is a small, honor system webezine trying its best to be a laid back virtual watering hole for builders and pilots of Van's RV kitplanes.  Here we roll civil, don't talk politics, don't employ attention engineers or record keystrokes.  Hopefully after visiting occasionally, you leave VAF a little happier and motivated than you arrived.    Brought to you by the Reeves family

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Jan Wallpaper

Advertise on VAF.

January 20, 2021.  Issue #5,260 (Need a contract pilot?  How 'bout using me?)

My RV-4 Panel ...Flyhud


It Flies! ...resrob66

Well almost 11 years to the day my slow build RV8 took flight. Flew straight as an arrow, ball centered and no heavy wing issues. Has the ShowPlanes fastback mod and cowling. Garmin G3x avionics. Titan IO-370 engine with an MT 3 blade prop. Only got one flight in before the weather turned bad, can't wait for more to come.


Manifold pressure sensor problem

Hi everyone. I have a strange manifold pressure sensor indication that's just started in the last couple of flights.

After takeoff, I reduce my manifold pressure to 25", which I then maintain as long as possible during climb by adding throttle (if I don't, of course, the pressure drops as I gain altitude). However, lately, I see my manifold pressure *rising* as I climb, even without adding throttle, which makes no sense if things were working as they should. On my latest flight, right after reaching 10000', wide open throttle was showing around 26" initially, though in my experience, it should be closer to around 20".

Over the course of 10 or so minutes, the indicated pressure slowly reduces to what it should be reading.

When I change throttle, the indicated manifold pressure changes quickly, and as expected, so my first thought isn't necessarily blockage in the tube running from the engine to the sensor. I've just seen (so far) that during a climb (and presumably during a descent, though I haven't tested this), the indication is unreliable until levelled off for several minutes. Is there a vent on the sensor to outside air that may be partially blocked? Or equivalently, is there a fixed pressure chamber in the sensor that should be holding a constant pressure but is leaking to ambient?

Obviously, I can just replace the sensor and I expect the problem would go away. But I'm trying to understand what might cause this (and if it's just possibly a partially blocked vent hole, it may be easy enough to just clean out).

Thanks for any suggestions!


Completed RV-14A

Completed RV14A N448WP 2 years ago and just returned from Glo Paint Shop


Fuse Progress ...rockitdoc

Emp done.  Fuse getting close.


Angle of attack indicators

Apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere but I didn't see any threads on this topic.

I would like to see what others have to say on installing an AOA indicator on their RV. Specifically, thoughts and opinions regarding how they add to safety, and which products you have installed or rejected and why. Ballpark cost and ease/difficulty of installation would also be helpful.

My wings are finished except for the tips and not yet mounted, so I'd like to run the tubing/wiring before they are completely buttoned up and in place.

Thanks for any advice/experience/suggestions you can share.


SS Tape On RV-7 Flaps

Much thanks to Ironflight and others for their much earlier posts on using SS tape from McMaster for this as an alternative for this purpose, which were helpful to me at that stage of my project.

Attached are some RV-7 flap pix as a reference for the OP.

I also used 3" tape and would repeat the caution about using gloves or other protection against the razor sharp edges during application, which is not a factor after the tape is applied. In my experience it also went down easily, and if you are into cosmetics, it can be easily polished to a high sheen with common metal polish.


Puppy Rescue help from MSP area needed


We're about to adopt our second Ridgeback puppy from Ridgeback Rescue US. "Harlowe" is currently being fostered in the Minneapolis / St. Paul region and I'm hoping to arrange a shuttle to get her to her new home. Is anyone interested in using their RV to fly her to central Nebraska and meet? I'm flexible and can meet at the airport of your choosing. KLXN is about 3 RV hours for me each way, is somewhat familiar, and has cheap fuel.

Winter weather can be challenging and flexibility is key. Sometime over the weekends of January 29 or February 6 are my targets.

A successful mission will net a trip report with kids and puppies, and much gratitude.


