Well, 498.7 to be exact, but I am leaving again on a trip to D.C. on Thursday, and that should add about 12-15 hours of flying time, so I figured I better get my oil change in an hour or so early rather than 12 hours late....
The Valkyrie has been flying since 9 Oct 05, and I have pretty much reported every single bit of unexpected maintenance here along the way. Overall, I continue to be amazed at the overall maturity of the Van's design - I fully expected to be doing a lot of maintaining and fixing on a "homebuilt" airplane, but I have yet to find a significant problem. My worn out carb heat lever was probably the closest I have come to a wear issue anywhere on the airframe.
Today I spent several hours looking for cracks and wear in places like the motor mount attach points and other critical spots. Didn't find a thing. The gear bolt torque (a special item for RV-8's) have always checked good every time I checked, and I've pretty much given up on them ever creeping. I'm going to have to swap my tires on the rims again soon (outboard grooves wear quicker than inboard), but they'll last this trip for sure.
People have asked me before how well my "rattle can" painted interior is holding up, and I can report that I finally found some wear that needed a touch up. The 804 close-out behind the throttle is always being rubbed by the back of my left wrist and watch, and finally looked a little ratty:
Not wanting to pull out paint, plastic, primer, etc., I took the easiest way out that I know how, fixed the problem, and made it both unlikely to repeat, and more comfortable at the same time - and it gives me another place to stick a pencil!
Ahhh....the joy of having a roll of sticky-back Velcro!
I guess I'll do a little "500 hour aileron roll" somewhere over Alabama on the way to Virginia on Thursday, but I expect that the airplane won't even notice that it is getting older - on to the next 500!