Now thinking paint instead of polish

January 4, 2010


While I was thinking of polishing for awhile, a recent trip to Key West now has me thinking paint is the way to go.

I was sitting in a window seat about halfway back on the east side of an Airbus A-320, which ended up being directly in the sun’s reflection from the polished leading edges. I decided to do a little experiment. I put on my sunglasses, and purposefully sat directly in the reflection for about an hour. I pretended I was looking for traffic close to the leading edge, and then got out a magazine (approach plate) and tried to read.

It was pretty brutal. At this point, I believe the cool factor of having a polished airplane is just about the same as the negative from the sun’s reflection.

Knowing I will go back and forth (many times) before I really need to decide, I think at this moment, I am back to painting, but with the same general theme I have been liking (see my previous ideas page for my last thoughts on this).

I’m going to repost some pictures of Tim Davidson’s RV-6 that I really like. Tim’s airplane is currently for sale on Barstormers, so I’m sure he won’t mind the additional traffic, but Tim, if you want, I’ll pull these down.

N65TD - Front left quartering

N65TD - Low Pass

N65TD - Right side

N65TD - Right rear quartering

N65TD - Beautiful in-air shot

I probably won’t do the checkerboard up front, but I definitely like this scheme. Looks fast.

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Saw RV-12 at EAA 1114

November 21, 2009

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A couple things for the last few weeks. Per my last post, I’ve been increasingly interested in polishing. I think it is a a great look. Even though it is a ton of work, and everyone will flock to the airplane with their dirty little fingers, I think it would be an amazing look for the RV-7.

Also, I’ve set a date for the ordering of the empennage kit. Dec 12, 2009. We’ll see how that goes, but everything seems to be falling in place.

Today, I managed to scoot over to Cary, NC and check out the east coast RV-12 demonstrator (the “blue ship”). Wow, it was beautiful. Mitch (Vans’ east coast representative) was a really nice guy, and explained a lot of things about the RV-12. A couple things of note:

  • 555 hours from first kit to first flight
  • 65 hours for both wings to be completed.
  • “100 or so” holes to be drilled (almost all match-drilled)
  • Most of the holes on the kit are prepunched to final size (no drilling, deburring, dimpling)

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Purchased Practice Kit from GBI

September 27, 2009

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I am a lucky guy. I live about an hour away from George and Becki Orndorff of GeoBeck, Inc. See their website at Last night, after a wonderful day of flying a Cessna 310H to Gilliam McConnell and having lunch at the Pik-N-Pig, I drove down to see George and Becki and purchase a practice kit. After graciously forgiving me for bothering them on a Sunday evening, George showed me their RV-7A (N289GB). It was immaculate. I asked George about a few things, the answers to most of which were expected. Example: Why shouldn’t I build? (“You should!”) Do you love it? (“Absolutely!”) Everyone I ask has nothing but wonderful things to say about their RV. Sounds like I need to go ahead start!

Two of his answers were more interesting. I asked him about tip-up versus slider, noting that everyone seems to like what they have. His simple response: “I’ve built both, and the slider is better. I won’t build another tip-up.” I was sold, but I pushed to find out why. Basically, he explained that the slider was more sturdy, cooler (both hero-pilot style and temperature style) and easier to build. Easier to build? That’s contrary to what I’ve heard, but George is obviously trustworthy in the RV expertise area, so I’ll take is word for it.

The other answer was to “What modifications should I do to the RV-7?”

He told me to put the RV-8 rudder on the RV-7 (instead of the RV-7/9, larger “uglier” rudder). I haven’t seen pictures side-by-side (to determine if I agree with the ugly part), but George said the larger rudder on the 7/9 is for spin recovery. I’ll need to think about this some more. I am not too concerned about spin recovery (he said it only improved the recovery from 1.5 turns to 1 turn), so I think the choice will come down to aesthetics, and the fact that the trailing edge of the 8 rudder is bent, while the 7/9 rudder is double-flush riveted.

Anyway, I got home with the kit, and had to join the girlfriend for dinner, so all I did was unpack the kit, and lay it out nicely so I can take pictures tomorrow before I get started.

Most importantly, the kit is a Van’s kit (some other builders were wondering what the difference was), but also comes with GBI’s sheet metal tools DVD. $55, which, with some subtraction skills, puts the DVD at $20. I watched the DVD last night, it runs about 60 minutes, and was really helpful with introducing me to some of the tools and techniques I am going to become intimately familiar with over the course of the project. He also walks through the actual construction of the practice kit. It’s worth the $20. I also bought the pre-punched empennage kit videos. Those should come in handy soon enough.

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