Talk me out of building a Van's RV

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by iamtheari, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    How much does the cannon weigh? LOL.
     
  2. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That particular -4 has an O-320, while that particular -6A has an IO-360. The -4 also has a Catto FP prop, while the -6A has a Hartzell BA. The -4 also has the same wing area as a -6/6A, but is generally lighter as you point out. A factor that makes a difference that isn't represented by the Zero/Mustang analogy is visibility - the RV-4 has better visibility all around. The -6A with the slider isn't quite as good due to the turtle deck to the rear and the canopy bow (the tip-up has very little rearward visibility). But the biggest difference is the pilots - we both engage in ACM regularly; sometimes multiple times per week. If one of us let off for a few months, the first couple setups would be a bit lopsided.
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I'd have no problems getting in and out of Triple Tree. :)
     
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  4. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    When I was young (loooong time ago) we used to build and fly the control wire kit planes. We'd put Cox engines on them, and dogfight them in circles with red, white, blue streamers.
    My first solo build was a kit like below. The Li'l Wizard. I painted it blue and yellow.


    [​IMG]


    Now I'm grown up and was looking at kit planes..and I see this, which looks eerily like the paint job of my Li'l Wizard.
    Was it meant to be?
    Please talk me out of it lol.

    https://www.controller.com/listings/aircraft/for-sale/1456849/2010-vans-rv-7a
     
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  5. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The CG Li'l Wizard was my first gas control-line plane as well! A Cox TD .049 on a tank mount and a quart of 15% cool power fuel made for a fun afternoon!
     
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  6. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    A Ruger 10/22 without the stock should be light enough to mount one on each wing...
     
  7. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the tip and your write-up. I wrote to Chandler and will try to do their 10-hour course this winter.
     
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  8. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hmm. Better be a good shot. Never seen one of those that was belt fed. ;)
     
  9. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Cleared for Takeoff

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    they got em ready for your wings :)

     
  10. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    Double the kit-cost prior to adding engine / avionics to account for tools, missing parts, supplies, etc.
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    LOL. That there is a lot of work for a really crappy end result. But it’s cute.
     
  12. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    The gun modifications would be easy compared to trying to find belt links for .22LR. I’m going to buy my friend the paintball fanatic a case of beer and see what we can come up with. That seems like a better idea.
     
  13. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I would tell you to use the midpoint of Van's price estimator as your starting point. That will include accurate pricing for the airframe, engine, and prop, plus allow enough to provide a typical paint job, VFR glass panel, and decent seats.

    IMO, the price estimator is shy on the costs of paint and avionics and does not address the interior at all.

    Postscript: the price estimator also leaves out a bunch of firewall foreward items like oil hoses, cables, oil cooler, baffles, filtered air box, and the exhaust. It's about $4-5k short there. So take the midpoint of the price estimator and add $5k unless you're an accomplished scrounger.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
  14. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Along with the "Two holes per rivet" and "one bite of the elephant" advice I got when starting my -4 was "never total up the costs" :D

    Nauga,
    cheaper than most
     
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  15. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I've tallied up the numbers both times. I try not to think about it much.
     
  16. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Lasers. Think lasers.
     
  17. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    It’s illegal to shine laser beams at planes. I know of no such law for paintballs.

    We are getting a little off topic, though. I still want to hear how to get a wife who likes traveling in an RV-8.
     
  18. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Hahahaha. True. I was on TV twice now talking about that.

    Still, I think lasers of some sort (IR? Don’t know...) are what a number of those “dogfighter for a day” places were using back when that was more of a thing.

    As far as the wife thing goes, no RV here but mine likes going places in anything with two or more seats.

    I think the trick is to start passengers of any sort, young in Skyhawks and make one long trip in that, and then everything looks better than traveling in a Skyhawk forevermore. :)

    Hahahaha.
     
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  19. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Marry a woman who built/owns one.

    Nauga,
    whose wife flew an RV before he did
     
  20. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    If there was a Nobel Prize for best strategic move in General Aviation, you'd have it! :cheerswine:
     
  21. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    That’s like finding a rainbow unicorn. Congrats, though. LOL.
     
  22. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Final Approach

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    Yeah, but what we really want to know is where she is on the hot/crazy plot chart.
     
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  23. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Paintballs are a dead-end, ballistically. Too high of a drag coefficient, and too fragile to be pushed faster.

    Finding a cute female RV pilot would definitely be more rewarding.
     
  24. German guy

    German guy Line Up and Wait

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    My rainbow unicorn just said that I better get my lazy butt out of the bed and get dressed in workwear, so that I can join her in the garage to work on the plane. :(:cool::D
     
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  25. tspear

    tspear Line Up and Wait

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    Sent from my LG-TP260 using Tapatalk
     
  26. nauga

    nauga Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Just to be clear, I did not to this; however...

    ...she did do this. She also drives better rivets than I.

    Nauga,
    who married up.
     
  27. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Ah. For a moment there we thought you built your own -4 because you got tired of riding in the back of hers. :cool:
     
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  28. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Line Up and Wait

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    4 vs 6a?.... training wheel, game over, game,set, match winner RV-4
     
  29. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Lol. You may be surprised to find out that whether the airplane has a training wheel or looks like it's squatting to pee has little effect on it's maneuverability.

