Though it may seem spartan to some, it is
comfortable and totally functional for long-distance VFR flight, day or night.
We anticipate that builders will customize and will add weight in the process. This
does not mean that there are not compromises or penalties involved. At the very least,
any added weight will subtract from the useful load of the airplane. This is the reason
that so many four-seat factory airplanes cannot fly with full seats and full fuel at the
same time. But for homebuilt aircraft, this is
a compromise any builder has the freedom
to make, and many do. But adding 248
pounds of “stuff” is rather extreme. It is the
equivalent of adding the weight of an entire
ultralight, engine and all. It’s almost equivalent to adding another pair of RV- 10 wings.
The spec sheet also notes Greg’s airplane
has a listed gross weight of 2,800 pounds
instead of the 2,700 pounds the factory spec-
ifies. Yes, we realize that a builder of an
experimental amateur-built airplane can list
any gross weight or flight limits he wishes.
It’s just that we don’t accept that. Our fac-
tory specified gross weight is based on the
best science we have available. This includes
careful stress analysis calculations and
We anticipate that builders
will customize and will add
weight in the process. This
does not mean that there
are not compromises or
extensive static load and flight limit testing.
We wonder what basis Greg (or any other
builder who uses a higher-than-recom-
mended gross weight) uses for establishing
the 2,800-pound gross weight of his air-
plane? If it isn’t based on the same science
and testing, we simply cannot recognize it as
valid, and neither should anyone else. Any
“penciled in” gross weight increase is just
wishful thinking. The laws of physics are not
repealed by wishful thinking.
But this discussion of payload trade-offs is
not the primary purpose of this article.
While we hate to see our laboriously
designed four-seat payload erode to a two-and-a-half-seat limit, that is the builder’s
privilege. Our primary purpose here is to
point out several modifications made to primary flight control systems and safety
features. We feel these are detrimental to
safety, and that readers and other RV- 10
builders should be aware of our concerns.
Modifications undertaken for otherwise
good reasons can have negative
Specifically, we see a real problem with
the front seat shoulder harness attach
modification. As designed the RV- 10 uses a