New to the forum, long intro, fuel system question ...Richard RG

Greetings all,
Little did I know the resources available to a new RV owner. Amazing! I've searched high and low in the various forums and not able to find a definitive answer to my question. Please bare with me while I give a little back ground leading up to my question (s).
Late in the summer of 2020 I became the proud owner of an especially well built RV3b, ident C-GBGF and completed in 2009. I purchased the RV3 from the widow of the craftsman that built it, her husband and builder having died in his C-172. He was flying off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, gathering weather information data for NOAA.
The RV3 was his third RV build. His lovely widow knew nothing of the RV3, but after a 5 hour inspection by both myself and a very competent Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) determined the aircraft to be exceptionally well put together and seemingly, strictly built to Vans construction plans.
Having zero tail wheel time when I bought the RV3, discovered its not so easy to get transition training. Fast forward 5 months... I finally got 1.1 hours in an RV6, with a most excellent instructor. I think we spent a bit more of that time doing aerobatics, rather than figuring out how to taxi and land.
During the taxi training phase of my 1.1 hours, discovered the RV6 was a lot more manageable than the RV3, which I had taxied around a number of times. Upon return to home base from my first tail wheel adventure, quickly determined that the tail wheel assembly was pretty much worn out on the RV3. More weeks passed, waiting for the new tail wheel assembly to arrive and install.
Once the RV3 was good to go, intended to resume training in the RV6 but then discovered the left starting mag was dying in my C-150 aerobat, not to mention the transponder started giving me grief as well. The transponder is mandatory in order to fly to the RV6.
Yet more weeks pass and I'm itching to fly the RV, but paranoid about breaking it. Lucky for me, some airport friends took pity and volunteered I could use a Piper Tri-Pacer converted to tail dragger, to carry on learning how to manage a tail dragger.
A very brave and competent fellow jumped into the converted Tri-pacer with me and even more bravely, gave me the left seat with no brakes on his side. After 3 hours of flying around and doing a bunch of landings/takeoffs he announced that I should go fly the RV. I didn't necessarily agree with him, but threw caution to the wind and strapped into the little hotrod, lined up on the runway and with knees shaking, did the most horrendous takeoff I've ever done. I've got 900 hours total, 450 of that in a Mooney M20e and the rest in 150's.
That first takeoff was quite an eye opener! That little sucker has some serious get up and go and will not be nice to you if you pick the tail up real fast. I picked the tail up real fast and it was immediately doing a hard left... I ended up doing a bit of the wild thing down the runway using an awful lot of the 75' width and yep, I had a wee bit of an audience, of course.
Luckily, the RV3 gets in the air very quickly, so managed to get away quickly from my bad takeoff roll and the prying eyes of the seasoned pilots watching my performance. Happily, they didn't have their score cards handy that day. Scoring visiting pilots is a bit of a pass time at our 2400' runway. The Ukrainian judges as they call themselves have score cards that only go to 7, so don't feel bad if you get a 5 or 6.
After an hour of slow flight, some stalls and feeling the plane out, it was time to land. During my hour of feeling the plane out, I switched tanks after about a half hour. Same as the Mooney, always put the boost pump on during the switch and watch the fuel pressure. Boost pump off, watch the pressure.
My first approaches were intentional overshoots, several times. It certainly doesn't take much to execute an overshoot in a little airplane that weighs 821 Lbs, with a 160hp.
Satisfied with the overshoots ,was time to land. Sitting on the ground, I can see pretty much nothing looking forward. So, having memorized this sight picture before takeoff, knew that if my butt was almost dragging on the ground and I could see virtually nothing looking forward, I should be touching down very gently soon. Things worked out a little differently than I hoped. It seems that spring gear can be pretty springy, unless you set those springs down very gently. Apparently I wasn't gentle enough... after the second bounce that was about the same altitude as the first, thought things weren't going to get any better, so powered up and went around. That little RV does a go around really well!
Though I still bounce somewhat, after a grand total of twelve hours of flying the RV3, find that the airplane manages itself just fine if the stick is held full back and you keep it pointed straight. I've actually surprised myself with several greasers, but attribute that more to luck than skill.
