Wheel Fairings, Headrest Monitors, Fairing Tests, and Panel
Here's a compilation of what's been going on with the
project for the past 3 weeks. The flying has been great!
The wheel fairings are turning out to be the
part of the building so far. I'd rather build a set of doors
do another set of wheel fairings...so that should give some builders an
idea of what not to look forward to. There's a lot of
measuring, trimming, and fitting involved and the alignment is more
critical than you'd think. The fiberglass quality, although
too awful bad, will be surprisingly FULL of pinholes. I just
picked mine up from painting today and they still had some pinholes,
even after maybe 12 hours of filling and sanding. As for
aligning, initially I thought that since I didn't have a plumb-bob at
the hanger that I'd try to just measure from the tip and tail of the
wheel fairings to the centerline on the belly of the plane.
out that this will give you fairings that are toed out, I believe.
After drilling my 4 inside holes and getting them fitted, I
to a step where I just NEEDED a plumb bob, for the leg fairings, so I
send my errand girl (the wife) out for one. Well, after
how the alignment turned out on the wheel fairings, it was apparent
that mine were toed out an equal amount. I considered leaving
them, since they were equal, and it was maybe 3/8" or so toed, but then
decided I should try for a higher standard. I re-aligned them
used a dremel to oblong and move the holes to the proper location for
what was not too far from perfect alignment. It's VERY hard
get a perfect alignment and even a perfect plumb-bob reference mark set
made, but I think I was very close. Then I filled those old
with Epoxy and Colloidal silica and redrilled and countersunk them in
the new location. After bolting them on for the test flight,
were within 1/8" or so for the most part on the tip to tail parallel
measurement. Maybe one side was closer to 1/4".
said though, they're VERY hard to get perfect. The nosewheel
the easiest one of them to do.
Then I flew it with them on. It absolutely makes a large
difference in speed. I haven't gone out for a full, "let it
accelerate to top speed", "balls to the wall" speed test, but I was
easily pushing into the mid 175 KTS indicated with the whole family
onboard. I also found that if you're going to cruise at
speeds, you'll probably have better luck getting to speed if you push
the power in WAY high and get the thing accelerated well, and then back
off the power to cruise and actually slow it down. I think
common for planes to have a "hump" to clear, where you can try to
slowly accelerate but it takes increasingly higher power to accelerate
to the next speed level, but to maintain it after being at a high speed
isn't as tough. Even in my old plane, I had the habit of
to my assigned altitude +100', then trim it out, and then dive it to
the assigned altitude and tweak the trim, and this seemed to make it
much quicker to getting to cruise speed. I'll have to try it
ways in the -10, but it appears this will be helpful.
Anyway, with the fairings off, I was very much in trim, both rudder and
aileron. The ball was maybe just swung enough to the right to
touch the line, and resting your foot on the rudder corrected it.
After the fairings, the ball was 2/3 out the right side.
then added a 4" trim block to the tail, and brough it in to maybe 1/2
out or so, but it still isn't perfect. I called Gus and he
advised that I should just add more trim block, which I think is
reasonable. You can tweak the wheel fairings, but the main
fairings are not going to have a huge effect as they're very close to
the center of pressure for the plane, so moving them one way or the
other won't change things a ton. He said the gear leg
may do more for me than anything else. So, I'll proabably go
and re-tweak the leg fairings a bit this summer. For now,
see me at Sun-N-Fun with a trim block on the rudder, or perhaps even
adding rudder trim someday.
I'll have painted photos soon.
Update 3/23/2006 - Painted and Installed!
Here are some quick photos of some headrest monitor
pouches Abby made. The monitors are NESA
Vision NRM-7002 7" Wide Screen monitors, and I got them from SonicElectronix.
I can't recommend the monitors over any others on this page,
these are the only ones I've used, and I can't recommend them as a
vendor over any other, but they did a great job with my order.
got these for their lower resolution, as I plan to use them with VCD
format MPEG-1 video, using both an Iomega
Screenplay, and a Creative
The Iomega is kind of cheaper feeling in qualtiy, and has no
built-in batteries or screen, but it's lower cost and has a 60Gb drive.
