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  #1  
Old 04-07-2021, 01:51 PM
Dad's RV-10 Dad's RV-10 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: FL Gulf Coast & NYC
Posts: 76
Default Mods & Improvements for Completed Airplane?

Gentleman, I'm looking to get a little direction and guidance. My father built an early RV-10. It took him quite a while to complete but he received the airworthiness signoff in 2013. For a multitude of reasons, he never flew the airplane and decided to deconstruct much of the instrument panel for various modifications.

Unfortunately, my father recently passed away having never completed the panel improvements. I have inherited the airplane and will be removing the wings and empennage in order to ship the aircraft to a shop for completion. I will have the shop install a completely new Garmin panel and also have any and all applicable Service Bulletins addressed.

The plane has not yet been painted and will undergo quite a bit of disassembly for the process of shipping and panel reinstallation.

What I'd like to know is what modifications and improvements should be considered for an aircraft at this stage of completion? For example, I've read about the PlaneAround door center cam kit and I intend to have this installed. All of these improvements or modifications will be performed by the shop.

I'm also intrigued by the SDS EM-5 and am considering having this installed as well, although I have not committed to anything at this point.

While the plane will probably undergo nearly a complete rewire, I know my father installed a Vertical Power VPX and as of now, I intend to keep that as part of the new electrical and avionics installation.

I'm sorry my dad never got to fly his airplane and I'd really like to make this the airplane he dreamed it could be.

Thanks for any and all feedback.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:12 PM
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RWoodard RWoodard is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Brighton, Colorado
Posts: 439
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I see youíre in Florida and New York. Probably not necessary for Florida, but I think youíd enjoy having heated seats for your time in New York. I installed seat heat in my otherwise perfect [thanks Chuck!] RV3 and it really makes cold day flying nice. Great bang for the buck. My setup comes from flyboyaccessories.com.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:34 PM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 263
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If you have USB or 12V jacks, there are some cheap heated seat covers or seat pads out there (Sharper Image, car parts stores, et al) that plug in and don't require wiring inside the seats. Plus, you can take them off in the summer to save weight and wear and tear.

And if you don't have USB jacks and are tearing the panel apart, now is the time to add them! Beyond the seats, it is nice to have power for iPads for charts or whatever other accessories you may have.
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RV-10 build blog -- https://eaabuilderslog.org/?blproject&proj=7ZSwfzr2g
Started 12/19/2019
Engine hung 1/9/2021
Panel in 2Q 2021
Flying fall 2021?

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  #4  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:45 PM
Dad's RV-10 Dad's RV-10 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: FL Gulf Coast & NYC
Posts: 76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWoodard View Post
I see youíre in Florida and New York. Probably not necessary for Florida, but I think youíd enjoy having heated seats for your time in New York...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlpineYoda View Post
If you have USB or 12V jacks, there are some cheap heated seat covers or seat pads out there...

...And if you don't have USB jacks and are tearing the panel apart, now is the time to add them! Beyond the seats, it is nice to have power for iPads for charts or whatever other accessories you may have.
The airplane will be based in FL, so right now I am more concerned about ensuring adequate cabin airflow/cooling vs. heating. But who knows where the skies will take me. Heated seat suggestion noted.

I definitely intend to incorporate USB charging ports in the cabin.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2021, 03:35 PM
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Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 608
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Since itís an RV 10 and youíll be flying in Florida I might suggest air conditioning.
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Superior XPIO-360, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon WS, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to WS, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Custom Interior, New TS Flightline hoses, Great POH!
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2021, 04:23 PM
Dad's RV-10 Dad's RV-10 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: FL Gulf Coast & NYC
Posts: 76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tankerpilot75 View Post
Since it’s an RV 10 and you’ll be flying in Florida I might suggest air conditioning.
Air conditioning is something I've given thought to. I haven't ruled it out but from the reading and research I've done thus far, although there are retrofit solutions available and although the airplane will undergo considerable disassembly, it seems most a/c systems are best implemented while the aircraft is being initially constructed.

