Moody Blue Specs Page 



Instruments and Devices

Lift Reserve Indicator (LRI)


Electronic Ignition

Handheld GPS

SPOT Tracking device

Headsets and Intercom

Model: Vans Aircraft RV-9A
Airframe Description.

  This aircraft is of aluminum semi-monocoque construction with steel corner weldments at critical support points.  Primary fasteners are aircraft quality rivets, screws and bolts.  Cowlings, Wing Tips and Fairings are polyester/glass.  Fixed Wittman type tapered steel gear legs are used.  Mains have additional vinylester/glass gear leg and intersection fairings.  Two-piece wheel pants are polyester/glass two‑piece types on aluminum mounts.  Sliding canopy transparent surfaces are 3/16" thick acrylic.  Exterior paint is PPG Base Coat / Clear Coat over PPG primer.

Airframe Specifications.
            Length: 20 ft 5 in      
            Height: 8 ft 1 in
            Cabin Height: 41"
            Cabin Width: 43"
            Cabin Length: 47"
            Wing Span: 28 ft
            Wing Area: 124 ft2
            Wing Airfoil Type: Roncz
            Wing Loading: 17.27 lb/ft2
            Flap Travel: 0 to 32 down
            Aileron Travel: 28 up, 15 down 
            Nose Gear Breakout Force: 22 to 25 lb @ 7.375" (axle)
            Horizontal Stabilizer Span: 10 ft
            Elevator Travel: 28 up, 22 down 
            Rudder Travel: 33 from center  
Engine Description.

  The engine is a normally aspirated Lycoming O‑320‑E2D on a tubular 4130 chromolly steel Dynafocal 1 mount.  No inverted fuel and oil systems are provided.  Ignition is via one left magneto impulse coupled and one Jeff Rose electronic ignition.  Updraft carburetor, filtered air box, spin-on oil filter, oil cooler, 1 low pressure electrical fuel boost pump, alternator and lightweight starter are provided.  Throttle, Mixture and Carb Heat controls are of conventional design.  A friction lock maintains the desired throttle position in flight.  The exhaust system is a stainless steel crossover type.  A separate carb heat muff on the front crossover pipe provides the necessary air temperature rise.

Propeller Description.

  The Sensenich fixed pitch prop, with a fiberglass spinner, has a 2600 RPM limit.

Cockpit Description. 

 The cockpit provides side-by-side upright seating for pilot and passenger.  Full dual flight controls with brakes are provided and the aircraft may be soloed from either side, although the standard configuration places the flight instruments in front of the left seat by default.  Throttle, mixture, and carb heat controls are located on a center bracket at the bottom of the instrument panel.

Flight Controls Description.

  Dual sticks control roll and pitch.  Controls are light and responsive and there is marked absence of adverse yaw.  Aileron and Elevator actuation is via aluminum push/pull tubes.  Dual hanging pedals control yaw.  The rudder is cable operated.  The single axis Autopilot/Turn Coordinator (TC) is capable of wing leveling (WL) mode or GPS course tracking (TK) mode.  Electric Flaps are equipped with a freewheeling (retracted and extended) linear actuator and a panel mounted momentary switch.



Takeoff Distance, Hard Surface
        No Flaps, No Wind: 700 ft
        To Clear 50 ft Obstacle: 1000 ft
Landing Distance, Hard Surface
        Flaps @ 32, No Wind: 800 ft
        To Clear 50 ft Obstacle: 1600 ft
Other limitations 
        Empty Weight: 1087 lb
        Utility Gross Weight (@+3/-1.5 g): 1800 lb
        Utility Useful Load: 700 lb
        Baggage Capacity: 100 lb max [15 ft3]
        Service Ceiling: 18,000 ft
         Never Exceed (VNE): 185 Kts
        Maximum Direct Crosswind Component: 24 Knots
        Minimum Turning Circle: 30
        Engine Redline: 2600 rpm
        Fuel Capacity: 35 gal Usable

Auto Pilot

Trio "Easy Pilot"

Initially, I installed a Navaid Autopilot, but wasn't happy with the performance. When I saw the Trio "Easy Pilot", I liked the solid state autopilot with all the extra features. I also liked the fact that I wouldn't need to buy and reinstall a new servo since Trio uses Navaid servos. They even gave me a Navaid harness so it was "plug n play".

The Easy Pilot (EP) gets it's data from a GPS, an Apollo SL60 in my case. The SL60 has a very limited display, but the link to the EP allows the data to be displayed on the screen of the EP. You can select items to display or have it scroll thru the data, i.e. Ground Speed, Range, ETE, etc. The EP also has a feature that I like. It can intercept a course.

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Electroair Electronic Ignition

Electronic ignition has some advantages over the tradition magnetos. The hotter spark and the ability to advance the timing of the spark make for a more efficient engine operation. I decided to keep one magneto for safety and replace on with the "Jeff Rose" Electroair unit. The Electroair unit uses GM coils and a timing pick-up mechanism that fits into the mag hole on the engine. You can use auto plugs or aircraft plugs with this unit. I used aircraft plugs for 300 hours and switched to auto plugs. Instead of cleaning the plugs, I just install new ones every annual inspection. The unit ensures easier starts and smooth running at all RPMs.

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Angle of Attack

Lift Reserve Indicator

The Navy and Airforce now equip all of their aircraft with Angle of Attack indicators. I decided to use the Lift Reserve Indicator for a number of reasons: 1) less expensive 2) analog operation means no electricity needed 3) easy to see on takeoff and landing.

After using the LRI now for 600+ hours, I am spoiled and would never build a plane without installing this unit. I installed it in the panel right where you would put the Air Speed Indicator and I use it exclusively during takeoff and landing. Airspeed is not an issue during these events

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Handheld GPS AnyWhere Map

Again, price had a lot to do with my choosing the Anywhere Map as my handheld GPS. It is about a third the price of a Garmin unit. It also has some features that the early Garmins didn't have. Then when they came out with XM weather for this unit, I had to have it.  I strongly recommend this unit.

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SPOT Satellite Messenger SPOT Satellite Messenger

This device is amazing. This thing talks to the satellites and lets up to ten people know where you are and when you were there automatically when you punch a button on the device. If you push the "I'm OK" button, an email or text is sent to up to ten people with your present position on Google maps with a time stamp and a short message that you are OK. (you get to edit the message on their website). If you are in real trouble, you can press the "911" button and all of the local authorities will be notified and they will come-a-runnin'.

They were giving these things away at Oshkosh if you paid for the first year service subscription. The device can be used in aircraft, cars, trucks, or hiking and works all over the world. Check it out. It's real peace of mind.

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Headsets and Intercom DRE Communications

I happen to run across DRE Communications at Oshkosh. I was impressed with the quality of stereo in their intercom and headsets and how they were designed to work together. I have not been disappointed. The DRE Intercom has worked flawlessly and has an input jack for my XM satellite radio, MP3 player or portable CD player.

The headsets were less expensive and as good or better ANR stereo quality than any other brand I had tried.

The company fell on hard-times for a couple of years ago, but has been taken over by new management and I am impressed with them and will definitely go with DRE in the future.

DRE Website

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