Right Elevator
Left Elevator

Spar Prep
More Tanks
Tanks Alot
Final Assembly

F-704 Bulkhead
F-705 Bulkhead
Center Section
Forward Section
Forward Assembly

Top Skins

Cabin Stuff

More Cabin Stuff

Cabin Plumbing
Panel Install
Firewall Stuff
Misc. Cabin Stuff
Slider Frame
Electrical Part 1
Electrical Part 2
Electrical Part 3
Emp. & Gear
Avionics 1
Avionics 2
More Misc.
Finishing Up

Firewall Forward
Engine Stuff 1
Engine Stuff 2

Final Steps
Moving to the Airport
Attaching the Wings

First Flight
First 10 Hours
Gear Fairings
Test Flying
Sun-N-Fun 2006
Spring 2006
Christmas 2006

Panel Planning
Panel Layout
Misc. Notes


Sun-N-Fun 2006

Previous: Painting


04/03/2006 - Flight to Florida

I had a good flight out. It was lots of fun and the plane worked perfectly. I picked up flight following soon after departing from McKinney. The tailwind at 5500 feet was about 30kts. I had clear skies until Mississippi, where I had scheduled to land at Prentiss, MS (M43). The runway was in great condition and the fuel was cheap. The only other activity there was an Ag plane (crop duster) that stopped to get refilled with fertilizer.


Next I went above the clouds and flew at 7500 feet across the edge of Alabama and into Florida. I chose this route to keep me away from most of the MOA and restricted airspace around Pensacola. I was on flight following again. The tailwinds at 7500 feet were about 40kts, giving me a ground speed of about 210 mph while burning only about 7 gallons per hour. It was great.

The autopilot is officially my favorite part of the airplane. I was able to easily fly the flight plan that I had entered into the GPS on Sunday.


My second landing was at Dunnellon Florida (X35), which is about a 30 minute flight from Lakeland. I topped off the tanks and met a couple of guys who were also coming in to SnF from the west. They were from Nebraska and one had an RV-9A and the other had an RV-6. One of them had been to SnF several times, and he offered to let me fly with them, so I ended up making the final leg of the trip as a flight of three. It was cool.


The arrival was fine. It wasn't that busy and we had three planes in a group, so we went right into the pattern. The wind was from the west, so they were landing 27R. I was told to land on the green dot and to keep my speed up because there was a twin behind me. As I turned final I also noticed what was happening on 27L. The Red Baron Pizza biplanes were landing as a group, right next to me. It was awesome.


As I arrived at the parking area I was greeted by Tom Moore, a fellow RV flyer from McKinney. He had airplane parking duties at the show. He arranged for a shuttle to take me to the camping area, where I set up my tent. We then met up with Dick Flunker, also from McKinney. He had rented a little car, and he drove us to dinner. We ate at a place called the Red Barn, which serves steaks and stuff. So, less than an hour after touching down and I was eating dinner at a steakhouse. How good is that?!


The first night of tent camping went well. I hadn't done this in a while, but there wasn't any rain and I was really tired, so sleeping wasn't difficult. In the morning I went down to the public showers and got ready for the show.


4/4/2006 - 4/6/2006 - At Sun N Fun

I spent the next two and a half days looking at all sorts of planes. Each morning I had to clean off my plane because the dew would mix with the dust to make it all muddy and nasty. Mark Phillips was parked right next to me and we took airplane detailing to a new level. Unfortunately, 30 minuts after we were done, the dust and grime was back on the planes.

Here are a few planes I saw:


There were lots of planes to look at. I especially enjoyed looking at the variety of LSA planes on display, since many of them have used the same philosophy of "simplicity through technology" that I have used.


4/6/06 - Flight Home

One of the things that I have learned is that the weather determines how and when you fly these planes. So, each day at Sun-N-Fun I would stop in at the flight service station and check the weather. I had planned to return on Thursday, but early on it was looking like Friday would be the day for my return flight. Early Thursday I cleaned the plane and did some shopping. Imagine my surprise when I checked and found that the weather was getting worse later in the week instead of better. So I packed up my tent and did a preflight. The day before I had asked the roving fuel truck to top off the plane, so it was with full tanks of fuel that I departed LAL.

It was 12 noon when I started the engine. Departing was a real thrill. Flagmen directed me to the active runway. I did a runup while I waited my turn. My return flight would follow the same route as my first flight, so I brought up the flight plan in the Garmin 396 and hit the "invert" feature. I deleted Dunnellon from the return route.

The departure instructions were to hold the runway heading for three miles before turning on course. The departure runway was 09, and I was aware that I would need to deal with the traffic at Lake Parker. So, on takeoff I climbed. By the time the three miles had passed I was at 4000 feet. Aren't these RV's just great?! Well clear of the traffic pattern I was able to turn and fly directly over the lake northbound and head home.


I called for and received flight following from Tampa. They handed me off to Orlando approach for about two minutes, and then Orlando handed me back to Tampa. Whatever. Anyways, soon I was cruising up the coast with a slight tailwind.

I passed a PA-12 like it was standing still. I heard lots of traffic bound for Lakeland, but they were all being dropped from flight following when they reached Tallahassee.


I worked my way north and then westbound to Prentiss, MS, where I filled up. I also took my time looking at the weather.

The Garmin 396 with XM weather really paid for itself on this trip. I was able to navigate between the precipitation and not even get wet.

I arrived back at McKinney at around 6pm, somewhat tired, but feeling great about this beautiful plane and the exciting adventures that it's going to make possible.


Next: Spring 2006