Now that the VansAirforce website has been upgraded to enable photo attachments via the iCloud (good work Doug) I have belatedly decided to post a few pix of my RV7A. I hope you enjoy them. Incidentally, the new photo attachment enhancement to VansAirforce is undoubtedly the most profound improvement to the forum ever.
I originally posted this in the Virtual Hangar section but I feel this is a more appropriate place. Moderators can delete the original thread in the Virtual Hangar if they like.
You can enlarge any of the images to full size simply by clicking on them.
The aircraft first flew in May 2015. The C of A was issued by Darren Barnfield. The build took 11 years and 6500 shop hours (and lots more hours of research, study, and purchasing). Before I started the project I had completed subjects in Sheet Metal Pattern Development, and also in Advanced Aircraft Composites, at the Kangan Aerospace Academy. I assisted a friend to build his RV7 before I commenced work on my own project. So I was quite well prepared before I started building VH-EFX.
I made 68 modifications to Vans basic design (none structural) including a screwless spinner, and a "floating" slider canopy with silicon bushings to allow for thermal movement. These mods added at least 2 years to the build time. The aircraft appeared on the front cover of AirSport Magazine in 2015.
In 2015 the aircraft won the Ausfly Clive Canning Award for Best Metal Aircraft. At the same time it also won the Ausfly Concours de Elegance Award (best of all categories). In 2016 it won the Sport Aircraft Association of Australia (SAAA) Henri Millicer Award for Best Australian Technical Innovation. In 2017 it won the Best Homebuilt Award at the Avalon Airshow (largest airshow in the southern hemisphere). Later that same year it won the SAAA Grand Champion Award. And in 2019 it won the SAAA Grand Champion Award for a second time. After that I stopped entering it for awards.
Here are a few pix taken during the build process.
Many good people assisted me considerably during the build of this aircraft. In particular I am indebted to the amazingly knowledgable Maurice Rolfe of Rolfe Aviation who was my mentor throughout, to RV builder Bill Mitton who was my tireless and constant bucking partner, and to RV builder John Stephenson for his unflagging support and encouragement (unfortunately John crashed his aircraft and was killed just months before VH-EFX flew for the first time...I still miss him).