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Old 02-10-2016, 05:44 PM
rightrudder rightrudder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
Posts: 1,853
Default Airborne! N427DK is a flyin' machine!!

What a rush. Earlier today I pulled back on the stick of an airplane I built in my garage. It leapt into the air and stayed there!!!!

Perfect conditions at Cable Airport: a balmy 77-degree February day (El Nino on hold temporarily!), some light cirrus clouds at about 20,000 feet and zero turbulence. P-factor, etc. caught me a little off guard on the takeoff roll and I veered a little to the left, but I lofted the nose wheel a few inches and she was flying in 500 feet or so. I've done this hundreds of times in rental Cherokees, DA-20s and 172s, but I have to say it's a little surreal when you, your-own-self, have built the thing and point it skyward for the first time.

Very, very stable in the pattern on climb out. I did 5 hours of transition training with Reuven Silberman out of KSEE in his RV-7, and while it's a fantastic machine, it felt a little edgy and nervous by comparison (and by design, of course). The -9A's control reaction is exactly how I had imagined it to be--steady, smooth and a little higher effort. In the first 30 seconds, it completely reaffirmed my choice of the -9A....docile, yet satisfyingly snappy in the way it handles.

Since our airport is in a fisheye cutout of Ontario's airspace, I climbed above its 5000-ft ceiling and did my lapping at about 5300 ft (about 3 miles north and northeast of the field) so I wouldn't run the risk of nicking their airspace and I could concentrate on monitoring pressures and temps. Plenty of altitude to glide back to the airport too. The workload was low, as there wasn't a trace of a heavy wing, and CHTs, which nudged 435 on a couple of cylinders during climb, for the most part settled nicely into the 360-370 range. Oil temp touched 175, well nigh perfect. I was running between 2400-2500 rpm to help seat the rings, and I bumped it up to 2650 briefly, and saw an airspeed of 135 knots and climbing. I throttled back a little before it peaked. This is with the gear leg fairings fitted, but no wheel pants.

After about 30 minutes, I worked on slowing her down to Vfe and reentered the pattern. Not my best landing, but heck, I was a little nervous!! I got the airspeed stabilized nicely to about 70 knots, but overshot my base-to-final turn and started the final about 150 ft high. So it was a bit of a chop and drop and I touched down (after some float) at least a third of the way down the runway.

A life-affirming experience, as my college psychology professor was fond of saying.

Issues? Minor. The No. 2 cylinder CHTs were a little low in cruise (maybe 275), so I need to extend the air dam in front of the cylinder a bit. And a little vibration from the left-side brakes was apparent on roll out, probably just the linings getting happing with the rotor friction surface. I will de-cowl and give everything an intense scrutinizing, and then it's off to the practice area. Woohoo!

Credit to my friend Sam Ellis, who took the excellent photos, and of course to Van's, for designing such an incredible airplane that fits my mission objectives so perfectly. That last pic is me making my first RV-9A entry in the log book (hidden behind the Magic Duster!).

RV-9A "slider"--sold in July 2021
Flew to Osh in 2017, 2018 & 2019!
Donation made for 2021
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky -- Amelia Earhart

Last edited by rightrudder : 02-10-2016 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:46 PM
RickWoodall's Avatar
RickWoodall RickWoodall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,472
Default Nice

Without pics did it really happen??

Rick Woodall C-GSTT "ghost"
9a -TMX io-320, catto three blade, dual dynon hdx with a/p. 900+ hrs in 8 yrs flying.

Flew to Osh 11,12,15,17,19. SNF 2013. West to Cali /Washington/Vancouver/crossed the Rockies north to Red Deer east to Moosonee and over to maritimes. South to Jekyll Isl, cedar key, and Key West etc. 7 trips and 17 islands of the Bahamas. Flown turtles and dogs for Pilots n Paws too. Love our Rv's
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:06 PM
Vlad's Avatar
Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440
Thumbs up

It has began. The life of a show plane. Doug you are one of the very few who was pushing it from day one until done. Congratulations!
Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:08 PM
Jimbot Jimbot is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: FL & NC
Posts: 167

Hi Doug,

Congratulations!!! Your RV looks great! Having followed your meticulous and well conceived/planned build on VAF, I am not surprised the least bit that it flew beautifully "straight out of the box." Way to go!!!

FYI - my big Acura project is in the final stages (hopefully all done within the next week or so), so my plan for the rest of February and March is to make getting my PPL my full-time job. Then it's off to Sun-n-Fun in April, followed by a new project for Lexus.

I will be sure to hit you up the next time I'm heading out to SoCal. Can't wait to check out that awesome new 9 of yours!

Take care,
Jim Hall
VAF Annual Dues Paid
Former President, EAA Chapter 309 - EAA 309
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:17 PM
rightrudder rightrudder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
Posts: 1,853

Thank you, Rick, Vlad and Jim! Everyone on the forum has been so great in answering the myriad dumb questions that spring from my pea brain, so I can't thank you enough.

Jim, great news on clearing the slate to make room for aviation endeavors. Give me a call after Sun-n-Fun and let me know about all the cool new stuff. I hope the next time you're out west, Phase 1 will be a memory, she'll be painted and we can go flying!
RV-9A "slider"--sold in July 2021
Flew to Osh in 2017, 2018 & 2019!
Donation made for 2021
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky -- Amelia Earhart
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Old 02-10-2016, 06:18 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,756
Default Congratulations

Awesome. Congratulations
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 02-10-2016, 07:34 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,092
Default Congratulations!!

Doug, congrats on the new fledgling
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:03 PM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,590

Awesome, congrats!

I did my second flight this afternoon, the good news is the rush doesn't wear off!
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 900 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440, G5
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:04 PM
jpowell13 jpowell13 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 718

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Old 02-10-2016, 09:11 PM
rightrudder rightrudder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
Posts: 1,853

Thanks guys! Weather is lookin' good for Friday. I think I'll just explore the perimeter of the practice area and get a good sense of all the visual references, then maybe some slow flight practice.
RV-9A "slider"--sold in July 2021
Flew to Osh in 2017, 2018 & 2019!
Donation made for 2021
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky -- Amelia Earhart
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