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[December 26, 2006]


Before the annual price hike, I ordered the RV-7 fuselage today - tipup, tailwheel, electric aileron trim, single brake, no external steps. Here is my reasoning for all of the options:

1) Tip-up canopy: This was something that I have gone back and forth on quite a bit. The slider canopy is pretty slick and has the advantage of being open during taxi operations on the ground to keep the occupants cool, especially in the summer. However, the slider does have a rollbar in the front that blocks visibility. The tip-up can be cracked open during ground operations for cooling, but it isn't as much cooling as the slider allows. However, the visibility is great. A good/bad thing about the tipup is you have full access to the top of the avionics stack. The bad thing is water also has an easier route to the avionics stack if the front of the canopy doesn't have sufficient weatherstripping under it. I went with the tip-up because of its superior visibility.

2) Tailwheel: I like the way that a tailwheel airplane looks and operates on the ground. When I started this project, I had no tailwheel time, nor the desire. I have since received my tailwheel endourcement and enjoy how the tailwheel operates on the ground. I don't particularly care for Van's nosewheel design. I also don't care for the castering nosewheel from flying Diamond Eclipses. All personal preferences.

3) Electric airleron trim: While the manual trim option is dead simple, cheap and light, I don't like where the lever is located between the seats. The electric trim can be wired to a china hat on the stick grip.

4) Single brake: I didn't like the idea of a passenger accidentally stepping on the brake and nosing me over on landing. The only reason I could think for having the brake is if I was getting instruction in my plane and the instructor needed the brake....or flying from the right seat. I didn't see either of those options happening, so I kept this choice cheap, light and simple.

5) No external steps: The aft wing of the tailwheel planes are low enough to step onto. No reason to add drag to the plane.
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Last Modified: November 11, 2017