Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 01-08-2021, 04:47 PM
N804RV's Avatar
N804RV N804RV is offline
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Mount Vernon, Wa
Posts: 695

If I had it to do over again, I would have bought a basic VFR RV-4, flown it awhile. Then, decide whether or not I really wanted to build.

I probably would have ended up building something anyway. But, I feel kinda like a got into it backwards.

Spending beautiful flying days in the shop, listening to the endless drone of Cessnas and RVs going over my house was sometimes disappointing. And, spending wet winter days in a freezing cold shop was sometimes de-motivating.

But, every time I get out and fly my little Sonerai for a hour or 2, then spend more time talking trash with the RV guys that are ALWAYS at the airport, and ALWAYS ready to talk about there airplanes and let me drool over them is a huge motivator to get back into the shop and keep pounding rivets.

Its a good thing I have an understanding wife!
Ken W.
Mount Vernon, WA
2020 VAF Supporter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 04:53 PM
Freakshow108's Avatar
Freakshow108 Freakshow108 is online now
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Eatonville WA
Posts: 129
Default Iím in the BUILD catagory

For me it was about the build as much as it is about owning an RV.
Here are my pros and cons ( for me ).
I love to build things
I’m in the HVAC industry, Im already familiar with metal.
I have two awesome kids but they are grown and moved out.
I am lucky that my finances allow me such a cool hobby.
I have the space and extra time for such a project.
I have the mental capacity to learn the techniques for building a safe and airworthy airplane. Some may disagree.
As someone mentioned in another post, the massive ego of knowing you built it.
Most importantly,I have great wife who puts up with me and the project. I’m just a tad over two years on the project and as most have learned, I’m 90% done with 90% to go and she still supports me and the aluminum mistress.

The wife will only let me build one RV. (So far)

Last edited by Freakshow108 : 01-08-2021 at 09:43 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 05:20 PM
gfb gfb is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 739

If you aren't actually interested in building just buy a flying airplane and enjoy it.

Please do not go with one of the airplane mills out there that very obviously break the FAA E-AB rules but pretend it's fine because you work on the plane for 4 weeks and go in to get your picture taken holding tools. Those shops are gonna end up bringing the wrath of the FAA on all of us
RV-9A - started 01/2015, completed 07/19/2018, 500hrs 03/14/2020
RV-10 - started 04/2020
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 06:44 PM
Pilot8 Pilot8 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: California
Posts: 64

All the bad news... It's an incredible amount of never ending work. You can learn the skills to do a good job, but if you are a quitter, quit now and buy a flying plane. It will take way longer than you think. You will make a lot of mistakes. Good news... Good way to avoid watching TV. You will learn to recover from your mistakes. Hugely rewarding to finish and fly. Flying airplanes are not that expensive, especially if you look at 4's and 6's with a VFR panel.
Sam Ray
RV8 fastback: 350 hours
Hartzell composite prop

Last edited by Pilot8 : 01-08-2021 at 06:56 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 08:34 PM
emsvitil's Avatar
emsvitil emsvitil is offline
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: SoCal
Posts: 445

1. Buy less than what you need so you can fly now.

2. With less than you want, you can then build what you dream of.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 09:33 PM
jliltd jliltd is offline
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rancho San Lorenzo
Posts: 984

I bought the best RV-8 I could find. It was $125K. The receipts for parts and paint in the records added up to $40K more than I paid. Even though the builder did it all on his own, this total is way high but reflects the fact the second owner from who I bought it had loads of custom work done professionally including extended range tanks, G3X avionics panel and custom paint and airbrush work. The nose art was North of $3K alone. So there are in fact a few RV's that have more cost into them than market price.

I searched for 3 years and didn't compromise what I wanted. When my bird showed up on the market one afternoon I called and then jumped in my car and drove overnight to be at the seller's hangar first thing in the morning. A local had beat me to it and wanted it but he was a student pilot so the seller felt better selling it to me. Good RV's only last a few hours on the market and many times without formal advertising.
(a few more airplanes too)
Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2021, 09:36 PM
donaziza's Avatar
donaziza donaziza is offline
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 766

When people see my 8, they ask, "did you build it"? I always answer " No, if I built it, you wouldn't wanna fly in it, and neither would I"
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2021, 04:36 AM
Capt Capt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 650

This Question comes up from time to time on numerous forums, build or buy.
No one can answer that for you directly only you can determine the outcome, all any of us can do/say is how 'we' made the decision.
Two things that determine the outcome to consider however and that's time & money, both precious commodities especially the former, you don't want to waste either.
Personally and this was my decision I bought, I let someone else take the loss.
I use the same philosophy when it comes to cars, nearly 50 years driving I've never bought a new car, again I let someone else take the loss/hit, each to their own.

Last edited by Capt : 01-09-2021 at 04:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2021, 05:21 AM
DeeCee 57's Avatar
DeeCee 57 DeeCee 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 552

"built it yourself?"
"nope, but bought it myself"

Some very good advice in the preceding posts.
There has been quite some evolution in kit aircraft building over the years... a short (and hopefully more or less accurate ) history at Vans:

Phase I (also called the Jurassic Age)
The older design, namely the -3, -4, and -6, were either entirely plan built, or using a raw material kit, neither drilled nor bent nor trimmed sheetmetal, ribs and bulkheads requiring many hours of work, lots of figuring out for engine install, etc.

Phase II (Middle Age)
Building on the success of these designs, Vans acquired 2nd hand CNC machinery and started producing pre-drilled material, which later evolved into the match hole technology. Used on the -7, -8, -9, and I believe the first -10 (someone correct me on any detail, thanks)

Phase III (Modern Age)
This is today... basically no more "building", meaning the work left is an assembly of the different bits and pieces. Matched drilled to final size structure, quick-build options, pre-wired PNP panels, FWF kits, and more. Used on the -10 and -14, and soon the -15...
There are quite a few advantages to this phase, the biggest in regard to your decision is probably time. The assembly time for the kits using this LEGO tech can nowadays be measured in months, rather than in years as it used to be.
This is also something which you might have to consider should you acquire a project that has been started, for instance a phase I could still require many years of building to completion.

In any case wishing you good luck on your decision.
Life's short... Enjoy

DC aka Dan

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
Reply With Quote
Old 01-09-2021, 05:44 AM
plehrke's Avatar
plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,740

I my opinion you need to make sure your decision to build or buy should not only think about can you do the structural kit from Vans But also should include thinking about your skill level for the fire wall forward and panel/equipment install. Even when I built my 6A in 2000-2005 the non-prepunched Kit was relatively easy and had good instructions. That obviously has improved a lot in the last 15 years so I feel the structure is pretty straightforward now.

Were you really need to decide is on if you can do the engine and panel install as the costs can be great, options are limitless, lots of decisions on what to buy, mixing and matching different stuff can get complicated, many different skills required, and nothing is just following steps in a manual. Now that has also gotten better with FWF packages and some great panel providers but you, the builder, need to have a plan and skills to make it all come together. Structure is pretty easy to inspect and tell if it is good and safe due to great design and build manuals from Vans. Knowing engine and equipment failure modes and if you designed in any are a bit more complex.

I don’t know facts on where builders that don’t finish run into issues and decide to stop. Probably most are early with tail kit. But I do believe that FWF and panel are more complicated.
RV-6A - flying 14+ years, 950+ hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007

Last edited by plehrke : 01-09-2021 at 05:49 AM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:37 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.