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  #11  
Old 07-30-2018, 08:44 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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Location: Schaumburg, IL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefPilot View Post
I would say that it's a great IFR platform, but one that requires proficiency more than others. It's probably less tolerant of the six-approaches-every-six-months crowd, but in exchange rewards the six-approaches-per-month crowd with performance, handling, and capability that exceeds the norm.
+1

The RV-6 is much more pitch sensitive than most certified planes. I believe that it requires a significant level of attention to stay on top of it. That said, once you become comfortable managing it, there are no real drawbacks. That same sensitivity that let's it so easily depart from your desired altitude, also eases the task of dealing with turbulence in my opinion. Once you master it, it is pretty easy to handle the rougher wx on approach, though it is a rougher ride.

I got my IFR ticket in my 6, so once minted I was very comfortable with the platform. I believe a decent amount of practice is required when transitioning from a more stable platform. While I fly all of my approaches by hand for practice, I would not consider x-country flights without an AP. Just too much work.

I also agree with the proficiency comment. In rougher wx, things happen fast with the 6 and you need to be on your game when hand flying.

Larry
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RV-10 in progress

Last edited by lr172 : 07-30-2018 at 08:48 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2018, 09:34 AM
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titanhank titanhank is online now
 
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Location: Friendswood, Tx
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Depends a lot on your CG also. My 0-320, catto prop -6 is very pitch sensitive. I fly ifr for work and would never consider flying a ifr x-country without the autopilot and would avoid approaches at all cost. My CG is very aft due to the light engine combo, but she flies like a dream. I have a C/S prop on order and once installed, it will move the CG forward over an inch. The will make x-country flying much more enjoyable, due to the pitch rates. All rv’s are not the same. Just because one can fly stable ifr due to their 180/200 hp, C/S prop setup does not mean a 150/160hp fixed pitch prop plane can do the same. Keep the GG in the forward end of the range and it is much more stable.
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Rv-6
0-320/160hp
Dual pmags
Catto 3-blade gen 3
Smoke system
Glass panel
Autopilot
Flightline Interior
Almost rv14 seat mod
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2018, 12:42 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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Location: Schaumburg, IL
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Originally Posted by titanhank View Post
Depends a lot on your CG also. My 0-320, catto prop -6 is very pitch sensitive. I fly ifr for work and would never consider flying a ifr x-country without the autopilot and would avoid approaches at all cost. My CG is very aft due to the light engine combo, but she flies like a dream. I have a C/S prop on order and once installed, it will move the CG forward over an inch. The will make x-country flying much more enjoyable, due to the pitch rates. All rv’s are not the same. Just because one can fly stable ifr due to their 180/200 hp, C/S prop setup does not mean a 150/160hp fixed pitch prop plane can do the same. Keep the GG in the forward end of the range and it is much more stable.
I have a 320 and Catto prop, though I do have a 20# crush plate. However, most of my IFR flights are near gross with a CG less than an inch from aft CG, often 1/4". I find landings harder to control in this state, but I have never observed approaches as difficult to fly. I suppose it is really all about how much time you spend with the plane and developing a comfort level with it. I have never flown an approach in anything but an RV-6, so my perspective is likely different than many others. I don't know what I am missing.

I do agree wholeheartedly that an AP is required equipment. I flew my 40 hours of training without ever using it except for the checkride, but it is a serious workload in cruise and takes the fun out of flying. I never really thought about the aft CG causing that, but I am sure you're right. Unfortunately there is no realistic way to get the CG fwd on my 6. I had considered the 9's 320 mount, but shy'ed away from the work and cost involved.

On the flipside, I find the plane flys much better without the weight up front. I have flown with and without the 20# crush plate and it flys MUCH nicer without it, though I have never considered the pitch sensitivity in that evaluation. However, I just can't get the baggage weight I want/need without it.

Larry
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RV-10 in progress

Last edited by lr172 : 07-30-2018 at 12:53 PM.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2018, 08:18 PM
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ChiefPilot ChiefPilot is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lr172 View Post
I suppose it is really all about how much time you spend with the plane and developing a comfort level with it. I have never flown an approach in anything but an RV-6, so my perspective is likely different than many others. I don't know what I am missing.
I agree. Once you get used to something, it becomes automatic. I hand flew from Cedar Key, FL back to St. Paul MN (with fuel stops, of course), because the shear screw in the Dynon AP roll servo...sheared...and flying with just the pitch servo felt odd. It was not nearly as taxing as I thought it was going to be, and CG was towards the aft end of the envelope (but not right up against it). I might have waited for better weather if I was solo, but my wife was along and could hold the stick for a bit while I looked at ForeFlight or whatever.

