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  #11  
Old 02-22-2019, 02:08 PM
Saville's Avatar
Saville Saville is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: KBVY Massachusetts
Posts: 1,265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Task View Post
Very new to experimental aircraft and have been looking at some RV-8s online. I see a price range starting around 60 and well over 100. Im just wondering what an average RV8 sells for with basic vfr panel and io-360. I know there can be many varibles, just wanted a better understanding of price. Ive also thought about building one in the future and figured with a QB kit and a used engine it would be in the 50ish range. Any info/insigh is appreciated!!
I think one needs to place some sort of value on time spend building. Thousands of hours. Hard to place a monetary value on that but it's a cost nevertheless.

That's thousands of hours you could be doing something else - including flying.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2019, 05:35 PM
506DC 506DC is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 44
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Building an airplane is not for the faint of heart. I raised four kids and owned a CPA firm so it took me ten years to build my RV-4 and I wanted to quit several times during the process. In those days we did not have the internet so I traveled about 100 miles to get help, take pictures and ask questions. Because of my work and family, the most of the work was done during the last 5 months of the year.

Should you buy or build. Today Vans kits are eons more user friendly and building resources are unlimited. First you have to look at your financial resources. When I built my kit, I spent about 3K per year. With a used motor, I finished the kit for about 30K. I wished that I had purchased a new motor but motors were expensive and since then, I installed a new motor and CS prop. Today it?s going to cost you somewhere around 100K to build an RV-8 if you have someone paint it for you and you purchase a new motor and a CS prop. You will have to get it registered, inspected and pay sales tax if you live in a sales tax state so that?s another 8-10K and that?s a lot of bread. There is some ways to avoid sales taxes but that can be a dicey situation. Buying a used airplane may be the best way to go depending on if you can get a good one with all the things you want. Unfortunately, avionics are expensive and sellers for good reason are not willing to take a discount in sales price for having a nice panel so the sales price is adjusted accordingly. If you can find a good used RV-8 for 60K that is finished and painted, buy it now!

Would I personally buy or build it today? In no way do I regret that I built an airplane. My wife tells me that I can fix anything. I am not sure if that is true but after building an airplane, I look at every project differently. I am the IA for my RV and I work on the certified planes that I have owned and just about no maintenance operation I will not attempt with the proper tools and maintenance guide. I have kept all my aircraft tools and I use them for repairing aircraft both experimental and certified. I have used my tools to repair and build stuff around the house also. Using my skills for all of my projects both aircraft and domestic has saved me thousands of dollars. Numerous times I do things today that I would not even attempt before I built an airplane. I always owned at least one airplane and when I had just finished my RV-4; I was also flying a 1969 V35A Bonanza. I flew to Stockton, CA for a business meeting and during the flight one of the magnetos broke apart and dumped the impulse coupling parts through the accessory case and into the oil pan. On run-up, my mag did not check so I taxied to a maintenance facility. The owner quoted me about 5k to remove, disassemble and replace the motor and that was a lot of money in 1998. You could have painted a Bonanza for less than 5K in 1998. He offered to let me use his facility if I had an A&P. After I told him that I just completed a homebuilt, he let me do the work myself. I showed up with my tools in a trailer and yanked that engine out, took off the accessory case, removed the oil pan, cleaned, inspected, reassembled and took the opportunity to replace a low compression cylinder in the process. He inspected the airplane and signed off the paperwork and charged me $500 for assistance with craning the removal and installation and use of his facility. I did everything else. I would never have attempted or given the opportunity to do this project without a guy named Richard VanGrunsven. A friend of mine owned a Baron. He had an elevator trim tab replaced during an annual inspection. They charged him 10K to replace the hinge. I did not have the heart to tell him that I could have done it for 25 bucks. When you build a RV-8, you?re not only getting an airplane, you are getting a degree in aircraft construction of some level depending on the completeness of the kit.

I am currently looking at STOL aircraft like a Kitfox. Everybody needs three airplanes, right. My RV cruises at 180 knots so I have the cross-country thing nailed. I also have a Cessna 170B. I use it for giving taildragger endorsements and my wife won?t let me sell it because it has four seats and we can take friends for $100 hamburgers. She told me, ?If you sell the Cessna, you better have one in the hanger to replace it? You have got to love that type of woman! Should I purchase an STOL or build? I have never covered an airplane with fabric, how difficult could that be???Hmmmm.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2019, 07:41 PM
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Tankerpilot75 Tankerpilot75 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Posts: 683
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I bought my RV7A in 2014. It was a very low time airplane with a professionally built panel. But the aircraft had experienced a prop strike eight months before while landing at AirVenture. The PIC was 80 years old at the time.

The engine (Superior IO-360) was completely torn down and professionally inspected and rebuilt by G&N Aircraft of Indiana with a new Hartzell C/S prop installed. Well over $20K was expended during this process - mostly paid by insurance. I effectively had a new engine and prop on a 2008 170 hour RV7A. The panel was IFR with dual 430s, dual GRT EFIS, TruTrak Autopilot, Garmin 340 com setup and a Garmin 330 transponder. Interior and paint was also quite good. The builder was just too old (81) to continue flying by himself when he sold it to me.

After I purchased it I had to correct some build quality issues (always expect this with any RV you buy), replace the TruTrak A/P head due to internal failure, and upgrade the transponder to a Garmin 335 w gps for ads-b out. I also hardwired a FlightBox ads-b ?in? to my EFIS for traffic advisory and weather which allowed me to disconnect the XM weather receiver in the aircraft (too expensive and had to contact Siri?s every time I flew to re-ping the connection). I?m now in the process of upgrading my ELT to 406Mhz and further upgrading my interior.

