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  #1  
Old 07-15-2020, 02:32 PM
tcastleman tcastleman is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Beaumont, TX
Posts: 9
Default How much does it cost to finish an RV?

I recently purchased an RV-8A QB kit. I have to admit, I bought it without a plan to finish it.

I was wondering, what is a good average cost to finish one of these kits? (tools aside)

Engine, avionics, and propeller... and of course the finishing kit is a set price.

How much am I looking at spending to make it IFR capable? VFR only? Any general insight is appreciated.

~Thomas
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2020, 02:44 PM
gasman gasman is online now
 
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Location: Sonoma County
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You can go here..... https://www.vansaircraft.com/building-an-rv/ to get some answers.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2020, 02:46 PM
DavidHarris DavidHarris is offline
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Upland, CA
Posts: 105
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Rough numbers, haven't looked all of them up recently.

Finishing kit
Firewall Forward Kit
Engine: $25-35k new, $15-20k used if you are lucky
Prop: $2-8k (used fixed pitch - new constant speed)
Avionics: perhaps 5-10k if you scrimp and are satisfied with a meager panel
$20k will get a very nice VFR panel
$45k will get an incredible IFR panel
Tools: $3-5+k (depends on what you already have or could borrow)
Paint: $9k for a good pro job, much less if you do it yourself
Interior: $3-8k
Certification: $1-2k (inspector, pitot-static testing, weighing, ...)

On top of that, I'm sure I've spent $10k or more on this and that at Aircraft Spruce.

So the cost of the airframe kids is a third or less of the total cost. The incremental cost of doing it really nice (new engine, constant speed prop, IFR panel, nice paint and interior) is significant, but so much less than the cost of the same on a certified airplane.

If your time is valuable, the opportunity cost is far higher than the parts cost. We have to love building it, or the economics say to buy something somebody else already built.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2020, 02:56 PM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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There was a time when the cost formula was 50% airframe - 50% everything else, give or take.
Expectations changed along the way & it gravitated towards 33% airframe - 33% power train - 33% everything else.
Panel toy innovations have changed the picture over recent years and the ratio is evolving towards & beyond 25% airframe - 25% power train & 50% everything else.
This generalization roughly seems to be the material cost ratios lately but YOU are the biggest factor to what your final material costs will be by defining what you think IFR means and how involved you end up making it.
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  #5  
Old 07-15-2020, 03:12 PM
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RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
 
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Location: US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcastleman View Post
I recently purchased an RV-8A QB kit. I have to admit, I bought it without a plan to finish it.

I was wondering, what is a good average cost to finish one of these kits? (tools aside)

Engine, avionics, and propeller... and of course the finishing kit is a set price.

How much am I looking at spending to make it IFR capable? VFR only? Any general insight is appreciated.

~Thomas
To paraphrase Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, "Don't think. Just build."

I tried hard NOT to keep running totals or estimates-at-completion, and just focus on the now...next thing to buy, save up for that, get it and move on. Keep building, don't look back and don't look too far ahead moneywise.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2020, 03:17 PM
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bhester bhester is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hopkinsville, KY
Posts: 991
Default Nobody really knows

Nobody really knows how much it cost to finish an RV because nobody has ever really finished an RV :-)
But I would agree with the 33% 33% 33% formula.
Progressing toward 30% airframe 30% engine 40% Panel.
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Last edited by bhester : 07-15-2020 at 03:24 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2020, 03:37 PM
findane findane is offline
 
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if you have to ask how much it's going to cost, don't build it. People ask me how much money I have into my 9A. I don't know and I don't want to know. Since it's the last aircraft I'll ever own, it doesn't matter.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2020, 03:56 PM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
 
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Location: Worland, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by findane View Post
if you have to ask how much it's going to cost, don't build it. People ask me how much money I have into my 9A. I don't know and I don't want to know. Since it's the last aircraft I'll ever own, it doesn't matter.
I know a lot of people take this stance but I take a different one. I'm a numbers guy and it is part of the fascination for me. My -7A will have about 100k into it and when people get bug eyed at that number just ask them "Do you know anyone with a diesel truck and a 5th wheel, because it's about the same. Except mine doesn't depreciate." I don't know about you guys but people all around me own jet skiis, four wheelers, side by sides, campers, big trucks, etc. It's all in how you prioritize your toys.
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2020, 04:02 PM
DeltaRomeo DeltaRomeo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcastleman View Post
snip...I was wondering, what is a good average cost to finish one of these kits? .....snip
A lot.

More than you've budgeted.

You'll find a way to make it work.

It's worth it, and you'll be glad you did it.
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2020, 04:02 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
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Location: 50-50 Wichita KS & Scottsdale AZ
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I got a good deal on a used empennage & wing kit and am budgeting $30k for a new experimental IO360, $10k for a c/s prop & governor, and probably around $35k for avionics.

I think I can get it in the air as an IFR bird for around $100k and will add paint and interior on down the road.
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