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View Poll Results: Do you use the IFR capability of your RV?
YES (file IFR) 236 72.84%
NO 88 27.16%
Voters: 324. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 08-27-2007, 01:52 PM
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osxuser osxuser is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,485
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Axel,

It's all a matter of what you want to do. Light/Simple and IFR AREN'T mutually exclusive. A single GNS480 is all you really need for IFR, a two axis autopilot and a simple EFIS or EFIS/steam gauge combo. You now have an simple, light, effective IFR machine. Dual VOR's aren't required due to GPS and the monitor functions built into the VOR of the GNS480.
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RV4 wing in Jig @ KPOC
RV7 emp built
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2007, 01:59 PM
johnp johnp is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 225
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got my i.r. in 1982. fly a fair amount of x/c -- always file. frequently i could have gone vfr, but ifr is so much "easier" -- automatic clearances through much airspace, and if it's not convective, no problems flying through just about any weather.

weekend before last i started on a trip from aus to gtr -- about 500 nm. (should say this is in a 'spam can' - pa28r-201t, 'cuz my 7a isn't finished yet.) on account of passengers, i broke it up into 2 legs -- aus-mlu, mlu-gtr. about 50 short of mlu my vacuum pump quit. landed at mlu. got the name of an a&p who would come out. called him. he said the "call-out charge" was $300, just to see if he had a pump in stock. i said "thanks, but no thanks." completed the trip vfr (including return.) i have to say i was much more nervous about the weather (would it remain vfr to allow me to complete the trip?) it did, but essentially it took me back to 25 years ago, when that was the anxiety i felt on every trip.

my 7a will be ifr capable. it gives you so many more options. and in my case it reduces the anxiety.

my opinion only. you're entitled to yours. :-)

john
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manchaca, tx (suburb of austin)
rv-7a finish kit
N337JP (reserved)
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2007, 02:31 PM
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frankh frankh is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Corvallis Oregon
Posts: 3,547
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I bet it won't have a vacuum pump either?...

Frank
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2007, 02:32 PM
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grjtucson grjtucson is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 181
Default AZ pilot perspective

Hi,

I'm an AZ pilot and IFR is pretty hard to come by here. When it's IFR you pretty much don't want to be flying as it is often severely convective.

That said, I'm building my -7 IFR for several reasons:

1. I want to get my IFR ticket in my plane. I believe it will make me a better pilot to not only get it, but to maintain it. I also believe that IFR flying will be very satisfying. For the same reasoning I will also pursue formation flying.

2. I want to be able to regularly fly to CA, OR, LA (as in Louisiana) and pretty much any other destination, and have more options when planning. I consider punching up and down through layers to fly VFR on top, shooting mostly visual approaches below the layer, and little or no enroute IFR, as "light" IFR. I know a lot of folks hate the term, but it is useful and descriptive to me and to each their own.

3. Equipping a plane for "light" IFR is not a whole bunch more than for Night VFR. If I weren't going to fly any IFR nor any Night VFR I wouldn't even put in an AI; airspeed, altimeter, and a VFR GPS are plenty. But once you're into an EFIS for an AI for Night VFR, the rest is not too hard to justify. VOR and VFR GPS means a little less capability, but a lot less money both up front and for database subscriptions.

George
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George Jenson - http://www.georgejenson.com
Tucson, AZ - RV-7 Standard Build
Empennage Completed 1/06, Wings Completed 11/06, Fuselage Done 9/08, Panel Wiring Done 7/19, moved to hangar 10/20. Wings on for last time, aiming for first engine run first weeks of January 2021.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2007, 02:37 PM
scottg scottg is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Long Island
Posts: 54
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Build it light vs. IFR? Only you can answer that question. The easiest place to start is to define the mission for the aircraft. Will it be used for long cross country flights, or just local? With the speed of an RV, long cross countries are possible. It?s hard to fly from coat to coast and not run into weather. If that will be your mission, then IFR capability should be considered. If you intend to use the aircraft locally, then IFR would probably be a waste of time, money and useful load.

