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Old 04-17-2016, 11:00 PM
Sparky's Avatar
Sparky Sparky is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Perham, MN
Posts: 350
Default First Flight N77PB

After 10 years of building, my RV-7 flew for the first time on Saturday, April 16th!

N77PB received an airworthiness certificate last Saturday, April 9th, after a DAR inspection by Vern Darley. Vern is a very professional DAR inspector and did a very thorough inspection. He did point out a couple of very minor items, but overall the inspection went very well with no significant findings. Thanks, Vern!

For the first flight I had always intended to get an experienced RV pilot to perform the first flight. I'm a fairly low time pilot with a recent tailwheel endorsement, and just don't feel entirely comfortable jumping into an unfamiliar and unproven aircraft. So I searched for a qualified test pilot and found who I consider one of the best. I had originally approached Kent Gorton, to obtain RV transition training in his RV-6. One thing led to another, and I asked him to perform the first flight, and he agreed.

Kent did a fantastic job on the first flight! As you can hear in the video, it was quite windy here in Newnan, GA on Saturday with about 20 knot winds and a left crosswind component of about 14 knots. He performed a very professional first flight per flight test plan and absolutely greased the landing!

The A/C flew perfectly for 42 minutes with no issues. She flew hands off, wings level, with no aileron trim required, and performed very close to published specifications. I downloaded the flight data from the Advanced Flight Systems AF-4500 EFIS/EMS system and all engine temps and other parameters were well within limits. The AeroSport Power IO-360-B1B engine and Hartzell composite constant speed prop and all avionics were basically flawless.

Here are some pictures and videos:

Thanks to everyone who has helped over the years, but especially to my wife, Becky, who was always supportive and positive, and helped me drive a significant number of rivets!

I really am looking forward to my first flight! Coming soon...
Paul Winkels
RV7 Standard Build - First flight 4/16/2016 - Now Flying!

Last edited by Sparky : 04-18-2016 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:37 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,100
Default Congratulations!!

Paul, big 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 04-18-2016, 07:04 AM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,320

Congratulations, Paul - I love the prop, please post how you like it as you get into Phase I. I will be a few months (hopefully) behind you with about the same build time.

Thanks for the kick in the pants!!

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Old 04-18-2016, 08:33 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,769
Default Congratulations

Congratulations. She's pretty.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 12/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (3,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit done. Working 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 04-18-2016, 08:42 AM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
Posts: 4,514

Congrats on the build Paul, and first flight by Kent. It is a fine looking airplane and you will certainly enjoy flying it.
RV-12 Build Helper
RV-7A...Sold #70374
The RV-8...Sold #83261
I'm in, dues paid 2019 This place is worth it!
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:03 AM
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MikeyDale MikeyDale is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Garden City Texas
Posts: 919

Very nice! Congrats!
Mike Hillger
Garden City, Texas
First Flight
Dues Paid
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:58 AM
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bret bret is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Gardnerville Nv.
Posts: 2,828

Congratulations! glad to hear everything went well!
7A Slider, EFII Angle 360, CS, SJ.
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Old 04-18-2016, 12:36 PM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Utah
Posts: 8,440

Silver fiberglass parts look great. Congratulations on AW and first flight!
Where is N666BK?

Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:18 PM
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BCP Boys BCP Boys is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Kennesaw, Ga
Posts: 881
Default Nice !

Congrats Paul. Look forward to seeing your plane and meeting you soon at one of the local fly-ins / breakfasts. Best of luck to you and safe flying
RV-7 - Regretfully Sold
RV-10 - Sold

Supporting VAF since the first visit
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:26 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL KCLW
Posts: 1,330

Beautiful, congrats! I also love the silver fiberglass, could you give any more info on the paint job? Thanks!

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16
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