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Old 03-19-2017, 04:04 PM
rjcthree's Avatar
rjcthree rjcthree is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bay Village, OH
Posts: 677
Default Trim tab guidance for first flight

My first flight is rapidly approaching. The plan is to go at 1427 lbs and a cg of 79.72" calculated. This is solo, 24 gal of useable fuel, a little bit of baggage. It's an RV-9A/O-320/Sensenich.

How do people set their trim tabs for takeoff?

Rick 90432
First Flight 2017apr23 - in Phase 1
2011-2017 VAF contributor
Dog is my copilot, rest in peace 2015APR28. I miss that dog.
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Old 03-19-2017, 04:06 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is online now
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH
Posts: 1,000

You will be fine setting it in the neutral position, and can dial it in from there. I have settled on about 1/2" nose down trim from neutral. I have same setup as you.

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:06 PM
cajunwings cajunwings is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: new iberia la
Posts: 483
Default Trim setting

Neutral setting is a good place to make first takeoff. I have found that even when out of trim the control forces are easy enough to manage. RV9A with IO320 and Hartzell likes slight bit of nose up for takeoff, about 1/8" tab deflection from neutral. Some folks like a little more up trim to make rotation easier. I think it makes the most sense for trim to be set so that plane is in trim after liftoff and no immediate re-trimming is needed. I will add that compared to most any other small aircraft including the 6A the 9A gets very sensitive in pitch in the landing flare and will give you a higher than average sink rate below about 60 kts.

Don Broussard
RV9 Rebuild in Progress
57 Pacer

Last edited by cajunwings : 03-19-2017 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:39 PM
krw5927 krw5927 is online now
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 1,712

Neutral for me for every takeoff, regardless of loading. While I wouldn't recommend it for a first flight, I did find later on that I like to use a touch of flaps for takeoff, setting the flaps equal to a fully-deflected down aileron. There are several discussions here on VAF about takeoff flaps.

Again, not worth fussing with for first flight. There are enough other things to be paying attention to.
Kurt W.
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Old 03-19-2017, 07:51 PM
alpinelakespilot2000 alpinelakespilot2000 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,374

Neutral trim with my o320 just happens to give me my 85kias Vy.
Steve M.
Ellensburg WA
RV-9 Flying, 0-320, Catto

Donation reminder: Jan. 2018
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:06 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 3,856

Control forces on the 9A are light enough that you'll be airborne for a solid 2 minutes before you even realize you are pushing/pulling one way or another. Set it for the neutral position and worry about the other stuff. Once you get it trimmed correctly, it's truly a 3-finger airplane.

By the way - here's a vote for having a ground crew handy on first flight. I was busy flying the airplane and transmitting what I was doing on the radio to my guys on the ground, who were furiously taking notes. They wrote down stuff I don't even remember saying. It's good to have other eyes in the cockpit with you on the first flight, even if it's at the other end of a radio. Adrenaline does weird stuff.
Greg Niehues - VAF 2017 dues paid
Garden City, TX
N16GN flying!
Built an off-plan 9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 03-19-2017 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:54 PM
jfogarty jfogarty is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 107

Neutral trim on take off with 0320 and 3 blade catto prop. At about 300' a little down trim works good for me. My electric trim works great.

Jim Fogarty
RV-9A Flying
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Old 03-22-2017, 11:23 AM
rjcthree's Avatar
rjcthree rjcthree is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bay Village, OH
Posts: 677
Default Thanks everyone

Thanks everyone. Neutral trim it is. I'll have the gopro from inside the AC recording commentary too. Fly safe....
Rick 90432
First Flight 2017apr23 - in Phase 1
2011-2017 VAF contributor
Dog is my copilot, rest in peace 2015APR28. I miss that dog.
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Old 03-22-2017, 08:07 PM
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bruceh bruceh is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ramona, CA
Posts: 1,956

Hold that stick all the way back, throttle up, count to 2 and the nose wheel will be off the ground. Relax the back pressure to keep the nose wheel off the ground and at around 65 Knots you'll be flying!
Bruce Hill
RV-9A N5771H flown over 500 hours!
APRS Tracking for KJ6YRP and New Flying Blog
2017 VAF donator
EAA Tech Counselor
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