Off Season Projects Include New Wings, New Planes

Widget is replacing one magneto with a Light Speed Ignition in his RV-8. Envision an off season where the nearest air show is in the southern hemisphere and pilots retreat to recliners for football games and Top Gun on the flat screen.  Not so for Team RV.    

Even with the harsh winter we are suffering here in the South, Team RV pilots must use this window of opportunity to complete airplane projects that cannot be tackled during the air show season.  RV builders and flyers are ultra do-it-yourselfers.  Here is a sampling of the projects completed or underway in Team RV hangars from Georgia to South Carolina to North Carolina.

Tad "Stripes" Sargent is actively training for an instrument check ride and upgraded his instrument panel to glass with a full IFR suite including a Garmin GNS430.   Most air show and aerobatic airplanes are not IFR capable, but Team RV members use their planes often for GA, and being able to file IFR is a useful option.  Stripes also is building his third RV, an RV-8 this time.    

Kahuna’s new wings, shown here at the painter’s, hold 97 gallons of fuel – enough for him to fly virtually anywhere in the continental US from Atlanta non-stop.Mike "Kahuna" Stewart  finished building and installing a new set of wings . . . which begs the question:  what was wrong with the old wings?  Technically nothing, but Kahuna set course a few years ago for the possibility of flying solo single engine around the world.  His main obstacle – fuel.  His new wings carry 97 gallons.  He'll still need to build a ferry tank for the longest leg of a circumnavigation, but he can now fly his oxygen-equipped Super-8 from ATL to virtually anywhere in the continental US non-stop. 

James "Chatterbox" Clark is upgrading his panel from analog to digital and had to learn a CAD program to do it.  He only has a few thousands of an inch to get it right.  Measure twice, cut once, James.  His new panel will include Dual GRT EFIS screens, autopilot, g-meter, fuel flow, and room for a round radio in the future.

Bob "Subob" Goodman is going to be swapping his RV-4 for an RV-8 he is finishing building this winter. He wants more baggage room,  more power, longer legs, and a constant speed prop for more precise air speed control. Look for his new RV-8 to join the team mid-summer.

Greg "Neon" Vouga is still chewing on the big bite he took when he decided to convert his RV-7A to an RV-7.  He installed a second injector in his smoke system for a more uniform, better look when flight lead calls "smoke on."   He also installed new AeroLED position lights, fuel vent ports, internal rudder stops, and fiberglassed his wheel fairings. 

Len "Leggs" Leggette is rearranging his panel, adding an audio panel and a second radio.  The Team requires 2 radios for flight lead operations. Leggs is bidding for a Flight Lead position.

Jerry "Widget" Morris replaced one magneto with a Light Speed Ignition. He plans to install landing lights, a remote compass with temperature probe, and an APRS in between practices.  

Ron "Smokey" Schreck said that last year he worked his tail off but nobody asked him to write about it.  "My airplane is just the way I want it.  This year I am doing nothing to the airplane."  Okay – maybe we can visualize at least one Team RV pilot lounging in his time off.