JAN 2015

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/449720

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Page 22 of 32

EAA Experimenter 23 current with his flying skills. While at Oshkosh, he managed to get a 30-minute ride in Van's -9A, which produced a spontaneous and indelible "RV grin" that he still wears today. After returning home to California, he started flying again and logged 80 hours in a Gobosh and Remos light-sport aircraft. That brought his total pilot time up to 155 hours. "I also had four hours of transition training in an RV-7A, including turns, stalls, and the technique of slowing down from cruising speed to pattern and landing speed. I felt very comfortable, and my own first flight was a piece of cake," he said. "Phase 1 [testing] is to go out and develop the flight envelope of the aircraft, not just bore holes in the sky, and I took it seriously. I did stalls, turns, climbs, de- scents, and kept track of fuel burn and other performance data with detailed notes. I did the gross weight testing by using 50-pound sacks of gravel. Each time I loaded and secured one in the airplane, I went out and did stalls and watched the airspeed climb as the plane got heavier with the increased weight. It stalled at solo weight and full flaps at 43 knots; when I had 200 pounds of gravel strapped in the plane, it was stalling at 55 knots. My RV-9A has the 160- hp Aero Sport Power IO -320 with a Precision Eagle EMS electronic ignition, and the airplane flew straight and level from day one." VIRTUAL WORKSHOP Throughout his project, Pete posted on his online blog ( www.MyRV9.com ), documenting his progress with words and images. He chronicled building the empennage, wings, and fuselage and final assembly. He included hands-on photos of himself as well, to show that he was the one do- ing the work. Pete said that when he applied for his repair- man certificate, "the FAA inspector looked through every single page of my blog. He didn't ask a question; he just had me sign the paperwork. That blog worked well for me!" When Pete decided to have the airplane wrapped in vinyl, he naturally posted that process online as well, as a video on YouTube ( www.YouTube.com/ watch?v=xH4uJeI9YhI ). His online postings received so much attention that he had at least a dozen people, many of whom he hadn't previously met, greet him by name during AirVenture 2014. "I've been standing here for days at Oshkosh and have talked to lots of people," he said. "Some of them know it's vinyl wrap because they've seen my website. But some of them ask, 'When'd you get it painted?' I'm talking to every- body who walks by, and I'm meeting people from England and Australia who've seen my video and say, 'I know that plane!' This is the best show I've ever had! There's a com- pany here at AirVenture that specializes in airplane wraps, but I've been so busy talking with people, I haven't had time to leave the airplane and go find them!" Close-up view of the wheelpants. Close-up view of an air inlet on the fuselage. Applying the vinyl wrap.

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