The Creative Zen Vision is an amazing piece of hardware with
built in batteries and screen and you can even import CF memory from
your camera and view pictures on it. They both also play
and MP3's. The Zen Vision only has a 30Gb drive, and the
part is it REQUIRES windows XP. This really made me mad at
time, but considering it has a built in screen, the Zen vision will
provide entertainment for the people in the front, and the iomega will
be for the kids in the back with these monitors.
I think if you plan to mount monitors IN your seats, you'll need to
either use small ones on the top headrest, or regular ones but not have
a tall pocket on the seatback and mount them lower. I opted
something portable, so I can use it in the car too. Abby did
great job building these for me, as I wanted something that could also
be easily held in a lap and padded.
Flights and Misc
Here are some shots of the test day for the wheel
It does make the plane look a lot better, even with the green
fiberglass. They're now painted and will be going on before
weekend, so it will look even better soon.
I took these photos one day trying to get some good ones,
the weather and everything else didn't cooperate well with me, as I was
in a time crunch. There are a lot of boring pictures here,
took some so you real interested panel people can dig in and look at
them. In many of them, I'm flying down the approach to a
in a couple of them I'm navigating near a tall radio tower that is
shown on screen and the system is calling out "Obstruction".
finding that the obstruction, stall, terrain, and engine warnings
provided by the Chelton are very helpful in letting you know about
things as you keep your head outside the cockpit, or focused on the
instruments as you need to be at times. Other than that,
nothing special about the photos. The approaches weren't
and flown in their entierty, so you may see some things on screen that
don't make 100% sense. Some day I'll take some better ones
the stars are aligned properly.
As for recent panel events, you probably read previously that I
successfully got GTX330 traffic displayed on the Cheltons and GNS480.
This works fantastic, and after you see it you won't want to
back to not having traffic. Recently though I took a night
flight and activated my WSI signal. Unfortunately, there
any extreme weather ANYWHERE in the US that night, so I didn't get to
see any pretty pictures, but I did get to at least see that it does
it's datalink. I also thought it was pretty cool when I
some buttons for local airports on the Chelton looking for airport
info, and it displayed the current winds and altimeter info.
need to look again, but I think it'll also display if the field is VFR
or IFR. Again though, there wasn't enough bad weather to tell.
On the weather news-front, I have the AV100 WSI system. You
have heard that WSI is merging somehow with Sirius radio. (I
don't know the details of the merger) Apparently they are
to convert the WSI system to run on the the Sirius system and it will
require a new receiver, the AV300 in my case. Also a new
The cool part is, if you have new hardware in 2006, or
unit for it's inital activation in 2006, they'll send you a free
antenna and receiver, so I'll qualify for that upgrade. It's
to know that vendors won't leave you in the cold every time.
hear the MSRP for the new receiver is in the $5,000 range, and owners
of old systems that don't qualify will be able to upgrade for something
in the neighborhood of $1,500, but that will include some free time and
things like that. So anyway, check in the future with WSI for
For anyone interested in WSI, I did find an entire AV100 system for
sale at a local airport on the board, at KLVN. It was
like $1,600, which isn't a bad deal. You may want to see if
been activated or not, because if not, it could be a very cheap way
into an AV300 this year. If it has, you'd be buying a
and activating a plan, but still get a discount on the AV300, so it
still may pay off. If you're thinking of WSI, it may be worth
legwork to investigate. Contact the FBO there to see if it's
Oh, and the SV-10 system.
Here's what I know...
They have 40 units reserved for introductory pricing which will be in
the neighborhood of $26,000 for a dual-screen system. It's
same hardware, but comes with a wiring harness custom fit for the
RV-10...assuming you want to mount the GADAHRS under the panel
somewhere, and put the magnetometer in the wing. It also
with with their new GADAHRS, so no Crossbow issue, and a better antenna
than I got...a nice Comant. I think it also comes with some
logging software for viewing your log files, but I'm not sure about
that. I do know that the price will go up after they sell
initial units, and last year's special only lasted a couple months.
I haven't heard about anything in the OSH timeframe yet.
Contact Josh at D2AV
for more details.
There's also a .pdf HERE.