Category Archives: Fuselage

Battery Well

Many religious arguments exist in the RV builder community. One of the many in the RV-8 religious sub-group concerns using the front baggage “well” for battery and electrical purposes. Some say it’s heresy to use that space and some, like me, think it’s a great idea.

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In addition to the PC680 battery, I mounted the B&C regulator for the backup alternator and the fuse block for the backup “essential bus”. The “forest of tabs” grounding block is located here. All in all, I think it’s a great place for all this “stuff” and it frees up the firewall for other things.

The battery mount is attached to the sub-floor using eight AN3 bolts and #10 Riv Nuts.

ELT Antenna

As anyone who’s studied the subject of where to put your ELT antenna on an RV-8 knows, there ain’t a good place to do it. When the canopy is open, it covers the entire turtle deck, which is where you’d normally mount the antenna, and where the ELT manufacturers want you to mount it. But, you can’t do it.  So, where to put it?

Rather than re-hashing the discussion and arguments, I elected to mount mine inside the cabin on a bracket as shown below. Yes, there’s no good ground plane, but as many do, I plan to wear a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) when flying anyway. I felt like this was the best compromise of all the compromises available.

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Empennage Fairing

Like most RV builders, I find the prospect of fiberglass work to be less than thrilling, and when you add the typical mediocre quality of the fairings supplied by Van’s to the equation, well, I just look for any alternative. Fortunately, for me, I found one at Fairings-Etc. I bought the RV-8 empennage fairing from them and it fit like a glove straight out of the box.

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Basically, I trimmed and sanded the edges, installed the necessary plate nuts and I was done. Is it a perfect fit? No, but it’s very close and close enough for me.

The fairing comes with bottom fairings which are very flexible and easy to fit.

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Wheel and Tire Maintenance

I decided to replace the tubes, re-pack the bearings and generally check out the landing gear. Even though the plane hasn’t flown, I was leery of the age of the tubes and decided to prophylactically change them just for peace of mind. I changed them to a set of Michelin Airstop tubes from Spruce and repacked the bearings with Aeroshell 22 grease.

Since the plane is on its gear and the engine is mounted, etc, I had to find a safe and sturdy way to lift it up for these activities. My company owns a pallet jack and I conceived of an “A Frame” support, which is mounted on a “pallet”. The pallet jack serves as the lifting mechanism and the “A Frame” support is mounted directly under the gear boxes. All pressure is upward and applied to the steel mount. Worked out beautifully and I plan to buy a pallet jack for the hangar.

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While I had everything off, I decided to drill some 3/4″ holes in the wheel pant bracket in order to expose the 7/16″ holes in the landing gear. Insert a shortened 7/16″ bolt in that hole and you have a sturdy way to jack the wheel off the floor with a scissors jack.

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