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, October 8, 2014

Bad day in the workshop.

First sight of the flames. I had smelt the smoke and my pager went off with the message "Stay and defend or leave now" about ten minute ago.
This is not looking good.

Time to bug out but where to go? I am the last house on the street - after me only bush - don't even think about trying to scoot across the creek bed, lush and green as it may seem. I had already burned off a safe patch at the front of the house. The Hail Mary option. I had my PPE from the Volunteer Bushfire Brigade. I knew what the expressions "Being caught in the open, in a burn over, by yourself" and "Dead Man's Zone" meant from my training. The mantra is "Out of the green into the Black". I just keep repeating it.

I watched my house and my Old Gal VH-LAG vaporise then it was time to make a move myself.  The transition through the fire zone was a bit surreal, it started to hurt quite a bit but I kept moving. I made it out OK and got picked up off the side of the road, a sorry smoky soggy pile. Evacuated in one of our light tankers and got treated for minor burns and shock.

Thought that was the end of it but it wasn't. Once the fight and the adrenaline go out of your body and your conscious mind, there is more to come. It takes your subconscious about a fortnight to call a special AGM in the middle of the night to demand an answer from the committee  "What the Hell just happened ?? You nearly got me killed!!" From there on in relations degenerate and it becomes impossible to make decisions without murmurings of distrust from the rank and file general membership. People - Stress Depression - if / when you’re blood stream feels like it is comprised of microscopic razor blades. Pop a flare!! It can be lethal in it's self. Don't feel you are being weak or self indulgent - the process isn't working at a level accessible to reason, or even consciousness.

Like fires, PTSD modes, can happen quite fast so you don’t have time to muck around.

Call "Time Out" and head off to Canada. Spend some time with family (or strangers - when you get there you wont be able to tell the difference) and choose a Stetson. "You call those Mountains "Rocky" ? That's just sandstone! In Western Australia ...." Chill and Heal.

So what have we learned from this? Have a Bushfire Preparedness Plan. Go see the guys at your local Volunteer Bushfire Brigade and they will set you up.  Have a Stress Breakdown Plan for members of your family and close friends.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


The last photo is the only one that depicts colour accurately. The rest look like beige. It is actually a fine metalic light grey with a low gloss.  It looks 30's aviation "Old Skool" and I am happy as can be.

I used Dupont 2K and super etch primer.


On the forum a poster says the RV-8 is 310 ftsquared. I used a 5 litre tin.

UPDATE: I had some touchups to do on the wing tips and wheel fairings. The paint appeared as good as new. Seems to be going off OK. Nearly exactly two years since the buy by date. Dunno what the specs are. I am just about getting the hang of painting now.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Whilst the Vettermans is a breeze to install there are a few pointers.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Looks like an airplane.

Putting the prop cowls and wheel pants on looks speccy. There are still plenty of little details that need sorting out yet.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

To Do / To Buy

Elevator trim cable is too short.
Setup elevator end stops. Manual is not very clear on this.
Alternator / Generator Drill Mounting bracket.
Cabin Heat Muff ?
Cabin Air Vent
Pump for Brake Bleed.
Stall Warning Sender / Lamp
Angle Drill
Watyl Primer
Washers Engine Mount Upper

$ :
1 x ICOM 210A
1 x Stud on starter
2 x 3/16 bore 3.8 HEIM 3614M Rod End - Aileron Push Rod
1 x VA111 Threaded Rod End - Aileron Push Rod
1 x Nut on Exhaust Clamp - not nylock
 4 x Washers Engine Mount Upper
2 x Rudder Cables - lifed out - F-452-LX166
1 x Clevis End - Elevator Trim            
1 x PPT Switch
1 x Push Rod - same thread as AN3 - Rear Throttle
1 x 2 inch hose clamp / Carby Heat Muff.
1 x 44 inch Hinge Canopy Rail
Tacho Cable firewall fairlead

Spar Bolts:
14 x NAS 1306-30
2 x NAS 1306-32
2 x NAS 1304-30
2 x NAS 1304-32
16 x AN4-17A
12 x AN4-16A
1 x Fuel Cap
2 x O rings spares
2 x Fuel Qty Sender

Steam Guages / Oil Pressure Port

This caused a fair bit of angst. 

By the time I had identified the oil pressure port I had already put the engine mounts/Lord Mounts / engine on the firewall. The oil pressure takeoff is in a bastard spot just under the top engine mount and it is seized.  You cant install an oil pressure fitting in that place without removing the engine anyway. You need a 45° fitting there and you can't install a 90° because of interference with the engine block. Heat from a blowtorch gently applied is the go for loosening the plug.  I used a butane torch till the paint scorched and smoked it took some  torque but cracked ok.

You then need to tap the port since the NPT taper thread will only do up a few turns. Finish with a non hardening Loctite 567 type sealer. 

Reinstalling the engine is a real chore unless you hang the engine from the block and tackle and put the fuselage straight and level. It will either fight like hell or go straight on. Be pateint and get the job lined up right.

37 degree / spherical insert ?

I have a Fuel and Oil Pressure Gauge. I want to plumb them using a 37 degree flared fitting. They have a concave seal in the back of the guage male fitting.

I was thinking about spinning up a male 37 degree / spherical brass insert and running a hole through the middle on my mates lathe but it seems extraordinary and fiddly operation.

Is there a better way of doing this ?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

RV-4 Fuel Pump Overflow Fitting

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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gascolator - where to mount it?


When I fitted my HS I found that the inboard edges interfered with the fuselage when it was bolted on. Had I allowed 1/4 inch extra they would have been fine. As it is I had to file out the flanges to prevent it chaffing on the fuse skin. I dont have a photo but can take one if it would help.

It took a day and was quite fiddly getting everything lined up but I got the empenage installed.

Lining up the elevator and rudder rod ends and installing the bolts is hell fiddly too. I dont think there is an easy way. The camlock instal tool is hand for putting over the bolts and squeezing them into the bracket / rod end  hinge points.

TO DO : The two forward facing bolts and an extra hole / bolt need to be installed / torqued.  Gonna do it at the same time as I fit the pitot static. Chains for the tailwheel steering.

The fuselage gets narrower every time I crawl in. Hopefully this will be the last.

sb06-9-20.pdf               Trim Cable Anchor   Service Bulletin
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. It really should be retro fit.To make matters more complicated the trim cable is too short by about a half inch at the quadrant. The turn into the HS end rib is quite sharp. If slack were found in the cable it would mean securing the quadrant end to the forward not the aft section of the spar carry through bulkhead - nasty fiddly stuff.

The elevator control stop setup is shown in DWG 30 and the limits are 30 up / down.



Plumbed from the brakes to the master cylinders. Now need the elbows to go on the low pressure side.

Now to figger out how to bleed the system.