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  #1  
Old 06-25-2022, 07:45 PM
Davy8or Davy8or is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Discovery Bay, CA
Posts: 55
Default Looking for RV-9A and lots of questions

Hi all! I just sold my Mooney after owning it for 12 years and looking to replace it with an RV-9A. My flying has changed quite a bit and I think the -9A would fit the bill nicely. I need to learn about all of the quirks, gotchas and things to look for when buying and owning.

I have done my own annuals and repairs on my Mooney for the last 6 years, so I'm no stranger to airplane wrenching and intend to do the work on the Vans too. I assume the annuals are pretty straight forward?

I'm open to any of the usual engine options from the O-235 to the O, or IO-320. I just really want an aircraft engine and not a conversion. I am on a budget, so it doesn't need a full IFR glass panel and all the bells and whistles. The 235 engine intrigues me for the slightly lower operating costs and maybe lower acquisition price?? Anybody here have one built with this engine? Real performance numbers?

Also, I will be looking for somebody to do a pre-buy inspection hopefully and also transition training. I live in Northern California and have been an EAA member for for over a decade.

Any help would be awesome and thanks in advance!!
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  #2  
Old 06-25-2022, 08:28 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 8,426
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy8or View Post
I have done my own annuals and repairs on my Mooney for the last 6 years, so I'm no stranger to airplane wrenching and intend to do the work on the Vans too. I assume the annuals are pretty straight forward?

I'm open to any of the usual engine options from the O-235 to the O, or IO-320. I just really want an aircraft engine and not a conversion. I am on a budget, so it doesn't need a full IFR glass panel and all the bells and whistles. The 235 engine intrigues me for the slightly lower operating costs and maybe lower acquisition price?? Anybody here have one built with this engine? Real performance numbers?

!
Hi from LVK.
Unless you are an AP/IA, I assume you meant ‘owner assisted annuals’ on your Mooney. For an EAB (Experimental Amateur Built), any AP (IA not needed) can do the annual ‘condition inspection’. You or, with your permission, anyone can work on the airplane.
I think you’ll find the 0-235 engine less common. Everyone wants more power!
EAB insurance is a bit specialized. I suggest calling Gallagher agency, ask for Leah Ringeisen and have a chat about dual requirements, if any, costs, etc. The call is free, owning an airplane, as you know, is not!
Edit added: I have a -10 at LVK, but there are several -9’s here. Try to get a ride in one. Fun airplanes to hand fly. But relatively low wing loading makes for an uncomfortable ride in turbulence, IMHO

Last edited by BobTurner : 06-25-2022 at 08:41 PM.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2022, 08:41 PM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 1,186
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The -9A is pretty quirk-free. Very honest airplane. No surprises or bad habits, but very precise. It will do exactly what you tell it to do...no more, no less. I assume aerobatics don't interest you. You can do your own maintenance to your hearts content, and if you're an AP/IA you can sign off your own annual condition inspections. The checklist for that CI is readily available online, so you can familiarize yourself with what's involved. However, coming from a Mooney, I'd certainly recommend getting an RV expert to do a thorough pre-buy.

I have an IO-320 D1A with CS prop in my -9A and that would be the lower end of my propulsion choices for that plane.


ETA: I have never found my -9A to be a rough ride at all.
__________________
RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IO-320D1A (factory new), C/S
IFR equipped
AFS 5400/3500, G5, IFD440 navigator,
bunch of other stuff

Last edited by MacCool : 06-26-2022 at 05:21 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2022, 10:19 PM
Davy8or Davy8or is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Discovery Bay, CA
Posts: 55
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
Hi from LVK.
Unless you are an AP/IA, I assume you meant ‘owner assisted annuals’ on your Mooney. For an EAB (Experimental Amateur Built), any AP (IA not needed) can do the annual ‘condition inspection’. You or, with your permission, anyone can work on the airplane.
I think you’ll find the 0-235 engine less common. Everyone wants more power!
EAB insurance is a bit specialized. I suggest calling Gallagher agency, ask for Leah Ringeisen and have a chat about dual requirements, if any, costs, etc. The call is free, owning an airplane, as you know, is not!
Edit added: I have a -10 at LVK, but there are several -9’s here. Try to get a ride in one. Fun airplanes to hand fly. But relatively low wing loading makes for an uncomfortable ride in turbulence, IMHO
Yes, you are correct. I work with an IA on my field. He signs me off. Thank you for raising the issue of insurance. I forgot to mention that but it is definitely on the list of what-abouts. I'm crossing my fingers that it will be lower than the Mooney. Every year it goes up no matter what and this year they wanted over $1700. Bonus points for adding a company and contact name!! I will call.
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2022, 10:23 PM
Davy8or Davy8or is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Discovery Bay, CA
Posts: 55
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacCool View Post
The -9A is pretty quirk-free. Very honest airplane. No surprises or bad habits, but very precise. I will do exactly what you tell it to do...no more, no less. I assume aerobatics don't interest you. You can do your own maintenance to your hearts content, and if you're an AP/IA you can sign off your own annual condition inspections. The checklist for that CI is readily available online, so you can familiarize yourself with what's involved. However, coming from a Mooney, I'd certainly recommend getting an RV expert to do a thorough pre-buy.

