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Old 03-15-2014, 08:39 AM
ColoRv's Avatar
ColoRv ColoRv is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa (BKV)
Posts: 926
Default Another RV-8 takes to the Denver skies

On Friday 3-14, the culmination of 21 months of hard labor finally carried its own weight.

There are many people that helped along the way and I owe a dept to all of them. In particular though, there are three people without whom this day would have been much delayed or never at all. Scott Taylor whose help and heckling during the build was absolutely selfless, constant and much appreciated. Scott and his 12 thousand hours of flight time also keeps my Ready, Fire, Aim tendency in check. :-) Jim Gray who donates his time and advice like they are in endless supply and whose gorgeous plane is always available for me to pattern mine after. Jim is also Flight Lead of the Renegades formation team and a constant source of much needed advice. And last but not least, Ryan Bendure my all things aircraft guru who keeps me from building anything dangerous....a task that is far too demanding of his time. Thank you gentlemen! Special thanks to Scott Taylor, Jim Gray, Sean Thomas and Bob Markert as my first flight ground crew and videographers as well. Bob also owns the gorgeous hangar I've had the pleasure of finishing up in.

951WT flew beautifully. In an orbit within gliding distance of the runway, under the class B and low enough to break in the engine...I was turning so often it's impossible to give any speeds yet (despite tweaking Jim a bit :-). But I didn't feel anything odd as far as heavy wings or anything. I'll know more when I venture away from the nest.

Flight was 1.2hr with the majority of that wide open for engine breakin. CHT's never crested 325 and oil temp stayed at 182 thanks to the cold Denver morning. Engine is an angle valve built by Ryan and I, 10:1 Lycon, Pmags, Superior sump driving a Whirlwind RV74. All worked wonderfully. Radios messed with me a bit as the GTN650 was breaking squelch like mad (turned up the automatic squelch in config) and the PAR100 had a squelch issue as well so I couldn't hear my ground team making fun of me. The PAR's squelch adjustment isn't intuitive for me at all, so it didn't get adjusted until I was back in the barn and had the book in hand. Typical first flight pilot error, not familiar enough with my own equipment. Still, chose to fly the plane and ignore the small stuff.

My first landing was a wheel landing. I have to admit, I'm struggling a bit with the touchiness of the RV8 rudder and the tailwheel rocket link. The mains touched down beautifully but as speed bled off, I was inducing a bit of tail waggle. As the tail was coming down, I just didn't like what I was seeing so I went around. On the second attempt (and the second ATC ridiculously long extended downwind) the mains again planted nicely but this time my feet listened to my brain a bit better and the first flight ended. Those pedals will take some getting used to.

All in all, first flight was an overwhelming success. Hindsight being 20/20 though, I see a couple of errors I made that mentioning here may save others the embarrassment. First, not being familiar enough with the PAR100's rather odd volume and squelch controls kept one of my radios out of the fight and left my ground crews advice unheard. Second, with a brand new engine in a brand new plane, I shouldn't have allowed ATC to extend my downwinds over half the city. I stayed at pattern altitude and stayed fast...but there is zero chance I would have made the airport had the engine failed. My engine felt amazing the entire flight and that induced some confidence that I would have been better advised to avoid. Had my second radio been available, I likely would have heard that advice from my ground crew. I suspect they were none to pleased that I extended so far.

Pics and vids haven't all arrived from my awesome ground crew yet, but I'll post some when they do.
RV-8 Flying
1,235th flying RV8
SARL Race#95
SnF Homebuilt Judge

2015 Sun n Fun Kit Built Reserve Grand Champion
2015 Oshkosh Kit Built Champion
2015 Jeffco Kit Built Grand Champion
2014 Oshkosh Outstanding Workmanship Award

Broken Warrior of the Jarhead Clan

Last edited by ColoRv : 12-18-2014 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:11 AM
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SmilingJack SmilingJack is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Hilton Head Island
Posts: 1,105


Congrats on all the hard work and the first flight!

