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Old 01-06-2012, 04:40 AM
fatherson fatherson is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 427

Originally Posted by voodooskin View Post
Great topic y'all. I'm in a bit of the same quandary: the -12 is so much more the sensible choice, the -8 taildragger would be a bucket list item. Not a factor yet for me as I can't start building just yet anyway but it's quite a decision ;-)
It is indeed! Van designed great airplanes, so we each have the excruciating luxury of choosing which one is best for us. There's months and even years worth of reading on this site to help you first make that decision and then build your choice.

Welcome to VAF, Joe! You'll enjoy your time here. Consider contributing to DR using the "donate" link near the top of the left margin. If you donate before you order your first kit, it is statistically proven that you are more likely both to start and to finish your project. :-)

See you around.

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Old 01-06-2012, 08:49 AM
RV7Ron's Avatar
RV7Ron RV7Ron is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 590

Originally Posted by PIN 37 View Post
This may, or maynot, be a little off topic, but can those people who prefer the tandem please tell me why??? I will state right now I am building a 7 and never considered a tandem. I understand that many people like them, what I cant understand is why. As far as performance is concerned there is very little difference, if any. As far as aerobatic performance goes there is no difference. As I said I know there are people who love tandems, what I would really like to understand is why??
Maybe it will help somebody in the future make the choice as to what RV to choose.
First off, welcome Mike, sounds like you are heading in the right direction. I'm building a -7, but deep down I would rather be building an -8. The main reason for the -7 for me was for the passenger experience. Almost everyone enjoys sitting up front better than the back. If I was selfish though, it'd be an -8 for sure. The centerline seating...extra shoulder room...'fighter plane' feel...are all pretty cool to me. I will tell you, with your size, a -7 will be tight. I'm 5'9" 180 lbs and its cozy for me in the shoulders. I agree that this decision is usually driven by the wife and rightfully so if you plan to travel with her. You cant go wrong either way...they all fly great! Good luck.
Ron Duren
Mechanical Engineer
"SportAir PhD"-RV Assembly/Composites/Electrical
Denver, CO (KBJC)
RV-7 'Tip Up'
Flying!! as of 3/16/14
IO-375/WW 200G-CS/SkyView/Dual P-mags
N531R "Wablosa" Wings of Red
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:03 PM
Sleepy's Avatar
Sleepy Sleepy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Camas, WA
Posts: 31

Originally Posted by FlyBoy8 View Post
Thanks for the responses so far...
Because of my height 6'5" (210lbs), I'm a little concerned about the side by side seating of the 7, and 12. I sat in a guys -9 a while back and had to lean way forward to get the canopy closed (slider), but once closed I did have a "little" clearance over my head. I'm sure with some seat adjustment I would be fine.

I started an RV-10 awhile back and abandoned it when the economy tanked, took a major pay cut (UAL Bankruptcy) and my side business (commercial construction) slowed.

Now that things are back on track, my wife and I are in a similar position. Though we haven't started yet, we did decide on the bird.

Being an ex USAF pilot, the RV-8 brings back great memories. I never mentioned my preference to my wife figuring it would influence her choice. We talked about not building an RV-10 because our kids are almost gone. So, based on all the comments here, we had pretty well decided on an RV-7.

Then one afternoon she told me she wanted to see what the RV-7 felt like versus the RV-10 . Living in the Portland area it was not too difficult to get her a ride. When she got done she asked if she could go for a ride in the RV-8A parked next door. She sweet talked herself into a ride and as you can tell from the picture below, the "grin" says it all. She got out of the airplane and gave me a great big hug and announced we are building an RV-8. Surprised the heck out of me.

So the moral of the story is go out and find someone who will do a "spousal approval" flight. You might be surprised by what you learn.

In the "for what it is worth" column. I am 6' and about 215 with broad shoulders. The cross countries I've done with my friends in RV-6/7s has been great fun, but for me it does get a little tight compared to the RV-8.

Oh, my other advice; don't brainstorm this to death. I did and ended up abandoning my project. Big mistake. Make the decision and never look back.


Scott Price
aka "Sleepy"
RV-4 - N485AB Flying
RV-8 - N687SD Fuselage 1/2 Done
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:31 AM
pilotian's Avatar
pilotian pilotian is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: CMH, OH
Posts: 191

First off I would like to welcome you to the VAF forums! This place has made me feel at home in the Vans world. You will begin to make friends and learn more than you can ever imagine.....

With that being said here is my $0.02, I'm 18 years old and luckily I dont have to take in consideration THE WIFE as some of you old timers do But I will say this, if your wife is going to help you out in the build and want to be apart of it then yes you should really take her opinion into you decission. If not then of course go with the -8. I think I can speak for everone when I say what ever you do end up picking will be great because it is coming from a wonderful company. However, although I am young I still think this applys to any aviator: Go after your dreams man, dont look back! I can venture to guess that if you got your wife in the RV-8 she would be all smiles like Sleepy's wife was.

I too had a small doubt that the RV-8 maybe was to much for a beginner to handle, or that I will miss the side-by-side experience but I think people that havent tried tandem just cant make a judgment. The moment you get in a tandem airplane it really opens your eyes to a whole new level of fun flying. WHO WOULDNT WANT TO FEEL LIKE A WANNA BE FIGHTER PILOT IN THEIR FREE TIME!

All in all, best of luck on the airplane choice and please let us know what you choose. I also commend your wife for wanting to get her private that would add brownie points in my book!
Ian Hoyt

N527DH (reserved) RV-8
Tail Kit: 80% done

Follow my flying journey on
Twitter: ianhoyt
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