After working tirelessly for a few weeks to get things ready,
it was time to get the inspector on-site to check the plane over
and then button it up and fly it. Todd, my DAR, came from
Minnesota and spent some time checking everything on the
plane. I knew I wasn't going to get off scott free, and
sure enough, he did find one screw and nut that I had loosened
and not tightened. It was one holding an adel clamp on a
fuel line. Not critical, but it was loosened when bending
the fuel line around the prop governor. Other than that he
gave it the green light and we found no running or control
I had the EFIS set up using the same values for all the speed
markings, and warning levels, as what I use on my RV-10, and for
the most part they worked out very well. I was to find out
later that the airplane stalls at a slightly slower speed than
the RV-10 so that is one thing that has changed.
There are a LOT of screws in the seat pans and interior.
The seat belt attach screws for the seat pans in particular are
a royal pain. I think the design should be updated to force
those brackets to line up better. We spent a lot of time
trying to get them in line to accept screws. Once it was
all buttoned up though, it was time to take it for a flight!
The plane has a great roll rate, a little quicker than the -10
and probably a little slower than an RV-7, but I've never rolled
a 7 before. The RV-14 flew nice and smooth and didn't have
a heavy wing nor did I have to add much rudder trim. This
will probably change after I add wheel fairings.
One big trim difference from my RV-10 is the trim position when flying straight and level...in this plane the trim is nearly to the nose down limit when flying level. It works fine and I don't think you'd want to adjust it differently, but it just does not have much more nose down trim to offer.
For the first flight I stayed real close to the airport and did a bunch of circuits around the pattern. It was flying very well and I could tell immediately that there were no major issues. For later flights I did some climbs to higher altitudes, so far reaching 10,000'. For the most part I can say all temperatures are good. In one of the screenshots below you can see the CHT's in the mid to low 300's which is excellent. The weather was pretty hot, near 90 or perhaps hotter, so I was happy with the CHT's. The Oil temp in cruise settled in between 184 and 194F. The oil temp does have the same issue that I have with my RV-10, however. If you do an extended climb, especially if it wasn't the first flight of the day and the engine is heat soaked, you will probably heat the oil too hot if you climb directly to your final altitude if it's over 6500'. I set my oil temp warning for 216F and it creeps up to that slowly, at least if you fly less than 125Kts in cruise climb. I don't know how hot it would go if I let it continue, as that is my point where I take action. I think you can go a little hotter without any worries, but if you don't begin to take action, you could reach the point of overtemping the oil. Remember that the oil temp is measured at the coolest part of the oil path.
The airplane is very comfortable to sit in. I have no idea what I would have done if I hadn't bought the Koger Sunshade. You can buy them from Van's but I got mine direct from Koger Sunshades because they are located in Boone, IA, which would make it quicker to ship to me. The price was the same either way. I'll tell you, it works excellently! It also comes with a lifetime warranty. I would probably not have been able to fly much without it this weekend, it was just too hot. But as it was, I got many hours of flying in, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If every day was a weekend, I'd be done with my 40 hour flyoff by the end of the week! Too bad we have day jobs. :(
Also below are some pics of my now installed interior from Abby
at Flightline Interiors. The seats worked out wonderfully,
and the carpet fit great. That helps to deaden some of the
sound. I also got a pair of Bose A20's for the plane and
they remove any remaining noise. It took me a little work
to adjust the crotch strap shorter, and I have some work to do
before the girls fly, in shortening the other belts. They
will also require rudder pedal blocks and a different seat back
prop before they'll be able to fly it and reach the
pedals. It's all on my to-do list, but top priorities are
now flying off the hours, and getting the wheel fairings
done! It will be so much nicer looking when I get the
fairings on. Right now it looks like a stick leg RV12.
One thing I wasn't as prepared for... I knew I'd like the RV14,
but I didn't know how much I'd like it. My intention was
to keep the RV-10 forever, but maybe only keep this plane 5
years or so unless I find a partner or two. But I'm
finding that it's such a fun plane that I don't know how I could
part with it. It loves to go upside down almost as much as
I do, maybe more. Wingovers are very comfortable, and
rolls are nice and quick...even nicer when you get a scattered
overcast to keep the sun out and give you some scenery when the
canopy is pointed both directions. It's going to be a fun
summer! Below are also some pics of my buddy Ed's newly
painted RV-10. They did a fantastic job, and you'll be
seeing his plane in some great photo shoots with my RV-10 and
RV-14 later I'm sure!