Which RV to Build....

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by ARFlyer, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dude... my opinion was from that of a pilot, and a shorter thinner wing makes quite a bit of sense for higher speed work, basic aerodynamics, I'm not huge in the RV scene, my comments were just that of someone who flys a good deal and knows what I'd want for an ideal aircraft for said mission.

    And to your last part, basically, yes, that was what I was getting at.
     
  2. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    There's no point putting on a engine that makes the airplane exceed Vne. It's just a waste of money and extra weight. I only put a IO 360 on my RV 7 because I had one laying around.
     
  3. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    Somewhat useful is what you'll get on VAF. There's a lot of internet experts there too.
     
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  4. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The pilot is the only one who can MAKE the plane bust vne

    The climb performance of a larger engine is another matter.


    I'd also be interested to know if there are any ways to increase vne on something slick like the 4, I know the rocket is a wee bit different in some aspects.
     
  5. Paulie

    Paulie Line Up and Wait

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    The rocket is the way to go, they tell you what parts to delete when buying a 4 kit. But I think vans quit selling the 4.
    The point i was making is that there is no point installing more engine that can be used.
    The rocket is more than a "wee" bit different.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  6. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    No, they did not stop selling the 4. What they did was limit production to a batch system and raise the price. What that did was make it time and cost restrictive to anybody that is not deadset on having a 4. People need to realize that van designed the 4 for a 290 or 320 at max. He never really liked the idea of a 360 on it. Mine handles great but my friends 4 with a 320 and a wood prop handles even better, but I can out climb him.

    You are right, a 320 fixed pitch can exceed vne with the right prop. All a bigger engine does is give you more climb. My 360 constant speed 4, which is lighter than some 320 equipped 4's, is only about 4 miles an hour faster than a 320 model.

    There is a way to increase vne, redesign the airplane and do a complete flutter analysis. The structure can handle the speed, flutter is a big concern above the designed vne.

    Bob
     
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  7. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Sure and I agree with that, only point I was making was that a question such as this is subjective. Even on VAF, you’ll get varying opinions on which model is best based on individual experience. So achieving a consensus isn’t really going to happen at either place.
     
  8. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Hmmm, must be an illusion. The 9A sits really high up and feels bigger than a 7.

    I was getting the 7 and 8 mixed up, the 8 is slightly faster. I actually had the performance page for the 8 up, but was also thinking of the 7. The 8 was the last one for which a 360 engine is an option. Ok, it's E-AB so you can put anything you want on a 9, but Vans says there are W&B issues with bigger engines on a 9.

    Still, you're talking years and years to build. 10 years is absolutely not unheard of, 4-5 might be quickest I've seen from someone with a job. I read of someone doing it in 14 months, but they didn't work and basically built almost every day.

    As far as cost - reasonably, you're probably in for at least 70-80k. The hull that the kit builds is about 1/3 of the project cost. You're still in for all the instruments and a big spinny thing on the front. Vans is one of the few (only?) E-ABs that sell for more than they cost to build.
     
  9. RoscoeT

    RoscoeT Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well the 9A is a trike and the 7 (not 7A) is a taildragger and yeah the trikes sit higher on the ground. It's the same fuselage. The 7/7A was just a default design after introducing the matched hole production technology of the 9A. Vans had this new matched hole fuselage which along with the RV-8 wing, combined to logically produce an evolution of the 6/6A model.
     
  10. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    But then you'd be flying an old bonanza. :p

    :D
     
  11. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    That reflect what I have seen too. Not sure why but the magic number seems to be 115k for a super nice IFR capable Vans
     
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  12. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That kind of money buys a lot of super capable aircraft. Yeah, you won't be able to do acro in it, then again you won't be in dutch when George takes a dump while shooting an approach to minimums.

    The one thing you won't get is a brand new aircraft. I myself don't consider that a big whip, I could buy, equip, and refurbish my aircraft to look like new for the money I'd shell out to build an RV to the same standard. Oh, and I get a back seat for my wife's ****. And do keep in mind that if you build the RV odds are you're working for free, those things usually don't sell for much more than folks have in them.

    Buy one from the builder and you still don't have a new aircraft. I feel bad dumping on RV's, they're really awesome aircraft. They just aren't a panacea, there's nothing at all magic about them. And they certainly aren't for everyone.
     
  13. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    $$$ basically correct.

    When you build you can aim for exactly what you want. More important you will KNOW exactly what’s in it, how it was installed in it, and a be well prepared to maintain it.
    It’s not a small difference.

    Personally, the RV10 was exactly what I wanted. Building it was the only way to get it (no Bo’s in that price range with synthetic vision, GPSS IN A 2 AXIS AP and affordable maintenance). I built it to fly it. Took 5 years but I flew and worked the whole time.
    If you have the space and time, consider building. You may find it the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do in this sport.

