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Old 01-14-2021, 12:01 AM
Yen Yen is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Benaraby Queensland. Australia
Posts: 220

Consider the RV4. I think you wold find it the nicest to fly, just great for short flights, but capable of comfortable longer flights. Good value for money. I don't know how much time the lack of pre punching adds, but the building is easy.
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Old 01-14-2021, 02:31 AM
KayS KayS is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: lake constance
Posts: 324

Jeremy, your entire post cries out for a 9/9A. The difference in cost between 7 and 9 is absolutley marginal for identical equipped aircraft (the 9 with 320 and 7 with 360). Build times and complexity are the same.
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Old 01-14-2021, 04:13 AM
tgmillso tgmillso is offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Posts: 788

Jeremy, it looks like the side by side seating is decided for you, but the question you really need to be asking yourself is do you want to do a bit of upside-down action? If most of your flights are screwing around for fun, then I'd have a good hard think about a 7. I didn't think I'd be doing many aeros, in fact I didn't even have my aero indorsement before I finished my aircraft even though I'd been flying for 20 years. I mainly build my machine as an A to B ride. Now I've found that many of my flights are a "hey, I just [washed/fixed/serviced etc] my aircraft and I need to take it up for a quick flight", and you can't but help including an aileron roll or two somewhere along the line. Although I have a rating, I'm not into hardcore aerobatics by any means, but a sneaky positive G aileron roll never ceases to put a smile on my dial, or anyone else's that chooses to come with you (yes, they will be lining up once you have it finished, especially if they know it can do a bit of upside down action). Some gentle aeros are like an amazing drug you never get a hangover from, and it never gets old. From a MPG perspective at the same speeds, there's nothing in it between the 7 and the 9 at the altitudes we normally cruise at (assuming you spend most of your time below 10,000'), although the 7 holds 16% or about 45min more fuel. From a "stable platform" perspective, this is an issue from the early 1900's, which has been resolved with this invention called an autopilot (Garmin G3X with an autopilot is an awesome combination). The RV-7 is a "stable platform" with the press of a button (I have the wings level/recovery button on my stick) but it's a point and shoot fighter aircraft when you need it, which is why you want an RV anyway and not your grandfather's Cessna. The 9 is a noticeable amount slower on approach/landing, and according to book values pulls up 50ft shorter, but I regularly fly into 1200ft runways no problem. If I was always looking at flying into short runways, I'd probably get myself a RAN's S21 or wait 6 months until Van's announces their competing bush plane. Just ask yourself, "do I ever plan on rolling it upside down" and if the answer is yes, then you know which one you have to pick.
Main thing is, keep it light during the build (it makes it so much more fun to fly). Don't get your wants and needs confused (first world problem I know, and we are talking about an aeroplane here). Watch the CG of the 7 (there are plenty of posts on this, but basically you want the IO-360 engine with the longer IO-320 motor mount if you are going to use any type of composite prop otherwise you will limit your baggage capacity) and realize that the QB kits are amazing value for money (I built a SB and it took 3 years full time work, but I got my wants and needs confused). QB easily knocks 1,000hrs off the build time, and likely closer to 2000 for the slower, more conscientious builder types. It greatly improves your chances of finishing it and not being one of the countless individuals that realize they've got themselves in over their heads timewise. It is a massive time commitment. On a final note, if you ever plan on taking trips to the coast, prime it, otherwise you won't be able to sleep at night when it's sitting out in the inevitable salt spray, which is finding its way into the lap joints, where it will sit forever, gnawing away at you and the airplane. If you're only going to pull it out on fine days and putt around the patch in an Arizona climate, don't bother. Just be sure that if you do, use a non chromated primer so you don't have to sacrifice yourself in process.
Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:42 PM
meloosifah meloosifah is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Indiana
Posts: 251

I have never heard a -7 builder say they wished for a -9, but I have heard upon several occasions a -9 builder state the opposite.

I have never heard someone say that they wished they couldnít do aerobatics in their plane.

Judging by the market, a -7 will sell for more than a -9.

