About the project
About the builder
Panel 1
Panel 2
Cowl & plenum
Flying & testing
Ideas & products
Picture gallery
Other builders
hosted here:
Randy Griffin
Jeff Jasinsky
Mike Robbins



Copyright 1999-2005 by Randy Lervold, Romeo Lima Consulting. All rights reserved.



(click on a pic to see a larger version)
Interior features
Mvc-527x.jpg (147938 bytes)Left cockpit area. Note the mods to the throttle quadrant... a custom made throttle lever and handle by fellow builder and buddy Randy Griffin. I've also found knobs that correspond with the universal control colors: blue for prop, red for mixture. Also note the trim knob cap which is needed when you remove the plunger per Van's advice. This is courtesy of RV8 builder Mike Robbins, he found it at a TruValue hardware store and it fits perfectly. Note where I ended up putting the carb heat and cabin heat cables, this spot works very well.
Mvc-524x.jpg (176445 bytes)Panel and right hand cockpit console. The right hand console switches are exclusively aircraft lighting, both interior and exterior.
RearConsole.jpg (54656 bytes)Rear seat right hand console. Note the eyeball map light, headphone/mic jacks, music input, and power plug for the backseater. The wires you see coming off the power plug will of course be covered up by a panel. There is a matching eyeball map light on the other side as well so that the backseater can help me navigate.
Mvc-529x.jpg (139975 bytes)Here's where I put my fire extinguisher: I can reach it from the pilot's seat easily. It's a 1.2 pound halon unit.
Mvc-528x.jpg (142362 bytes)Upholstery by D.J. Lauritsen of Cleaveland Aircraft Tool. She does a great job. Note the special headrest cushion. I made the plate from .063 plate and sent it to her to upholster when she did the seats.
Mvc-506x.jpg (103600 bytes)Here you can see the non-skid material I put down in the passenger footwell area. I figured this would help keep the floor paint from scratching and also be a guide for passengers to know where to put their feet. As passengers are climbing in I can just say "put your feet on the black area". This is the black wing walk material that Van's sells and is made by the Ray Allen Company, formerly MAC.
Mvc-504x.jpg (100435 bytes)Cockpit storage
Normally there is no cockpit storage in an RV-8. So where are you supposed to keep those necessary pilot supplies? One of the great things about the Experimental thing is that you can get creative and design your own. Here's a pic of the pilot storage bins I made. They are just pieces of .040" aluminum and are secured with platenuts. They work great for sectionals, sunglasses, flashlights, and Flight Guides. The do take away a bit of room from the passenger's feet, but it seems like a worthwhile trade-off. There's one just like this one on the right side also.
After flying my first year with the lower storage bins depicted above I still wanted a bit more room for 'pilot stuff'. It was an easy retrofit to add some panels to the next bay up. You might think those ribs would be elbow supports, but once you're sitting in the cockpit you realize they're too low, so by adding these upper bins you don't sacrifice a thing... I should have added these from the start. They work great, and I now feel like I have enough cockpit storage for pilot supplies plus a few small incidentals (power bar, cell phone, handheld radio, more than one volume of Flight Guide, etc.


Improved cabin heat system
RV-8s are very comfortable for the person in the back seat, that is other than the keeping them warm. See the Ideas & Products page for my improvement on the heat system.
Seat upgrade
While my seats from D.J. Lauritsen of Cleaveland Aircraft Tool have done an admirable job, I have been exposed to two ideas that can improve comfort: sheepskin, and Oregon Aero. I owned and flew a high performance glider for a while and the parachute, which formed part of the interior, had a sheepskin surface facing the wearer. I found this to be unbelievably comfortable whether hot or cold.

Regarding Oregon Aero, have you ever sat in one of their seats? They have demo seats in their display booth at all the major fly-in events. Do yourself a favor and stop by for a trial sitting: once you've spent any time in one you realize they are in a class by themselves. Their seats are designed using several types of expensive visco-elastic foam and not just cut from a block or made from two layers glued together. Rather they use many pieces glued together using different foam types and densities to yield the correct shape and conformity. It's magic, or at least you'll think so after spending some time on one.

I decided to combine Oregon Aero's seat technology with the functional comfort of sheepskin and have some seats built for my plane. They will have charcoal grey sheepskin on the seating surfaces while sides will be a very durable material called Mordura. This just happens to be the same two materials used for all the military seats they make. It won't be very flashy looking but should be very functional. No doubt they're not as attractive as the Cleaveland seats, but the comfort and functionality are worth it.


If you're wondering what the panel is on the back of the rear seat, it's an adjustable lumbar support. I have a booster cushion for short people and of course changes where your back's position.

If you'd like to learn more about what makes Oregon Aero's seats so comfortable clic here. If you'd like information on their seats for the RV series aircraft clic here