DAR Inspection and First Flight!
Total Build Time: 1700 hours
Well the day finally arrived for the DAR's
inspection. The build process was almost exactly 1700 hours
complete, and that's using slowbuild wings but a quickbuild fuselage.
The interior is done, but left out so I can check for leaks
before I install the carpeting. The wheel fairings are not
started, and there is no overhead lighting installed, but otherwise the
kit is basically complete. I had really worked hard to
prepare for the inspection, making sure my W&B paperwork was in
order and all the required forms had been sent on. I kept a
checklist of items that needed completion, to ensure they were done.
When inspection time came, I was fairly confident that
everything would be fine.
Sure enough, the inspection went great. Good thing too, as a
bunch of my friends and their families had showed up to see the first
flight if it happened. Here's a write-up of inspection
comments I wrote:
Now that I'm done with my DAR
inspection, I would like to quick pass on
the things that the DAR commented on regarding the inspection and the
kit. It was his first RV inspection, so he learned a bit
a Cirrus factory DAR, and he flew down in a Cirrus SR-22.
I only had one ding on the inspection. Those flex fuel lines
used....with my 45 degree fittings on the tank, which I do
they route that way, puts the fuel line running right past that
snap bushing hole in the bottom of the wing root fairings.
causes the fuel line to lay next to the fuel vent tube. I
any separation, and he wanted to see some. I
could either use zip-ties
to stand them off, or what I did was great he said, which was to just
squeeze in some red Hi-Temp RTV (between them), which dries
really quick. That
was it for the dings...fixed in 30 seconds.
Then he had some questions and suggestions...
- 1) Rudder Pedal Cables - He had noticed the
rudder cable was very
slack. On the RV-10 of course, there is no tension on the
cables unless you push them. You push one pedal and it pulls
other pedal in due to the rudder movement. Apparently on a
they have a similar setup, but in order to ensure that you can't
pull the pedals backwards and jam,twist, or wrap a cable on
they take the 2 inside pedals and hook a spring to the firewall area.
That gives the pedals a positive return and keeps the cable
After flying it, I see no reason we'd need this, but
actually, it could be nice. He said ours is an "open
loop" system, and
adding those would help to make it more "closed loop". Good
for him, but all I had to do was educate him as to how RV's are
constructed. One other builder commented on this and also
made a lot of sense. If you had return springs, and one
broke, it could cause the rudder to be forced to swing in one
direction....so it may also be better without the spring.
- 2) On pushrods such as the flap pushrod, and
aileron pushrods, where
you thread in a rod-end bearing, he thought that it would have
a good idea to drill "witness" holes. Just small holes in the
that are far enough back so you can verify the rod end isn't just
about to unthread and fall out. He didn't mind that I didn't
them, but he suggested it...and in my opinion, that was a
suggestion. You may want to incorporate that into yours.
So that was about
it. Everything else pretty much got great reviews
from the EAA Tech Counselor visits (3) that I had (Thanks Gary, by
the way), and the DAR. Gary did find one thing on his visit
If you look at the bellcrank tubes on the wings...those end bearings
that have the bolt stems coming out the ends...in my case and probably
yours, the nuts specified left no threads outside the nyloc
would probably never cause a problem, but it's best to just fix it
by using a thinner nut type in that area....which is what I
- 3) Nyloc fasteners on control surfaces -
Whenever you're fastening
something that rotates, like the elevator hinge bolts, and the
rudder/flaps/ailerons, they prefer to not see Nyloc fastener nuts.
In their opinion, just like your rudder cables are connected,
you should be using a castle nut and a drilled bolt, with a
pin. I've heard this before, and
it does make sense...even though
a Nyloc should be locked and stay locked, if it got sticky, when
you move the control back and forth, it could cause the nut to
work loose over time. He reminded me of that Cirrus crash in
Texas where after maintenance the aileron came off.
that was caused by something similar...or at least by the hinge
bolt falling out.