September 27, 2007 will mark the tenth anniversary of N506RV?s first flight. The aircraft was initially built with a VFR panel. About five years ago, the panel was upgraded for IFR capability. I do not regret this upgrade at all. My main use of the aircraft is rapid, cross country, transportation. IFR capability provides me options that I didn?t have before. When I was VFR only, the weather was always a concern on long trips. Each 3+ day trip always had the question of, ?Will I be able to get home.? Those concerns are now basically gone. Since the upgrade, I?ve only been stuck for a single overnight. A 400+ nm convective line basically shut down the Northeast.

The catalyst to the IFR upgrade was getting stuck in Madison, WI for 13 days (wx plus work schedules), followed by a special VFR clearance out of their airspace. Every year since upgrading, I?ve completed trips IFR that would otherwise be cancelled.

IFR capability does not have to cost big $$$. A panel mounted GPS would be nice, but you also incur the annual database costs. I?m quite happy with a single SL-30, six pack, basic transponder and dual axis autopilot. These are backed up with a handheld GPS and handheld nav/com. If you go the single radio/ handheld backup, make sure that you get the alkaline battery pack for the handheld and change the batteries every three years.
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  #16  
Old 08-27-2007, 02:38 PM
johnp johnp is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankh
I bet it won't have a vacuum pump either?...

Frank
you're right about that!!!!

this was my sixth in-flight vacuum pump failure. four were in imc. i nearly killed myself (and my family) on the first one, after some remedial training in my "areas of deficciency", i got a little better on handling them. this one was in vmc, though, and was basically a no-brainer.
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rv-7a finish kit
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  #17  
Old 08-27-2007, 03:46 PM
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osxuser osxuser is offline
 
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Location: Pasadena CA
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Example of simple IFR:

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RV4 wing in Jig @ KPOC
RV7 emp built
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  #18  
Old 08-27-2007, 07:35 PM
jeff beckley jeff beckley is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 192
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I started my IFR training in my 172. Built the required time and passed the written test. I got very busy finishing my 7A and installed a full IFR panel. 430,
EFIS, turn/bank etc... I just sold my my 172 that I was going to do my check ride in.
I am now flying my 7A and have worked all the bugs out as far as the panel goes and need to get it certified. Not to sure what is involved. Help?
Is there examiners that are willing to do check rides in an experimental?
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Des Moines Iowa
Van's RV-7A
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  #19  
Old 08-27-2007, 09:53 PM
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dan dan is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ...
Posts: 2,049
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AX-O
So, if you have an IFR certified RV, could you tell me if you use the capability or not?
I *hardly ever* use the IFR capability of my RV-7. That said, I used it twice this past weekend. Just to pop up and then again to pop down. Almost always for work travel and almost never for fun travel.

If I lived where you do, and if I didn't fly IFR for work travel, I definitely wouldn't bother! I'd put that $ into fun flying!

It's a slippery slope, man.
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  #20  
Old 08-27-2007, 09:59 PM
alcladrv alcladrv is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 606
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I've flown IFR for 30+ years. At it's most basic level, flying IFR is all about flying a heading and an altitude. Add a comm and appropriate nav radio to the required instruments and you're in business. I do it with a Blue Mountain EFIS Lite, an SL-30 and a 320a transponder.

I supplement those with a handheld GPS and a TruTrak ADI Pilot I. I file as an RV7/U and regularly fly in the area from Chicago to HPN and down to Washington DC. The DC ADIZ is very easy to fly into and out of IFR without all the angst of potentially screwing up if you're VFR and getting violated. If you sound to ATC like you know what you're doing, and hopefully you actually do, ATC will give you much of what you want if there aren't any traffic conflicts.

I have less than $10,000 in my panel and use the capability on most every flight. More money gives more capability. Just make sure your learn how to use all the equipment well.

Mike

Last edited by alcladrv : 08-27-2007 at 10:38 PM.
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