I mention all this to say just because you?re not the original builder there are plenty of things/items you can and will spend your time and money on during your time of ownership. Building was not for me - I just didn?t want that time commitment (I was 67 when I purchased my RV). However, flying, maintaining and improving an aircraft is more my style of ownership.

As you own it, fly it and work on it you will become very familiar with the aircraft and all it?s quirks. It can be a very pleasurable experience. Besit of all you?ll save money if bought right. I?m approaching $90K+ invested and four years of enjoyable flying. The builder spent over $120K plus around six years building. He got too old to fly it regularly after finishing the build.

Much better deal to buy a quality built RV with a good engine, IFR panel and professional paint/interior than to build it yourself. Too many folks have started down the build path and then sold their kit to someone else to finish because the build commitment was greater than they envisioned. ?Life got in their way.? Something to think about.

I agree $50K is way to low of an estimate. Better double that number (plus) no matter which direction you go. Good luck!
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Jim Harris, ATP, T38, EC/KC-135A/E/R, 2008 RV7A, 2nd owner, N523RM (2015)
Superior XPIO-360, Hartzel CS prop, Dual GRT Horizon EX with ARINC, EIS, Garmin 340, 335 w/WAAS gps, Dual 430s (non-WAAS), TruTrak 385 A/P with auto-level & auto-trim, Tosten 6 button Military Grips, FlightBox wired to EX, Dynon D10A w/battery backup, 406 MHz ELT. Custom Interior, New TS Flightline hoses, Great POH!
Retired - Living the dream - going broke!
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2019, 07:30 AM
judoka5051 judoka5051 is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: McAlpin, FL
Posts: 262
Default Low cost 8...

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this, but I finished my RV8A for about $40K. That's all my budget could manage at the time. That said, I definitely shopped for the best deals. I found the airframe on a popular auction site for $13K, and a 350 hour O320 (160hp) on a familiar aviation site for $8K. It was built by a professional engine builder for his RV6 and he was replacing it with an O360. That O320 was the smoothest engine I ever flew... Anyway, with the biggest two expenses out of the way, I just watched for deals on VAF and elsewhere, and usually picked up parts for about 50% of retail either unused or lightly used. At 975 lbs it had the same HP/Weight ratio as a typical O360 powered 8 and performed very well. Even had a EFIS and autopilot!
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Lance Logan
McAlpin, FL
Plane at FL10

Scratchbuilt Biplane
Preceptor N3 - Sold
Zenith Zodiac 601HD - Sold (good riddance)
Kitfox IV - Sold my share, but loved that plane
RV8A Sold! Loved the plane, but not the nosewheel!
RVX (RV6/4) Sold
Cherokee 180 pickup truck
RV8 Fastback
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2019, 04:43 PM
bifft bifft is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 121
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I also built my 8A for $40-45k. Didn't add everything up, doesn't count tools or the houses I bought to have garages to build in. Was spread over 20 years so my kit prices were quite a bit lower than now. Have an old engine that will probably need to be overhauled sooner rather than later, wood prop and a basic day VFR steam gauge panel. Just put out another $1500 for ADSB out (almost done with the install).

I suspect $40-50k is about as cheap as it would be possible to build.
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  #16  
Old 02-25-2019, 06:13 PM
Spinnetti Spinnetti is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Frisco
Posts: 6
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Nobody wants to spend money they don't have to, but if trying for the very bottom end of the RV, would it make sense to reevaluate the mission and maybe go for something less expensive? I kinda had my heart set on a IO360 RV8 but at the cost for how I want it configured, may be I don't need it that bad.
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  #17  
Old 02-25-2019, 08:15 PM
gasman gasman is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sonoma County
Posts: 4,141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinnetti View Post
Nobody wants to spend money they don't have to, but if trying for the very bottom end of the RV, would it make sense to reevaluate the mission and maybe go for something less expensive? I kinda had my heart set on a IO360 RV8 but at the cost for how I want it configured, maybe I don't need it that bad.
You would be amazed at what you don't need to have a very nice VFR RV. So much money is spent for motors, panels and props that never get used to their potential. Anything more than wings and a motor is just added weight and increased cost. Only install what you NEED for your mission. If your mission changes, then upgrade your plane. But don't waste your money to build an aircraft for things that you may never do.

My hat is off to those that build for under 60 grand.... they understand my above remarks.
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Last edited by gasman : 02-25-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-25-2019, 10:27 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saville View Post
I think one needs to place some sort of value on time spend building. Thousands of hours. Hard to place a monetary value on that but it's a cost nevertheless.

That's thousands of hours you could be doing something else - including flying.
If this quote applies to you, you should be a buyer.
But if you replace ?cost? with ?joy? then you?re a builder.
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  #19  
Old 02-26-2019, 07:20 AM
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Saville Saville is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: KBVY Massachusetts
Posts: 1,265
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
If this quote applies to you, you should be a buyer.
But if you replace ?cost? with ?joy? then you?re a builder.

Agreed...to a point. "joy" means a lower cost. But there is still cost. Such as flight time, and time for other things.
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  #20  
Old 02-26-2019, 08:14 AM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 4,466
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 506DC View Post
Building an airplane is not for the faint of heart.

<large snip>

I have never covered an airplane with fabric, how difficult could that be?……Hmmmm.
Great post that addresses the enhancements to skills and confidence building an aircraft offers.

With your background...you will love working with fabric.
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