(click on a pic to see a larger version)
area. Note the mods to the throttle quadrant... a custom made
throttle lever and handle by fellow builder and buddy Randy Griffin.
I've also found knobs that correspond with the universal control
colors: blue for prop, red for mixture. Also note the trim knob cap
which is needed when you remove the plunger per Van's advice. This
is courtesy of RV8 builder Mike Robbins, he found it at a TruValue
hardware store and it fits perfectly. Note where I ended up
putting the carb heat and cabin heat cables, this spot works very well.
and right hand cockpit console. The right hand console switches are exclusively aircraft
lighting, both interior and exterior.
Rear seat right hand
console. Note the eyeball map light, headphone/mic jacks, music
input, and power plug for the backseater. The wires you see coming
off the power plug will of course be covered up by a panel. There is
a matching eyeball map light on the other side as well so that the
backseater can help me navigate.
where I put my fire extinguisher: I can reach it from the pilot's seat
easily. It's a 1.2 pound halon unit.
of Cleaveland Aircraft Tool. She does a great job. Note the special
headrest cushion. I made the plate from .063 plate and sent it to
her to upholster when she did the seats.
you can see the non-skid material I put down in the passenger footwell area.
I figured this would help keep the floor paint from scratching and also be a
guide for passengers to know where to put their feet. As passengers are
climbing in I can just say "put your feet on the black area". This
is the black wing walk material that Van's sells and is made by the Ray
Allen Company, formerly MAC.
there is no cockpit storage in an RV-8. So where are you supposed to keep
those necessary pilot supplies? One of the great things about the
Experimental thing is that you can get creative and design your own. Here's
a pic of the pilot storage bins I made. They are just pieces of .040"
aluminum and are secured with platenuts. They work great for sectionals,
sunglasses, flashlights, and Flight Guides. The do take away a bit of room
from the passenger's feet, but it seems like a worthwhile trade-off. There's
one just like this one on the right side also.
After flying my first year with the lower storage bins depicted above I
still wanted a bit more room for 'pilot stuff'. It was an easy retrofit to
add some panels to the next bay up. You might think those ribs would be
elbow supports, but once you're sitting in the cockpit you realize they're
too low, so by adding these upper bins you don't sacrifice a thing... I
should have added these from the start. They work great, and I now feel like
I have enough cockpit storage for pilot supplies plus a few small
incidentals (power bar, cell phone, handheld radio, more than one volume of
Flight Guide, etc.
Improved cabin heat system
are very comfortable for the person in the back seat, that is other than the
keeping them warm. See the Ideas & Products
page for my improvement on the heat system.
While my seats from D.J. Lauritsen
of Cleaveland Aircraft Tool have done an admirable job, I have been
exposed to two ideas that can improve comfort: sheepskin, and Oregon Aero. I
owned and flew a high performance glider for a while and the parachute,
which formed part of the interior, had a sheepskin surface facing the wearer. I found this to be
unbelievably comfortable whether hot or cold.
Regarding Oregon Aero, have you
ever sat in one of their seats? They have demo seats in their display booth
at all the major fly-in events. Do yourself a favor and stop by for a trial
sitting: once you've spent any time in one you realize they are in a class
by themselves. Their seats are designed using several types of expensive
visco-elastic foam and not just cut from a block or made from two layers
glued together. Rather they use many pieces glued together using different
foam types and densities to yield the correct shape and conformity. It's magic,
or at least you'll think so after spending some time on one.
I decided to combine Oregon Aero's seat
technology with the functional comfort of sheepskin and have some seats built for my
plane. They will have charcoal grey sheepskin on the seating surfaces while
sides will be a very durable material called Mordura. This just happens to
be the same two materials used for all the military seats they make. It
won't be very flashy looking but should be very functional. No doubt they're
not as attractive as the Cleaveland seats, but the comfort and functionality
are worth it.
If you're wondering what the panel is on the
back of the rear seat, it's an adjustable lumbar support. I have a booster
cushion for short people and of course changes where your back's position.
If you'd like to learn more about what makes
Oregon Aero's seats so comfortable clic
here. If you'd like information on their seats for the RV series