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Old 08-13-2017, 11:21 AM
Flynfrfun Flynfrfun is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bonney Lake, WA
Posts: 21
Default RV4 Wheel Pant Alignment

I'm currently looking at RV4's for sale. I have noticed that some of them have wheel pants that don't seem to be parallel with the chord line of the wing. The pants seem to be aligned so that when sitting on the ground, they are parallel with the ground even though the aircraft is sitting in a nose high attitude. In flight the trailing edge of the pants would be up high making it look like it is pointing slightly down. Is this normal to the earlier RV4's design, or just how the builder decided to make them? Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:41 PM
Larco Larco is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 1,017

From what I think you are asking. The RV taildraggers should all be similar in that the Bottom line of the pant should parallel with the ground in the 3 point parked position. On the RV-A models the Center line of the pant should be parallel with the ground and the taildragger should also be that way in a level attitude.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:27 PM
Flynfrfun Flynfrfun is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bonney Lake, WA
Posts: 21

Yes, you got it Larry. What I'm saying is centerline of the wheel pant appears to not be parallel with the plane when it's level (flight attitude). The nose of the wheel pant is pointing slightly down and back end is higher while the plane is flying. I know it can be an optical illusion since the bottom of the back half of the pant tapers up to the point. But I'm definitely seeing wheel pants that are pointing nose down on some RV4's I'm looking at for sale. The pant looks level when the plane is parked, but in the air with the tail up the pant is pointing nose down. The ones that have this alignment seem to be planes in the late 80's, early 90's vintage. I was just curious if this is a mistake of the builder or if it is by design? Maybe to keep the wheel well openings in the negative pressure area so they don't "catch" air?

Last edited by Flynfrfun : 08-13-2017 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 08-13-2017, 06:50 PM
jrs14855 jrs14855 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lake Havasu City AZ
Posts: 2,078
Default wheel pant

This is a compromise depending on a couple of factors:
clearance under the aft portion of the wheel pant.
How much of the wheel tire you want to cover up.
To align the centerline of the wheel pant with the chord line of the wing the wheel pant needs to be raised significantly in relation to the wheel/tire.
Google Dave Anders RV4 and you will see that even on the worlds fastest RV4 the wheel pant centerline is not aligned with the chord line.
The typical compromise is to set the aft bottom of the wheel pants 1" plus/minus off the ground and live with it.
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Old 08-14-2017, 03:43 PM
Flynfrfun Flynfrfun is offline
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Bonney Lake, WA
Posts: 21

Thanks for the responses guys. I looked up Dave Anders' RV4. I see what you mean. Sounds like it is up to the builder to set the wheel pants. Thanks again!
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Old 08-18-2017, 07:24 AM
BruceMe's Avatar
BruceMe BruceMe is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Shawnee, Kansas
Posts: 713

Also, the gear leg flex aft under resting weight. I'm not confident anyone can perfectly align the wheel pants, nor does it matter nearly as much as some think.

I just finished installing a new pair on an RV-6... not much fun. If you do feel strongly you want them repositioned, it's not very hard. Just fill the old holes and make new ones. My partner and I did that on the RV-4 as I made the same mistake you describe. But now the tips rub in the grass and get scraped up more on bumps.

Bruce Meacham

Built/Own RV-4 254MM
Owned RV-6 4074V
First RV RV-3 3456B

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Last edited by BruceMe : 08-18-2017 at 07:26 AM.
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