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Old 01-13-2021, 03:55 PM
aggieaviator aggieaviator is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 3
Smile Which Plane?

In the continued evolution of one day possibly becoming an airplane builder I have achieved a huge milestone. My wife gave me her blessing. Up until now she affectionately referred to them as snap togethers. I wish.
Before she changes her mind Iím trying to decide on a kit.

After reviewing the mission, my experience and budget, I think I have it narrowed down but any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Simple Mission
80% - Me farting around the pattern or quick trip less than 1-2 hrs away.
20% - Wife and I flying together to airports 1-3hrs away. Occasionally venturing out on longer x-countries. She actually likes to fly with me. No kids. IFR

Experience - 1st time builder, love to learn new things and appreciates the challenge (famous last words). Never even helped to build an airplane.

Budget- After everything including paint would like to be somewhere in the $115- $125k ballpark. Iím leaning QB as mostly an assist as a 1st time builder. Iím not in a huge rush. Want a great safe plane. Iím shooting for 5 years, sooner is gravy. I currently work full time and god willing will be during the build.

I like the 14A due to it being the latest and Iíve heard good thinks about the kit.
However, budget wise, I think all said and done it would be outside of our range and we donít necessarily require the extra room provided by the 14A.

I like the 7A, but Iím not really expecting to get into aerobatics. Could, but itís not on the agenda. I like the idea of having the option and an airplane that can handle the extra Gs, the extra speed, however...

9A looks to provide a little bit less expensive option (cost per flight hour) with the thinner longer wing design and will go plenty fast economically. Much faster than Iím used to. Any other major considerations to be made between the 7A and 9A models? The build, costs?

What did you decide on and why? Is there anything else I should consider? What plane would you build if you were in my position?
Jeremy Brown
Trying to decide which RV to Build
Donated Jan 2021
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:11 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,758

I chose an RV-3B for unrelated reasons.

Sure sounds like you're looking for an RV-9A, based on what you wrote.

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Old 01-13-2021, 04:21 PM
scrollF4's Avatar
scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
Moderator, Asst. Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 1,567

I does sound to me like you're talking about a 9 or 9A. You can get it upside down with some effort, and you can fly formation in it (ask the Cards). But if the bulk of your mission is crosscountry and "putzin'", while still enjoying the build experience, I'm thinking the 9 or 9A comes closes to your list.

I finished KELLI GIRL in 4.5 years, while a full-time USAF colonel then American Airlines pilot instructor. The quick build option helped. Kelli and I fly crosscountry and hit the $100 hamburgers all around north and central Texas. She REALLY favors the side-by-side seating, so I believe your bride will probably see it the same way.

Sid "Scroll" Mayeux, Col, USAF (ret)
52F NW Regional/Aero Valley Airport, Roanoke TX (home of DR's Van Cave)
"KELLI GIRL" N260KM RV-7A tipper
Catch her on YouTube's "Because I Fly!" channel

Exemption waived.
Proud and grateful 2021 -=VAF=- Contributor

PS: I am not an influencer. I have no influence. Just ask my kids.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:22 PM
GeoffP's Avatar
GeoffP GeoffP is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 195
Default For me it was an RV-9

Hey, decisions decisions! I chose a -9 by deduction. I wasn't after a 10 or 14 due to the higher cost. 3,4, & 6 were out as they're older non-prepunched designs. I'm not really into aerobatics so the 7 & 8 weren't on the agenda.

I chose tip-up & tailwheel on cost (plus I do like flying taildraggers, they just need more polish on the stick & rudder skills I find). Other than that, the 9 was a good fit, I really just wanted something faster & more economical than a typical Piper or Cessna, that I could cruise around in comfortably.

I went SB the whole way, and I am really enjoying that. I've learnt so much along the way, and I personally think SB really teaches you how the structure is put together so your overall understanding is much higher. Yes there's a lot more work, but I find it rewarding too. Don't let new things bother you - I enjoy telling people the first fuel tank I ever made was for my aircraft! I never know how to spray paint or use fibreglass (not to mention riveting) until I started building. I've just gone 2.5yrs building, all mostly solo, and I'm starting to assemble the rear fuse (Emp & wings done), and for 18mths of those 2.5yrs I was working away from home during the week.

If you commit, there's so many other decisions to make, and there's plenty of good advice here on different options. Prime vs not prime, Colour schemes, avionics, antenna placement, firewall forward stuff, engine, prop, interior, not to mention aftermarket mods.