I have flown approaches in a variety of light aircraft, and what you are missing is a control feel that some would call "stable" and others would call "lumbering". If you can fly a good approach in an RV on green needles / raw data, I think you could hand fly a good approach in most aircraft.
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Last edited by ChiefPilot : 07-30-2018 at 09:49 PM.
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  #15  
Old 07-31-2018, 12:22 PM
Mark_H Mark_H is offline
 
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Location: Wharton, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefPilot View Post
I might have waited for better weather if I was solo, but my wife was along and could hold the stick for a bit while I looked at ForeFlight or whatever.
Excellent autopilot.
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  #16  
Old 07-31-2018, 01:12 PM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_H View Post
Excellent autopilot.
While I have found my spouse to be a good co-pilot at times, I am not sure I would refer to her as "automatic."
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  #17  
Old 07-31-2018, 02:02 PM
Mark_H Mark_H is offline
 
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Mine works like a charm and there are other benefits as well.
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  #18  
Old 08-02-2018, 11:15 AM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
 
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You can fly IFR in a RV, without autopilit, if you follow all applicable FAR's and common sense. However +1 on autopilot and competent currency for any single pilot IFR Ops. You can fly without autopilot, but if you get distracted with a task, get into an unusual attitude pointed down, speed will build quickly in a RV, faster than a C-172. Are you Instrument rated pilot now? If yes how much instrument time (on IFR flight plan and/or IMC) a year do you fly? Do you fly with or without autopilot now?

I hand flew my RV-4 IMC with no autopilot, but 100% of my attention was flying. Fishing for charts was not easy. The NICE thing about hand flying IFR with RV's is they handle nice, they are precise in their control, do what you want not. However being short coupled in turbulence, they yaw or fishtail. It is controllable by hand and instruments, to be sure if you are competently current in your RV for IFR Ops. I am not sure how autopilots keep up to the RV's in turbulence, never used autopilot in an RV.

My RV-4 had VOR/LOC/GS/MB and VFR GPS (for situational awareness). Approach approved GPS were N/A 20 years ago. My typical IFR/IMC time was popping up for IFR climbs to VFR on-top or IFR let downs from VFR "over the top". This is way safer than trying to circle up/down in a hole. Also departing IFR to VFR due to morning fog, popping out into the sun at 500 or 1000 feet AGL was great. IFR capability is handy landing at busy Class-B or Class-C airport, even when in VFR WX. Filing IFR to busy airports in congested airspace makes arrival straight forward, verses a convoluted VFR arrival you never flew. 90% of my RV-4 flying was VFR. All the hassle of equipping and keeping your RV current for IFR Ops, in retrospect, was not worth it. However it added safety and options. On the other hand, many VFR EFIS panels today have IFR NAV equivalent ability (moving map, approach plate overlay). Not legal to file IFR, at least you have this information for reference for VFR flight. Not saying fly IMC/IFR in violation of any FAR, but it does add situational awareness, along with terrain avoidance. My current RV-7 project will be "Deluxe VFR Cross Country", with advanced EFIS and autopilot. If I want to fly IMC I'll do it at work or rent/borrow an airplane.

An autopilot, even for VFR is great, it adds equivalent MPH block speed on cross country, by holding TRACK precisely (verses small track wondering when hand flying). I talk to many RV builders/VFR pilots, and they look at their autopilot as saving their tail if they inadvertently fly into IMC. I'd agree that is a selling point, but as a CFI/II, prefer pilots practice their instrument skills as well. Even commercial pilots instrument skills suffer by using the autopilot too much. Now, today there are so many quality single and two axis autopilots to chose from, at reasonable price, with installation kits for RV's, it's a much easier decision and choice to make building today. Many EFIS panels have autopilot option add-ons, as well as the standalone autopilot brands, TruTrak or EZ-pilot. All good stuff.
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Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 08-02-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2018, 10:22 PM
Acenels Acenels is offline
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Seattle, Wa
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My 6 is VOR/ILS and donít have an altitude autopilot, so I hand fly the whole time Iím IFR. I will say I wish I had a certified GPS and am actively looking, as it just opens up options. So many smaller fields only have the GPS option these days. Iím based out of an ILS field, so it works out....but man, If GPS is an option, Iíd go that route.
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2018, 05:02 AM
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rolivi rolivi is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Fort Worth
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Sadly, my plane is allowed to fly IFR but I am not, yet.

I heeded the autopilot advice (2-Axis) and probably overspent a bit on the panel. I learned during recent IFR certification check that when a backup altimeter is installed it too must be to standards. [That meant rebuilding it] Also had some static leaks. All and all, the inspection cost a bit more than expected, but even VFR I know my P/S based instrumentation is completely up to snuff so there is some comfort where my $$$ used to be.

And since you asked for photos:
https://rolivi.smugmug.com/My-First-Gallery/i-67W483g/A
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