This is a photo album of my RV - 4.

I will be putting notes and explanatory pictures as I build this air plane.

E - Mail Me

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Operational Equipment

Flight Planning 




The PLB needs to be registered online with AMSA. I will probably get a Sat Phone as well for, back up once, I get into serious travel. Hang on .. dont I already do that for my day job ?

Got my Medical and applied for my ASIC last week. It's all coming together slowly.

Radio / Electrics

I got all the major wiring done and will spin it up this afternoon.

I fitted the battery using adhesive neoprene (stuck to the battery) inside a cover.

The next purchase will be the radio and my Tax Cheque is burning a hole in my pocket.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Empenage. I bought a new one for the empenage - "RV -4 Fairing Subkit".  The fairing i bought from Van's wont fit.. The Horizontal Stab line is about 3/4 " too high meaning it wont line up. Essentially it is designed for a larger diameter than the  RV - 4. To trim it would mean the HS trim  flanges would meet up about 5 inches aft the trailing edge. The top fairing for the rudder  / Horizontal stabilizer has F - 868 marked  up on it and is nowhere close to fitting on the RV - 4. Is it possible Vans accidentally sent me the empenage fairing for an RV - 8 ?  Even if they did I would expect the two to be more or less congruent.

The fairing subkit comes with all the fairings except the gear legs. The glass work is miles better than the original kit.

Gear Leg Fairings :

I bought some epoxy from :

Fibreglass and resin supplies
Charlie Irwin
111 kew St

08 9361 8316

Charlie sat me down and told me how to use the epoxy emphasizing temperature above 15C and  to get the ratios as accurate as possible. The analogy he uses is nuts and bolts a surplus of one leads to unwed units of the other.

I taped and Plasticined the contours on the cowl to gear leg fairings. This is prior to sculpting with a half moon shaped plastic card. Still pretty bumpy.

UPDATE: I completed the glass work on the fairings this weekend.   What remains to be done is to use a filler on the fairings to make the surface smooth. I will do this at the same time as I glass the air scoop onto the bottom of the cowls. The only nasty thing about the job was removing the wretched aluminum tape  from the components - it sticks like crazy and fragments when you go to peel it off. I busted a fingernail on the job.

 It proved to be quite easy except that the aluminium tape is a mongrel to get off - a real nail buster. Fairings half done - need to get countersunk washers and fixings for the upper fairings - these will probably be blind - maybe a job for rivnuts? Also need to use body filler for the aesthetic smoothness.


This job is time consuming and messy. Now I would DEFINITELY buy them and save the time. I am however satisfied that I learned a bit about glassing. I would hate to have launched into glassing on the new airscoop with out doing this job as a primer. Now I am fairly confident I will get a satisfactory job done and not risk having to order a new cowl by stuffing the job up.

I would hate to build a whole airplane out of the stuff.

Persevered with the wretched things  with lots of sandpaper and sitting round on the front porch. 

They don't look to flash but neither Kayt nor I could be arsed with them any more. 

Cockpit and Instrument Panel

I have decided to move the fuel tap - it is easier to get at there and there is more room to do the plumbing. I have mounted a lockout similar to that used in mining equipment. the master electrical isolator is right underneath it. More in the details in the electrics section.

I biffed off the intercom since the ICOM A 210 Radio has one. In it's place I put on the V/G Meter  - wouldnt you know it I got the holes in slightly the wrong spot. There's 20 minutes with the needle files.

To Do :

Mount Hot air Control

Mount Cold air Control

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Engine O-320-E2D


150 hp (112 kW) at 2700 rpm, Minimum fuel grade 80/87 avgas, compression ratio 7.00:1. Similar to E2A but with Slick disposable magnetos and 0-235 front. Used in the Cessna 172 I to M models.

General characteristics

  • Type: Four-cylinder air-cooled
  • Bore: 5.125 in (130.18 mm)
  • Stroke: 3.875 in (98.43 mm)
  • Displacement: 319.8 cu in (5.24 l)
  • Dry weight: 244 lb (111 kg)

  • ?? Bolts holding the FAB to the carby are nylocks should they be castellated and wired ?? YES.

  • ?? diaphragm seat ring has an overflow fitting of some kind. Is this plugged?
  • ?? Locate and remove oil in / out plugs from motor to cooler.??
  • ?? What does the knurled screw above mixture bellcrank do??
  • ?? Crankcase Breather ?  Just a pipe overboard or a air oil separator?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Decal Themes

Themes to consider in decal design.

