listed here
might be a fair guide too. You can expect to cruise x/c
between 160 and 170kts. Climb while solo is about
and climb with 2 front seaters should easily make 1700fpm.
up full, you may see an anemic reduced climb of only
1500-1600fpm on a
warm day. Even up at 10,000' MSL, your climb will likely
900-1000fpm. In short, yeah, it is plenty fast.
What is the RV-10's approximate
I believe there is
some literiture out there that shows the
service ceiling as somewhere around 22,000'. This is
very close to it's actual service ceiling. There has
least one RV-10 taken to over 21,000'. You will no
climb performance at those altitudes though. Most
flights will be very comfortable between 8,000 and 17,000'.
How much fuel does it hold, and what
the RV-10's range?
The RV-10 holds a
little over 30 gallons per side if you fill it
full, giving you a round-number-fill of 60 gallons.
aux. fuel tanks available for the RV-10 if 60 won't do it,
builders have done other more extensive mods, although these
factory approved. The RV-10 has a very reasonable and
terribly tough to attain range of near over 1000nm depending
power settings. I'm a LOP (Lean of Peak EGT) x/c
flier, and I can
easily see a range of 800-1000nm with legs of over 5 hours
if I manage
power properly. Fuel flows at altitudes over 10,000
from 7-10gph running LOP, at cruise speeds of 160-165kts
you fly ROP, you will find fuel flows of 10-14gph on most
with a more limited leg time of about 3.5 - 4 hours when you
good reserve. At these power settings you're more
likely to see
170kts TAS. Choose your flying style to fit your
I've heard it's great on short or
fields, is that true?
So far it's been a
very good plane on shorter grass strips.
Van's specs claim takeoff and landing distances of
You really can't use these as practical values though
trying to decide if you can shoehorn your RV-10 into your
strip. A practiced and competent pilot should be able
out of strips as short as 1200' depending on obstructions.
the RV-10 can be landed and stopped conservatively in 1000'
much effort for a moderately skilled pilot. Give the
and you'll likely have no issues, but more is better when it
runways. It does handle well on grass, and the nose
gear leg is a
bit sturdier than its smaller brothers, although care should
taken to land with the nosegear off the ground and set it
gently as possible.
Can the RV-10 haul 4 adults?
the back seat leg room?
Oh for sure...the
RV-10 does a great job hauling people.
The front seats are very near CG, so you can put two
fat people in front without phasing the RV-10. Stuff a
pals in the back and you're probably fine in most equipped
Throw a pile of baggage in and you may have to start
pretty close, depending on your airplane's configuration and
passenger load. The baggage area is rated officially
although in practice it seems that unless you're hauling
heavy items, it will basically hold whatever it takes to
fill it up.
Always verify your loads before you fly, for safety's
I've heard the RV-10 is Nose Heavy,
flown in very modestly equipped RV-10's with Hartzell metal
and minimal accessories and interior, and then there's
mine...equipped with the same engine and prop, but with aux
full interiors, and things like that. In an airplane
as "normal" noseheavy as it gets, with a fairly forward CG,
you can get
to the point where you may just run out of nose-up trim
approach. In my own personal aircraft though, with
it's added aux
batteries and heavier main battery, I have no such problem.
mine, I have full trim authority for all phases of flight,
and do not
notice it being at all nose heavy. At the same time, I
a very adequate C.G. range that allows for quite a bit of
baggage. So no, depending on your equipment, you may
or may not
notice any nose heaviness. Even the more forward CG
are very comfortable to fly and pose no real issue.
first flights, it would be advisable for a pilot to fly with
50lbs of lead shot in the baggage area, and as the fly-off
progresses, remove some lead in a couple of stages.
allow you to see the effects of tail weight, and get some
flaring during your initial flights. Once you become
to your RV-10, you will find in most cases that although you
flying with the weight there, it's not at all required.
of my flights, I leave my tie-down kit in the tail, which
may help a
little, but certainly it does not need any added ballast.
builders justify composite props based on how it's going to
the RV-10's nose heaviness". I can't disagree with
theory, as depending on their aircraft, they may have that
But, if you do opt for a lighter engine and prop, be
while the RV-10 is very hard to load out of forward CG, it's
that tough to load it out of aft CG. It may be that if
with a light prop, you need to be much more cautious with
accessories such as aux batteries, A/C systems, or other
it light, right?
