EXIT N432MM PROJECT, ENTER N16RK
AUG 13, 2010 - The RV-7A is SOLD. This web site will stay up, as lots of people have told me it's been a source of good info for them. I plan to start building a Van's RV-12 as soon as the RV-7A is gone. The RV-12 kit is 100% complete - nothing at all more to buy - and because it's S-LSA, the builder is required to build it exactly to plans, with no changes or customizations to distract me.
See my parting advice for tips on how to make sure your project gets finished.
AUG 17, 2010 - One of the features of the RV-12 is the removable wings, described by Van's thusly:
The wings are quickly and easily removable. Using methods proven over decades in high-performance sailplanes, two people can have the wings off an RV-12 in less than five minutes, making the airplane easy to transport on a trailer and keep off-airport. The RV-12 was designed from the start to be “trailerable.” Light, easily removable wings make it practical to keep the airplane at home, or hangar it in corners where nothing else will fit.
However, after looking into RV-12 trailers, I'm finding that there are still no trailers available for the RV-12, and only speculation as to how someone might design one. After designing the RV-12 to be trailerable, Van's has apparently lost interest in designing a trailer or getting one designed. See the big discussion thread on Van's Air Force about RV-12 trailers HERE. The VAF trailers discussion then led me to the Aerotrek A240 (formerly called Eurofox). The A240 seems to have several advantages over the RV-12, starting with the fact that I don't have to build it. It's an S-LSA (although it can be converted to E-LSA). When the A240 is configured so its panel is about the same as the RV-12, the A240 is only $17K more than the RV-12, and that $17K isn't taking into to account the fact that the A240 comes fully painted and has a Garmin 696 instead of the RV's 496. The A240 also has one-person folding wings (RV-12 removable wing needs 2 people), a BRS parachute option, a hi-wing configuration, which I'd prefer, and a trailer available that's claimed to work very well with it.
I've been flying the Challenger at every opportunity, though. I made about 75 flights in it in 2009.
SEP 12, 2010 - I'd originally thought that, after I sold the RV-7A project, I'd get a "medium speed" LSA plane like the RV-12 or Aerotrek A240, with folding or removable wings, so it could be stored & transported in a trailer. Then I could also sell the Challenger and the hangar, and just fly the LSA out of the "trailer hangar". I then decided the need for the "trailer hangar" concept was several years out, and that I'd get a really fast plane in the meantime. So, I bought this award winning RV-6A built in 1995 by Ralph Koger. It arrived a couple hours after the RV-7A left the hangar
I can hardly wait to fly it, as soon as I get some transition training from Jan Bussell in Florida
The same day N16RK arrived, my RV-7A project was hauled away by Tony Partain Transport Company from Bend, Oregon for a buyer in Kansas.
After removing the tail and packing the fuselage full of bubble-wrapped parts, the RV-7A project is pushed into the trailer and tied down. The wings are strapped to the sides of the trailer. The driver, Michael, said he moves about 100 of these each year.
Oct 23, 2010 - I just completed transition training with Jan Bussell in Okeechobee, Florida. I very highly recommend Jan for transition training. See my training page for more details.
Nov 2 & 3, 2010 - First & second flights in my new RV-6A. I went out to the hangar last week, but it was fog and low ceilings at the airport (clear most everywhere else) in the morning, then it turned to winds 15 gusting to 25 as soon as the fog burned off while I was preflighting, so I cancelled. Tuesday (2nd), it was a bit gusty (5 gusting to 15), but I went out. It was a bit hairy for a first flight, but I did OK. Wednesday was high overcast and wonderfully calm. ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! I went out & flew around and did a bunch of smooth T&G. After taxiing back in, I decided I hadn't had enough, so I went back out again for some more cruising, banking, and T&G. After taxiing back in, I decided I STILL hadn't had enough, so I went back out one more time for some more cruising, turning, and T&G. Very smooth landings. Jan Bussell taught me well! HUGE RV GRIN! Wonderful plane!
APRIL, 2011 - see HERE for my report on my trip to Sun N Fun 2011.
MAY, 2011 - I was thinking of adding an autopilot to N16RK, and when the vacuum system failed on the way back from my trip to Sun N Fun, I decided to install a TruTrak EFIS and autopilot.
