Finishing Kit

Finish Kit Arrives

On Monday of this week, my finishing kit arrived. Unfortunately, I was so busy at work, I wasn’t even able to meet them at the airport. I had to send my wife! It wasn’t until today (Friday) that I was able to make it to the airport for the unboxing. Here is the hangar mascot excited for the big unveiling.  

Between the fastback conversion kit, and the multiple items I’ve bought from other sources, there isn’t a whole lot to this kit.

The majority of the box is the canopy and the engine mount.   


I also ordered a set of the seat foam that Van’s provides. A bit pricey for a bit of foam, but this will be far cheaper than the expensive seats from Oregon Aero and the like. I intend to use the plans Van’s includes with the kits, but I will either have my wife put them together (she can sew when properly motivated) or a local auto upholster-er.  I intend it to be two shades, light grey and dark grey with bright orange stitching to match the internal accents I will be doing. The headrest will likely have something embroidered on it. Maybe my name or experimental or the n-number if I ever figure out what that will be. For the time being though, I’m going to wrap them in trash bags and duct tape so that I can test out the cockpit ergonomics. I might even keep that setup until after the first flight. I’m a little vertically challenged, so I want to see if adding any height to the seats will be beneficial before I put final covers on them.

Not too much else to say. Pictures of other includes parts are below.   

Finishing Kit

I received notice that my finishing kit has shipped and should arrive this Friday, September 11th. This is my final “kit” purchase from Van’s although there are many more purchases remaining.

In other news, I’ve completely wasted this long weekend in terms of working on the plane due to a really nasty flu / respiratory infection. I can’t remember the last time I was this sick. Today is the first day I’m starting to feel just a touch better. Nothing is worse than being sick… I hate it! I’m hoping I can make it to the hangar tomorrow but we’ll see.

Finish kit + cowl and extras

A few months ago, Mike Regen stopped by my hangar while fueling up at KDMW. We’d not met before, and its always good to meet a fellow builder. Mike is building an RV-8 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He invited me down to look at his build, with a big bonus of potentially having several spare items for sale. This weekend I was able to make the trip down.

There are a lot of customizations on Mike’s RV-8 that I really like. Here is the first one. He’s built a custom housing for the GRT EIS that mounts in the lower left of the cockpit. He was even nice enough to give me the template for it, should I chose to go that route.  

Here is what it looks like with the EIS in place.

Mike has also installed the larger side consoles with the inclined section for buttons. This is a mod I’m particularly fond of, and I’m giving more than passing consideration to doing this as well.

Here you can see the EIS in its final location.

I took several photos of his firewall forward setup, as I plan to install the Sam James plenum, but not the Sam James cowl. The RV-8 requires a prop extension if you use their cowl, and while it is necessarily a show stopper for aerobatics, I see absolutely no reason to extend the arm on which all those forces are acting. Instead, I plan to modify the Van’s cowl for the Sam James inlets and rings.

Speaking of the cowl… Mike also had the original Van’s cowl, and he was willing to part with it! I purchased several items from Mike, to include the cowl, axles, Sam James inlet rings, Sam James insert, and a brake reservoir.   

Here you can see the Sam James inlet rings.

This is the eventual modification I will need to make.   

Moving on, I began installing my filters to my compressor in preparation for painting the interior of the fuselage.

I have a large filter / condenser at the tank, and another smaller one at the end of the hose. Additionally, I have some disposable filters, if that is needed.   


I’ve saved the biggest news for last. I ordered my Finishing Kit from Van’s this week! Between the items purchased from Mike, and the items deleted from the Showplanes order, the kit was about $2000 cheaper than normal. I also removed or switched several other items such as the tires and tubes. I am going with the light weight closed bearing tailwheel, and I also added the seat cushion set. I want the seats done sooner rather than later so that I can accurately plan cockpit ergonomics.