This one will probably get me crucified by the purists.
all for keeping down unnecessary weight, I'm also all for
function. I enjoy a quiet, comfortable interior, and
gadgets and good well-grounded wire runs. I didn't try
every ounce as some builders do. I've found the
difference, being on the heavier half of the flying RV-10's
noticible, and I wouldn't trade my comfort for the bragging
the low weight numbers. The RV-10 will still do most
want it to do, even with a little junk in it's trunk.
Try to be
weight conscious, but you don't have to overdo it, that's my
In addition, added weight gives a smoother ride in
and actually increases maneuvering speed. As for the
Weight, you'll find that most RV-10's empty weight will come
out in the
1600-1700lb range when completed with interiors and paint.
are even a few pushing 1725-1750lbs. Van's recommended
the RV-10 is 2700lbs, and although you are able to specify
your own gross wt. and some people have done 2800lbs or even
2850 or possibly more, Van's does not recommend that at all,
did the engineering to set the weight themselves. So
load on most RV-10's will be 950-1150lbs, with most of them
1000. Extreme care needs to be excercised from
deviating from the
gross wt. and this decision should not be taken lightly.
even if from a weight perspective you were fine, if you
loaded to a higher-than-2700-gross weight, you would also
be nearing some out-of-CG range. So know your plane
Weight and Balance and CG range, and flight test accordingly
How much does it cost to build?
isn't that the million-dollar question? A wise man
named Scott Lewis once said "When working out how much a
is going to cost, write down how much you think, then double
it . . .
. then throw the paper in the bin and just keep spending
until its finished!!" That's probably some good advice.
The RV-10 will be a tough plane to even think of building for
$100K. Some builders will manage to spend double that
The average will probably fall right about in the
It's not only in how you equip it, but when you bought
Prices on engines have taken great leaps upwards.
have gotten more expensive, as has the kit price itself over
few years. What was a $150,000 plane 2 years ago may be
$160,000 plane this year. My advice is to budget for at
$150,000 and if you can do it for less, great. If you
to do it for $150K, you can probably also afford to do it for
at least from a relative standpoint it's still do-able. Some
cost conscious builders will try to come in well under $150K.
This is great, but you will end up more likely having a
plane, or minimal trimmings once you get down in the $130K or
range. The single biggest favor you can do yourself if
truly tight on a budget is to build as much of the plane as
you can on
your own. Skip the Quickbuild options, take the time to
your own plane, and wire your own panel. You ARE building for
"recreation, education, and enjoyment", aren't you? If so, why
yourself the chance to learn these new skills, and have a
on your aircraft's workings.
How well does the cabin heat
If there is one thing
you can tell your wife that will convince
her that the RV-10 is for her, it's that the heater works
well in the
winter. The standard Lycoming equipped RV-10 with a
system will very easily and very smoothly heat the plane on
coldest days. The heat controls are front/rear
there is plenty of heat to warm the cabin. Even on 10
days, I fly without any jacket most of the time, and still
the heat on it's highest settings. At temps below zero
still be easy to heat the cabin to a very comfortable
What engines can I put in it?