I have an IO-320 D1A with CS prop in my -9A and that would be the lower end of my propulsion choices for that plane.


ETA: I have never found my -9A to be a rough ride at all.
Correct. Zero interest in aerobatics other than watching other people do it. I definitely want to find an expert for the pre-buy. I will look up that CI list and check it out. On the Vans site I imagine?

I thought Vans didn't recommend anything bigger than the 320? Is that not so?
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2022, 10:43 PM
blaplante blaplante is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 473
Default

That's correct, Van's recommends 160HP or less in the 9.

Real men put 200+ HP in 'em. Cause it's EXPERIMENTAL and ya can do anything ya want! After all we're sure there's plenty of design margin beyond what the factory says, eh?

I have a 160HP fixed pitch RV-6A (probably making 170HP) and am very happy with my engine choice. I know multiple people with 6's and 7's with larger engines... let me say their experience hasn't convinced me that I need to upgrade.

BUT: I don't own a V8 powered 1 ton 4 WD truck. I don't own a V8 powered 10 passenger SUV. Nor a 40' long 'toy hauler'. IOW, clearly I'm odd :-) Possibly communist!
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RV6A in phase 2 as of April 2016
Donation made Oct 2021
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2022, 10:53 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 1,324
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The -9 is only recommended to have at max a 320, but some have put a 360, and I imagine that’s a great choice. The 320 flies great but I wouldn’t want a 0-235.. the 0-235 is just as expensive to overhaul, weight is very close to the 320.. yet has only 2/3 the power..
__________________
Tom
Las Vegas
RV-4 flying…
RV-8 empenage finished 10-2020

Wings Started.. 11-2020

Last edited by Taltruda : 06-25-2022 at 11:07 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2022, 06:05 AM
Dugaru's Avatar
Dugaru Dugaru is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Richmond VA, USA
Posts: 656
Default You’ll love it

I tell people my -9A is like a two-seat Mooney. Not quite a two-seat Acclaim Ultra, of course… 😃

You will have zero problems transitioning. Insurers know this and seem to be happy with the -9A. All else being equal, your insurance could very well go down, even in this market. I transitioned from a Warrior I owned for 8 years, and they wanted one hour of dual (!) and a lower premium (!!). I think it’s hard to get smooth coverage for experimentals, but others here will know more about that. I insure through Scott “Sky” Smith’s agency and have been very happy.

I think the IO or O-320 is sort of the sweet spot for the 9, but I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at the right bird with an O-235 (unless I lived in Denver or something and really needed the extra climb performance). There aren’t a *ton* of used 9As out there, and the -235 install is not especially common, so you may not see many O-235s.

I have not flown one with an O-360. Vans recommends against it, but many reasonable people here seem to operate them safely. I’ll leave that debate to others. I’m certainly with you on using aircraft engines instead of conversions. I always try to imagine the auto engine designer’s face when someone tells him they’re going to use it to power an airplane.

I love my CS prop but actually could live without it, especially now that I know more about overhaul costs. 🤣

Speaking of costs, you’re going to love the cost of using tractor alternators, landing lights from off-road vehicles, experimental avionics, etc. etc.

If the plane you’re looking at is anywhere within range of Vic Syracuse at Base Leg Aviation in Georgia, get him (or someone he recommends) to do the prebuy. This is not even a close question. His videos on YouTube will give you a good idea of his philosophy. His book is a gold mine for buyers and owners of RVs.

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davy8or View Post
Hi all! I just sold my Mooney after owning it for 12 years and looking to replace it with an RV-9A. My flying has changed quite a bit and I think the -9A would fit the bill nicely. I need to learn about all of the quirks, gotchas and things to look for when buying and owning.

I have done my own annuals and repairs on my Mooney for the last 6 years, so I'm no stranger to airplane wrenching and intend to do the work on the Vans too. I assume the annuals are pretty straight forward?

I'm open to any of the usual engine options from the O-235 to the O, or IO-320. I just really want an aircraft engine and not a conversion. I am on a budget, so it doesn't need a full IFR glass panel and all the bells and whistles. The 235 engine intrigues me for the slightly lower operating costs and maybe lower acquisition price?? Anybody here have one built with this engine? Real performance numbers?