I realize retrofit is not out of the question but I'm not sure that's a can of worms worth opening. There is obviously a weight penalty with aircon and considerable cost, neither of which are deal breakers. But I think I'd need more convincing as to the viability of the retrofit options before committing to the concept.
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2021, 05:53 PM
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pjc pjc is offline
 
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Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 192
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My advice, having also inherited a ďdatedĒ RV is to get it airworthy and fly it!

While I understand the motivation to honor your father with beautiful upgrades, and finishing his masterpiece, you may get yourself into a much more drawn out (and expensive) project than you anticipate. This also gives you an opportunity to determine if the RV10 is the right airplane for your needs/mission.

I would humbly suggest:
1). A detailed inspection by an RV expert (Vic Syracuse or Jesse Saint perhaps) to objectively evaluate what your starting with
2). Get it flying and fly (or have flown) off the Phase I requirements
3). With benefit of that experience determine if you are finishing it to keep (based on your skills and mission) or to sell (a well constructed but basic 10 that has the test period completed is quite valuable).
4. If your keeping it, determine the upgrades you want and have it painted. Lots of things can be done progressively as you have time/interest - but itís a very good idea to have a clear idea of the final state your working toward.
5. If your selling donít have it painted, the new owner may want to decide on that

Perhaps youíve already thought all this through, if so, best of luck!

Peter
200 enjoyable hrs on Dadís Retirement project!
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2021, 06:26 PM
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jrock836 jrock836 is offline
 
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Location: Burleson, Texas
Posts: 121
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What Peter said!

There is a strategy to follow if you're planning to sell and a different path to follow if you plan to keep and fly it!
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  #9  
Old 04-07-2021, 07:26 PM
Dad's RV-10 Dad's RV-10 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: FL Gulf Coast & NYC
Posts: 76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjc View Post
My advice, having also inherited a “dated” RV is to get it airworthy and fly it!...

...Perhaps you’ve already thought all this through, if so, best of luck!

Peter
200 enjoyable hrs on Dad’s Retirement project!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrock836 View Post
What Peter said!

There is a strategy to follow if you're planning to sell and a different path to follow if you plan to keep and fly it!
Thanks very much for the replies. Not to imply that I'm Chuck Yeager reincarnated but I fly for a living and I'm confident I'll be comfortable in the RV-10. I have no intention of selling the airplane. It has sentimental value.

While I very much appreciate all of the posted comments, maybe this example will better illustrate my thoughts regarding the type of worthwhile improvements or modifications I'm curious about addressing while the airplane is deconstructed;

A I understand it, my father installed a set of Cleveland "Sure Grip" rudder pedals. Apparently, these were only available for a short time. I have no experience with these or any other RV-10 pedals. But I have read about the Control Approach pedals. Maybe the Sure Grip pedals are fine. I really don't know. But if I were interested in having the Sure Grip pedals replaced with Control Approach pedals, it would seemingly make sense to do this while the panel is completely removed and access to the pedal assemblies is relatively unfettered, as opposed to coming back to address this after the is airplane is fully reassembled and flying.

I've also seen some mention of modifying the seat tracks to facilitate easier removal of the front seats? Or substituting the PH Aviation flap actuator for the Van's actuator. Would these enhancements not be better addressed now vs. after the airplane is completely reassembled?

I'm not looking to waste money, but I'd like to address things at this stage that make the most sense to address now vs. later, especially after paint.

PS - Peter, I am in the Tampa area too.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2021, 08:04 PM
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Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,404
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Not knowledgeable enough to offer specifics, but while it's apart, do as much as you can for maintainability:
* A friend had fancy wheel pants etc on his -10 and it took him and his wife two hours to check tire pressures
* He also had a three bladed prop and it was difficult to remove the cowling
* On my RV-9A, there are basically no service loops to the avionics, so adding a wire or two to the center stack requires major disassembly
* Wish my plane had LEDs for external lighting. I'd leave 'em on all the time
* Microswitches to make sure doors are latched
* Access to avionics behind the baggage bulkhead! On my -9A, have to take out the top and bottom bulkheads, a pain!
* Headphone jacks so you don't have cords in your lap
* Holders for spare headphone batteries, pens, etc

Enjoy your plane!

Ed
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