Matt's RV-6 Project



Matt Dralle's RV-6 Project
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Date:  9-10-2011
Number of Hours:  1.00
Manual Reference:  
Brief Description:  Electric Flap Conversion - Part 01

N360EM had manual flaps. Yeah, that's what I said - manual flaps! Ack, what a chore. Not so much from the point of view of having to muscle the johnson bar up to get the flaps down, but more from the point of view of it not being really that easy to get the handle, especially with a passenger. The johnson bar for the manual flaps installation is located right between the pilot and the passenger and is a long metal tube with a mechanical button on the end for latching at the various notches. The second time I flew the RV-6 I *knew* I had to replace those mechanical flaps with the electric option.

Van's sells a retrofit kit to upgrade the old mechanical flaps to the newer electric flap option. The kit includes a new weldment to install along with an electric motor and metal mounting braces and Nylon mounting blocks. Its a pretty slick system, but it reminded me of the old RV-4 building days where nothing was pre-punched and none of the brackets were particularly well finished or cut to size. Pretty much everything needed to be cut-to-fit, which translates to "takes a lot of time". That being said, it went together pretty well and I only had to re-order a couple of the metal pieces. :-( I also added a MAC linear position sensor and came up with a pretty slick mechanical push rod arrangement for actuating it off the flap weldment. The left and right baggage area covers had to be notched out to accommodate the new location of the flap weldment and I have to say I'm pretty proud of my post installation notch cutting ability, especially considering you really can't measure the notches that accurately prior to cutting.

Needless to say, the electric flaps are a joy to fly! I can't believe the original builder didn't upgrade those a long, long time ago!!
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New Electric Flap Weldment

New Electric Flap Weldment

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New Electric Flap Weldment

New Electric Flap Weldment

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Electric Flap Motor Mounting

Electric Flap Motor Mounting

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