Wendell Folks RV-8 Project - Page 79.

January 17, 2008:  This Thursday evening session reveals the results of the recent painting of the RV-8.  The plastic-covered spinner and prop of my airplane are shown at the bottom right corner of the photo.
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The instrument panel has been installed and all connections except for the VOR antenna have been joined to the associated avionics items.
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Here is a view of the panel.  There are still a few labels to be affixed.   The battery is not installed, so no pictures of the lighted avionics tonight.
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I helped Wendell to put the lower rudder cap and the tail light back together with the rudder itself.  I held rudder sideways to accomplish that feat.  The tail wheel assembly prevents the rudder from being hung on the airplane and then putting the lower rudder cap in place.  The lights are missing because Wendell thought they would be doing the metallic blue trim painting of the airplane.  The blue checks on the rudder and the flaps were done in the professional paint shop where all the removable parts were previously painted yellow..
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January 18, 2008:  This Friday evening session was about turning on the avionics and setting up the Dynon D-10A with the latest version software and calibrating the artificial horizon while the longerons are LEVEL.   The flaps were hung from the wings and the elevator trim tab was adjusted for proper up and down limits with a usable range of the trim knob.  Note this new photo showing the metallic blue and D.O.T. yellow checker board pattern on the bottom of the flaps.
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January 20, 2008:  A rare Sunday afternoon and early evening session with Wendell was held today.  The focus was on checking the avionics and it was a good thing to do.  I discovered that the NAV/COM radio would not come on when everything else was powered up.  It turned out that Wendell had not fully seated the SL-30 in the basket.  All was good.  We got out his handheld radio and made a few transmissions on the air-to-air frequency.   I also tuned in the Chattanooga VOR and the GI-106 responded well when I dialed in the radial via the OBS knob. 

Wendell had also asked me to stop by Wal-Mart to buy some D-sized alkaline flashlight batteries for the ELT.  He put them into the unit and mounted it and the upper aft bulkhead in preparation for the initial weight and balance measurements on Monday morning.  Rich Nadig is coming over to do the honors.  He helped me with my W&B measurements when my RV-9A was new and again after coming out of the paint shop.

I also checked out the serial data links to the Dynon D-10A from the SL-30 and the Garmin GPS-396.  Everything there seemed to be in order.  When I was reading the manual on the Dynon unit, I realized that during the calibration of the remote magnetic sensor, I will probably have to not only position the airplane precisely on the four cardinal headings, but also raise the tail to level the longerons of the airplane.   I will take a few minutes on Monday to call Dynon customer service to confirm that theory.

Here is the only picture taken tonight right before my 8 PM departure.  It shows the wing tip lights all back in position to give a proper W&B on Monday morning.   It was getting really cold by the time I left.  We positioned the RV-8 back into the corner of the hangar and brought the Aeronca Champ back into the front center location near the hangar door.  It had been parked down at the Lafayette, Georgia airport during the recent paint booth sessions with the RV-8.
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January 21, 2008:  I got a phone call from Wendell only to find David Edgemon on the line.  He made it over to Wendell's field this morning in his RV-9A, arriving during the weight and balance measurements of the RV-8.  I had mentioned that David is working on the tail kit of an RV-8.  He told me that he has flown in several RV-8's and we compared notes on seating and head room.  I am too tall in the saddle for the way Wendell has his seat configured.   David is shorter in the torso and longer legs, so he sat in the pilot seat with no problems.

Today is a federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King.  As such, there is no mail, or any local garbage pickup.  At lunch I went out and brought the garbage back from the end of my driveway.  I also made the call to Dynon and confirmed that the airplane does indeed have to be level as if in flight to calibrate the remote magnetic sensor.  When the weather is clear and warmer, we will take the airplane mid-way down the runway away from the concrete slab and the steel hangar building.  At that point, I will use my hand-held compass to line up the airplane as close as possible with the cardinal points on the compass.  We will have to bring along something to level the airplane out in the turf.  With the remote compass sensor, we don't need to have the engine and electrics operating to calibrate out any stray magnetic fields.  There won't be any out at the wing tip location of the sensor.

By the way, Wendell reported the airplane at 1,117 pounds empty weight.

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