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Old 01-25-2021, 10:44 PM
Anon455 Anon455 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 51

Looking only for the build times for the following components from professional builders that do it full time in a shop designed to build the planes and have all the professional tools blah blah blah. Sorry I wasn't clear to begin with in my OP.




Last edited by Anon455 : 02-09-2021 at 11:52 AM.
Old 01-25-2021, 10:59 PM
DavidHarris DavidHarris is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Upland, CA
Posts: 109

If you could build 40 hours a week, already were skilled at metal and fiberglass work, and staged your orders so you werenít waiting on anything, you would have 2000 hours a year, which Vans claims is more than enough. Even with lower skill, Iíd think 1-2 years would be enough for most builders. An experienced person could do less than a year, possibly much less if really focused
On efficiency.
David Harris
Vans RV-7A N47HM
First Flight March 2020
Old 01-25-2021, 11:03 PM
rapid_ascent rapid_ascent is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 1,388

Sounds like 6.75 years.

Seriously its impossible to say. It really depends on how much time you can commit to the build and your experience level. Also how much of a perfectionist you are. I think Vans was saying 2000 hours at one point. I have over 1600 hours logged and many not logged. I still don't have my cabin finished or my engine mounted. Unfortunately if I had to guess I'd say I'm more than 400 hours away.

2000 hours is probably a good starting point for your answer though. How many hours a week can you devote to the project? This is every single week. Then there are holidays, vacations if we ever get those again. Do you have a shop or a garage that you can work in. That helps. Right now I have to go to my hangar to do my work. Anyway you get the idea.
Ray Tonks
2020 Donation Paid
Titan IOX-370, Dual PMAGs, 9.6:1 Pistons, FM-150
RV-7 Fuselage in progress
* Cabin Interior - In progress
RV-7 SB Wings
* Both Wings fully skinned
* Fuel Tanks Complete - No leaks finally
* Ailerons Complete
* Flaps Complete
RV-7 Empennage - Complete (a little fiberglass work left)
Vans Training Kit # 2 - Complete
RV-7 Preview Plans
Vans Training Kit #1 - Complete
EAA Sheet Metal Class - Complete
Old 01-26-2021, 07:43 AM
David Z David Z is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 497
Default 10 years and counting

I'm at 10 years and at the early parts of the fuselage. Somewhere under 1000 hours of build time as well. The reason is mostly life got in the way. In that 10 years, I took a massive pay cut, so I shelved the project for about 5 years. I had a great place to store it, safe and dry while I lived the nomadic young pilot life chasing jobs around the country. It also includes getting married, moving, renovating the garage into a workshop and starting a family. Now a 10-month old kid takes up a lot of time. Family being more important than airplane, that's where much of my time goes. I usually get 2 hours per day on the plane now and that seems to be a good balance. Researching happens in the evening when I'm tired and error prone.
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Empennage Passed Pre-close Inspection
Wings mostly done
Fuselage started
Dash 8 day job is financing the RV-8
Donation till September 2021
Old 01-26-2021, 10:22 AM
Robin8er Robin8er is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Socal
Posts: 481

3-6 years for a motivated average first time builder. I built mine in 3.5 years working a full time job.
RV-8 N695RA flying
Working on an RV-4

Born to fly, forced to work
Old 01-26-2021, 11:16 AM
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rmartingt rmartingt is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,090

More than anything else, it's going to depend on how much time you have available to build. I have a feeling all these guys saying two years is realistic are retired, or at least empty-nesters.

I'm coming up on eight years so far; no idea how many hours--I haven't been counting and don't want to know. But in the intervening time, I changed jobs, adopted a baby, built a workshop, and my wife had some major medical stuff going on for a couple years. Now, with an almost 5-year-old at home all the time instead of at school (don't get me started), building time is usually only a few hours a week. At least now I'm within sight of having the funds to finish everything (probably by June/July), though I think the actual finishing process will take till the end of next year.

My efficiency would almost certainly go up if I could get the same time condensed into one longer session, with no interruptions. Hard to get a lot done when someone's calling for your help/attention every 20-30 minutes

For another data point, my dad's slow-build RV-6 took 5 1/2 years. But, he had an airline schedule and a reasonably competent helper (me) who could work with him after school and take care of smaller tasks like deburring, dimpling, simple assembly, etc. while he was at work. Though that experience has certainly sped up part of my build (much smaller learning curve) I have no such assistance.
RV-7ER - finishing kit and systems installation
There are two kinds of fool in the world. The first says "this is old, and therefore good"; the second says "this is new, and therefore better".
Old 01-26-2021, 11:48 AM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 395

I am working a full time job and I am approaching 2 1/2 years into my RV 8 build. If I am retired and can devote all of my time into the build, this airplane would be finished in less than 2 years. For a point of reference, I took a 4 weeks of vacation last year and as able to turn the fuselage from flat sheet metal into a quick build stage during that time, working an average of 8 to 10 hours per day, 7 days per week. From that experience, I conclude the main driver to complete the build in a short number of years would be the number of hours you put into it. If you can find an experienced builder/helper, the build would be done in a much faster time. This is also why a build center such as Synergy Air can punch out so many completed airplanes at a fast rate. It provides plenty of experienced helpers and all you do while you are at the build center is building your airplane
RV8 standard build: Empennage 99% completed
Wing -- Closed
Fuselage -- Canopy Done. Fiberglass 80%
Avionics Installation -- 90%
Firewall Forward -- Prep for cowl install
Electrical -- 90%

Donation paid through 2021
Old 01-26-2021, 12:54 PM
Vbug Vbug is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Hoschton, GA
Posts: 32

Iím at seven years and 4000 hours almost finished slow build with a total of about six months of not building in this time frame. Average about 50 hours a month.
Old 01-26-2021, 02:16 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,665

Not building an RV-8 but my annual work time runs between 100 hours and 700 hours. I'm semi-retired, with typically a few months a year where I get slammed and the rest of the year with only ordinary things to deal with.

your living condition matters a lot. Someone in a rental apartment will work more slowly than a homeowner with an attached garage, and someone married with a supportive spouse will make more progress than if you live alone. Sometimes kids can be a help and sometimes not.

Offhand I'd say that six months to 14 years probably brackets the more likely scenarios.


Last edited by David Paule : 02-03-2021 at 09:45 AM. Reason: Corrected to 700 hours from 70.
Old 01-26-2021, 02:24 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 3,572

Originally Posted by David Z View Post
... Now a 10-month old kid takes up a lot of time. Family being more important than airplane, that's where much of my time goes. ...
Good choice. If you ignore the airplane for a few years, it won't care. If you ignore your kids, they'll be grown up and gone before you know it, and you don't get a do-over. I paused my build for about 8 years to be with my kids - don't regret a second of that. At some point, they will want to spend more time with their friends than you, but they know where to find you - in the garage. Mine went through withdrawal symptoms like I did when the plane went to the hangar. Now that I'm flying, they said "Dad, this is the first time in my life you have not been building an airplane! Weird!"
Mickey Coggins
"Hello, world!"
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