RV Questions: A Compiled List (Unabridged
Good afternoon VAF,
As a long time reader (and less frequent author), I have learned a great deal about the RV community, the aircraft, and a little about what I would like my mission to entail in the future years. I have had the great opportunity to fly in a couple RV's - including obtaining my TW endorsement in one. I have visited a couple build projects and got my hands dirty, too. There really is no excuse for me waiting to pull the trigger, other than my busy work life for the next couple years. I'm pushing 30, so its nearly time I got started.
I am a longtime fan of the RV-7/8, but have been smitten with the RV-14 since the first pictures were released a while back. More on the -14 later...
I would like to post a list of questions that have been resurfacing in my recent discussions and research. I have found many answers through the search function on VAF, so I apologize for any repeats and I will try to define my questions with previously read content in mind.
Here we go- most questions will be RV in general, or geared toward an RV-14 build.
1. Water Intrusion. The RV-14 is offered in Tip-Up only, I have flown RV's of both canopy categories and I prefer the look of the Slider (
), but the tip up will be great in a -14. Regarding water intrusion, should I worry about leaving a tip-up on the flight line for a few days in the rain? (XC, camping, etc).
With water intrusion in mind, are there any other hot spots that warrant attention in an RV? Is it common to seal the empennage/wing roots to prevent any possibility of intrusion?
2. Ejection Handles. I've seen a few -14s with AND without canopy release handles on the panel. I understand the purpose, but are the one without a panel mounted handle simply relocated, or omitted?
3. Flap operation. Do most builders elect to go with a momentary contact switch for flaps that select a predetermined (programmed) flap position? Or is a "push and hold" to select position more common? I can see benefits to both (capability/simplicity), but would be interested to hear some praise toward the preset flap position options. Especially if they're stick mounted!
4. Quick one- I've seen 'ALT Air' source knobs in fuel injected aircraft, what is the purpose or function of that? (I admit this one makes me feel a little dumb)...
5. Caution...Not to start a war... and I have read a LOT on this one... When it comes to primer, has anyone actually experienced surface corrosion on either primed or non-primed RV's? I know theres a good deal of older RVs out there, Im just curious if anyone has seen it. I know theres a bajillion factors that can determine a corrosive timeline on metal aircraft... but I would be interested to hear corrosion stories and how they were tackled. I personally feel like I would build with a mixed method - prime some areas with the crazy "5 step process", and other areas might get a less "permanent" treatment. I've seen Van's test sheet and its impressive what their wash primer has prevented over the years. Enough on primer...
6. Engine options! I've read that the factory -14 has an IO-360 and the A model has the -390. Again, I've flown behind both engines (I got lucky), but other than the fact that Vans prefers we stick to their setup, which engine are most builders going with? I feel like the -390 is a great choice, but the 360 angle valve is a phenomenal engine with decades of history, also. Climb could be better with the extra HP, but I feel both could most likely achieve very similar cruise performance. If this is an airplane I would plan to keep forever, I would pick the 390. If cost becomes a factor, I will just save a little longer. Is there anything else I should consider between the 360/390? Part availability should continue to improve as the engine becomes a little more popular in the future.
7. Cross Country Performance. I've read the -14 wing can perform a little more like a -10 at altitude, rather than closer to the -7. Im curious to read more about higher altitude cruising in the RV-14 as more examples start flying. A great deal of my mission will be taking advantage of the excellent (from what I hear) XC performance of the RV-14. All RV's are great, I know, but too many -14 pilots have praised the -14 comfort in XC for me to NOT take notice... Sorry -7!
Leisure aerobatics are definitely still on the agenda, so theres no -10 in my future! Sorry -10!
So when it comes to performance, it sounds like the -14 is a true 170KT RV on XC flights. Sounds like it'll burn a touch more fuel, is that because of the increased drag when compared to a -7? Again, a 360/390 should 'theoretically' be able to achieve very similar fuel flows when flown at commensurate power settings, but the increased airframe size should see a small TAS penalty. I'm always happy to hear what pilots are getting on XC trips in real world environments. (Carson numbers really get me going...) Great thing about RV's is you have a lot of power to pull back when you just want to show friends their house from a few thousand AGL
8. Last Question! IFR Platform Considerations. So everyone has their idea of what a "good" IFR platform is... I've had the great pleasure of flying 85 hours in a T-6B Texan II (the fast kind) and a lot of that was in simulated or actual IFR. There is definitely an art to flying hands-on while briefing approaches or STARs with the PAPER plates in my non flying hand. I never found any trouble being heavily tasked in the cockpit. That said, I will invest in a fancy autopilot for the RV and probably use electronic plates by the time Im actually flying. I don't plan to go sloshing through SIGMETS and/ or hurricane hunting, but I would like to stay sharp and fly IFR even when the conditions don't require it. I really enjoy instruments and I also like VFR. I'd like an RV that is capable and safe in both rules. SO... Is Van's still planning to offer any sort of quick panel/ wire harness options for Garmin/Dynon IFR setups? Whats the general recommendation when it comes to panel building. Is the quick option worth the larger investment? Or is the piecing and DIY options more common? I feel like Im more suited to wiring than riveting, so theres that. I like the looks of a few 14's I've seen with the full Garmin G3X/GTN IFR setup. Especially since you have ILS/LOC options built into the GTN. Yes, I would plan for a backup AHARS unit, like the G5 or Dynon equivalent. Redundancy is a discussion for when I get there too- theres definitely a happy medium that I will plan/build around.
On the IFR discussion, does anyone regularly fly (actual or simulated IFR...) LNAV or LPV approaches in their RV? If so, will a GTN (or Avidyne) display a CDI (for GPS/LOC/ILS/VOR) on the EFIS also? Seems like a silly question, but I've had a heck of a time trying to figure this one out. I would imagine the autopilot or human pilot would see a NAV style CDI.
Garmin offers an off-panel AOA display, but can this be configured IN to the G3x screen to reduce glare shield congestion?
Ok, well this about brings me up to date with questions. I greatly appreciate the time anyone will invest in reading my novel of a thread!
I currently live and work in Corpus Christi, TX... Theres not a lot of RVing going on down here that I have seen, but if anyone is building a -14 around here I would be more than happy to come give a hand!
Thank You All,