Good luck with your decision. There's a considerable time and financial commitment to see it through, but lots of fantastic advice and support through VAF to help get you there.
RV-9, Empennage and Wings about done, Fuselage started.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:29 PM
RickWoodall's Avatar
RickWoodall RickWoodall is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,469
Default Simple

There is no question....

9a Pride of the fleet.

What a 7 wishes it could be.
You cant go wrong with any. Enjoy
Rick Woodall C-GSTT "ghost"
9a -TMX io-320, catto three blade, dual dynon hdx with a/p. 900+ hrs in 8 yrs flying.

Flew to Osh 11,12,15,17,19. SNF 2013. West to Cali /Washington/Vancouver/crossed the Rockies north to Red Deer east to Moosonee and over to maritimes. South to Jekyll Isl, cedar key, and Key West etc. 6 trips and 17 islands of the Bahamas. Flown turtles and dogs for Pilots n Paws too. Love our Rv's
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:36 PM
wirejock's Avatar
wirejock wirejock is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 4,373
Default 7A

9 or 7 VFR can be done with that budget but QB and IFR would push it.

Sweetie wanted side by side. I wanted robust G-load in a cross country capable machine.
Back then, 7 was the only option. I wanted to build so SB was the choice. Happy with it. Working FWF. I am prepping the engine now and thinking about the final expensive purchases like Prop and Avionics.
If money was no object, I would probably build a 14A.
Larry Larson
Estes Park, CO
wirejock at yahoo dot com
Donated 01/01/2021, plus a little extra.
RV-7A #73391, N511RV reserved (2,000+ hours)
Empennage, wings, fuse, finishing kit, now FWF
I cannot be, nor will I be, held responsible if you try to do the same things I do and it does not work and/or causes you loss, injury, or even death in the process.
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:48 PM
DRMA DRMA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 463


Congratulations on obtaining the go-ahead to build.

From your mission profile, I agree with others that it sounds like an RV-9 may be your best fit.

Since you live in The Woodlands, I suggest you check out our EAA 302 chapter ( which typically meets at the Conroe airport. While we meeting virtually during the pandemic, there are still a lot of builders in the group who are happy to provide you with advice and support. I'm not sure if we have any RV-9s in the club, but we certainly have a lot of RVs of various models, including 8, 10, 12, & 14 that I can think of off the top of my head. Also I think there may be a 6 or 7, but I'm not sure about the 9. Suggest you get in touch with our President Joe Waltz as he has a better knowledge of the planes based at Conroe than I do. His contract info is on the chapter website.

Dave Macdonald

RV-10 First Flight April 1, 2020. Phase 1 Complete
2021 VAF Dues Paid (plus a little more)
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Old 01-13-2021, 04:52 PM
andrewtac andrewtac is offline
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Friendswood TX
Posts: 315

Second the Conroe group, really good guys with a ton of experience. Go see some airplanes and take rides. I considered a side by side before I compared the two; glad I went tandem. Probably not in the cards for you, but you might decide you like something more in a 7 versus 9 or 14; once you spend the money on a kit you are committed.
Mark Andrew Tacquard

RV8 N189DK
RV10 in progress
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Old 01-13-2021, 08:39 PM
ccast04 ccast04 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Northwest LA
Posts: 7
Default What about a 12?

Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I was leaning heavily toward the 9 and as I thought about it more, the 12 really started checking more boxes. It would fit your budget really well and from my research, is an easy kit to build (pulled vs. bucked rivets). It won't cruise at 150 kts but is still very efficient. I haven't started yet but hope to have the emp kit on order by the end of the month.
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Old 01-13-2021, 09:00 PM
PaulvS's Avatar
PaulvS PaulvS is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 568
Default ^^^ Consider RV-12

Ditto for considering an RV-12. It is an ideal airplane for fun local flights as well as occasional longer trips.
Visibility is probably the best and operating costs the lowest.
Construction time will be a lot quicker and you can do more of it on your own due to the pulled rivets.
The cruise speed should be equal to or better than what you might have flown (C150, C172, Cherokee etc.) and the handling and climb performance will be much better.

I chose to build a 6A because the options at the time were more limited. I currently hire a 9A and own a Rotax 912 powered high wing LSA. If I built again, I would choose the RV-12 because of the quicker construction time and the Rotax engine because it is so easy to live with.
Paul vS (yes I'm also a Van)
Building RV-6A #22320 O-320 FP. Wings and tail complete, working on fuselage
Flying my Aeroprakt A-22 STOL and the aero club's RV-9A while I build
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