Report from Lakeland '05

Lakeland was a large kick in the motivational butt this year. We're ready to get back to pounding those rivets! All in all, it was pretty different from last year, which was the first time I had gone and when I was just starting off this whole airplane-building hobby. This year, my dad and I both went with a checklist of things to investigate with the eventual goal of attaching some of the investigated things to the parts in the garage that will eventually become a RV-7A.

Because it's Sun-n-Fun, after all (which is a pretty dorky name, when you get right down to it), checklists for people with short attention spans (an esteemed club of which we are both card-carrying members, if we can remember where we put the cards) is an exercise in hilarity, as self-interruption occurs multiple times - sort of like this sentence seems to be turning out, really. There are so many interesting distracting things worth investigating that by the end of the day sometimes you've actually gotten to the very first thing on the list. In rare instances, you've actually completed it.

Unlike last year, where all the pictures were taken by me (Garrett), this year, my dad and I have both been snapping them, so all pictures on this page were taken by one of us . . . it's a toss up as to which one.

Okay, here are the picture albums already:

  • RVs on the Flightline - there were lots of these, but if pictures that I've seen from earlier in the show are any indication, we missed a whole bunch of these - lots of folks had left by the time we got there Friday afternoon.
  • Assorted Van's Stuff - booth, demonstrator airplanes, and the RV banquet. I managed to miss all of the forums this year. Oh well. If they're anything like they were last year, it's more along the lines of basic information for potential future RV builders.
  • Team RV Formations - pictures taken of Team RV on Saturday, 16 April.
  • Ride Back - in David Edgemon's RV-9A.

There really was some non-RV stuff at the show, too:

  • Stuff in the air - warplanes in the air, and maybe an ultralight or two also somehow found its way in here.
  • Warbirds - pictures of the P-38 (Glacier Girl) and other warbirds.
  • Other Airplanes - all of the non-RV (and non-military) airplanes that we took pictures of.
  • Booths and Displays - avionics and stuff that doesn't easily fit into any other category.
  • Random Stuff - sometimes you see stuff that makes you say "Wow . . . only at a fly-in." These are some of those things.

P-38, F-16, P-51, and F-4 in formation.

RVs on the Flight Line . . . and two guys that apparently just wanted to be in this picture.

What I Learned

Gosh, where to start? I have no idea. Mostly it was pretty nitpicky stuff - things like "oh, you can do that to make sure the rudder stops fit," that don't really translate well into bullet points. We'll give it a shot anyway:

  • The back of your knees is a kind of stupid place to get sunburned. However, if you forget to put sunscreen there, you will get sunburned there, no matter how stupid it seems.
  • The Mattituck guys pretty much just rock. We spent a really long period of time bugging their tech guys, and finally ordered a TMX-0360 with a carb, two magnetos, and set up for a constant-speed prop.
  • A P-38 sounds really really cool when it flies.
  • Grand Rapids has a really darn impressive product (that I seemed to have overlooked until now) for a price point that's much lower than most of their competitors. I am not getting a GRT display (it's still more money than I can put into an EFIS, and I've already ordered a Dynon), but these are still really really cool. They way they've got the software set up makes it very difficult to crash (the software . . . but hopefully the plane, too), which is good for IFR applications.

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