Hopefully these tips may help some of you get yours past your DAR
with the same ease.
of the inspection, we had to pull the plane out and do a taxi test, and
Jeff, the DAR got in to verify the full static RPM and to see if the
brakes would hold during a full-power runup. Everything
With the inspection complete, I got my fresh Airworthiness Certificate
and Operating Limitations, and everyone pitched in and started
installing the various access panels.
the bottom of the page for Videos)
Sorry there aren't more good
photos and videos. The planets had not properly aligned for one
of thos beautiful first flight photo experiences. We'll have to
settle for a future video that we take some time to prepare.
Now the first flight was here. The group that
had grown more restless as we moved outside into the colder/breezy
Wisconsin air. I was pretty warm without a jacket, but that's
just because of the adrenaline factor. I taxied out and
taxi noticed that my charging system wasn't charging anymore.
quick troubleshooting with a meter didn't reveal any obvious issues in
the cockpit, and I had a nagging memory that perhaps my alternator
connection on the snap-in control harness hadn't been snapped in hard
enough. We pulled off the cowls quick and sure enough, the
alternator field wire and OV warning light harness needed another 1/8"
to snap it in place. With that in place, everything was a go
I taxied down to the end of our shorter runway, with a more favorable
wind angle. A runup revealed no problems. You sit
look everything over, and I have to say that the fleeting though of "is
it all ready?" didn't last but a heartbeat. I knew I had
prepared, and I knew it was time. Taking the active, I eased
to full-power. It rolled to speed quickly and I pulled back
slightly to get the nose off the ground. Then I got the
of my life. I lifted off the ground, got into ground effect
second, and as it came out of ground effect I had a sudden surge of
climb and acceleration. It was as if the prop had grabbed
and was tearing it's way into the sky. I've never flown an
aircraft with this much power and performance, and having no passengers
the performance was phenomenal! Yes, even though N220RV had
performed great, this was a definite difference in power
Within what seemed like seconds I was at 3500' AGL, as I was climbing
at 2200 fpm. It flew absolutely hands-off, with no
need for aileron or rudder trim, although aileron
trim is installed on the plane. I flew some lazy
airport while fiddling with my radios, climbing higher and higher.
It takes almost no time at all to reach altitude in this
No more trying to decide if it's worth climbing to 7000' in
summer to beat the heat. This plane will make quick work of
I leveled it off and without wheel pants had speeds in the
of 150kts. It's expected to add between 12 and 18kts with the
wheel pants from what I heard. I also have to figure out what
power settings work the best. After a few minutes
that I needed to show my face to the crowd
that had come in support today, so I set up for landing. I
some rough calculations to convert the MPH that I had been forced to
fly by last week, into kts, which is the way I like. In the
I gave it a target airspeed but basically flew it by feel, and it
I set up for my first landing, slowed it down and put her gently
back on the runway for a completely non-eventful landing, just
the way it should be. It was a perfect time to not make a
out of myself, and I pulled it off. I had to take it back up
just to waste the rest of the daylight, and I put over an hour on
it for the day.
The Chelton system worked great, and when I turned on the Autopilot
it flew using both GPSS and GPSV and tracked a course to the airport
chosen on the EFIS.
The EIS was working great as well, although I have some
calibration settings to do to get all readings to come in correct.
Since this posting is late, I have actually flown it another
and got to play more with the radios and EFIS. Everything
to work real well. It's impressive how much functionality the
panels can cram in.
With the first flight(s) behind me, the rest of the month can slow down
a bit. I have wheel and leg fairings that need to be complete
get my speed in shape for my up and coming trip.....Sun-N-Fun in
Florida, in the first week of April. I plan to be there, and
special added bonus, I will likely have my RV-10 displayed at Van's
Aircraft booth for much of the show. I hope to see lots of
As a side note, I was #26 of the completed RV-10's to fly. I was
the 170th RV-10 Kit sold. The day Van's updated their website
with the counter for completed RV's to include my RV-10, the counter
was set at 4500. That's 4 Thousand 5 Hundred KNOWN completed RV's
flying. It's an amazing group of builder/pilots we have.
1st Flight Video (Short .MPG - 28Mb)
1st Flight Video (Short .WMV - small 6.8Mb)
1st Flight Video (Short .WMV - larger 22Mb)
1st Flight Video (Longer .WMV w/inspection runup 25Mb)
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