    When I was shopping for my first plane (after 2 gliders), I was thinking Supercub or Citabria, my wife asked, “can I go with you”? Sure I said. “Can we carry bags to take trips”? Well not really, since you’re small we’ll be able to get a bit in. We ended up with a Maule... a great 2 place plane that can carry as much baggage as we ever wanted, or 4 people and enough luggage for a nudist resort.

    The 10 serves us well as fast transport for 2 or 4. We start to run out of luggage space with 4 but have in fact traveled with 4 a good bit. But most of our travel is just 2 and more stuff than we need. That’s the sweet spot for a 4 place plane -2 people and just about anything including a case or two of wine and booze for our hosts in the Bahamas. Yeah!

    If the price point isn’t an issue and travel for 2 is the goal, the RV10 is the ticket.
    Yes, but see above.

    No one has mentioned maintenance costs. That older Bo will cost you $$$. Self maintenance or an owner built 10 is a fraction of that. At 1000 hours my maintenance costs are below that of my almost new Maule. And I get about the same mpg.

    Self maintenance savings are the reason I knew I could retire and happily fly off into our sunsets.

    OBAM aircraft require you to put a lot more than $$$s in but you get a lot out of it as well. It’s not as simple as build then build/ fly then buy formulation. It’s not for everyone buts it’s just right for many.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  14. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Self maintenance is great except for one thing. There are those who are great aircraft mechanics, and there are those who think they're great aircraft mechanics. If you're part of the latter group you likely think you're part of the former group. And you're working on something on which your life depends. Lots of guys have bought it big time for this exact reason.
     
  15. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I've whittled it down to either an RV-10 or 14 standard builds. I can either use my garage or my grandmother's old upholstery shop that's fully stocked with tools, heat, TV, and space. I think in the long run I'd rather have a modern aircraft for my cross country trips and a Cub for my low and slow days. The tech and safety on the experimental side is light years better then the certificate side.

    I think I'm leaning towards a -14A because of the additional baggage and stronger airframe for light semi-backcountry flying.

    My current "I wanna" list:

    IO-390
    Catto 3 Blade Prop
    Vertical Power Electrical System w/ G3X integration
    Garmin IFR G3X Flight Deck w/ AOA
    RV-10 Throttle Quad
    Mountain High O2 System

    As for costs. I'm young, single and own a paid for house. Yeah, I can't go in 130k all at once as that would break me. But I'm willing to spread it out over a few years and eat the cost slowly. I just think the reward, life experience, and fun will be better on the experimental side. I also want an adventure and something to do that I can look back and go "Damn I built that" .
     
  16. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    Pick your airplane and start building. All of the electrical stuff will change by the time you're ready for it, so don't even waste your time thinking about it now. You will not want a Catto prop on that airplane - constant speed is the way to go. FP composite or wood props are great for modest budget, rarely flown in the rain airplanes (like my RV-6), and are wonderfully smooth, but I think you'd want a C/S prop on a -14.
     
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  17. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    That makes sense. For some reason I was thinking Catto made C/S 3 Blades.
     
  18. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Catto makes stainless steel leading edge 3 blade props. They are a work of art that works. On a RV that climbs so well to begin with, I would give serious consideration to a Catto. Less expensive up front and over time with equal performance in cruise as a C/S prop.

    It is a different story with a plane like my Lancair that sucks up runway; a C/S prop gets me off the ground faster thus it is a safety issue having a C/S prop. The RV just doesn't need it. Nice to have sure, but the RV uses very little runway and climbs well with a cruise prop.
     
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  19. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    The -14 was designed with a C/S prop in mind. I don't think you'll like the CG without it. Particularly the impact on how useful that big baggage area is.
     
  20. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    You should build a Bo
     
  21. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Plus a CS prop is nice if you're going aerobatics, and to not do some light aerobatics with a able plane, well that's a damn crime
     
  22. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I think there's a store at the mall where you can do that. It is right across from Victoria's Secret.
     
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  23. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    Well... I'm not so sure about the -4 as I have been investigating the -9 as a replacement for my Mooney. I have been pretty much lurking and searching on the Vans forums. Two things strike me as pretty weak and in need or more engineering and beefing up.
    1. The nose gear on the /A models. It seems pretty incredible to me how many have folded and Vans themselves has done nothing to improve them. They basically just say "Don't ever land hard, or nose first." It's so bad that an aftermarket guy is making a nice little business selling a kit (interestingly called "Anti Splat") that attempts to beef them up, but the mod too has it's limitations and they also can fail. Yeah, yeah, I know, be a good, competent pilot and you won't have any problems, but still... when was the last time you heard of Cessna, Piper, Diamond, Cirrus, forums having thread after thread about nose plants?
    2. Canopy latching. Lots of threads, pictures, videos of what happens when the canopy gets loose. Including people getting hurt. The Vans community just likes to pass it off as pilot error, but still... there are plenty of threads about how people are inventing ways to make the canopy latch safer while Vans themselves basically says- "Make sure the canopy is properly latched before flight". Do we hear a lot of this in the Diamond, or Grumman community?
    My point mostly is, people should not believe that Vans RVs are just as good as certified airplanes, only way better. They are not that. What they are is an airplane that is simple, inexpensive and easy to build. Their magic "better than certified" performance comes from the super simple idea of a small, light airplane with a big engine. Light can mean fragile to an average, or below average ham fisted pilot.

