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tbone40x 09-12-2021 03:53 PM

Kit ordering plan feedback request
Howdy! I ordered the empennage kit on 9/1 and the QB wing kit on 9/2. Should I go ahead and get the SB Fuselage kit on order now?

Here's my thinking. It looks like lead times just went up again. I think it will take 4-5 months to finish the empennage, but I don't expect that kit until the beginning of the year (it was 4 month lead time when I ordered it, now shows 6 months).

With the SB Fuselage kit now at 9 months lead time, and the "QB" wing kit at ~ 18months (or longer) I'm thinking I can use the time and not gap out by getting a SB Fuselage kit ordered now.

My thinking is I can use the time to work a SB Fuselage kit while the wings are the "critical path". Ideally I'd want to prevent months of gap and having to re-learn some skills.

Am I on the right track?

BobTurner 09-12-2021 04:11 PM

I donít think your learned skills will depreciate much over a six month gap. But you have raised an interesting question. For a builder who is ready, now, to devote XX hours per week to building, are the SB kits now faster-to-completion than the QB kits, given this kind of backlog? Only you, and Vans, knows the answer.

David Z 09-12-2021 07:32 PM

I had my RV8 wings mostly built in 8 months. This is doing 6-8hrs per day. Also no final-size holes and had to final size everything. RV14 should be faster.

The other thing to consider is it's better to have the next kit sitting on the shelf than to be on hold waiting for parts to show up.

georgemohr 09-13-2021 02:00 PM

I did the same thing, but backwards. I ordered the Standard Wing and the QB Fuse. Same reasons, why sit around waiting for a kit when you can save some money and keep busy building :D

SantosDumont 09-13-2021 02:50 PM

I had the money January 2020 for everything, but I thought eh I might as well leave my market accounts alone and let them continue to grow. Then March 2020 happened. I spent a year in my garage doing absolutely nothing waiting for my accounts to recover.

If I could do it over again I would order all my kits at the same time and have a completed airplane right now, but hindsight is 20/20.

I still have 6 months before my wings show up, but I'm thinking about just pulling the trigger on the finishing kit.

iamtheari 09-13-2021 03:41 PM

I think that a dedicated builder will always be faster with the standard kits than the QB. The only kit that I think I would have got through quicker with a QB was the canopy, which doesn't have a QB option. I tried to build 3 days a week for 1.5-2 hours per day. Some weeks I built more and others less. A week or so off is the worst, because then you spend an hour figuring out "Where was I?" instead of building.

I ordered the Empennage, Fuselage, Finish, Firewall Forward, and Wing kits in that order and generally built in the same order. Unlike earlier planes, the RV-14 does not ship full-length longerons in the wing spar crate, so you do not need to get the wing kit to build the fuselage.

Here are the relevant dates for my kits. "Substantial completion" is an arbitrary date I'm picking now based on my build log spreadsheet, for a point when I seem to recall there not being any more work to do other than hooking the assembly up to something else, like wing installation (which was an easy afternoon). I also have not done the gear leg fairings or wheel pants, so those could add another 5 or 6 years to the finish kit if they turn out to be a nasty job like the canopy. :)

Empennage ordered 1/4/2018, shipped 1/8/2018, began work 1/19/2018, substantial completion 7/29/2018 (6 months)

Fuselage ordered 2/20/2018, shipped 4/16/2018, began work 5/3/2018, substantial completion 12/20/2018 (7 months)

Finish kit ordered 10/5/2018, shipped 12/10/2018, began work 4/2/2019, substantial completion 10/24/2019 (7 months)

Firewall forward kit ordered 3/29/2019, shipped 4/3/2019, began work 4/23/2019, substantial completion 1/21/2021 (21 months, but long break while working on other kits and wiring panel)

Wing kit ordered 5/3/2019, shipped 7/11/2019, began work 10/22/2019, substantial completion 8/24/2020 (10 months)

The wing kit was the one I probably worked on the slowest in terms of finding time to build. My helper got married and had two children during the build, and he is a Proseal expert so I really leaned on him for the fuel tanks (with great results) plus the wing skins are hard enough to rivet with two people, I can't imagine trying to do them solo. If you have consistent help, you can easily beat my time on that kit.

I hope this information is helpful for those debating whether to order QB or not.

P.S. Don't call the RV-14 non-quickbuild kits "slow build" around anyone who built an RV-4 or RV-6. They will justifiably punch you in the face. :)

gotyoke 09-13-2021 07:44 PM


Originally Posted by iamtheari (Post 1555181)
Empennage ordered 1/4/2018, shipped 1/8/2018, began work 1/19/2018, substantial completion 7/29/2018 (6 months)

:eek: Two weeks from ordered to started. WOW, how times have changed.

I find it encouraging that you were able to get so far aiming for around 6 hours per week. I suspect you are an anomaly, though, perhaps having substantial help?

SantosDumont 09-13-2021 10:02 PM


Originally Posted by gotyoke (Post 1555231)
I find it encouraging that you were able to get so far aiming for around 6 hours per week. I suspect you are an anomaly, though, perhaps having substantial help?

It's not that hard if you have a work from home job. My goal is 1hr per day and I'm usually able to squeeze it in between calls.

Richard Connell 09-14-2021 01:53 AM

Times certainly have changed.
Need to factor in 9-18m for airframe, up to 12m for power plant and
12+ months for avionics.
Good times for the industry overall, but builders need to plan well ahead.
More hurdles and costs mounting for non US builders too :-(

tbone40x 09-14-2021 09:53 AM

Thanks for all the input, I went ahead and ordered the regular build Fuselage kit.

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