Here are some preliminary sketches Brett has come up with - Cool Huh ?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Pilot's Licence and C of A

Reserve a mark - I wasn't going to do this but rather take what came off the stack and save myself 65 bucks.  But Kayt spotted VH - LAG and I just had to have it !!

Rego - 130 bucks right there .

Exemption or rather "Assesment of Noise" - online form that took some finding. No Charge.

I have my C of A pack from the SAAA and will take it to work next week and check it out,

Got my ARN Self Serve 416307 sorted.

You must print out the docs and sign them and scan them and include a scan of your passport or birth cerificate.  

I also started on the ASIC. That shouldnt be too gruesome - just a matter of getting some pasport snaps. I will get the Medico to certify the ID when I sit my Medical . 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Airframe Checkilst

Airframe Inspection
AC 21.4(2) 6.4

Registration letters
CASR 45.045 and 45.065

Aircraft Manufacturer's Data Plate - sourced - to stamp and fit.
CASR 21.820 AC 21.10(0) 8.2b

Passenger Placard Warning  - This aircraft is not required to comply etc .... sourced.
CAR 262AP(9)

Experimental Markings   -  sourced.
CASR 45.125 50 mm - 2 inch

Calibration of Test Equipment AC 21 - 35(1)  - Not sure what relevence this has it wasmentioned in SAAA Newsletter.

Flight Controls
CAR 42G duplicate inspection :

2. Purpose
To alert maintenance personnel and operators to be vigilant whenever
installing or adjusting any aircraft control system using the classic two cables in
tension, closed–loop cable design, including primary flight control systems.

Pitot Static System
CAO 108.56 and AC21.4(2)6.4e

Specification — testing of specified aircraft instrument - Pitot Static Airspeed Altimeter and Fuel Guages.$FILE/Chapter%2012-13.pdf  see section 4

ADs and Service Bulletins

Here is where we look for AD and Service Bulletins that need to be complied with. Some will be of little consequence. Others will be plain wrong. Others will save your life.

  sb11-9-13.pdf         Fuel Tank Slosh Inspection.     Tank was never sloshed.

sb07-2-6.pdf              Affixing the passenger control stick permanently.    Not a good idea in the RV - 4. The pasenger has no need of an control stick but the pilot has no access to it if it gets fouled. Better to remove it when solo. 

sb06-9-20.pdf               Trim Cable Anchor   
WD-415-1              TRIM CABLE ANCHOR            $8.60
   Bugger ! This is a PIA - I just got done installing the elevator and would rather not mess with it. If, however, that were to snap off it could lead to a fatal loss of control.

sb97-05-1.pdf             Rear Seat Reinforcement     Done during construction.

96-10-1.DOC             Van’s FAB-320

Date issued: 10-8-96
Number: 96-10-1
Synopsis: Affects users of Van’s FAB-320 and FAB-360 filtered airboxes. Bolts attaching the top plate of the airbox to the carburetor may come loose and be ingested in the engine, possibly causing severe damage.
Correction: The four bolts used to fasten the VA-130C (FAB-320) or VA-131C (FAB-360) to the carburetor must be safetied. This may be accomplished by either using bolts with drilled heads and safety wiring them in pairs, or by installing tab lock washers under the bolt heads. If the tab lock washers are used, a 1/8” hole must be drilled in the top plate for the tab that prevents the washer from rotating. After the bolt is installed, an ear of the washer is bent up against one flat of the bolt heat, preventing the bolt from moving.

Good Idea !!

 sb06-2-3.pdf       Safetying of standard and flop-type fuel pickup tubes    I recall not being happy with that during construction but cant remember the corrective action I took. 

sb04-2-1.pdf               Fuel Tanks        Clear plastic found. Inspect Fuel Tanks.   Done during assembly. Might be worth a look in the tanks anyway. Dead rat etc. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Firewall Forward

Oil Cooler

I  mounted it horizontally with the bottom bolts on the 1/8" angle backside of firewall. 2' of SCAT tube just goes neatly to the pickup on the rear of the baffles. 

RV-4 Fuel Pump Overflow Fitting. 

Even though I bought the special fuel pump overflow fitting that Van's sells, I had no clearance between the fitting and the firewall.  I hit the firewall with an angle grinder and gain 1/4 inch strong clearance without causing damage to the underlying brackets.

The Fuel Fitting on the inlet fuel pump inlet is really loose - gotta check locktite will be all that is required to make it secure.

Firesleeve and a heat shield / p clip to keep the fuel line off the exaust.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cowls and Baffles.

Despite a lack of posting, the Christmas Hols didn't see a complete hiatus in building.

There was some fairly robust nudging of the cowls to try to get the wretched things tidy and to mount all the cam locks.