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All First Flights

Don Patrick’s RV-8 RV-8 #83015

The weather has been spotty over the holidays and fighting the flu since Christmas Day didn’t help with getting into the air.

I finally had a break today. Winds were out of the west, light and variable, ceiling was overcast at 3800 ft, temperature was -2 degrees Celsius, and the runways were finally cleared of snow. The taxi ways, not so. I had no fans watching…didn’t want any distractions. My wife didn’t know until I was holding short for take-off!

I strapped in, turned on the Gopros and started my checks. Engine came alive after 2 swings and I got settled in. Eventually taxied to the main apron where I found a small patch of asphalt to do my run up. Everything looked good.

I was nervous. I had rehearsed this flight in my head over and over. Had fields picked out in the event I lost the engine. Played emergencies over and over. Clearance for takeoff was given after a 172 touched down.

I lined up, applied the power and got down to business. The 8 quickly accelerated and the tail became responsive in no time. Before I knew it, I was in the air. Straight out to 1000 ft AGL, turned the boost pump off, checked the fuel pressure, and turned left for 3000 ft.

I immediately detected a heavy right wing. Temps and pressures were all good. Unfortunately, I had the D180 screaming stall the entire flight. I was playing with the stall AOA calibration on the ground…have to fix that.

I did some air work and took in the view. Still couldn’t believe I built this in my single car garage! I could feel the draft coming from the rear canopy like many others report.

Decided to bring it back in. Called the tower ad they cleared my in for a 4 mile final. I requested a left hand pattern for the first landing and they approved. Checks done, base turn 90 mph 20 flap, final 80 mph, full flap, and brought it in.

Put it on the mains and let the tail come down slowly. Didn’t feel the wheels touch…maybe my heart was pounding to fast! Only 30 minutes for this flight.

Incredible experience!

My 8 has the following:

Superior IO-360, cold air sump, vetterman trombone exhaust, slick mags, plane power 70amp, christen inverted oil, silverhawk injection with a red cube.

Hartzell constant speed, HC-F2YR. I had to extend the glass on the cowl for this extended hub. Skybolt fasteners.

D180 Flightdek, Garmin SL40, Garmin 327 transponder, PS engineering PMA5000 audio panel, VP100. Rear view mirrors out of the tutor jets (Snowbirds)

Classic aero aviator 2 heated leather seats, crow belts, infinity grips. Todd’s canopy with slight tint.

Grove aerofoiled gear, grove brakes, bell tail wheel, Steering link.

Odyssey PC680 in the rear.

All up weight with paint…1170 lbs.

Can’t wait to put the hours on it!

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