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  #1  
Old 10-22-2021, 12:10 PM
AndyWAUS AndyWAUS is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 37
Default Finished my empennage! Now what?

Okay, after the incredible 1.5 years I am finished with the empennage kit. The whole time I've been debating whether I should continue or quit, and if I continue whether to do quick or slow build. While building the tailcone, I figured quick build that is - I hate having to stop the progress because I need to find someone to help me buck rivets.

I've been watching the lead time on quick builds rise steadily from 6 months to 12+, but was still holding off ordering the next kit, thinking I would do it after I get comfortable with fiberglass work. Well, the fiberglass work on the tailcone took me just a few days to complete. Now, my parts are done and I'm eager to continue.

Except there's a problem. I did place an order for QB kits, but was told that the lead time now is 18+ months, and Vans even returned my deposit and said they would collect it when they can assign the delivery date. This was almost a month ago, still waiting for that date. With the lead times as they were published I realized I would skip the summer of 2022 and resume in the spring of 2023, but now it doesn't seem I would be doing anything before 2024. That's a lot of waiting.

In the meantime, if anyone in the Seattle area is available to stop by and have a look at what I've done - I will greatly appreciate it! Please send me a PM. Maybe the empennage I've built is actually unairworthy scrap, and I need to build another under Synergy Air guidance?
By the way, does anyone know if I can pay Synergy Air (or Vans) to inspect a completed project and give recommendations for repair / replacement if any is needed?
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2021, 11:51 AM
Fenderbean Fenderbean is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Huntsville AL
Posts: 84
Default

The lead times, are seriously making me reconsider building a Vans, I planned on QB as well and waiting that long to get one and then the time to complete is getting waaay too long. I will be in your shoes shortly with tail and emp kit, and after crunching numbers going certified route maybe the better option. If I keep on this path I may never get to a point of traveling and enjoying my passion before its too late.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2021, 12:20 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Buena Park, California
Posts: 613
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyWAUS View Post
In the meantime, if anyone in the Seattle area is available to stop by and have a look at what I've done - I will greatly appreciate it! Please send me a PM. Maybe the empennage I've built is actually unairworthy scrap, and I need to build another under Synergy Air guidance?
You should contact your local EAA chapter and inquire if it has an EAB technical counselor. This person works on a voluntary basis and can inspect your project as you progress. I found out that it is a very good idea to visit as many build projects an I can so that I could pick up on ideas, ask questions , and compare notes. You then you can invite the new builder you just meet to help inspect your project.
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RV8 standard build: Empennage 99% completed
Wing -- Closed
Fuselage -- Canopy Done. Fiberglass 80%
Avionics Installation -- 90%
Firewall Forward -- Cowl completed. Baffle 90%
Electrical -- 90%

Donation paid through 2022
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2021, 01:46 PM
Jake14 Jake14 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 390
Default

+1 on contacting your local EAA chapter.
EAA26 is in the Seattle area and their website lists tech counselors:
https://chapters.eaa.org/eaa26
I had them look at mine, although it was further along, up on the gear, and it was a very worthwhile visit.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2021, 01:53 PM
KatanaPilot KatanaPilot is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 754
Default Give them a call!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyWAUS View Post
Okay, after the incredible 1.5 years I am finished with the empennage kit. The whole time I've been debating whether I should continue or quit, and if I continue whether to do quick or slow build. While building the tailcone, I figured quick build that is - I hate having to stop the progress because I need to find someone to help me buck rivets.

I've been watching the lead time on quick builds rise steadily from 6 months to 12+, but was still holding off ordering the next kit, thinking I would do it after I get comfortable with fiberglass work. Well, the fiberglass work on the tailcone took me just a few days to complete. Now, my parts are done and I'm eager to continue.

Except there's a problem. I did place an order for QB kits, but was told that the lead time now is 18+ months, and Vans even returned my deposit and said they would collect it when they can assign the delivery date. This was almost a month ago, still waiting for that date. With the lead times as they were published I realized I would skip the summer of 2022 and resume in the spring of 2023, but now it doesn't seem I would be doing anything before 2024. That's a lot of waiting.

