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  #1  
Old 12-02-2015, 08:25 PM
grubbat's Avatar
grubbat grubbat is offline
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ga
Posts: 718
Default Going off reservation with changes,,,,,

Current and future builders,
One of the most distracting and sometimes paralyzing things a builder can do is go off reservation and make changes. Sad but true. It usually starts by reading something here on VAF or seeing something at Oshkosh and wanting to incorporate it into your build. Every change I have done during the course of my build has cost me time and sometimes money. At some point, you have to freeze the design and finish the dog-gone thing, at least that's what I've been telling myself. Guys like Horton and others come up with some of the best stuff but those great ideas have added years to my build (little exaggeration here if I may).

If you ever make the mistake by calling a fellow builder who is flying their creation, you will be sorry because they will provide so much hands on experience you will be remaking stuff before nightfall. At some point you will be presented with so many must do changes, it will cause temporary builders paralysis. I know, I've been there. I talked with a fellow RV yesterday and today I need therapy.

So, my advice is stay the course. No changes. None. Especially no structural changes because the designer owns the design. Want to install a tinted high dollar canopy? Nope. Want to change the wingtips to the new top secret RV-9 high speed high efficient mooney style tips? No way. Want to put oversize tires on your deal? Denied. Want to improve the fire rating of the firewall and floor design. Sorry. Want to improve the structure to provide more margins? Can't do it. Want bigger fuel tanks? Say it ain't so. Want a custom exterior color? Sure, any color as long as it's high visibility white. Want to use Silka? No way Hosea. Want titanium gear legs? No your not Trump. Want to put a RV-4 wing on an RV-6? Sorry, that's impossible (don't shoot me Smokey Ray). Want to put a 6-cyl on a -6? Time for therapy. An auto engine? Are you crazy??

I could go on and on but I hope you get the point. No changes. Simple and effective and the best use of your time. Thank you for your time and best wishes for your standard run of the mill RV build. You will thank me later.

Please excuse me while I attempt shoehorn this -14 horizontal on my rear of my -9. Shouldn't take that long..............

Cj
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2015, 09:46 PM
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Dbro172 Dbro172 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Fargo, ND
Posts: 1,076
Default Well said

What about:

Park brake, crotch strap, pmags, fuel injection, smoke system, grove goodies, antisplat this n that, backup batt, dual alternators, IFR, multiple screens, multiple nav/coms, tie down rings, anodized parts, plenums, cam locks, lights, dimmers, fancy vents, fancy interiors, sunshades (ok those are necessary), lemo plugs, heated seats, rudder trims, pedal extensions, braided hoses, primer, engine primer, and on and on...

All adds time and cost. Maybe I'll get it right on the second one and just "keep it light" and simple
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1956 C-182 - N744W - Sold
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2015, 10:08 PM
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wjb wjb is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Half Moon Bay, CA
Posts: 1,120
Default



Build the plane you want to build. Mine is 98% stock (so far) -- it does have some riblets and an Andair fuel system, and I think I substituted some -4 rivets where the plans called for some -3.5's...
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  #4  
Old 12-02-2015, 10:12 PM
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ChiefPilot ChiefPilot is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 1,580
Default



In all seriousness, it depends on your goals. My -6A has several things which are custom and that took longer, but it was worth the time then and I'd do the same mods again. Hidden oil door latch, custom composite instrument panel, custom wingtip lighting, and more.

If you want something custom, go for it! But do think twice before doing anything structural.
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2015, 12:35 AM
Bill Palmer Bill Palmer is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 387
Default Old Pilots

Hi Craig,

Just a personal perspective (opinion):

I would agree that the “no mod” rule is an excellent guideline; particularly with regard to flying as soon as possible. I would also say that many RV builders have made excellent, safe (and safer) modifications to their RVs, but, yes, usually at the expense of building time. Like several others, I would agree that structural modifications should not be pursued as a rule. Also, aerodynamic modifications are extremely risky without professional analysis and testing.

On the other hand, that does not mean that RVs cannot be improved by careful, competent designers and builders who thoroughly analyze and test everything they are doing. Van successfully modified the Stits Playboy. Many of the people on this forum are capable of doing the same. Also, as a result of experimental aviation, there is a strong, mostly well-vetted, experimental aircraft service and modification supply business. Many of these businesses advertise here on VAF and are quite successful and well-appreciated.

From my perspective, I have seen many RV maintenance access, human factors, and systems modifications which make a lot of sense. I have pursued some of these modifications myself. This is, after all, experimental aviation. This is where general aviation progress is made; mostly for the good, but I would agree sometimes for the bad which is occasionally the price of any new endeavor. It’s a personal time and risk decision. We should feel fortunate that we, like the Wright Brothers and Van himself, have the freedom to design, build, and even modify our own airplanes (. . . while occasionally taking forever to do it!).

Now to your main point: I think you are absolutely right about the greatly increased building time associated with modifications. From my own experience, I would say there is no such thing as one modification. One modification seems to require somewhere between five and ten other related modifications to safely accommodate the original modification. In other words: Mods lead to more mods. Mods lead to more time. Mods lead to old pilots building old projects and, eventually, flying young airplanes!

Thanks For Your Post and Respectfully,
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Last edited by Bill Palmer : 12-03-2015 at 01:07 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2015, 05:03 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 841
Default I have a solution.

Cj, it sounds like you need to go and buy a Part 23 certified airplane. The FAA will ensure you don't even get to choose your paint color.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2015, 05:15 AM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Default

Nice note CJ. And all those roubles saved could be burned later. Life is short go fly!





I like wjb comment


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  #8  
Old 12-03-2015, 06:25 AM
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MikeyDale MikeyDale is offline
 
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Location: Garden City Texas
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Default

My mods was the reason I didn't just go buy one already built! They were all time consuming and some were worth it and some were not. So far, I'm happy with most of them but have not used the parking brake much!
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  #9  
Old 12-03-2015, 07:55 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubbat View Post
Guys like Horton and others come up with some of the best stuff but those great ideas have added years to my build (little exaggeration here if I may).
Don't blame me. I agree with you. That said....if you like to build, extra time doesn't matter very much.

You might be amused to hear that I had most of my current RV-8 together as a very stock airplane with a canopy kit...then business tanked in 2008. I couldn't take any cash out of my business for the final push, and I wasn't going to borrow any. So, I launched into things like firewall tests and the whole low drag cooling experiment, because I had plenty of time, and they didn't require much money.

Look Ma, a fully fitted stock cowl

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  #10  
Old 12-03-2015, 08:28 AM
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JonJay JonJay is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Battleground
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Don't blame me. I agree with you. That said....if you like to build, extra time doesn't matter very much.

You might be amused to hear that I had most of my current RV-8 together as a very stock airplane with a canopy kit...then business tanked in 2008. I couldn't take any cash out of my business for the final push, and I wasn't going to borrow any. So, I launched into things like firewall tests and the whole low drag cooling experiment, because I had plenty of time, and they didn't require much money.

Look Ma, a fully fitted stock cowl

...and here we just thought you where obsessed. Your experimenting and research has prompted a lot of good discussions.
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