“I created flip-up doors
like you’d find in
street rods to cover the
switches. Nobody was
doing that in aircraft
at the time.”
TOP: A flip-up door opens to reveal a series of
switches on the center console.
LEF T: Greg connects the rudder pedals to the cables
inside the “tunnel” with attachment bolts passing
through “smiley face” slots.
RIGH T: Under the central console is the “tunnel”
where fuel lines, rudder cables, air conditioning
hoses, and avionics cables are routed out of view.
fuel lines, cables from the pedals to the
rudder, coaxial cables to antennas, and air
conditioning hoses are routed out of view.
In stock RV-10s, the rudder cables come out
through the sides of the tunnel to connect
to the pedals. But that didn’t fit with Greg’s
vision for the interior.
Instead, he kept the rudder cables
inside of the tunnel and used a router to
cut a “smiley face” slot on both sides of the
tunnel near the rudder pedals. Attachment
bolts pass through the slots to connect the
rudder pedals’ vertical tubes to fittings
inside the tunnel that connect to the rudder cables, while maintaining the cables’
original length. A pair of cable covers, one
with a larger diameter than the other, were
slipped inside of each other and over each
rudder cable to prevent the cables from
contacting the air conditioning hoses.
The control stick is from Infinity
Aerospace. Switches on the stick control the flaps, roll/pitch trim, microphone,
boost pump, engine start, and autopilot disconnect. The engine start switch goes to a
Smart Start from TCW Technologies, the
same company that makes the safety trim
system used in the RV- 10. With Smart Start,
a separate activation switch is hidden in the
airplane. After that switch is pushed, the
pilot has one minute to start the airplane
before the start circuit is deactivated. This
protects against accidentally pressing the
start switch with the engine running.
Although Xenarc no longer sells the
particular computer Greg installed, a similar one with a 160 GB drive, the Stealth
LPC-460 computer, is available from
another company. His software includes
operating manuals for the avionics and an
RV- 10 weight and balance program that
Greg wrote and gives away on his website.
Slide-out silver cup holders, originally
designed for cars, are installed on both
sides of the instrument panel. Greg found
that the pilot’s side cup holder is perfect
for supporting his Apple iPad in a landscape orientation. He uses the iPad in
flight primarily for instrument approach
But he also likes to print out approach
charts as a backup in case the aircraft loses
power. To hold those charts and to have a
place to write down ATIS information and
IFR clearances, he designed and fabricated
a removable desk. A Quick-Clamp universal clipboard from Sporty’s was modified
for insertion into tubes installed in the console’s armrest storage compartment.
CRUISING IN COMFORT
Greg liked the seat cushions supplied with
the RV- 10, but they didn’t evoke the Lexus
feel he sought. So he used Chuck’s Auto
Reupholstery, a local Tulsa interior shop, to
build the seats, interior panels, and instrument panel eyebrow. The main interior
covering is tan Ultraleather; tan Ultrasuede
was used for the headliner and baggage
area. None of the hardware attaching the
interior is visible.
“The idea for the back seats was to
have them curve into the sidewalls to
appear like one continuous molding.
The back seat has a one-piece bottom
and top, but is built to look like two sep-
arate seats,” Greg said. “Both seats are
removable in case I need the area for
cargo or for the annual inspection. The
back support for the seat was made from
1/4-inch PVC foam. Heat was applied
to the top edge as the foam was bent to
allow the seat back to cover the cabin
Greg chose to custom fit his seats with
automotive inertial reel shoulder harnesses
from Seatbelt Pros. The front seat retractor
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM
Greg previously built a 1932 Ford Tudor
Sedan street rod, and he chose a number
of automotive parts and amenities for the
RV- 10, like seat belt harnesses, upholstery,
cup holders, and an entertainment system.
Particularly impressive is the plane’s
in-dash computer and 7-inch touch-screen VGA monitor, designed for panel
mounting in cars. The monitor, a Xenarc
MDT-X7000, has a motorized display
that retracts into the panel when it’s not
in use. It contains a DVD drive that lets
you view movies on the screen or play
audio CDs. When switched to PC mode,
its touch-screen works like a computer
mouse, allowing you to click, select, and
drag objects on the screen.