    Engineering for safety includes covering for bad piloting and forgetful preflight checklists. It also includes engineering for what happens if your best intentions fail. That means beefier, stronger and yeah... heavier. I'm not really trying to bash RVs, I still very much may buy one, but I think people should do so with their eyes wide open. They are not as safe in any way shape or form. As long as people know that and what to look out for, cool, go for it!
     
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  24. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    You'll also read a lot of glossing over serious problems. We all want to believe what we want to believe.
     
  25. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    This is kind of true from my shopping experience. Many Vans are built to be day VFR planes with the builder's new and improved solution for avionics install. This pretty much ends up in the 1950's "shotgun panel" accept some of it has bits of glass instead of needles. I pretty much accept that if I buy a an RV-9 it will need a total panel rebuild and have factored that into the budget.

    Yes, there are some Vans for sale with very nice Dynon all glass panels in a traditional layout, but be very prepared to pay top $$$ for them, which raises the question again, why are you buying a vans again? In my personal case I want to ultimately save money on operational costs and get an efficient plane that better meets my mission, which is me flying all by myself VFR. The problem is, I am a panel snob and I can't abide the nonsense I see in the "affordable" RVs. Mostly non standard placement of obsolete junk. So when I factor in a new panel (combined with possibly a new paint job, another place RV builders often go off the rails) I start wondering about how much I'm really saving?

    A lot to think about.
     
  26. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    This is another great advantage of buying an RV, or any experimental kit plane. It will be newer overall with less hours than anything certified on the same money. How good it looks inside is another matter. Some builders have very, very poor taste. This is another reason I am seriously shopping RV. I just finished my last owner assist annual on my '66 Mooney and I can say I am tired of old. My plane has been apart a fair amount of it's life. There have been probably over a hundred mechanics work on it of varying skill levels in it's life time. It's original parts from 1966 are getting tired.

    The sad truth is, if I want a plane that is 10 years or younger with the money I have, it has to be experimental. :confused:
     
  27. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Pattern Altitude

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    The leading edges are nickel, but you're right, they're exquisitely crafted props. I've got a 2-blade Catto on mine, and absolutely no regrets on the decision to go fixed pitch. Mine climbs at 1500 fpm easy on a cool day. No expensive prop overhauls; just check the torque of the bolts at each annual. Rain? Not an issue. CG works out fine even with the lighter prop...if I wanted to nudge the cg forward I could just replace the SkyTec lightweight starter with the standard boat anchor, or get a weighted crush ring. But I flew to Osh with me (200 lb) and my 250-lb. co-pilot plus max baggage (100 lb) and still stayed within the cg range.

    The 3-bladers look nice, but they make it more difficult to remove the lower cowling (and that's my least favorite thing to do on my plane already!).

    Just finished my second annual condition inspection. Three days of contorting my body to reach various things (I'm sore!), but after 220 hours TT the only things I found of consequence were loose hose clamps on the oil return tubes, and worn-out brakes. The tab? $35 for new linings and I'm ready for another year.

    Folding nose gear incidents seem to have lessened with the redesigned fork that moves the castle nut higher relative to the axle. Land on a decent surface with proper technique (above-average, non-ham-fisted :)) and you won't have an issue. Or buy a taildragger...if you must. :D

    No canopy issues with a slider...and lack of a slider option was a deal-breaker for me on the -14. The tip-up latch mechanism runs alongside your elbow, and negates some advantage of the extra cabin width. That -14 just...feels...so....bulky when you're used to a 7/9.

    Take off with a slider unlatched and it will move back a couple of inches, and stay there. Slow to maybe 70 kts and you can re-latch it in flight.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
  28. keen9

    keen9 Pre-Flight

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    This is the best reason to build.

    PS head to the Petit Jean fly-in this fall, or better yet get involved with one of the chapters that puts it on. You are in one of the RV meccas.
     
  29. painless

    painless Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I too have a Catto, mine being a three blade. It’s older, so no nickel leading edge. Absolutely love it....one of the best decisions I made during the build process. I got transition training from a guy with hundreds of hours of RV time. As we took off for the first time, he put his hand on the panel and said, “boy, that’s a smooth running engine!”. Yeah, (O 320 E2D) but it’s the prop.

