11 April 06 - Antenna Stuff, Wing Wiring

How did I decide on these antennas, you ask? Well, here was the decision-making process: I did not want to mess around with the wingtip antennas that some RVs use, as I've heard a few folks that use them say that if you're pointed in the wrong direction, they decide to not work so well. I can see that for nav antennas (as there is at least 1 GPS on board as an absolute minimum), but not for a comm antenna. On the other hand, the folks that have the "normal" (i.e., not bent belly or whip antennas) seem to claim better performance, but not enough to justify some big honkin' thing hanging off my plane. Gotta get that extra 1/8th of a knot! So, we're settled on a bent belly antenna, and the one that Roberta Hegy uses is a Comant CI-122, so I'll go ahead and get that one. Roberta Hegy, if you don't know, is one of the (relatively) few women that's built an RV (apologies if that's sexist, but I call it like I see it) - here's a picture of her beautiful RV-7A. Roberta's flown her -7A all over creation and if this comm antenna is good enough for her, odds are it's good enough for me. Also, just for good measure, I also got the Comant CI-105 antenna for the transponder.

Today was occupied by playing with the antennas, making backing plates for them, and dealing with the ramifications of running more wiring in the wings . . . sort of a continued project from yesterday.

The CI-122 (left) and CI-105 (right). These just showed up today from Aircraft Spruce - they seemed to have the best prices.
Both of these are going on the bottom skin of the fuselage, and that skin is fairly thin and these are both heavy. Looking at a few other websites tells me that most folks make doubler plates to mount these, so let's go ahead and do that. Here they are!

It would be nice to get these on the plane tomorrow, but I don't know if that's going to happen. In any case, it needs to happen fairly soon because dad's going to Japan next week, and I don't think that these are buckable (is that a word?) with only one person.

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