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Old 02-14-2017, 03:03 PM
StuBob StuBob is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 263
Default Ignore the Money: RV-7 vs RV-14

This has been hashed around a little, but less than I expected.

Let's say you're interested in a mildly-aerobatically-capable, 2-place, side-by-side airplane to take on 500-mile trips. For whatever reason, you're committed to building, though you're thinking about a QB.

Looking at the quality of the manuals, the completeness of the kits, and the resultant airplanes, is there a non-financial reason to prefer a 7 to a 14? All I can think of is MOGAS.

Even counting the money, if you buy everything new, they're within about 20% of each other.
Stu F.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:21 PM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 3,597
Default Speed

There is some data suggesting a 180hp CS prop RV-7 is a little faster than a 210hp CS prop RV-14.

I garranteed the RV-14 will be preferred by most spouses (it has a lot of room for her baggage).

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Old 02-14-2017, 03:30 PM
ksauce ksauce is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lititz, PA
Posts: 200

Preface: I've only sat in a 14 and not flown one and must trust the flight reports of others. And I used to own a 6A. I'd say there are a few non-financial reasons that I can think of that might sway you one way or the other.

I'm a big dude. 6'5" and 260 pounds. The 14 is MUCH more comfortable for me than a 6/7. The cabin is much wider and has more headroom. If you're a bubba like me, I would weigh comfort highly.

Also, due to my not insignificant mass, useful load is another factor. The 14s from Vans are setup as most folks would want for a 500 mile cross country plane and still have 800 pounds of useful load. The 7 comparably equipped will likely weigh around 1100 pounds and have a useful of 700 pounds.

The view down in the 14 is better as the longerons are lower.

In favor of the 7 (again based on 14 flight reports) is a much more nimble plane. My 6 was a delight to fly. Very light and responsive. The 14 is reportedly a lovely handling plane but intentionally designed to be more stable. Depending on what you choose to emphasize in your mission either one could be a winner for you in this department.

Those would be my initial thoughts. I'd definitely pick the 14 for my needs regardless of cost.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:06 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,884

If you have built before, you can put a slow build -14 together in a year +/-, without going crazy. The kit is THAT GOOD!

If you haven't built before, it might take you longer but still not as long as the four to six years the average -7 builder takes.
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

Last edited by N941WR : 02-15-2017 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 02-14-2017, 07:58 PM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 3,597

Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
If you have built before, you can put a slow build -14 together in a year +/-, without going crazy. The kit is THAT GOOD!
Just scrap the RV-14 wiring kit for parts and do it as you want. You will save time and aggregation.

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Old 02-14-2017, 08:24 PM
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ScottSchmidt ScottSchmidt is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 1,174
Default Fly both

Another first world problem. Congratulations on this being your decision.
Flying both will instantly tell you which you prefer. Go buy some transition training with Mike Seager or anyone else that has both planes. You will have fun, learn lots and know very quickly what you like.
If it is was my first plane, needed two seats and I wanted to explore the US and do some aerobatics once in a while, the -14 will win hands down. More room, upright position while seated and still fun to loop and roll. The -7 is more nimble and quicker in rolls but will not be as comfortable on long cross country flights. The -6 and -7 will be the best selling planes for Van's for a long time because it is an amazing plane. It does everything great.
If your wife goes with you, just send the money in for the -14.

I have flown both and they are both fun. The roll rate and stick forces are higher on the -14 which is designed to be that way. But it still loops, rolls and is a blast to fly. If I had one plane today and did not need 4 seats it would be a -14. Since I have a -10, my second plane would be an -8 or -14. It would depend on if my wife or kids ever wanted to fly, or if it was solely for me.
Scott Schmidt
Salt Lake City, UT

RV-10 N104XP (1280 Hours)
RV-12 N321UT (Sold)
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Old 02-14-2017, 08:36 PM
BillL BillL is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Central IL
Posts: 6,521

I am building a 7 and visiting Vans and looking at all the design issues corrected on the 14, not to mention a canopy design that works. yeah - from the beginning, 14 definitely.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:38 PM
rightrudder rightrudder is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
Posts: 1,853

Do you have a preference of slider or tip-up? That could make the difference right there.

Also, consider that an RV-7 QB is only about $1000 more than a standard-build RV-14.

I'm 6'3" and 200 lb, and I don't feel the slightest bit cramped in my -9A (same seating dimensions as the -7). The only time it was snug was with taking up my Olympic shot-putter friend, who's my height but weighs about 265(!).
RV-9A "slider"--sold in July 2021
Flew to Osh in 2017, 2018 & 2019!
Donation made for 2021
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky -- Amelia Earhart
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Old 02-14-2017, 10:52 PM
springer springer is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: AZ/MN
Posts: 394

I own an -8 and have to take my BFR in a -7A. It always feels creepy touching shoulders with my CFI. Go with the -14.
RV-4 '88-'09 Built & Sold
RV-8 Purchased
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:18 AM
StuBob StuBob is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 263

Wow. Eight responses and not one boosting the -7. Interesting.

Thanks, guys!

Keep 'em coming!
Stu F.
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