recommends the 260Hp IO-540, which is perfect for
this plane. They also built a continental equipped
210Hp that also performed well. So pick an engine
between 210 and
260Hp and you should be fine. Any more than 260 is not
approved. 260Hp gives plenty of power for the RV-10,
turbocharging or turbonormalizing it gives plenty of safe
at altitude. Throw on a turbo and you may run into Vne
issues at altitude. You'll also want to avoid any
are too heavy or too light, for proper CG. Another
thing to keep
in mind is that an IO-540, while typically a 15gph type
easily be leaned and throttled back to provide very
operation that will rival what a 4-cylinder engine would do
in the same
airframe...yet you still get the benefit of power when you
need it and
the ability to climb well on hot days. My advice is to stick
tried and true. As for alternatives, there are the
and Mazda alternatives available, but as of this writing
there are none
flying, and they're for the very true "experimenters", as
proven itself in aircraft as much as the standard air-cooled
engine. That's not to say they won't be great, but
for everyone, and choosing one of them will likely increase
construction time and complexity.
How smooth is the engine (IO-540)?
often hear how builders choose 3-blade and
4-blade props, or automotive conversions just for their
What needs to be mentioned though is that the IO-540
is a much
smoother engine than the typical 4-cylinder aircraft engine
they may be
comparing their experience to. With a dynamically
Hartzell C/S Prop and an IO-540, I constantly get comments
passengers as to how smooth the combination is. The
prop is also very smooth, and it looks very pretty.
But, it also
has a totally different, and higher pitched buzz to it than
pitched thumps of the Hartzell. Smoother, well,
More comfortable? Well, that's personal preference.
very surprised to find when I flew behind both on the same
day that I
prefer the sound of the Hartzell...and that's no sour
engine is just very smooth, and no matter which prop you
will likely be very happy, especially if you take the time
dynamically balance your prop, which balances the entire
of your engine.
Does the RV-10 need electric rudder
This is another tough
recently added rudder trim using a Ray Allen servo
and the other associated parts. I flew over 285 hours
trim, and although it flew just fine with minimal foot
pressure on the
right rudder (I had a trim wedge taped onto the rudder that
for most of the trim in a 165kt cruise speed), a trim wedge
good for one airspeed. Therefore, I spent a lot of time with
slight pressure on the rudder pedal, and my leg got tired
we often fly greater than 4 hour legs. My suggestion is to
add it as a
definite option, or if you're unsure, at least run the wires
rudder and through the tailcone for it so when you realize
you want it,
that it's not as big of a job. In addition, save panel
a switch. I would, however, suggest installing it
it after it's painted will be ok, but not as perfect
unless you paint the rivet heads perfectly.
was too much in a fast
so I have to add left rudder on descent, right rudder in
minimal right rudder in cruise. Rudder trim can also
system's dual speed control that I consider to be great
equipment for the elevator.
Does the RV-10 need a Yaw Dampner?
Another tough question. "Need" is the wrong word.
flown over 200 hours without, and there's really no way that I
bother to add one. I have had some tail wag in
only in lots of turbulence. There are those, however,
used Yaw Dampners in the past (not me), who may feel that the
turbulence would be improved. I won't bother to try to
them, but my personal opinion is that not only is it not a
you'd probably be wasting your money that could be better
other things...unless you have millions.
How stable is the RV-10 for IFR
Oh man, this is a
question with a great answer... The
RV-10 is fantastically stable for IFR flight. It
with a Beech Bonanza or my old plane the Sundowner.
responsive, yet stable as can be. The stick forces in
very firm at high speeds, which I feel is great. It
rides straight and true, and you can't just bump the stick
accidently-commanded roll. The forces in pitch are
light....just heavy enough, in fact. It makes it a joy
the most weak-armed pilot to hold back pressure in steep
You do want to brief your flying passengers or
co-pilot on the
pitch sensitivity to prevent them from yanking hard on the
It's a strong airplane that won't surprise you much,
don't want to have a person use too much control the first
pull on the elevator. Once you've felt it though, it's
the airplane feels and you won't have any issue. Remember
back to when
you started flying and you were all over the skies up and
planes felt so sensitive. The RV-10 isn't like that,
but a pilot
who's perhaps used to a heavy pitch airplane like the 182
may need a
head's up that this plane is NOT like that.
