Welcome to the RV Builder's Hotline
Installing wheel pants on an RV-7A
(April 6, 2012) -- Perhaps like you, I've been able to get a lot of good construction information during the 11-year build of my RV-7A from the various builder websites that have sprouted up in the last decade or so.
But one of the areas where good information is hard to come by is the installation of wheel pants and leg fairing. My suspicion is that by the time most builders get around to this, they're pretty sick of updating their websites. Also, many builders are so anxious to get into the air, they save wheel pant work for well after the plane is flying, and well after they've stopped documenting their build.
I decided -- mostly because I'm still trying to save the money for the sales tax before I can fly -- that I would try to finish all of my plane before I took it out for the first flight. Also, the scales for weighing the plane are going for $50 to rent now, and I only wanted to do it once.
Fortunately, Chris Knauf, an RV-7 owner, gave me the needed shove to get going on these things, after I scratched my head over the Van's instructions. I, as you may have guessed, am a visual learner and it helps me to see the process more than read about the process. I'm not suggesting Van's instructions and drawings aren't valuable; I'm suggesting I'm too chicken to rely on them alone, especially after their warning that if your wheel pants and fairings are off by as little as 1/4", you're probably doomed to fly around in circles for eternity.
E-mailing of the Hotline publication currently suspended
Over the last few weeks, the amount of RV-related news and information not already on Van's Air Force has disappeared. I've got nothing more to pass along; no tips, no pictures, no newsletters, no articles. It's gotten tougher and tougher to fill an issue -- remember, this is a hobby not my job -- and most everything I've found interesting this week I found through the daily glance at Van's Air Force and there's no need to aggregate RV-building material if the only place it's appearing these days is on VAF.
The Hotline doesn't compete with VAF nor did I intend to push out an edition just because I had to.
You know that ad where the guy is browsing the Internet and he comes to a screen that says "You have reached the end of the end of the Internet?" That's where we are with RV information.
Everything that could be said about RV building has been said; we're at the point where we're saying it again.
Most of the content on Planet RV now isn't really building information -- which is what the Hotline emphasizes. It's user-generated content; people's flying stories, people's photos, a few tips. And Doug does a great job of sifting through that content and plucking a few things out for VAF's front page. No need for me to repeat that process when user-generated content isn't spread throughout various sites anymore.
Many of the building sites are dormant or -- as in the case of rvproject.com -- gone. The mailing lists are moribund. The bulletin boards -- other than VAF -- are stagnant and mostly uninspiring.
What does this mean for the Hotline's future? We'll see. But for the moment, anyway, there isn't a need for it. The Web site and the vast amount of information therein will remain in place.
In the meantime, Letters From Flyover Country (my blog) is a much better format for passing along RV and aviation-related information than a weekly or bi-weekly aggregant. I hope you'll add it to your RSS feeds.
About the Hotline
The RV Builder's
Hotline is a twice-a-month (usually) collection of news and information
for people who are building and/or flying the Van's Aircraft models
of homebuilt airplanes -- RV3, RV-4, RV-6, RV-7, RV-8, RV-9, RV-10
and RV-12. You'll also find information in aircraft systems, avionics,
engines and construction tips and techniques. It is delivered
via e-mail without advertising and is also available here on the
The Hotline peruses
the various online bulletin boards and selects 18 or so of the
best threads that provide important information to RV airplane
builders. We also search the best of the EAA chapter newsletters
each month for articles that pertain to RVs, and we provide original
articles profiling RV builders as well as issues critical to the
homebuilt airplane market.
You can subscribe to
the RV Builder's Hotline simply by selecting the link at the top
of the page and entering your e-mail address. Subscription is
via a double-opt-in method, by which you confirm your e-mail address.
The RV Builder's Hotline does not disclose any e-mail information
to third parties.
hundreds of pages within this Web site and a treasure of articles
and information to help you build your RV-3, RV-4, RV-6, RV-7,
RV-8, RV-9, RV-10 and RV-12 airplane. Enjoy your stay and be sure
to tell others about the RV Builder's Hotline.