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Old 08-20-2019, 01:25 PM
Av8rRob's Avatar
Av8rRob Av8rRob is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Rescue, CA. KROB
Posts: 406

Heres what I made with my practice rudder, Man a couple of flaps could be an awesome shelf!

Rob Lasater
Rv-14 flying baby, yeah.
Paid Dec 2020
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:24 PM
lndwarrior lndwarrior is offline
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Cloverdale CA
Posts: 304
Default My personal experience

Disclaimer- I am a inherently a flyer not a builder. Also I had physical challenges that made the process painful.

Yet I did build my plane. I thought I would enjoy the process. I did not.

I thought the plane would be done after the 40 hours were flown off. It wasnt. It took another 18 months to get it where i was happy with it.

In retrospect I wish i had quit early on. I feel i wasted an enormous amount of my life with this project that would have been better spent doing things with my wife.
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Old 08-20-2019, 02:58 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

Years ago, there was a -9 builder who put the left spar in the right wing and vica versa.

He didn't catch it until it was time to fit the wings in the fuselage.

Van's checked their CAD drawings and sure enough, it was possible.

I never heard what he did.

No worries, this is the pile of dead parts I had left over.

(Click to enlarge)
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 08-20-2019, 03:49 PM
dave4754's Avatar
dave4754 dave4754 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Edson, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 493
Default Awsome responses! Here is mine

I purchased the empannage kit in 1997. Divorce, job loss, kids going to school all got in the way until 2010 my new wife encouraged me to build on.

Well along that way we moved and i now work out of town for pretty much the week, home on three or sometimes four day weekends.

Painful, painful slow process. So many time lately I have wanted to throw the towel in, even though in my build i have only spoiled one item in the empenagge which was easily repaired. But the TIME, the TIME as the fellow up above said did i waste it?

Then i went for a transition training with a good friend and instructor in his RV 6. Lifted off Terra Firma and he said hold it at 80 knots climb out. Well I pulled back and back and back on the stick to stay at 80 knots and the plane just kept going skyward! Level and 2300 rpm i think we were doing almost 13o knots(estimated)

Motivated i came back and building on, try finding someone to go ride with and dont worry about mistakes, one thing that got me a few times before i wised up was to not only read about what you are doing but read further as to how it all connects. Sometimes that helps.

Thanks to all for sharing makes me feel more normal now, if that is possible.

Dave Cobb
[color="Red"]=VAF=2019 Donation - and a bit extra for great work![/COLOR="blue"]
Empennage RV 7 - Tipper
Wings complete

Dynon installed and running
Fuse closer to completion, Canopy complete
AME reviewed and repaired O-320-Lyc installed
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:26 AM
s10sakota's Avatar
s10sakota s10sakota is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Westland, MI
Posts: 311

pfftt...hold my beer!!

I've screwed up so many parts building 5 kit planes that I have enough scrap parts left over to build about 13 more airplanes!

Here's a video from my Kitplane Enthusiast YouTube channel you can watch that will show you that screwing up is normal...

I also screwed up painting an aileron and had to strip it and repaint it...

Keep plugging away. That won't be the last part you will have to replace...
Mark Pensenstadler
1962 Piper Cherokee 160
2003 RANS S-10
2011 RANS S-6S
2011 Vans RV-7
2015 Zenith Cruzer
1962 Mooney M20C
2019 KITFOX Super Sport
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:38 AM
flybill7 flybill7 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Severna Park, Maryland
Posts: 455

After spending five years building my RV-7, I have been flying it over 10 years now, and can say without hesitation building the RV changed my life. It has opened up new worlds to me, in so many ways. Building the RV is on the short list of best things I've ever done. Don't give up! Just take it one day at a time. Try to do something on the project every day, no matter how trivial. Make the time. It's just a matter of priorities. There are days when the last thing you want to do is work on the plane, but tell yourself I'll just edge-smooth a little piece. You'll get into it and five minutes will turn into two hours. You get momentum going and then you WANT to work on the plane every day. As you put in the hours, you'll make less and less mistakes until it will be rare that you make a mistake. The second set of flaps will take a third of the time the first set did. Don't give up!
Bill Cloughley
Severna Park, Maryland
RV-7 Builder and Pilot (1,700 hours on RV-7)
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:18 PM
kentlik's Avatar
kentlik kentlik is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 895

Coming clean I just messed up another part...two weeks of work probably.
Rear skirt -7A left side. I am determined to make them out of AL. I was done with this side, marked for rivets, drilled, dimpled and it must have slipped, trash. Dug another piece of material out of the bin and started cutting again. This one hurt, a lot.
Keep at it, sometimes it sucks, sometimes it's glory!
RV-7A in progress
Private pilot, ASEL!
EAA 105 Chapter 7S3
Bi-annual financial contributor

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..." Teddy Roosevelt
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:43 PM
rjcthree's Avatar
rjcthree rjcthree is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bay Village, OH
Posts: 1,003
Default This isn?t stuff most of us know how to do....

