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Old 06-26-2008, 08:26 AM
cnpeters cnpeters is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: St. Louis (Eureka), MO
Posts: 283
Default Auxiliary baggage compartment

I am interested in making an auxiliary baggage compartment in my -9A tip up behind the main compartment and want to hear about some ideas accomplished. It will be sheeted to avoid any loose items reaching the bellcrank/pushrod. Roger Ping had a nice area between the 706 and 707 bulkheads above the longerons. I am interested in an area for light items such as sleeping bags - not sure I could squeeze bags into Roger's area. Another option would be to make a compartment between 706 and 707 but fully vertical from floor to top using one half of the bay, keeping the pushrod on the outside of the compartment. My concern here would be compromising so much of the torsional stiffening provided by the rear wall of the existing baggage compartment. Which brings up - how important is this component?
Carl Peters
St. Louis, MO
RV-9A finishing kit
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:55 AM
DGlaeser DGlaeser is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Rochester Hills, MI
Posts: 919
Default Only Van's knows for sure...

That's a question for Van's engineers, but I would expect them to say that the baggage bulkhead is not structural. The exterior skins in this type of structure carry the load, both bending and shear. The frames are important of course, for shear as well.
The biggest issue you need to investigate is Wt & Bal. It may surprise you how little weight it takes back there to get into an aft CG condition. Run some numbers. Those 'light' sleeping bags may be heavier than you think Even the material you add to enclose the area will have a noticeable (and permanent) effect on your CG.
Dennis Glaeser CFII
Rochester Hills, MI
RV-7A - Eggenfellner H6, GRT Sport EX, EIS4000, 300XL, SL30, TT Gemini, PMA6000, AK950L, GT320,
uAvionix Echo ADSB in/out with GRT Safe Fly GPS
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:34 AM
Bruce Reynolds's Avatar
Bruce Reynolds Bruce Reynolds is offline
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 54
Default The Baggage bulkhead is structural:

The manual says not to fly the plane without it installed. Since that is the case, modify it at your own risk. Remember that "every ounce counts". A light plane performs beter than a heavy one.

Bruce Reynolds
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:39 AM
PaulR PaulR is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Geneva, AL
Posts: 491
Default Rear Baggage Modification

I have seen several comments on the rear bulkhead being a structural part. I made a modification to mine, but reinforced it both vertically and horizontally. I believe it to be sound. There are a couple of pictures on my kitlog, but not any real good ones. Essentially, I cut a hole in the baggage compartment bulkhead and added some nutplates to the vertical member in the middle. In addition, I added a piece of .062 angle to it vertically. At the top and bottom of the cutout, I also added a peice of angle to strengthen both of those areas. I ordered a seat back as the pattern matches the rear bulkhead and hinged it from the bottom. At the top, I bought some milspec fasteners to close it up. All the framing for the floor, sides and top are 1 x 1 x .062 angles and the walls and top are .025 sheet. The bottom is .050.
I have finished painting the parts but haven't riveted them in place yet. If I can help you any way, pm me.
Paul Rose
RV-9A 91300
SERFI 2013 Awards
Inspection Complete!!! 7/7/12
First Flight 7/22/12
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:48 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,884

Originally Posted by cnpeters View Post
I am interested in an area for light items such as sleeping bags - not sure I could squeeze bags into Roger's area.

If you can't fit your sleeping bags in that area, you need to get new bags. All of the six or seven bags I have will fit in there, even my zero degree bag.

When you are ready, go to Campmor and buy a good North Face poly bag. (My favorite is The North Face’s 20 degree Cat's Meow bag, which has kept me warm down to 5 above. It is very light and compact. The trick to polyester bags is to hang them up when not in use so you don’t compress the hollow fill fibers. I used to work for the manufacture of the insulation and tested a few of their bags.)

Also, depending on the type of camping you are thinking about, I'm not really sure you need to extend the baggage compartment. There is tons more room in the stock baggage compartment than two of my expedition backpacks could hold and I've lived out that pack for over a week at a time.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC

Last edited by N941WR : 06-26-2008 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:55 AM
osxuser's Avatar
osxuser osxuser is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,486

Re bulkhead... structural? I think not. Most likely the reason they say not to fly without the rear bulkhead installed is to prevent stuff from falling down the tail and jamming control surfaces.

Look at the material, thickness and design of the rear bulkhead, those corrugated sheets won't handle a load.
Stephen Samuelian, CFII, A&P IA, CTO
RV4 wing in Jig @ KPOC
RV7 emp built
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:23 AM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,317

Take a look at
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 06-26-2008, 05:27 PM
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osxuser osxuser is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Pasadena CA
Posts: 2,486

Congrats on post 2000...

I guess it depends on what Van's considers "structural." I'm sure it does carry some loads, it is riveted to the airframe after all. I guess what I meant was, it's not a primary load carrying structure, like the skin or spar. Don't remove it entirely, but as long as the basic framework is there, there is not any tension or compression in the bulkhead skin as far as I can tell. When you are up flying next time push on it with your finger and see how much oil-canning there is...
Stephen Samuelian, CFII, A&P IA, CTO
RV4 wing in Jig @ KPOC
RV7 emp built
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:37 PM
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Caveman Caveman is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 691
Default uhhh Hello


Bruce Reynolds works for Van's. He gave me my demo flight. I think I'd listen to what he is hinting at. I'm not an engineer, but I know you can over build and come up with the same end result as having a structure too weak. Unless you have a real good aero engineer look at what you plan, I'd tread easy in these waters.

My two cents... back to the garage.
Joe Schneider
RV-7, IO-360, BA Hartzell, N847CR
Flying since 2008
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Old 06-26-2008, 06:29 PM
JHines JHines is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Rock Hill, SC
Posts: 390
Default I asked Van's about 2 years ago

And was told an extended baggage area was probably possible so long as the CG and control systems were uncompromised.

I would think if it were truly "structural" meaning "required to be installed unmodified exactly per plans to withstand flight loads", they would have pointed that out.
Jonathan Hines
Charlotte, NC
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