Van's RV-9A in Aurora

The Big Picture

The Big Picture
Flying! 8/28/2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

3 hrs, 90 rivets
Finished countersinking the wingtips. Started riveting nutplates on. Messed up a couple of the rivets, will need to be drilled out.
Got the Bob Archer nav antenna bases riveted in, and used a simple fiberglass layup to secure the tips. Also countersunk for and installed the screws for wire routing.
I only have one nav receiver, so I only need one antenna But I always wanted an SL-30 as a second radio. Maybe I'll upgrade the SL-40 one day, and then I'll have two nav radios. These NAV receivers pick up a signal from a ground based station called a VOR. The receivers let me know what direction I am from that ground based VOR. That establishes a line of position, and provides a line I can use to navigate to or from the ground station. With two recievers, I can triangulate and get a fix - I would know right where I am. The country is covered with these VORs, and the network was mature 50 years ago. The sad part is the FAA is taking them out of service, and replacing the navigation routes and instrument approaches with GPS equivalents.

You might think that GPS would be a far superior replacement for the VORs, so why does it matter that the FAA is decommissioning VORs? To the first order, you're absolutely right. GPS is far more accurate, and not subject to range restrictions that VORs are. BUT - the military can and does knock out the GPS signals. Oh, and the FCC, in their infinite wisdom, is on the verge of approving a broadband wireless internet that overwhelms GPS signals and effectively jams GPS over large areas. Once this is deployed, GPS will be unreliable. Suddenly those crusty old VORs look pretty good.
Now all I need is a DME antenna.