I removed the AI, DG, VSI, altimeter, clock, and suction gauge. After this pic was taken, I also decided to remove the turn coordinator. The new EFIS goes in this big hole, and a little panel I made will cover up the two half-circles on top that the EFIS bezel does not cover.
All done - the new TruTrak EFIS and autopilot are great! I also removed the electric compass and put in a vertical card compass. Unfortunately, the VCC would not fit where the electric compass display was, due to the adjustment screws and their housing at the bottom of the VCC interfering with the fuel computer.
JULY, 2011 - I got an iPad to help with flight planning and as an aid in the air. Thanks to my friend DJ for suggesting it! I installed WingX, ForeFlight, and Garmin Pilot My-Cast. I found WingX to be head and shoulders above the others, and the Garmin was a distant third place. I won't be renewing my 1-month Garmin trial subscription, but I have 1-year subscriptions to the other 2. There are a couple things ForeFlight does better than WingX; mainly weather radar depiction (only on the ground thus far) and filing a flight plan. WingX is just superb for easily planning and flying a route, with a great interface that gives me all the info I want instantly.
AUGUST, 2011 - See HERE for my report on my trip to AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. I got some goodies for the both planes on specials at the show; a combination audio panel/second comm from Aircraft Spruce for the RV so I can check weather while I’m on with ATC, and some of the brilliant new AeroLEDs lights for increasing air-air visibility in both planes. Aircraft Spruce and Wicks were serious about cutting prices and making real deals, so I took advantage of it and saved several hundred dollars.
I bought some AeroLEDS lights for both planes on a great deal from Wicks at Oshkosh, and I'm putting in this SunSpot HX in the existing left wing cutout here, with wiring from SteinAir. Both companies have great products and excellent customer service. Ya just can't keep a builder from building, or at least constantly improving. I also cut a hole in the right wing and installed a Duckworks light frame kit and an AeroLEDs MicroSun with wig-wag built in. The wig wag landing lights should help with visibility in the air, coming into fly-ins, etc.
I ended up sending the audio panel/comm2 radio back to ACS. I found out, after receiving it, that it was going to be a lot more trouble to install than I'd imagined, plus I found that PS Engineering had a sticker on it with dire warnings that the warranty was void unless the dealer installed it. The local dealer refused to install it, because I hadn't bought it from him, and of course ACS couldn't install it.
ADD HEATING & COOLING WORK HERE
Here are a couple pictures from when I installed the proper air vent system in 2012:
And here is the Anti Splat Aero "The Nose Job" front fork brace I also installed in 2012, after doing all the Van's nose gear SBs
NOVEMBER, 2011 - see HERE for my report on our trip to Copperstate fly-in at Casa Grande, Arizona, just southeast of Phoenix.
FEBRUARY, 2012 - see HERE for a 90 minute local flight in the Challenger, condensed to 9 minutes. It's also on YouTube HERE (smaller, but loads faster).
MARCH, 2012 - see HERE for a 7 minute sunset flight excerpt in the Challenger, in real time. It's also on YouTube HERE (smaller, but loads faster).
APRIL, 2012 - see HERE for my report on my trip to Sun N Fun, Lakeland, Florida
AUGUST, 2012 - see HERE for my report on our trip to AirVenture 2012
current 2013 panel:
click HERE to see larger version of above picture
Here is a picture from 2013 when we weighed the plane as an EAA106 chapter project, after the panel upgrades, heating and cooling upgrades, The Nose Job install, and other upgrades, :
AUGUST 2018 PANEL & OTHER PICTURES:
Panel & interior. Click on above pic for larger pic in new window
Builder Ralph Koger's award for workmanship.
Leather Cleaveland seats with temperature foam, Hooker harnesses
Built by Ralph Koger, so of course it has a Koger sunscreen.
Tonneau cover enclosed baggage area
Panel & interior. Click on above pic for larger pic in new window.
radio & transponder
intercom & ELT closeup
custom warning lights for volts, oil pressure, canopy lock (they flash, so this pic caught 2 between flashes)
593 hours on engine and airframe
You can also read through the trip reports above for more details on the plane and its use. The heating and cooling problems mentioned have all been resolved.
Here is a picture of the plane parked at 2018 Triple Tree:
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