    [​IMG]
     
  30. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have always equated building experimental aircraft with restoring muscle cars. If you buy a 50 year old derelict muscle car you will spend 5 years busting your knuckles on the thing and around 2X the $$$ than you would if you just shopped around and bought the nicest muscle car available. You will be driving your completely restored purchase the same day you lay down the money, not having to wait the 5 years until it's completed. The only reason to take the plunge and buy an aircraft kit is if you really enjoy building and have squared up with the fact that you're not saving any money taking the long road. Also, building can be very difficult as illustrated by the many experimental projects that are sold 2 or 3 times to another hopeful builder before they are completed and flying.
    RV's have the best support of any kit, and that includes the factory and other RV builders. If you decide to build, the RV would be the wisest choice. Just be aware that a lot of folks that have never completed the task will say "go for it" in ignorance of what exactly is involved in getting an experimental aircraft safely in the air. Just my two cents.
     
  31. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    You guys are doing a very bad job talking me out of building. I know some of you have tried your best, but I am still tempted to at least order up the plans ($10 on a USB stick is a no-brainer, really). It does seem like the RV-14 might be the best balance between build time, complexity, cost, and performance for my mission. Even though it's more expensive than the RV-7, it is aerobatics-capable and more practical for travel. Any of these planes will beat my Arrow in my longest regular mission (450 nm) by a full hour.

    Meanwhile, there are a couple pieces of information I can't find that would be nice to know. First, the RV-7 has a height of 5'10" and the RV-7A has a height of 7'10". The RV-14A has a height of 8'2" but no height is listed for the RV-14. Is it reasonable to assume that the RV-14 will sit about 2 feet lower than the RV-14A?

    Second, how wide is the landing gear of these planes? I can't find the wheel stance measurement anywhere.

    I ask because I realized that I could build the plane in my unfinished, walk-out basement. It stays a near-constant temperature year-round and has a furnace if it's necessary to warm it up a bit to work. There is a French door that opens directly out to a place I can easily get a flatbed trailer and directly into a very large open space with a concrete floor (definitely big enough to build the fuselage, wings, etc., and possibly big enough to put the wings on the plane the first time--dimensions with no obstructions at all are 41' deep by 11'6" wide, with the front part being 27' deep by 17'10" wide). The (unfinished) ceiling is about 9 feet. So if the plane will be able to roll out through the French door, I can do a large part of the build in the convenience of my own home without losing any garage space or having to deal with the less effective garage heat. More convenient to work on the plane = more likely I'll work on it a little bit every day.
     
  32. zaitcev

    zaitcev En-Route

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    There's no such thing as "RV-14A". The RV-14 is, just like RV-12, only offered in tricycle gear configuration. Because face it, why would you? Only 2 mph difference! However, the hardliners complained so much that a tailwheel RV-14 is promised some time in the future. Should it ever materialize, it's likely to get its own number.
     
  33. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    The Van’s site lists the RV-14 and RV-14A separately, including on the “which one is right for me” page and some other places. As a tail dragger nut, I am hurt by this shocking and disappointing news. But I’ll probably get over it.

    Edit to add: That includes the order form, with price options for the empennage and fuselage in taildragger or tricycle form.
     
  34. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    A T-18 will fit in and out of your walkout very easily.
     
  35. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    The RV-14 page on Vansaircraft.com has a 3 view of the airplane. The spec's page shows the span and length. You should be able to scale the drawings and put together a pretty good estimate of the height and gear width of either the -14 or -14A. My guess is that neither would fit through a set of french doors "on the gear", but 5 minutes of time with a 3 view and a ruler and you'll know. It would help (vertically) if you uninstalled the vertical stab and removed the bubble canopy to fit through the door.

    My -10, it will not fit through the basement double door on the gear. The gear is too wide and the airplane would be too tall. Therefore, I'm doing everything possible with the fuselage sitting in (on?) a rolling cradle that places the belly of the airplane 8" off of the floor. When the airplane moves out of the basement, the next steps will be to attach the gear, deal with the gear leg and wheel fairings, then proceed to the engine and cowling. All of that will be done in my un-conditioned garage, which is a MUCH worse workspace than my basement.

    For you, it would be easier to do the canopy, the panel, most of the wiring, etc. with the -14 off of the gear and on a low platform or fixture. That way, you could easily climb in and out, reach in and out, and do a lot of work without having to walk around or over the gear or climb up on a ladder or platform to work on things.
     
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  36. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Good advice. I built a 15" tall wooden platform to support the fuselage during construction that put it at a convenient working height. I still have the platform in the hanger...serves as a useful stool when performing maintenance.

    On my plane, I had to put the wings on first to fit the gap fairings, then remove them to fit the nutplates for the gap fairings, and then do the final wing install. With the -14, this intermediate step may not be required, and if so, it's of little use to fit the wings before transport.

    Go to VAF, sign up, and search the archives to see about the track dimension. If you can't find it that way, post the question and a helpful member will probably post a reply in a few hours. If it's a really tight fit through the doors, you can use ratchet straps to pull the gear together a couple of inches.
     
  37. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Can you order that USB stick off the Vans site? All I saw for plans was paper books.

    As far as dimensions go, you can always pick up the phone and call. Or, the specifications page says the cabin width is 46". The wheel base is slightly more than double that, so figure it's around 95-100". But you wouldn't want to cut that too close.

    There is an old story of a guy who built a plane in his basement and then had to break down the wall and dig up half his yard to get it out.
     
  38. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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  39. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting, I know someone that is flying an RV-14 tail dragger.
     
  40. painless

    painless Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If the project gets stuck in the shop, it’s nothing a sledgehammer to the door opening can’t fix. What’s more important??

    I built my wings in my basement. The steps going into the basement ended about three ft from the outside wall. You had to make a 180 degree turn to get into the basement. I built a paper covered mock-up of the wing duplicating it without the fuel tank, flaps or ailerons in place. Made it out ok. Getting the real things out of there was like giving birth! I was ready to convince the wife that we needed a bigger window down there tho.
     
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