The tasks of building an airplane aren’t generally things we know the nuances of as we start out. When I get to where you are, and I’ve been there a few times, just got over another hump on airplane #2, something an older gentleman who was my neighbor told me comes back very clearly:

The work teaches.

I was maybe nine or ten at the time. I kinda got it then as I fought to reassemble a carb from an old snowblower. Today, at 50, I hear it almost daily. I can generally correlate the days I hear it as being good days.

Two extra ailerons, two extra trim tabs, one xtra topside tail fairing, an extra set of con rod bearings, endless extra little brackets, a few rivet holes to nowhere, rudder and one elevator stripped and repainted, the list goes on. Yeah, I could have bought a decent 172 for half the $ ten years ago, but that wasn’t for me.
RV-9A N183RC/90432: tip-up, O320H2, Ellison, Dynon D180, CPi2, Sen GA, at KLPR
RV-8 83718, wing kit, tanks done, with a four year plus plan - on hold due to home move
2011-2021 VAF contributor

Last edited by rjcthree : 08-21-2019 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:10 PM
joe_rainbolt's Avatar
joe_rainbolt joe_rainbolt is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Northern California
Posts: 107
Default Build on!

I'm with the build on crowd. Try not to let these kinds of set backs destroy your momentum. I know -- it's much easier said than done.

And while we are sharing our screw ups:

My right elevator fell to the concrete floor while I was painting. Here is part of what I wrote in my blog at the time. Some of the feelings you may find familiar:

Did that just happen? I just stood there in stunned disbelief while my brain worked feverishly to assemble the appropriate profane response. Fortunately, I had the forethought to stockpile a great reserve of emergency profanity for just such an occasion. Logistically though, it's not such an easy thing to do. That is, to launch in an instant, the mother of all swear storms that common sense demands. In a second or two my paralysis fades and I spring into verbal action. At least that is what I thought would happen. But I find that I am unable to form intelligible words as I attempt to unload my entire arsenal at the same time. That ever so small portion of the profane artistry which finally makes it past my vocal cords intact is just one tiny, weeny, almost imperceptible, "@$%#." All the while, in in my mind, I keep seeing the Hindenburg going up. Over and over. Oh, the humanity!

Anyway, I cut off and rebuilt just the dented tip and I haven't thought about it again in over 400 hours of flying.

Keep pounding those rivets.
Joe Rainbolt
RV-7A slow build complete 4 July 2016
Visited all 48 contiguous states July 15-29 2017.


Last edited by joe_rainbolt : 08-22-2019 at 04:08 PM. Reason: My inability to spell
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:34 PM
Aggie78 Aggie78 is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: New Braunfels, Texas
Posts: 450
Default As a non-builder...

I wanted to tell all who have contributed to this thread how much I have enjoyed reading your responses and that the encouragement given by folks is so great...VAF truly is a brother/sister-hood in situations like this!

It has given me a just an itty-bitty taste of the highs and lows of building and greatly increased my respect for those who take that path and persevere to completion.

The builder of my RV persisted (I?m sure) through some of these same problems (or maybe invented a few of his own!) but stuck with it and ended up with a flying aircraft....only to permanently lose his medical shortly after getting it out of Phase 1.


I took over with ~70 hours on the airframe and as a small form of respect to his efforts, I?ve kept the same N-number (numbers/letters meaningful to him) and approached ownership as more of a ?steward? effort than as ?owner?, with the realization that time passes and sooner than I want, it will be time to pass this machine I love on to another...and I want to be judged a good caretaker for my efforts.

To the moderator(s):

I would like to strongly suggest this thread be made a sticky and perhaps duplicated/moved over to the RV Tips/Techniques Forum or something else appropriate. There?s a lot of good stuff in here that I would bet someone would find encouraging in a dark, painful time in the build process. No sense in letting this disappear into the dustbin of the forum archives?

Again...thanks to all who have contributed and to the OP, I wish you the very best and hope you keep building!!

Rob S.
Rob Schroer
New Braunfels, Texas (KBAZ)
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