Of course, after each flight I very carefully check and calculate fuel consumption because I have never trusted fuel gauges. Early in the process of monitoring the fuel burn, I was shocked a couple of times to discover that the Port tank had come up in level, rather than going down the expected amount. Further, the Starboard tank would be very much lower than expected. In my books, this is very odd and potentially hazardous to ones health and longevity.
Shortly after taking ownership of the RV I discovered that the lever attached to the fuel selector shaft was slightly loose. I applied locktite to the screw that attaches the fuel lever selector to the fuel selector shaft but still felt a small amount of play in this assembly. Looking closer, I could see a small amount of wear between the fuel lever selector socket face and the corresponding profile on the end of the fuel selector shaft. The aircraft has 840 hours on the airframe and likely the same hours on the fuel selector. It appears to be the selector that came with the kit, so have ordered a replacement from ACS and not nearly as expensive as the Andair unit.
When I discovered the unusual tank levels in the RV, suspected that the fuel valve was the culprit and some how cross feeding. It didn't make sense that the the Port (left) tank was always gaining level over the Starboard tank. Right from the first flight in the RV, my habit was to always begin flight with full tanks and always start up and run on the right tank, switching later in flight.
After my most recent flight, filled both tanks full and taxied back to the hanger. When I shut down, I had a pretty big puddle of fuel under the left tank vent. I opened the left tank cap and fuel overflowed from the tank. It finally became clear that something seriously strange was going on with the fuel system.
A close inspection of the fuel system revealed a return fuel line tied in off the main fuel supply line, immediately prior to the carburetor, . The previous owner had installed what appears to be a recirculation line off the fuel supply to the carburetor and is returned to the left tank only.
I am assuming such a line is installed to minimize the chance of vapor lock and also, helps to ensure cool fuel is being delivered to the engine.
My understanding is the previous owner may have used mogas/car gas. In the accident investigation related to his crash in the C-172 it was noted that there was a mix of avgas and mogas in his aircraft and carb ice may have been a contributing factor to the accident.
This recirculation line complicates managing fuel and at this time, I am trying calculate the recirculation rate. So far, I believe there is no restriction orifice in the recirculation line, as even after 40 minutes of drawing down the full left tank in flight and then switching to the right tank for 30 minutes, discover on the ground that the left tank is again full to the max.
At this time, I don't have plans to burn mogas after having had a fright in the Aerobat when using mogas. Very hot day in the Aerobat, climbing out over very inhospitable terrain and the engine starts dying, seriously no fun.
Fortunately, the Aerobat has a 150hp lycoming and requires a boost pump for this STC. The boost pump saved my bacon that day and have shied away from mogas ever since.
Am I on the right track assuming this return line is for vapor lock control? Can I install an isolation valve on this return line to the left tank and open only as required? Will shutting off this return line cause issues with the mechanical double diaphragm fuel pump attached to the back side of the Lycoming E2D?
Would I be better off to install a restriction orifice in the return line (if there isn't one) which should then allow a metered and easily measured amount of fuel recirculation?
Apologies for such a long post, just thought I'd give some back ground before putting my question out there. Any insights to managing my fuel in the safest manner possible, much appreciated!


Mothership Jobs Open listing (CNC Programmer)


----->>>>> How to Minimize the Chance You <<<<<-----
----->>>>> Could be Dealing with a Scammer <<<<<-----
...when using the classifieds.


Model-specific subforums

photo courtesy Van's Aircraft, Inc.






photo courtesy Fred Bauer, Jr.


Would You Build an "RV STOL Super Cub"?

If yes, let me know and I'll add your name in the folder.  I've created a 63-page sales pitch
[ed. 8/2020 update....I have
100+ names saying they will order it NOW and continue to get emails saying the same that I'm just filing away.  We've established demand <g>.]

Watch video (27 sec)


Off Topic

Need a contract pilot????
How 'bout using me?
(Phenom 300, Pilatus PC-12, Cessna Caravan)


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