This is an RV-4, an Experimental amateur-built aircraft.

I started building this aircraft on Friday, April 13, 1990, and the first flight was May 26, 2008.




This table is interesting...











Gross Weight








Wing area
















Wing loading (lb/sq ft)








Power loading (lb/hp)








Notice the RV-4 has wing loading similar to a Cessna 172, but a power loading similar to a P-51 Mustang!


See here for more info about the RV-4 model



RV4 going really fast.

Note the ground speed on the upper left corner of the Garmin 496 GPS.  There may have been a bit of tailwind.

But note the wind isn't even at our back... see wind data in the lower right corner of the EFIS, along with TAS at upper left. If we turned right about 50 degrees and bump our power up to 75% our ground speed would be over 300 mph instead of "only" 278.





RV4 in economy mode @ 5 GPH or 34 MPG.

46% power at 19"/1900 RPM

IAS 150 MPH, TAS 168 MPH at 7750 ft MSL




Panel as of Sept 2016. The TruTrak ADI Pilot II autopilot failed after 7 years and 366 hours. Despite being well past the 3 year warranty TruTrak replaced it at no charge with a refurbished unit. That one failed after 5 months. TruTrak quoted $500 to repair it, but because this model was discontinued they recommended replacing it with their Gemini AP which they said is more reliable. They offered a $1500 upgrade deal, nearly half off the normal price of $2800. It uses the existing servos except the upgrade included adding the pitch trim sensor to the pitch servo. Installation was very simple using the harness adapter they provided. This is a very nice unit that includes VNAV and an emergency LEVEL button.




Lycoming O-360 with the Reiff preheat system installed.  The main harness runs across the top of the crankcase, and the band heaters are around the cylinders.  The oil sump heater is not shown.  Note the AC plug just inside the right side cooling air inlet. 


Behind the instrument panel


The wing tip strobes are Whelen units for law enforcement & emergency vehicles.  Much cheaper than aircraft units, similar power specs.  $190 for power supply, cables, and 4 strobes. 

The wing tip nav lights are automotive LED light bulbs with 1156 type socket.  Simple & cheap.  Compared to standard light bulbs LED's use much less current, run cooler, tolerate vibration better, and last longer.  45636 ($12) is what I used but it looks like there are other good options now such as 47615.
Sockets... NAPA LS6219, $6.49. This unit mounts flush and has two screw type terminals.

The tail light is a Whelen A500-14 nav/strobe combo.