After an email to the Matronics list to beg for a chance to sit in an RV-7 to answer some panel/knee clearance/spacing questions, a gentleman from Southeast airport invited me out to take a look at his RV-7.
After talking for a few minutes, I was invited to sit inside. First of all, this was a beautiful airplane. Definitely at the top of the “fit-and-finish” list in terms of quality of workmanship and systems/layout/panel decisions. (Doug Bell imitation tailwheel fork upgrade, smaller tailwheel springs, AOA vane, beautiful panel layout, etc.)
- The panel is closer (to your face) than I expected. My idea for 2 ten inch screens to the left of the radio stack probably won’t work. The radio stack will still be reachable, but I don’t know if I like having it that far right with a panel that close to you.
- It was easier to get in and out of the airplane than I thought it would be. I’m a big boy, and this won’t be a problem.
- Plenty of leg/knee room to the left (a 1-inch subpanel would be no problem, although I didn’t do the rudder and brake full travel check.)
- Knee room to the right was a little limited, but the throttle quadrant bracket was taller than I have seen before, and was extended to the left a little for the (I think it was a) carb heat knob.
- That is (I believe) an 8.5″ AFS 3500. Knowing my Dynon Skyviews are 10″, I don’t think I could put two of them next to eachother comfortably. To keep the radio stack within reach, the Skyviews have to come down a little to get left. The two directions I am not thinking about are two 7-inch Skyviews, or moving one of the 10″ units to the right of the radio stack and centering the two displays in front of each seat.
- Fuel pump switch just right of master. (I have my fuel pump switch planned for just left of the flap switch, which is the right-most switch on the pilot side of the panel. I did this because the pump is most used during TO/LDG…David put his here because the pump is first used to prime before start…hmm. I’ll have to think about this a little more.)
- For information only: this is a standard height panel.
- The Classic Aero Designs interior was fantastic. David had the sportsman seats (with a highly recommended sheepskin cover on the pilot’s side), which were nice, and the side panels, carpet, and baggage area accessories equally as high class/quality. Bravo CAD.
I grabbed a picture of my feet.
Here, I was just trying to get scale for a passenger and look at more spacing.
Another panel shot. I thought I would be bothered by the headset plug location here. Didn’t bother me a bit.
Just another shot of knee clearance.
Here I am, seated in normal postion (not stretching) reaching to the CB panel. I would have to lean about 2 inches to reach the right side of the panel. Not bad.
Then, some anthropomorphic assessments…my left arm, in what I will call “relax” position.
Again the fit and finish was amazing. A lot of people have pretty ugly looking cowl hinge pin attachments. This one was just a piece of polished (and nicely fitted) aluminum. Can’t beat that.
Lot’s of things to think about and ponder. No earth-shattering revelations, though, which is good. A big thanks to David for letting me come see his airplane.