Just the other day there were several posts discussing the merits and pitfalls of the step-by-step instruction book for newer model RV's, vs the Big Picture presented by old school plans sheets. I don't have RV-14 material here in front of me, but with three identical reports, I'm guessing the instruction book has builders assembling complete engine baffles, then fitting the cowl in some later step.
Baffle kit text for older models is pretty specific. Here's an example:
Step 4 - Engine Alignment and Lower Cowl Installation
Before you begin the baffle installation, the engine must be in final alignment and the lower cowl must be installed. Other than light smoothing of the rough fiberglass edges, do not trim the lower cowl air inlet lip until you fit the front baffle air inlet floors. These areas should be trimmed together for accurate contour and gap clearance.
Reality is that many builders fit the cowl, then build the baffle ramps to match, using the baffle kit parts only as a guide. A lot of them get thrown away, and new, slightly different ones made. It is a mindset, one in which there is no expectation that any part is going to arbitrarily match some other part. In that mindset, everything is subject to tweaking for better fit, with trial assembly being the standard operating procedure.
I'm not knocking the new kits. The finished airplanes squeezing out the far end of the pipeline exhibit a more consistent quality level, and that's a good thing. However, no matter how well kitted the kits become, let's remember they remain hand-crafted custom-built airplanes.
Last edited by DanH : 02-11-2018 at 08:03 AM.