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  #1  
Old 02-01-2020, 05:21 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 113
Default How to remove wheel fairings, permanently

After reading the latest Service Bulletins, I removed the nose wheel fairing to inspect the nose fork for cracks. I didnít find any. I also removed the fairings from the main gear tires, in order to give them a careful inspection too. What a job that was, at least for me, possibly because I was working alone, did not have any way to lift the wheels off the ground, and was not the planeís builder, so what I did and saw was all new to me. That done, I decided not to reinstall the fairings. Instead, I plan to replace the fairings with Matco hub caps. I prefer the look of the fairings, but I like being able to see the tires and brakes, and to easily check the tire pressure.

Taking the main gear fairings off exposed the wheel fairing brackets. Theyíre no longer necessary, of course, and they are ugly. They make my plane look like the Roman battle chariots I used to see in movies in Saturday afternoon matinees when I was a kid.

My questions:

1. It looks as though I can remove the outboard brackets and bracket mounts (parts U-00002 and U-00004) simply by unscrewing the two bolts (AN3-37A) that fasten the outboard brackets to the wheels. And it looks as though when I do that, I will not be unfastening the wheel from the plane, because (it appears) the wheel is fastened to the axel solely by an Axel Nut. Is that right?

2. Iím less certain whether I can safely remove the inboard fairing brackets. It looks as though the inboard brackets are fastened to the wheels with four bolts (AN3-4A). But I canít tell whether those four bolts also play a role in fastening the wheels themselves, or the brakes, to the plane. Can I remove the bolts and the brackets without doing anything that makes the wheels and brakes less secure?
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Santa Monica, CA
RV-12, N58CV
VAF 2020 Dues Paid
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2020, 05:38 PM
DHeal DHeal is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Windsor, California
Posts: 863
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These drawings should answer your questions:

https://www.vansaircraft.com/service...revisions/36a/

https://www.vansaircraft.com/service...-revisions/35/
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David Heal - Windsor, CA (near Santa Rosa)
EAA #23982 (circa 1965) - EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor; CFI - A&I
RV-12 E-LSA #120496 (SV w/ AP and ADS-B 2020) - N124DH flying since March 2014 - 890+ hours (as of Mar 2020)!
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Last edited by DHeal : 02-01-2020 at 05:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2020, 06:08 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,152
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Might be worth weighing the removed parts, when you're done, and updating the weight and balance document.

Dave
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2020, 07:58 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
Posts: 113
Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHeal View Post
Thanks for your response. These are the drawings I looked at to learn enough for me to write my original post. They taught me some stuff, but left me with the questions I asked, because I didn't build the plane, and because I just can't do anything that might cause the wheels to come off.
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RV-12, N58CV
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2020, 07:59 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
Might be worth weighing the removed parts, when you're done, and updating the weight and balance document.

Dave
Good idea. The RV-12's payload is the best of any LSA I've looked at. But another few pounds (maybe more) would always be nice.
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RV-12, N58CV
VAF 2020 Dues Paid
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2020, 08:15 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 6,250
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Think of this as an experiment, and save the parts. You may be disappointed in the performance degradation. Unlike the fairings on, say, an old 172, Vans fairings actually work.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2020, 08:35 PM
NinerBikes NinerBikes is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Granada Hills
Posts: 454
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Nose wheel fairing, nose strut fairing, and 2 main wheel fairings is actually worth 5 to 7 TAS knots, realistically, at 5200 rpms.

They are very functional items on the RV-12, IMHO. Yes Air press checks and tread checks are a bit more of a PIA. But good retreads will last a whole lot longer than the factory tires sold by Van's.

rgawer probably has the most accurate data of any one here on the improvements the wheel fairings and main gear strut to fuselage and wheel pants fairings make with existing main wheel pants. It's cumulative, and it adds up very fast, the improvements.

Last edited by NinerBikes : 02-01-2020 at 08:41 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2020, 04:20 PM
dpemmons dpemmons is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: San Francisco, CA (KDVO)
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I also tend to leave mine off since I like to be able to inspect my wheels and brakes, but I leave the brackets since I put the fairings back on when I plan a long cross country. That extra 5-7kts makes a difference when flying 1000 miles.

With practice you get better/faster at taking them off and putting them back on again. I'm at around 10-15 minutes now.
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  #9  
Old 02-02-2020, 04:34 PM
lon@carolon.net lon@carolon.net is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Santa Monica, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpemmons View Post
I also tend to leave mine off since I like to be able to inspect my wheels and brakes, but I leave the brackets since I put the fairings back on when I plan a long cross country. That extra 5-7kts makes a difference when flying 1000 miles.

With practice you get better/faster at taking them off and putting them back on again. I'm at around 10-15 minutes now.
10-15 minutes is remarkable. It took me much longer to get the fairings off, and it seemed to me that putting them back on would be an all-day affair. Do you do something to get the tires up off the ground? I bought an L-shaped screwdriver for the screws on the bottoms of the fairings, but even with that tool, getting those screws out was tricky.
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RV-12, N58CV
VAF 2020 Dues Paid

Last edited by lon@carolon.net : 02-02-2020 at 08:18 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:25 PM
NORM T NORM T is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Dallas, OR
Posts: 13
Default My RV-12 Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
Think of this as an experiment, and save the parts. You may be disappointed in the performance degradation. Unlike the fairings on, say, an old 172, Vans fairings actually work.
Lon, I agree with Bob's comments, you may be disappointed with the performance. I installed the fairings because I like the appearance, had flown my Grumman Cheetah for nearly twenty years with fairings and wanted to get similar air speed with my RV-12. I am pleased with the results and may have less opportunity for foreign object debris damage to the underside surfaces. I also believe I use less throttle during landing approach. I don't feel a need to use a tire pressure gauge often, but do visually check at preflight. Obviously, the fairings are a matter of personal choice to suit your needs.
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