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Old 09-12-2017, 05:38 AM
JackinMichigan's Avatar
JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 210
Default Max gross weight testing

In the process of writing up a detailed test plan in preparation of the first flight. I've based it off a couple other RV test plans I've come across. Towards the end of the test plan I have "max gross weight checks", which is where you load the plane down to it's maximum takeoff weight of 2,700 pounds and perform some basic flight maneuvers.

To get up to this weight I will need an additional 700 pounds of ballast on top of my fat a$$. I originally thought of getting a bunch of sand bags, but my father shared with me a horror story of someone else doing that. Apparently the bag broke open and the sand poured into the tail, which threw him so far out of balance that he lost control and crashed.

What's a good ballast material that won't cost a fortune, stay put inside the airplane, and not soil up the upholstery?
Jack and Dave Groat, father and son
RV-10 N1861G
Build #41389, started Oct 2012
Current status: 1st Flight 11/10/17
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:48 AM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dumfries, VA
Posts: 2,590

I used 40# bags of mulch. Some have used bags of water softener salt pellets or cement. The idea was to use something that's easy to get and useful after the test flight. Whatever you use just insure you put down a drop cloth and you shouldn't have any issues if a bag springs a leak.
Todd Stovall
RV-10 N728TT - Flying!

Last edited by Auburntsts : 09-12-2017 at 05:52 AM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:51 AM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 4,413
Default The issue is not sand, it's the containment method.

My 10-friend used sand, I will re-use his sand. Nothing wrong with that. Just take some tarp and sit the bags on it and wrap for protection then make sure you have it all strapped down. Just do what is necessary to avoid breakage and leakage.

I had rather have this than 50# cast iron weights

1st Flight 1-27-18
Phase II 8-3-18
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:23 AM
9GT's Avatar
9GT 9GT is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern Michigan
Posts: 1,463

I used 40# bags of water softener salt pellets. The bags are sealed well and very thick. I was then able to use the salt in my softener after I was done testing.
David C.
Howell, MI

RV-9A: Under Construction. N161RV (Reserved)
RV-10: N959RV Completed 12/29/2013 SOLD 08/23/2016

"Donor Exempt" but donated through Dec. 2018
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:30 AM
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N520TX N520TX is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cedar Park, TX
Posts: 236
Default Quickcrete

I used 80# bags of Quickcrete, wrapped in plastic from Homey Depot. Figure they'll get used on some back yard project.
Ron Walker - 40XS
RV7a - Flying
RV10 - Flying !
FFI Flight Lead -
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:31 AM
Veetail88's Avatar
Veetail88 Veetail88 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Hales Corners, WI
Posts: 863

I used cases of bottled water. Figured if one broke it wouldn't be a big deal. Because of their bulk though, I calculated the cg of each case. Had them stacked in the rear baggage compartment, on the rear seat and even on the floor protruding up the sides of the front seat. Made sure they were secured well. I was able to get to max gross at max aft cg. Afterwards just kept the cases in the hanger to drink. Just about gone now, 3 years later. Beware, stick pressure feedback reverse is real!
Jesse Bentley
N229Z - RV-8 - Flying - Livin' the dream!

Last edited by Veetail88 : 09-12-2017 at 06:34 AM.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:42 AM
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Champ Champ is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 213

Lawn needed fertilizer so that's what I used. 40 lb bags on a drop cloth.
Dennis Enns
Kingsville, ON
Bellanca Champ 7ACA since 1986, restored 1990.
RV-8 IO375, Hartzell CS, dual PMags.
Dues paid thru Dec 22, 2018
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:50 AM
Robert Anglin Robert Anglin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: houston, texas
Posts: 854
Default Me too

Cases of oil, 25lbs., 24 packs of soft drinks, 12 packs of soft drinks and ice tea 12 packs and so on. You can load what you want for the testing then stack it up next to the beer frig in the hangar or the house and use it tell it is gone.
Win-Win kind of thing and yes if you use oil it goes in the airplane, we hand 6 or 8 cases so we used them then put it back on the shelf for later.
Just what we did. Yours, R.E.A. III #80888
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:12 AM
Hwood Hwood is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central Alabama
Posts: 232
Default Got a dog?

50lb bag of dog food
N469SH / "Crazy Woman" (sold)
Working on Another -8
Exempt but paid
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:46 AM
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Ron RV8 Ron RV8 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Okanagan Valley BC, Canada
Posts: 436

Water containers... Whatever you own or can borrow...

The idea of putting something abrasive or corrosive in my new airplane did not appeal to me...

This was an RV-8 @ max gross & rearward C/G...

Ron Townson
Okanagan Valley BC, Canada
RV-8 Completed Dec 2013

Membership renewed Nov 30, 2017

Last edited by Ron RV8 : 09-12-2017 at 07:50 AM.
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