I have read hundreds of threads on here and never heard a compelling argument for the existence of the -9. They always end with something like ďif aerobatics are not desired and a smaller fuel burn is desired....Ē. The thing is, physics and flight data will tell you that a -9 with a 320 will burn about the same fuel per mile as a -7 with a 360, pulled back.

Cheaper engine? I have watched the classifieds for years and 320ís are not significantly cheaper than 360ís.

I realize that many folks love the -9 but if slower flight, lower sales price and inability to do aerobatics is the best sales pitch, why not just do a -7 and choose to keep it dirty side down? For a builder the cost is virtually the same.

As to the -12, it is not even it the same boat. Much lighter wing loading. Much slower and resembles a bulgy-eyed frog. However, much easier to build and COULD be built cheaper.

You can easily build a -7, -9, -8, -12 for well under $100,000. WELL under. Ask me how I know...

Side by side is the only option if your wife likes you! 😁 Very few people enjoy the back seat of a tandem plane. My wife wants to snuggle and hold my hand. Canít do that from way back there!!!

These are my OPINIONS - donít get angry all you -9 drivers... 😎
RV7a (converting to TW and then ready to install the engine and panel)

1946 Cessna 140 (currently flying)
1946 Piper J3 Cub (stripped for restoration)

Exempt on multiple counts - donated double because this site is worth it!
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:07 PM
tjo tjo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: La Center,wa
Posts: 222

My two cents:
9 with a 360. It will do lots of fun stuff, even some aerobatic maneuvers like lazy 8's rolls, even loops, but that takes some care. Great cross country, great cruise, and great short field. IMO the best balance of the fleet.

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Old 01-16-2021, 09:12 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 370

Bear in mind that any aerobatic maneuver is completely outside the operating limitations of an RV-9's airworthiness certificate. One's insurance won't cover anything related to aerobatics.
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:13 PM
Taltruda Taltruda is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 587

My mission is pretty much the same with the exception of wanting to do aerobatics and formation. I chose the RV-8. I think my wife will like her giant elbow room and own space in the back. The -7 is pretty cozy up front.. hope your friends like to snuggle as much as your wife does!
Las Vegas
RV-8 empenage finished 10-2020

Wings Started.. 11-2020
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:18 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 370

When I was looking for RV's, I decided on either a -9A or a -7A and I was completely indifferent one vs the other. Price was not an object. As it happened, the first plane that came up that met my requirements was a -9A. I did see a couple of -7A's that were nice, but not as well equipped or capable as that -9A so I snapped it up. That plane has met my every expectation.
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Old 01-16-2021, 09:22 PM
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MacCool MacCool is offline
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: central Minnesota
Posts: 370

Originally Posted by Taltruda View Post
My mission is pretty much the same with the exception of wanting to do aerobatics and formation. I chose the RV-8. I think my wife will like her giant elbow room and own space in the back. The -7 is pretty cozy up front.. hope your friends like to snuggle as much as your wife does!
I recently flew to Missouri with a buddy in his Mooney Bravo. Nice plane but THAT is close quarters. Made my RV feel like a Skywagon.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:07 PM
6ato14a 6ato14a is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: longmont, co
Posts: 142
Default Get some rides

I bought a 6a unintentionally. Long story. Expected to sell it. Flew it a few hours and couldnít part with it. Sat in both 14 and 14a (check my name above) and bought a partially built kit. Later got short ride in both a 9a and a 14a and now Iím willing to sell the 14 project. The fun factor in the control forces is just not the same as a 6. 7 and 8 are very much like the 6. Admittedly the 9 and 14 are more stable (they were designed for cross country) but that isnít the fun part of an rv. Personally I like the a as i think my wife might get it on the ground and live through the experience and I doubt she would with a taildragger. I have flown several conventional gear airplanes and they are fun but not much fun in a crosswind. I landed my 6a in a 24 knot gusting to 35 once. Got my attention but very doable. Back to my title GET SOME RIDES! Most rv people love to show of their planes.
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