What about the elevator trim
heard it's fast?
Again, here's one with a very complicated answer. Yes,
The RV-10's standard elevator trim works pretty well much of
With most RV-10's
you'll probably have full pitch trim authority on the elevator
amount of elevator required. (i.e. you can trim off all stick
for any phase of flight) During the
landing or low-speed phase, I'd say that the trim system is
right". It's basically perfect, and won't get you in
During high-speed flight though, say anything over about
and you've got an awful lot of speed to the elevator
that I see it as a safety issue. Once
you hit 140kts IAS, you're looking at some very big
consequences if you
accidently hold the trim switch too long. As it happened
during my fly-off, I had a binder on my lap that depressed the
gave nose-up trim. Within 1 second of trim application,
airplane will pitch up very sharply and will need a LOT of
to overcome the trim. It is FAST, very fast, and I've measured
into the 2+ G's that will happen if you hold the trim for a
second. That's why in my plane I
do have a switch on the panel that will disable the trim
the co-pilot stick, when I want to take passengers like kids
There's just too much speed to the trim, and I don't
want to only
have 1 second to react to a sudden change.
Herein steps the aftermarket mod companies. Recently, I
found one that I really like, the "Safety-Trim"
system that I'll describe in a couple paragraphs. There
another one that I considered for
a while that uses pulse modulation to control the trim
motor speed. This I thoguht was pretty good. What
though, is to bring
the trim speed down to 50% for the first 1/2 second of
During the next 1/2 second, it begins to ramp up and at
of a total of 1 second of trim application, you'll be applying
full-speed trim. My first impression was that this would
After thinking about it for a while though, I decided
install it. The problem is, during the landing phase, I
like the trim speed to be 100%, ALL THE TIME. I really
fast trim setting when under 120kts, and I don't want to wait
second before I get full speed trim. In addition, it
override switch in the panel, in case it's microprocessor runs
you. Yes, it runs a real microsprocessor, and because
there is a
"program" running, the makers require a disconnect switch on
panel. That doesn't give me warm fuzzies. Then the last
that in the example of the notebook binder laying on the
switch, sure, now it wouldn't run away so fast, but still
second of something pushing that switch, you're going to be
moving out of trim and out of control. An additional negative
turned out to be the use of pulse modulation in the design.
over with a design engineer, he warned that one of the catches
control would be that you're inducing a noisy pulsing power
your electrical system that you really don't need.
Another system is out there uses an airspeed switch to control
system. This seems much nicer in that now you have 2
and they change based on your airspeed. Much more
appropriate. The catch is, airspeed sensing switches can
pretty touchy and you have to buy one for the range that you
switch at, and hopefully it'll stay set to that speed setting.
need to be careful when a system changes trim speed by just
the voltage to the trim
motor. This means that the motor can stall out on
That's why the pulse-modulation at first glance seemed to be a
to reduce the speed...but the noise negates that benefit. A
adjusted voltage setting works well on the RV-10 though for
So what did I do? I installed the "Safety-Trim"
system, finally, at 285 hours of flight time. It looks to be
system for the RV-10. I actually had the opportunity to talk
person who developed it, Bob Newman from tcwtech.com, before it
released, and get some insight into his operational concepts,
found them very much in sync with what I had hoped to have in
system. His system includes some real safety benefits for the
such as dual-speed capabilities, a runaway trim prevention
reversing selector, and a panel-mounted trim disable switch.
installing it and testing it, I'm convinced that it will be a
addition to safety for any RV-10, or other aircraft if you're
not a -10
Safety-Trim write-up for more info.
You can install
nothing for an aftermarket trim speed system and I think
the plane, but do be careful of
inadvertent trim application.
What are the airplane's weaknesses in
Well, there's a couple of weaknesses. Overall it's a
plane, but here are things that could use improvement.