Also, I will be looking for somebody to do a pre-buy inspection hopefully and also transition training. I live in Northern California and have been an EAA member for for over a decade.

Any help would be awesome and thanks in advance!!
__________________
N929JA, 2007 RV-9A
Based W96: New Kent International Aerodrome
(near Richmond, VA USA)
2022 Dues Paid
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2022, 07:02 AM
Ed_Wischmeyer's Avatar
Ed_Wischmeyer Ed_Wischmeyer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,763
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The biggest advantage of the constant speed prop is deceleration on landing. It also helps in climb, of course. Also, the Sensenich metal props have a 2600 RPM limitation which means you can't get all the power out of the engine in cruise at altitude.

As for bigger engines, that's sort of like boasting about having the world's largest midget. More weight, more fuel burn (less reserves on trips), negligible performance gain.

It's an experimental and you can do what you want... but the laws of nature don't care what you want.
__________________
RV-9A at KSAV (Savannah, GA; dual G3X Touch with autopilot, GTN650, GTX330ES, GDL52 ADSB-In)
Previously RV-4, RV-8, RV-8A, AirCam, Cessna 175
ATP CFII PhD, so I have no excuses when I screw up
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  #10  
Old 06-26-2022, 07:35 AM
MacCool's Avatar
MacCool MacCool is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 1,186
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Here’s a sample RV checklist. https://vansairforce.net/downloads/I...nChecklist.pdf.

and here’s one that Walt Aronow has published http://www.expaircraft.com/PDF/RV-Co...-Checklist.doc

I’d recommend Vic Syracuse’ book “Are Your Nuts Tight?”. Expensive, but lots of valuable info and pictures. Also helpful would be his pre-buy book. You’re going to want that done by an expert in RV’s, but the book would be helpful in understanding what your pre-buy expert is talking about. https://baselegaviation.com/store/

I am completely satisfied with the performance of my RV-9A. Great mix of power and economy. I don’t think I’d be happy with the 235 and I would hate to give up my constant-speed prop. One could put a 360 in it…it’s a common engine in the RV-7 which has the same fuselage…but in no way would it be worth it to re-power a -9A from a functional 320.

Insurance? I’d recommend a good broker, like Gallagher or BWI….they both have a lot of experience with Experimental airplanes and RV’s in particular. Everyone here will likely recommend their broker. Not sure how much that matters as I’m sure they all shop the same companies, but it’s great having a broker that will look out for you, and will answer their phone or emails. I’ve had good experience with Leah Ringheisen at Gallagher (she posts here on VAF a lot). They’ll shop the best deal for you among several of the insurance companies. I started out with AIG, but last year they raised the rates by $200 so Leah got me a better deal with Global. Same as the previous rate, but better policy. $1500 per year currently, but I’ve already received an email from them warning me that, in general, insurance rates across the board were going to go up with next renewal. Most insurance companies will require transition training…for me AIG wanted 2 hours dual before solo and 1 hour solo before passenger. They usually express the desire that that training be in the same make and model but there appears to be a little wiggle room in that requirement (with a little arguing by Leah they approved my CFI whose experience was with an RV-6A). The transition itself isn’t a big deal…the -9A is pretty straightforward to fly and coming from a Mooney, you won’t have any trouble.

Right now…airplane prices are crazy. I’ve had out-of-the-blue offers even from strangers on the ramp to buy my plane for more than 50% above what I paid for it a few years ago. No clue how that will change when stagflation is in full-swing and the recession finally hits, but I suspect prices will drop. When I was looking to buy, looked a lot of places and posted a lot of “want-to-buy” on aviation forums. From this site I had 6 different responses in the “I haven’t listed this plane yet, but I’m willing to sell” category.

Experimental aviation is very cool from a pilot-owner’s perspective. Many people who fly/own them love the Experimental aspect of it and love to experiment. Me…? I’m not that guy. I like to fly, not a builder or tinkerer. I pull the plane apart for my IA at CI time to save some money, and I’ve done a few oil changes etc…even completely replaced and rewired a dead EFIS (don’t want to do that again), and GPS navigator, but I’m more likely to just call my AP/IA, even for an oil change (time constraints), and I won’t diagnose or repair anything forward of the firewall (knowledge constraints). But that’s just me. If you like to wrench on your airplane, Experimental aviation is for you.
__________________
RV-9A, 2011, bought flying
IO-320D1A (factory new), C/S
IFR equipped
AFS 5400/3500, G5, IFD440 navigator,
bunch of other stuff

Last edited by MacCool : 06-26-2022 at 08:21 AM.
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