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Van's RV14 - build outsourcing

Happy riveting!

Have you had a flight in one? To me the most immediately impressive thing about the RV-7s is the climb rate in comparison to the 700 or 800 ft/min to which I’ve grown accustomed. It doesn’t take long in either time of distance to get to cruising altitude when you’re going up twice as fast, and as well as being a safety asset it can save a bit of time. Also a bit of fuel because you can lean faster.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 28 Aug 04:13

I’ve not flown in one yet, no.


I have read all of the thread thus far. There is a wide range of opinions and quite probably different regulations in different countries.

I would like to personally build a Van’s RV-8 and have it based in either Italy or France, but willing to consider other countries. I am starting to feel that it is a very good idea to have as much help as is legally possible in order to reduce the risk of errors or running out of time and enthusiasm and to get a total performance aircraft fit for the mission in a reasonable timeframe.

My own research indicates that in the USA some build assist programmes can help you build a QB RV-8 in 18 weeks, without paint, working full time on the project and without compromising on quality. There are a number of assumptions here, but the first is that there is a two person team (husband and wife) working on the project, and that the build assist company doesn’t let you go off the rails with any huge mistakes. The second is that the logistic support (tools and components always to hand, advice within seconds rather than hours etc) is better than you can manage in your own garage whilst holding down a full time job.

Is there anyone in Europe who is available to provide the kind of mentoring and assistance which is freely available in the USA?

Congrats Graham !! I looked a lot at the RV10 but I am not in a position to do this.
Please start a thread on it, just for keeping track of time and milestones.

Saw this on the RSA ad pages :!annonces/8266/van-s-aircraft-rv-8—neuf-a-reserver
A young guy who built himself an RV8 built a second one to sell with customizations.

LFOU, France

A young guy who built himself an RV8 built a second one to sell with customizations.

And rightly so also uses his RV-8 in the 3 dimensions

Last Edited by Dan at 06 Oct 18:34
ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

and congrats Graham, enjoy the build!

Here some invaluable advice for your homebuilding
Boob’s Law:
you always find a tool in the last place you look.

Rap’s Inanimate Reproduction Law:
If you take something apart and put it back together enough times, you will eventually have two of them.

Golub’s Second Law of Homebuilding:
A carelessly planned homebuiding project takes three time longer to complete than expected, a carefully planned one takes only twice as long.

Horner’s Five Thimb Postulate:
Experience varies directly with material ruined.

Baruch’s Observation:
If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Bromberg’s Law of Tool Use:
When the need arises, any tool or object closest to you becomes a hammer.

The Roman Rule:
The one who says it can’t be done should never interrupt the one who is doing it.

The “90-90” Rule:
The first 90% of a project takes 10% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90%.

Eng’s Principle:
The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change.

Schmidt’s Law:
If you fiddle with a thing long enough, it will break.

Bungey’s First Law:
The nut will not go on until you utter the magic word.

Bungey’s Second Law:
When you’re about to use the magic woed, your wife will be present.

Law of Search:
The first place to look for a lost piece is the last place you expect to find it.

Ringwald’s Law of Workbench Geometry:
Any horizontal surface is soon piled up.

Naeser’s Law:
You can make it foolproof, but you can’t make it damn foolproof.

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

@Graham what made you choose the RV-7 specifically? Are you going for quick build or the full kit?

Last Edited by IO390 at 06 Oct 19:59
United Kingdom

IO390 wrote:

what made you choose the RV-7 specifically? Are you going for quick build or the full kit?


I chose the RV-7 specifically because my girlfriend expressed a preference for side-by-side, and I can see why she did. If you’re not a pilot, being stuck in the back probably isn’t much fun. She likes to be able to see the instruments, GPS, etc.

Had it not been for that, I might have chosen an RV-8. I rejected the RV-9 because I wanted at least the option of being upside down occasionally, the RV-10 because I didn’t really need four seats, and the RV-14 because I don’t really need the extra cabin space. If I’m totally honest, the latter two were also partially rejected to keep costs down.

RV-7 rather than RV-7A because tailwheel is faster, cooler (much) and more practical. The RV nosewheels don’t have a great reputation for robustness and I operate from grass a fair bit.

Initially I’d planned a quick-build. However, the lead times for quick-build wing kits (12+ months, which when you talk to the sales folks on the phone means at least 18 months) plus the cost factor (again) has pushed me towards a standard build. A standard wing kit lead time is 8 months.

My empennage kit will arrive around the end of the year. In the meantime I am acquiring tools and building the practice projects that Vans produce. I plan to order the wing kit fairly soon so that it arrives after I’ve had a few months making inroads into the empennage. I’ve no particular agenda, but I do want to build it as fast as is reasonably practical – I certainly intend to work on it almost every day.

@Jujupilote I will create a thread when the empennage kit arrives. It won’t be a full build log – I want to build rather than photograph and type – but it will note the major milestones.

Last Edited by Graham at 06 Oct 20:17

I will create a thread when the empennage kit arrives. It won’t be a full build log – I want to build rather than photograph and type – but it will note the major milestones.

You should definitely log everything you do with pictures and a sentence of text. There are “log software” available, but Google blogger works just fine, and it’s super simple and super fast. At the end of each session, take a few pictures, and blog them

The reasons are:

  • You can go back and see exactly what you did.
  • Any inspector can easily inspect with ease.
  • Everything becomes documented, and all you have to do is take pictures.
  • When selling your plane (it will eventually be sold, or totalled) this log will make that process 10 times easier, and you will reach a broader audience.
  • If selling it abroad, it’s pretty much a must.

I have to add. Google blogger is “yours”. It’s free. FB and similar is not a good choice because you don’t know what will eventually happen to it.

Last Edited by LeSving at 07 Oct 08:32
The elephant is the circulation

yep, I can support what LeSving states about keeping a log during a build, all valid points.
Whilst building my RV-4 I took pictures, and since it was > 30 years ago (that many 😳?) those were printed on paper. I scanned them afterwards and they now are on a “well know brand name” drive, accessible on the internet as well as on my hard disk.
As for the rest I logged the type of works and hours doing it using a database program, but it could really be done using any spreadsheet program.

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland
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