Doors - The doors could be better designed, including
to meet some state's lock requirements, and they could be a
tougher. While for the most part they work ok, they
tend to pull
in better on the front than the back, and unless you add a
pull on the back side, it can be hard to get both the front
latch pin to go in without the properly angled pull on the
Also, if the rear pin doesn't make it far enough over,
poke out and chip your fuselage paint, which by the way
would be nice
if they'd make a striker plate that would prevent this
you don't get the rear pin in when you latch the door, you
very likely find yourself door-less once you get off the
So, they added a door-latch warning system. So
the doors could be improved a bit, but it's nothing too
Air vents - The front NACA vents for the front seat
passenger could be
better placed. As it is, it's tough to get ideally
ventilation from them. Overhead vents would be nice,
and can be
added by adding an overhead console. So that is a nice
recommendation. It also would fix my next weakness....
Overhead Wiring - It could be easier to mount overhead
antennas in the cabin top, vents, and wiring/lights.
In the RV-10
some of this can be done, but not nearly as easily as it
would be if
you add an overhead console. Luckily they're
available, and if
they would have been there when I was doing my cabin, I
definitely added one.
What mods are available for the
There are getting to
be more and more. There are overhead
consoles, center consoles, fiberglass panels, stronger axle
numerous replacement parts of better design by
rivethead-areo, the Sam
James Cowl and plenum, the Forsling exhaust system,
pedals and more. That's the beauty of a
dabble in the mods and make it the way you want it. Be aware
mods may increase your build time, or expense, so look
things before you jump.
I've heard there's a problem with
heat, is this true?
Personally I'm not
convinced that there are any major
issues with tunnel heat. That's not to say that heat
to be an issue you want to deal with....it is. There
simple things you can do that will lower the temps you see
tunnel. To see a previous write-up I did on this, just
Why is tunnel heat an issue? Well, if you heat
your fuel lines run through that tunnel and any added heat
decrease your margin of temperature before your fuel
vaporizes in the
lines, causing vapor lock. There is at least one case
suspected vapor lock ending in an off-airport landing in and
what I understand (this is unverified). So that just
want a tunnel that's as cool as possible, which isn't always
the exhaust so close, and with the cabin heat constantly
through the SCAT tubes at those cabin heat control boxes on
firewall. But with a little extra work, you shouldn't
problems that cause you any issues. See this
for some solutions. This year during annual inspection
I also did
one more step that seems to have further decreased the
wrapped my SCAT ducts in the tunnel with double-sided silver
centered insulation like I used on my firewall. This
keep the heater duct heat IN the ducts, and keep it from
the tunnel. I insulated them back to the wing spar.
bit of diligence helps, but with just a few simple steps, I
but think that this isn't one of those alarming major
How about CHT's, Oil, and inter-cowl
temps....is it too hot?
Well here again, there's been a lot of discussion about the
on the RV-10 CHT, and some people have resorted to louvres
to "fix" the
heat problem. See this
for more info. The problem is, I personally believe
builders have just put too much faith in themselves and
taken an easy
way out that will mask the underlying problems. They
may not like
to hear it, but hey, I was in that boat. I thought I
did a great
job. I would have sworn by it.....until I found out that I
done better. Here's
Basically, it's easy to make a couple of improvements in
take care of most any heat related issues that you may have,
for most builders. If you live in the desert, not just
occasionally, then perhaps you may want to do more, but here
is the way
I see it:
Originally I could be flying in 10 degree F weather and on
could hit 410degrees F or more on CHT within a couple
thousand feet of
climb. So yeah, I was worried. Then, some people
the redline on CHT's was much higher, and not to sweat it.
that didn't fully ease my mind. But, after doing some
work, linked to above, I now find that even in the summer
when it's 90F
out, I'd still have a very hard time hitting 400F on my
climb. So did I improve things? Well, without a
doubt I can
say I did. I did this by a fix to the cowls air ramps,
sealing of holes, by filing out the slag from the fins on
the very top
of my cylinder heads that restricted cooling flow, and from
tweaks with RTV to improve cooling. In addition, I
have done a
pretty good job on my baffling. I'm using a standard
cowl, by the
way, with no plenum. So with all that done, I now see
or more lower temps, and that's more than just a slight
what I had thought was a plenty adequate job. So, if
builder with high CHT's in climb, I'd encourage you to drop
and start looking for the root causes before you hack in a
louvres and band-aid the problem. There may indeed be
where louvres are a good thing, depending on your location.
