Van's RV-9A, Canadian registry C-FVRL completed it's first flight, today January 24th, 2006. With Safety Pilot Mike Langford and Pilot/Builder Vernon Little on board, it departed Boundary Bay Airport (CZBB) in an awful hurry after a long gestation period of 3-1/2 years and 3,396.6 shop hours. As predicted for more than three years, it flew on 'Tuesday'.
Mike Langford, a very experienced pilot/instructor was very impressed with the handling of the -9A. Mike owns a Harvard, a T-28 and an R-22, however, we think Van's can expect a new customer in the near future...
Fuselage is a Quickbuild, everything else was a (relatively) slow build. Paint is by Arrow Tech Graphics in Langley, B.C.. Interior is by Flightline Interiors. Avionics and wiring was by the builder (me).
Empty weight is 1085 lbs. Engine is an Aerosport O-320-A1AC2 Roller Lifter engine, and the prop is the standard Sensenich metal fixed pitch. Mags are conventional. The panel is night VFR/VFR OTT with Dynon EFIS, Trutrak Autopilot and Turn and Bank, Garmin GPSMap 296, Rocky Mountain Engine Monitor, Garmin SL-40 Comm and GTX-327 Transponder. Traffic Monitor is a Monroy ATD-300 "Don't leave home without it". Engine monitor interface and audio mixer are from Vx Aviation.
After one hour of flight time, C-FVRL touched down delicately and taxied into to an adoring throng of two or three people. The RV grins were infectious.
Thanks to all my friends in local chapter of the RAA (Recreational Aircraft ***'n), and fellow RV builders from around the world with whom I've developed on-line friendships. I hope I've given back as much as I've gotten in support from the community.
It's a strange feeling 'flying' rather than 'building'.
Note on Photo: Picture taken as we were taxiing in after first flight. Note the RV Grins and the jaunty hanging of the elbow out the side. We knew our picture was to be taken, of course!
Final note: Having a safety pilot in the right seat is an excellent way of lowering the stress level and workload of a first flight. Highly recommended.
January 24th, 2006. "Tuesday"