In the meantime, if anyone in the Seattle area is available to stop by and have a look at what I've done - I will greatly appreciate it! Please send me a PM. Maybe the empennage I've built is actually unairworthy scrap, and I need to build another under Synergy Air guidance?
By the way, does anyone know if I can pay Synergy Air (or Vans) to inspect a completed project and give recommendations for repair / replacement if any is needed?
Have you called Synergy Air? 541-603-8175. I'm sure they can help or at least provide some guidance on your next steps.
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Krea Ellis

Locust Grove, GA
DA20-A1 "Princess Amelia" - gone home to Amelia Island
RV-7A Phase 2 (Honored to be Van's "Miss July" 2021)
RV-10 under construction at Synergy Air South
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2021, 01:56 PM
BruceW BruceW is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 190
Default

So everyone that is impatient about the wait times, please pull from the list.
(faster time for me then)
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RV-7 QB (500+ hours)
RV-14 in waiting
Elk Grove, CA
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2021, 04:12 PM
AndyWAUS AndyWAUS is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 37
Default

Thanks all for your responses! I have contacted a local EAA technical counselor who agreed to come and inspect the work. I have also got a response from Synergy Air - they can do an inspection for a nominal fee, but I'll need to bring the empennage to their facility in Oregon, so I'll need to think about logistics here.

Anyone in the Seattle area, Redmond to be exact, is still welcome to come meet with me and share your experience! I'm not going to be flying any time soon - Vans has still not given me a delivery date for wings and fuse, so plenty of time to ponder the work completed to date.

Thanks,
Andy
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2021, 06:33 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 2,027
Default

18 months for a “quick build”?? Why is it called a quick build? How long do you need wait for the next standard build wing or fuselage kit? You could easily complete either of those kits in less time than 18 months, maybe both. When I built my first RV8, I was told 3 months wait for a QB fuselage. I ordered the standard RV8 fuselage and in 2 months I was basically done, except for the canopy - well beyond QB stage, and I saved $6K.
If I was told 18 months for a QB kit, I would either build it myself in a fraction of the time, or go a different direction.
This isn’t Vans Aircraft’s fault. They have experienced unprecedented demand for their kits, and they are a small company. Shipping QB’s to/from the Philippines is just one of the many problems that are negatively affecting businesses. Supply chain and other issues won’t last forever, but 18 month lead times have reached a level of ridiculousness that many builders that would rather fly than build and tinker will either decide to go another direction, or decide to “build” their home built airplane themselves.
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SH
RV6/2001 built/sold 2005
RV8 Fastback/2008 built/sold 2015
RV4/bought 2016/sold/2017
RV8/2018 built/Sold(sadly)
RV4/bought 2019 Flying
RV6/Used kit purchased 2021 building
Cincinnati, OH/KHAO
JAN2021
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2021, 08:37 AM
cactusman's Avatar
cactusman cactusman is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 488
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I had a delivery date for a wing kit in early Sept. Vans collected the remainder due in late August. Finally called Vans yesterday - still in crating. I would say get your orders in early, and like traffic in PHX in winter with an extra 1-2 million peeps in town, put your patience hat on.

I think 12-18 for slow build kit (missing parts) is probably more accurate right now.

2-3 years for a quick build is probably more accurate. I lost count at 88 container ships off LGB last week.
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RV12 Built and Flying
RV10 Started
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2021, 11:57 AM
AndyWAUS AndyWAUS is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 37
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Hersha View Post
You could easily complete either of those kits in less time than 18 months, maybe both. When I built my first RV8, I was told 3 months wait for a QB fuselage. I ordered the standard RV8 fuselage and in 2 months I was basically done, except for the canopy - well beyond QB stage, and I saved $6K.
Everyone's life situation is a bit different. It took me 18 months to build the empennage, and I know for sure it would take me a lot longer than that to build the fuselage. It's a combination of how much time I have available, my level of skills, space, tools, and availability of helpers to buck rivets where two people are required.

That said, I totally agree that 18+ month lead time is ludicrous - especially that plus sign at the end. I'm still waiting for Vans to assign the date for my order, meanwhile considering to cut my losses now and buy a pre-owned plane instead.
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