Originally published November 1995
The main program featured Mr. Steve Barnard of Barnard Aircraft Components located in Cameron Park, California, near Sacramento. Barnard Aircraft Components specializes in fast-build kits and parts for RV aircraft.
Steve is an aeronautical engineer with past experience at Hughes and McDonnell Douglas. He is also an owner/builder of an RV-6A. Put that together with computer-aided design (CAD) skills and you have a guy who just may know a better way.
With CAD, Steve is able to take kit components and define machine instructions for precise, consistent punches to full-size or pilot hole dimensions. This leads to time savings for the average builder on the order of 300 hours for a wing kit and 50 hours for a firewall.
On display for us were a complete firewall with custom engine mounts, a landing light assembly, and the component parts of a wing kit. Included in each kit are complete instructions and drawings for assembly and installation. Looks like a great deal for someone who wants to get an RV in the air this century.
Steve also showed graphics of air flow studies he has had done for his 6A. Using VS Aero modeling software and the services of an engineering firm based in Washington state, he found several areas on the airframe for clean-up. VS Aero results are represented as color-coded isobaric lines of pressure changes as air passes the airframe much like you see in weather charts. Even those of us with little experience in this kind of analysis could easily see which areas were a problem.
As a result of the studies, Steve has already changed his wing tips to correct air flow spill over the aileron upper surface and built a unique convex fairing for a separation problem at the wing root. Better lateral stability and roll control make it worth the effort according to Steve. Can more kits be far behind?
The program was certainly interesting as indicated by our late departure for Burger King. For more information, call Barnard Aircraft Components at 916-676-5601.
Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 22 February 1997