Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Vertical Power's VP-X...


I arrived at South Lakeland a bit later than normal and had just got the 172 tied down when the group of RV-4's I had seen parked over by the T-hangers, started up their motors and taxied onto the runway. I was hoping to get a closer look at these pilots birds but no dice.

 I watched as they took off in groups of two and then went back to unloading my cooler and heading over to the corner store for a bottle (glass) of coke. Jay was there when I returned and said that he was trying to source a new tail for my -4 and that those guys were down from Jacksonville and may have known about one.

It turns out that after getting the old tail feathers primed it was pretty evident just how rough they were. i was contemplating updating the tail anyway to get the newer thinker skins but have read that if instlled correctly the thin skins can do just fine. ...and be lighter in the end too. (No pun intended). I looked into installing an -8 tail and even talked briefly to a guy who had done just that to his -4. The differneces being that he had an IO-360 and C/S prop to balance out the added weight. I have an 0-320 and a light weight 3-blade Catto prop so that sounded pretty iffy. I then found out that the difference in weight is a whopping 9lbs so that killed that idea. Back to looking for a -4 emp.

 Jay had been pretty busy it appears during the week while I was away. He had the tail all primed up as I mentioned above but he had also primed the rest of the fuselage and the wings too. It is very nice to see some progress that I didn't have to do and appreciate his efforts immensely. It was ready for prime, i had bee sanding and prepping on the wings, tail and fuselage every time I wasn't sure what to do next and hadn't really run out of prep items to do but had run out of patience doing them. So I'm really happy to have it primed now.

 With y mock panel in place and my paper cutouts providing some bit of inspiration I set about making the bracket and installing the VP-X. Its going to be a pretty basic panel in that I have a bit of room to work with being such a small area to work in if that makes sense to anyone but me..

 I thought about it and decided to put it pretty much in the middle. That should provide the most space for the harnesses that enter on both sides of the unit.Those Ethernet ports are not going to be easy to get to so I may end up installing an extension and a port in the panel along with some usb ports for the Dynon SV and maybe an audi in port or something.

 I wanted to be able to take it out easily from the bottom since I'm still planning on making this thing a slider canopy and have not worked out top access to the area behind the panel yet and I'm not sure It will be feasible to do. I installed the cross brace and some nut plates. I made a bracket for each side of the unit and installed them in such a manner that it would be a straight shot for the screwdriver. The brackets being the way there are will hopefully keep the unit from falling on my face upon removal in the future.

 As seems to be the norm this time of year, the afternoon storms threatening reminded us that we needed to get going on home.

 We diverted slightly around a few more cells and had mostly clear skies by the time we neared home.