myself will try to do some flights on the hottest of days
when it's 100F or more, and see if there is any more I want
to do, but
on flights in the 90-95F range, I haven't seen that I have
issues that really need addressing.
In addition, I'm up here in the norther areas. In the
oil temps struggle to stay in the 165-185 range. In
they struggle to hit 185-190. You really want to get
near that 185F mark to burn off moisture in your oil.
So if I
added louvres, I may also have to add an adjustable control
to my oil
filter to allow my oil temps to remain high. I currently
would have a
very hard time getting oil temps to rise above 205,
regardless of how
hard I climb.
One additional note: If you're climbing at high
if you climb on a hot day and seem to have higher CHT's,
step should be to drop the nose, pick up 10-20kts, and see
goes. You can adjust your flying style a tad in hot
head off some problems as well, even without mods. The
improvement that I have done on this
are well worth it for any builder.
Oh, and before I skip to the next question...what about the
and Plenum? I think that's probably an excellent
should work well for many builders who want to opt for that
Hopefully it'll give the estimated speed improvements,
it didn't, it might have a hard time justifying the cost.
is a great looking system and the cowl quality of finishing
better than Van's from what I've heard, so really, if it
trigger, even without the numbers being in as of this
writing, it's not
a bad decision. Just don't think of it as a panacea
issues, because really those won't exist if a builder is
How long does it take to build an
I have a question back. Let's say you were fishing.
cast your line, over and over. How long will it take
you to catch
So now you get the idea of what you're asking....it just
That said, I built it in a hair over 24 months, and that was
with a QB
Fuselage only. Had I had to build the fuselage
add another 3 months or 4 months. It took me 1700
hours to get
it flying, and to finish the wheel fairings it was about
hours. I built slowly for the first 3/4 of the build,
out nearly 1000 hours in the last 1/2 year. The
increases once your airframe is done. Most builders
will find it
takes them 2-4 years to complete the RV-10. If you
don't have a
day job, you could maybe do it in 1-2 years. If you
have lots of
help, faster. I know one group of 2 or 3 builders that
1/2 done in 4 months or so. Amazing.
What's the half-way point in building
RV-10...it's taking me soooo loooong?
is kind of a guesstimate of an answer based on my experience
with a QB
fuse only, so your mileage may vary a bit. What I
consider to be
the 1/2 way point is at first glance to many builders a bit
surprise. I figure it's getting close to the end of
airframe construction, at about the time you're putting your
in the airplane. Of course, some people leave the
extra long for better access, but if you do it at the normal
that's about 1/2 way. Most first-time builders,
don't really have a concept of just how many wrap-up details
at the end. During the last couple months, I kept a
list, and for
ever item I completed, I seemed to add a couple more.
Do keep a
list, so you don't forget anything, but you'll be surprised
at how many
details you will find. Building a plane is not a big
project....it's thousands of tiny projects and steps.
there by crossing them off one at a time.
Should I use a Throttle Quadrant or Push-Pull Cables?
RV's use push-pull cables, with vernier control. The
RV-10 has that as a standard, and an option of a throttle
The push-pulls have the benefit of taking up less space.
