Originally Posted by rv8bldr
I would be careful of this. While true 99% of the time, I have seen high winds force an RV-8 rudder out of the tailwheel lock and slam into an elevator. I would highly recommend a rudder lock given the cost of a lock compared to replacing the rudder.....
Great point. If I decided to keep my plane outside full time I'd likely do several things:
1. Consider my environment - windy? freezing temperatures? rain?
2. See what others are doing who FLY REGULARLY.
3. Even if I didn't fly, check on my plane regularly and consider storing it outside a temporary situation. Driving 30 mintutes farther to my plane in a hangar, or at least under a shelter would be worth it to me.
4. Contact my local EAA Chapter and introduce myself as a "student of all things experimental" and make some new friends! Stocking the club house with drinks and buying pizza for the next EAA meeting goes a long way to show I'm in it to have fun and participate. Often a mystery hangar space will magically come available for the "right person."
That all being said, from what I'm reading here:
1. Gust locks for all control surfaces - a must have. A normal walk around pre-flight will systematically remove them and stow them in a "go bag" that stays in the car or in the aircraft if weight and balance allows.
2. Cowl plugs, pitot cover, and vent covers are nice if there are proper flags on them, they all fit properly/securely, and don't cause additional moisture/rain to be trapped anywhere. Walk around the airport and take a good look at the way the "locals" do it, observing which plugs and covers are in place.
3. Canopy seals. It might be worth the time invested to seal the canopy if it isn't already fairly water tight. McMaster Carr has a great selection of sealing material in a variety of shapes. Maybe there's a good thin material that can be put in to seal the front of the canopy when the plane is parked to make double sure the instrument panel and associated area is protected.
4. Canopy cover. From what I'm reading a canopy cover really isn't meant for long term storage (more than a few days). What canopy covers do well is protect from intense sun or heavy rain when out away from home base and tying down for a night. They also keep wandering eyes from looking at things inside the canopy they shouldn't be tempted by... The last thing I'd want to do is cloud my nice clear canopy with a rubbing cover, that's at least half the reason I fly an RV, the visibility!
5. Consider interior reflective material to protect the canopy. I use Plexis on the outside of the canopy plastic to make it hydrophobic.
6. Protect the paint. I wax the paint on my plane, which protects it from the elements and makes bugs come off easily. Mine is hangared, but when I'm flying it's exposed, and I hope to be flying a lot this year!
Let us know what works for you guys who are doing this and having it work for you. I bet there's more RVs being parked on the ramp than we know about. It's been something people don't like to talk about since a hangar is the preferred parking place.