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Old 07-27-2015, 08:11 PM
MartinACFactory's Avatar
MartinACFactory MartinACFactory is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 96
Default RV-8 Fuselage: What would you do differently if you'd build another one

Hello !

This is just a general question to those who have built and are now operating a RV-8, or to those who have just completed building their RV-8 Fuselage.

My Question is: If you'd build another RV-8 Fuselage, what would you do differently ? Any features you would add to improve the serviceability of your aircraft, and that would be easier to implement while you'd be building the fuselage ? (example I have seen: hatch in fwd baggage bay bulkhead to access avionics. Any other suggestions ?)

I am getting my fuselage kit delivered this week. I am planning to start slowly the build. While I have all the parts on the table, it would be easier to implement small mods. Therefore, I am a taker for any suggestions.

thanks !

Martin Leroux
Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada
RV-8 s/n #80414
Empennage: 95% (ready for inspection)
Fuselage: 90% (Canoe 2.0 in progress- Final Riveting)
Wings: Slow Build Wing Kit on the way from Van's - Delivery End Nov 17.
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:47 PM
akarmy's Avatar
akarmy akarmy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 647

Mods I would make (some I did, some I didn't on mine)

Forward avionics door, yes for sure. I put my fuses on that door so they are easy to flip down and access from the baggage compartment.
Front skin fitted by Andy Karmy, on Flickr

Additional access panel in the bottom of the baggage floor to give easy access to the brake master cylinders. Wish I had done this.

Do the gear tower mod. I was on the fence and left them stock. What a pain to work in there once you fill it full of wire and fuel lines. Would be much easier to have a larger opening.

Enclose arm rests into to storage, especially in the front. They are useless as they are stock.

Add a storage bin to the right side lower panel (same panel as the fuel selector on the left) I did this and use it all the time. Very handy.
Drink cooler by Andy Karmy, on Flickr
Drink cooler by Andy Karmy, on Flickr

Cover the front floor with the flyboys non skid rubber wing walk material. Would make a nice floor covering and easy to install. I intend to do it soon.

Removable passenger stick. I did this and like it. Also enclosed the stick area on the rear stick with a panel cover from oregon aero.
Untitled by Andy Karmy, on Flickr

Rear avionics shelf behind rear baggage compartment. I did this and thus far it's been good. Not sure if I'll like working back there in the future, but it's mostly solid state equipment at this point.
Rv8 wiring by Andy Karmy, on Flickr
Peep-a-boo by Andy Karmy, on Flickr

That should give you a bit to think about.
Andy Karmy
Covington WA

RV-8 - Flying!
RV-9A - sold

Nov 2017 Paid
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Old 07-27-2015, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,364

I would go with Grove Aluminum gear. I built as light as possible, so I'm still trying to avoid any build-in storage, carpets, etc.
I would consider a tip over canopy, maybe a fastback if the weight is favorable.
The roll bar blocks my view for traffic, my wife's RV -4 with tip over has great visibility, and the fuselage skin above the RV-4 panel is removable. This alone is fantastic access and I would love that on my -8.
The slider canopy IS cool, but the tip over has advantages too.
Scott Emery
EAA 668340, chapter 326 & IAC chapter 67
RV-8 N89SE first flight 12/26/2013
Yak55M, and the wife has an RV-4
There is nothing-absolute nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing around with Aeroplanes
(with apologies to Ratty)
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:21 PM
DaAV8R DaAV8R is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 742
Default Finish Paint

I would decide on an interior color prior to assembling the fuse and would give serious consideration to finish painting the gear towers and as many of the interior parts as possible prior to assembly.

Most importantly I would decide on a color for the powder coated steel parts. I'm pretty late in my fuselage construction and I'm not sure I like the light grey powder coat. Some of the parts are already permanently installed and at this point I really don't want to change the color. If you think you do want to change the color of the steel parts I would consider repainting or powder coating at the very beginning of the build.
Robert Williams
Lee's Summit, MO
RV-8 - Empennage & Wings Done
Working on Fuse

1946 Cessna 120
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:30 PM
xblueh2o xblueh2o is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 753

I haven't done the avionics access door in the forward baggage compartment, yet.

I did do the gear tower mod and I love it with a capital L.

Swapping out the stock fuel valve for an Andair unit. Just started looking at that this afternoon.

Went with Grove gear. Have not hung them yet since I just got them last week.

Doing the Showplanes fastback conversion. I like that the roll bar is not right in your face anymore plus you gain a bit of extra room at the shoulders as the cockpit top rails get replaced with slightly narrower units as part of the conversion to FB.
RV-8 with the Showplanes Fastback conversion
Emp completed except for glass work
Wings completed except for bottom skin and glass work
Fuselage underway
N18451 reserved
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Old 07-28-2015, 05:00 AM
schmitty340 schmitty340 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Louisville
Posts: 79

Move the fuel filter outside to the wing root for easy servicing. No more leaking fuel inside when you remove the filter for cleaning.