The much touted other benefit of verniers is often that
a more precice control of the MP and RPM. I have found
this is a
complete NON-ISSUE with the Van's RV-10 quadrant. In
fact, I had
a MUCH harder time getting exacting RPM's and Manifold
220RV's push-pull controls than using the quadrant. The
is extremely smooth, and can be worked with lots of precision.
some people's opinions, the quadrant looks nicer too (and I'm
the people with that opinion). So if you're up for a
spending, feel comfortable going that route. I
it's a much nicer way to go altogether, and again, you don't
precision with this quadrant. One other note....many
groups will not allow airplanes with push-pull controls....no
exceptions. So if you're thinking of formation flying,
the quadrant and be happy you did. Although you can
mind later and swap them, it wouldn't be a fun job, so just do
way you want to the first time.
How Well do
and Com antennas work?
have 2 belly mounted COM antennas, mounted under the rear seat
area, in what I think was the 2nd bay inward. They both work
excellently and I've been able to communicate over very long
with no problem. My Nav1 is a V-shaped antenna under the
is fairly protected by the tail except for possibly small
may run into it, and it works very very well. My wingtip
Archer Nav, and I've been happy with that too. It works
doesn't receive quite as far as the Nav antenna under the tail.
that the airframe may shadow the wingtip antenna from some
which is why I went with the tail mounted antenna as my #1.
test one day, I got about 100 miles from a VOR and got signal on
SL-30 with the V antenna, but about 80 miles with the Bob Archer
If you were doing it all over, what
you do differently?
know, this question requires some thought. There are some
minor things I would have changed, like adding rudder trim
or using dual defrost fans that are larger, like I have
perhaps finishing my wheel fairings before the plane went to
the airport and I was flying. But that said, the
project as a
whole is extremely satisfying, and for me, especially from
perspective. So there really isn't much that I feel a
to change. I suppose I probably would add a nice
overhead console with tubing to my Oxygen system, and
lighting, but that's hard to do after the fact. Also, this
question gets harder as time goes by,
because the things that you can change easy, you will.
is never actually "finished". Add to that the fact
that the plane
is such a complete joy to fly and own that you quickly
forget about all
the pains of building. So while I may be able to
changes if I sat and talked for a couple hours, there just
isn't a huge
pile of things that pop to mind about what I would do
I'm glad I built it, I'm glad I build it with a QB
fuse, and I'm
glad I did all the rest myself, without farming it all out
It gives a great sense of pride and accomplishment.
is it inside the
since I don't have a sound meter and haven't done any actual
give a number in decibels, all I can say is that usually
people who go
for rides are fairly impresses. Some people will pull
headset off just to check the noise level and they all seem to
a fairly quiet plane. So, I think it must stack up
comparison to the common GA plane. One thing that I have
to add 3/4" foam under the front floors, 1/2" under the middle
and 3/8" under the baggage area. In addition I have a firewall
with a foam/fiber center and silver on both sides that is
the firewall, and also lining the tunnel. I also put foam on
sidewalls except for above the wing roots, since it is so
And, my baggage bulkhead cover has foam that fills the
on the corrugation and I have a baggage bulkhead cover too,
on the canopy top. Combine this with Flightline's
carpeting and it really ought to be one of the more quiet
find. I still highly recommend a good pair of ANR
for your total comfort and enjoyment. I've got a
set of Bose A20 headsets for each of the family members and
really make for an enjoyable x/c flight.
After I'm Flying,
Now what should I do?
So you've reached that awesome
day, and finally taken it into the skies. You've put a few
hours on it. Now what should I do to learn how to use this
thing? Well, I've heard great things about the Advanced Pilot
seminars in Oklahoma, but I've never been to one myself.
But knowing a little about what they teach, I think it would
be highly valuable to attend or buy their online
seminar. You will want to know as much as you can about
how to fly and care for your engine. You probably should
also read "Fly the Engine" by Kas Thomas. But one of the first
things I'd do to my plane is get those fuel injectors
balanced. It doesn't matter which type of lycoming fuel
injection system you have, you can use Airflow Performance's
fuel injector restrictors to fine tune your fuel injectors,
and bring about a real smooth running IO-540 on your
plane. Once you have that, you can fly LOP very easily
and save tons of money on your x/c flights. So that is
definitely something I would not waste much time waiting for!