    Craig Catto is a great guy to work with as well.
     
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  30. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    If there is any chance of flying in precip of any kind, opt for the nickel leading edge. I have a 3 blade catto prop hanging on the wall of my garage that has eroded leading edges from the abuse I subjected it to. Unfortunately it is the early version and not eligible for converting to nickel like the newer carbon blades.
     
  31. Dav8or

    Dav8or En-Route

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    I may be wrong as I am only reading what others have written, but my understanding is that the slider will depart the airplane if it comes open in flight. When it does, it may damage the tail feathers. Is this not so? I have a preference for the tip up due to the awesome visibility and also it looks like better access to the avionics. Other than being able to taxi around with the canopy wide open, what are the great benefits to the slider?
     
  32. retpd2001

    retpd2001 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I skimmed so not sure if I overlooked it. But the one great thing about building your own is your repairman certificate when your done. How much is that annual on the Bonanza going to cost you every year?
     
  33. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Many preferences both ways.
    Tip up leak onto avionics from hinges.
    Tip ups have blown in wind on ground.

    You know the A model flip over rate? the slider has a roll bar.

    Slider comfortable after landing and for warm climate ground ops.
     
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  34. keen9

    keen9 Pre-Flight

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    Can you find any evidence that this has happened? I've never heard of such a case, and been involved with RV's for a very long time.
     
  35. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route

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    I agree, never heard of it happening. RV-10 doors are another story...
     
  36. DaleB

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    Haven't ever heard of that happening. I suppose it's not impossible, but I haven't ever heard of it.
    When I was building, I was building a tail dragger with a slider canopy. Now I have no choice (RV-12) -- it's tricycle gear and a tip-up. The tip-up is fine. Yes, you have to make sure you don't let it turn into a sail. If there's wind, you hang onto the latch handle any time it's not secured. Other than that, it's a non-issue. I can taxi with it open 3-4" and secured, maybe not as much airflow as an open slider (or quite as cool looking) but it's quite adequate even in the mid-summer Nebraska 100+ weather. Visibility, on the other hand, is simply amazing. Biggest problem is nearly breaking a finger pointing at something when you forget the canopy is there.

    Nose gear... Whatever. I can't speak to why some people put them on their backs, while others operate off of rough runways and turf constantly and have no problem at all. It's not like you have to baby the thing, look at the places Vlad has flown in and out of with his 9A. It looks to me like the nose strut could possibly be improved, but I'm in no way qualified to say one way or the other.
     
  37. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The slider will roll back about 2" and get stuck there until such point as you slow far enough to push it back. I spent some time examining this during my phase 1 test period, starting with high speed (35 KIAS) taxi tests and crow hops interspersed with inspection of the attach points. It's not going to pop open in flight unless you unlatch it, and if you forget to latch it, it's going to open right away to about 2" and lock itself there until you slow down enough to re-latch it.

    The tip up has better forward visibility, but much worse rearward visibility. If you're into BFM/ACM, that's a major consideration but otherwise no big deal. Both the tip up and slider can be opened for cooling; the slider is obviously superior in this respect. The slider is also more robust being opened/closed on the ground during gusty winds; I know of one tipper that was cracked when a gust of wind caught it.

    The fear of nose overs is interesting. The insurance companies, who have an interest in that sort of thing, still consider a taildragger to be a higher risk based on insurance premiums.

    I built my -6A, and now have almost 1000hrs on it. I wouldn't change a thing - haters gonna hate, but it does everything I want it to do. As others have said, it's not the greatest at any one thing but there are very few other aircraft that do as many things as well as the RVs do.
     
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  38. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I've made up my mind with a -14. It's the best of both worlds. It's 10k more for the kit then the 9 but its easier to build and it's beefed up.

    The nose gear I noticed is now a hybrid of the -10/12. Everyone still says to soft field land the 14 but that the risk is now very low of the nose gear failing like on the -6A.

    So now begins the money saving and the tool buying. Once I get the required tools I'm going to get the two practice kits. The plan I've set in my head is to have the tail feathers box sitting on a desk Jan 1 2019.
     
  39. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    Interesting Noone talks about the tip up opening in flight and associated risk. I am not familiar with the RV tip up but there have been a few lancair tip up crashes due to the canopy opening in flight.
     
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  40. ChiefPilot

    ChiefPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Dec 1, 2013
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    ChiefPilot
    You'll have no problems in a -14. I've been on *many* grass strips with nary a problem on my -6A; the problem on the nosegear models is the axel design; I didn't use Van's stock approach and therefore don't have the risk of a nose wheel lockup + pole vault. The updated design is even more robust (if quite a bit heavier).