You will get use the the touchiness of the controls, but at the same time like it on a windy day when you need that controllability

Have fun !
John Mastro
10 years of Awesomeness!
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,412

I'm just ahead of you! I'm still amazed at the feel of the RV-8!
Yes I find the rudder pedals and especially the brakes sensitive at touch down. Still, it tracks straight and honest, even if the brakes have chirped because my feet were too high on the pedals.
I also find my "8" to be very forgiving in the touch down mode, with stable pitch attitude if I bounce a bit or land on a humpy grass strip. I think it's called 'The Spitfire Dance'. I've been doing 'tail low wheels landings'.
I'm flying with the CG about 1/3 back from the forward limit, must be the sweet spot?
My first flights were shorter than yours, but the same idea: circle the runway under the class B shelf. Lotsa turns, lotsa planning for any emergency that never happened.
As Mark F. would say: "Carry On!"
Scott Emery
EAA 668340, chapter 326 & IAC chapter 67
RV-8 N89SE first flight 12/26/2013
Yak55M, and the wife has an RV-4
There is nothing-absolute nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing around with Aeroplanes
(with apologies to Ratty)
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Old 03-15-2014, 03:10 PM
rwarre rwarre is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Wray, Co
Posts: 637
Default Congrats

Happy for your success. Come to Wray (2v5) some time for a nice hour flight.
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Old 03-15-2014, 04:26 PM
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Skykingbob Skykingbob is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Bealeton Virginia
Posts: 577
Default AWESOME!

CONGRATULATIONS Bill! These writeups keep us banging rivets! Many hours of great flights!
Bob "Skyking" Corriveau
Yes I paid my =VAF= membership dues!
RV-8 QB Reserved N212KB

Build Site:

"Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished without inspiration, determination, and perspiration!"
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:20 PM
APACHE 56 APACHE 56 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 360
Default That's good news.

[quote=ColoRv;862300]On Friday 3-14, the culmination of 21 months of hard labor finally took to the skies.

Hats off to you sir!
Don Stiver
RV8 "Little Pill" N6371S, Merritt Island, Fl.
BPE IO-390, Dual P-mag, MT 3-blade, AFP system
Steen Skybolt: Sold

Last edited by Mike S : 03-17-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:02 PM
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skyking902001 skyking902001 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gunter, TX
Posts: 337
Default Congrats!

Bill,congrats on first flight! You're going to have a ball flying your 8.
Steve Riffe
Dues paid to 12-1-21
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Old 03-16-2014, 02:07 PM
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Danny King Danny King is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southlake, Texas
Posts: 632
Default Flying the 8

You will get use to the rudder and the brakes in the 8. They are really just the way you want them to be. I mean, "Right there" when you need them. Don't be afraid to set her down in a more level attitude, and to feed in the elevator to keep her there until the decreasing airspeed caused the tail to settle. With time and experience, you can even lightly brake while up on the step further lowering the speed that the tailwheel touches. I do this all the time to make the midfield turnoff at taxiway bravo "B"right in front of hanger 8 at 52F.

Some builders have modified their RV-8 brakes to prevent unwanted braking, but I really advise against this. The pads cost about $11 dollars each at Spruce and Specialty. That's just $44 dollars to reline the brakes. I do it ever year at conditional inspection, not worrying about the unused portion of my pads. I start each year with !00% wear remaining. I've never come close to hitting the rivets with the rotors.

It is important to have quick access to the RV-8's powerful rudder and braking system. On a windy day in April, returning from Sun-N-Fun, I landed with a 30 Knot gusty direct crosswind, and was able to remain on the centerline with lots of rudder, and plenty of chirping coming from the tires. Like the Boeing 727, I then declared that the Doll's crosswind limit was 29 knots! Thank you Van for the best RV design ever!
Danny King
Beautiful Doll 80434 TT 1710 hours
I0360 A1B6 200 HP
Christen Inverted Oil
First Flight 12 July 2000
VAF Dues current for 2021

Last edited by Danny King : 03-16-2014 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:25 AM
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mchargmg mchargmg is offline
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Palmer Lake, CO
Posts: 243
Default Congrats


Great job, congrats.

Geoff McHarg
2021 dues gladly sent
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:20 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,013
Default Way to go Bill!

I was on vacation with the family until today, so this is news to me. I would have loved to see it happen. Congrats on the first flight, and also on winning the bet with Ron. I'm sure he's right behind you.
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301
VAF Dues Current
RV-10 - Working on engine / prop installation
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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