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[October 22, 2007]


I placed my last "big" order today with Van's - the Finish Kit. My original plan was to order this when I flipped the fuse, thinking that would be about 2-3 months before I needed the finish kit, but buying an engine got in the way of that plan. Since I already have an engine (Superior XP-IO-360-B1A2) the finish kit order form was easy to fill out - parallel valve, vertical sump, fuel injected, Dynafocal I mounts. The only thing I did different was to delete the cowl fiberglass. I am going with the Sam James short cowl for my airplane.

Supposedly the James cowls add 5-7 kts to the top speed by reducing drag. I also think they look better than the Van's cowls with the round inlets. Van's will credit $748.82 with the cowl elimination and the James cowl is $950. So, for $200 plus shipping ($114 according to James Aircraft) I will gain 7 kts (8mph), costing me $40/mph - That's about the cheapest speed gain you can get with an RV! Compare that speed/price gain to using a IO-360 200HP angle valve engine $/mph of $1,570/mph (using Van's #'s on a 200 HP being 7 mph faster than a 180HP engine, and using AeroSport Power's new engine pricing).

Additionally, the James cowl will also make the RV more efficient throughout its entire operating speeds, not just top speed. The downside to using the James cowl, besides the higher cost than Van's is I have heard that the fiberglass isn't as nice as Van's and it will take more time to get the fit just right.
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Last Modified: September 4, 2017