+1 on grove airfoil gear..they are works of art!

access panels in the floor.
RV-8 N8782D--Flying
Dues Paid
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Old 07-28-2015, 05:53 AM
Robert Anglin Robert Anglin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: houston, texas
Posts: 810
Default Stiffners.

Sure to the other ideas here, and one we found and did also. Back in the bottom of the tail boom. The lower skin there likes to oil can a lot. We put stiffeners in between the bulkheads along the bottom back there. Also the rear seat flooring got more stiffeners and the base of the front seat and it's floor area. That flooring and seat pan is a little easy to bend so it merited a little extra strength to hold up under stepping in and out all the time.
Just my two cents. Yours as always, R.E.A. III #80888
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:53 AM
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edsong edsong is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Hatton, ND
Posts: 119
Default Step

I built an 8 and now I wish I would have put the 8A boarding step on. Its a big step to get on the wing walk and not step on top of the flap. Even with the flap down.

Edson Grindeland
Hatton, ND
RV-8 Flying
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
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Old 07-28-2015, 07:01 AM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 843

I did some of these mods mentioned here and a couple others. I didn't need the avionics access door because I have the Showplanes fastback and have wide open access behind the panel. After almost 7 years of flying my RV8, I would do the fastback mod again. My bus fuses face forward into the forward baggage compartment (with a cover). I would build doublers into the fuse floor for com antennas, transponder, and UAT/ADSB antennas. I have four of them in my fuselage floor. I built armrests for the forward cockpit seat that attach to a panel on the inboard edge of the existing 'armrests' - which as someone else said is useless as an arm rest. My armrests allow my forearm to lay naturally in line with the throttle on the left and stick/switchpanel on the right. The cavity outboard of the panel holding the arm rest is a handy place to store logbook, checklist, pens, etc. I used a piloted reamer to open up all of my match-drilled holes rather than a normal twist drill. This leaves little or no burr and makes a perfectly round hole. There is little need to debur with the deburring reamer. You can usually remove any burr by just rubbing your finger over it, or lightly hitting it with a scotchbrite pad. If you're concerned about corrosion, you can quickly spray some primer over that area. Some of us remove too much metal while deburring, and it takes a lot of time. This technique saved me some time, and may have improved the quality of the assembly. I have a friend here in town building an 8 that is designing a 'washer' that captures the nut on the inside of the gear tower for the strap bolts, that hold the nut - not allowing it to turn. They will be torqued from the bottom - not inside the gear tower. These are the nuts that cause so much agony for most of us, and necessitate modifying the gear tower openings. I wish I would have done something like this.
Scott Hersha
2001 RV-6 - sold 2005
2008 RV-8 Fastback - Sold 2016
RV-14 Wings - sold 2014
RV4 - Sold
Cessna 182RG - flying
New RV8 - Finished and flying 4/26/18
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:14 PM
MartinACFactory's Avatar
MartinACFactory MartinACFactory is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 96


thank you very much for all your replies and your suggestions. Very useful. I see that some of you speak from experience, and I shall listen to your comments.

Just to sum up your suggestions, here they are:

1) Avionic access door in bulkhead: I am doing this one for sure
2) Access panel in FWD baggage area for brake cylinder: will investigate this one
3) Main Landing Gear Tower Mod: I wasn't sure about this one, cutting in primary structure carrying stress load, but will look into a way
4) Fastback + tip over: I like the the current currency exchange rate USD to CAD and the Tax Man at the border have taken my budget for a potential fastback option
5) Paint interior color prior to assembly: Definitely ! This is how it is done with factory certified aircraft (I worked at Bombardier), This is how I will do it. Now, I've got to decide between a light gray or a beige interior....Other areas will be zinc chromate green.
6) Adair Fuel valve: Easy mod, not too pricey, will do for sure !
7) Storage bins and arm rest: Once I have a "canoe" I can sit in, for sure I will start looking at the ergonomics of my "flight deck". I think that's one of the fun part of this project !?
8) Grove Aftermarket replacement landing gear struts: I will investigate. for sure the weight saving is interesting. But similar to the Fastback, the bang for the (Canadian) buck must be there.
9) I am adding to the list, Panel skin damping installed on firewall, to damping engine vibration entering cockpit. Might be able to reduce noise a few dB in the cockpit.

Any how thanks again for all this very usefull info. I will fore sure consider all this.

Trucking company is dropping my fuselage kit tomorrow the fun start this weed-end


Martin Leroux
Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada
RV-8 s/n #80414
Empennage: 95% (ready for inspection)
Fuselage: 90% (Canoe 2.0 in progress- Final Riveting)
Wings: Slow Build Wing Kit on the way from Van's - Delivery End Nov 17.
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