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View Poll Results: Did you fly the maiden flight of your build?
Yes 214 85.94%
No 35 14.06%
Voters: 249. You may not vote on this poll

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  #11  
Old 02-02-2021, 01:28 PM
KayS KayS is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: lake constance
Posts: 346
Default

my project took 11 years to first flight. tons of money and thousands of hours with blood, sweat and tears. a lot of emotions attached to it. and because of exactly that, somebody else, better suited for the job, did the maiden flight.

doing so will not take a single ounce of pride from you. it's just a reasonable decision. building an aircraft is unreasonable enough.

Last edited by KayS : 02-02-2021 at 01:32 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2021, 01:45 PM
Amazon-1 Amazon-1 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 57
Default I flew the first flight of my RV-14A

I had not been flying much in the 4 years prior to the first flight, but I did get about three hours with an experienced pilot in an RV-14A. I had considered paying someone to do the first flight, but realized I really WANTED to do the first flight myself. I am glad I did.

Bruce
RV-14A just finished Phase I
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Bruce

2003 RV-8, N297NW, bought, flown, sold (~600 hours)
2007 RV-10, N662G, bought, flown, sold (~700 hours)
2020 RV-14A, N662F, built, just finished Phase I
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:06 PM
salty salty is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: FL
Posts: 94
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadjunkie1 View Post
What version are you building?

Photo is of that first flight...........
RV-10. I'm many years away from that first flight still. Just dreaming about it at this point.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:07 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO, Okemos MI
Posts: 2,715
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I worked 8 years on my plane and finally finished it. I do not have the experience to do a first flight and lucky I have a couple friends who not only did the first flight but are doing the testing.

My airplane was fun to build, but my first flight will be just as exciting for me as if I did the first test flight.
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rockwoodrv9a
Williamston MI
O-320 D2A
Flying N376E
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:22 PM
D Weisgerber's Avatar
D Weisgerber D Weisgerber is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Ionia Michigan
Posts: 230
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I did my first flight in my RV6, that was almost 24 years ago. Transition training wasn't easy to get then. I'm building an RV8 now and I am going to do the first flight, but I have over 1,000 hours in my RV6.
If you're worried about it I don't think there's anything wrong with having somebody else do the first flight.
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RV6 N7219d
IO-320-B1A
Sam James cowl
first flight May 2, 1997
RV8 #83830 tail done, wing done, fuselage done.
Working on the finish kit.
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:38 PM
Doug Rohrer Doug Rohrer is offline
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Posts: 323
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I had a friend who was an RV-7A builder and an A&P do the first flight on my -9A. I was rusty and had flown very little for the six years previous, so I thought it would be best to let him do the honors. No regrets.
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Bowling Green, KY
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:38 PM
salty salty is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: FL
Posts: 94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Weisgerber View Post
I did my first flight in my RV6, that was almost 24 years ago. Transition training wasn't easy to get then. I'm building an RV8 now and I am going to do the first flight, but I have over 1,000 hours in my RV6.
If you're worried about it I don't think there's anything wrong with having somebody else do the first flight.
I'm not worried about it. I'm worried about whether I should be worried about it. If that makes any sense. LOL
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  #18  
Old 02-02-2021, 02:43 PM
rv8ch's Avatar
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 3,661
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I can't say what's right for you, of course. People far wiser than me suggested I get an objective evaluation from the person giving me transition training, telling them I wanted an honest opinion and that I will respect what they say. This is what I did.

Besides the very important transition training, there are lots of good resources out there to learn what's involved in flight testing, including the EAA and others like the FlyONSPEED team. Mike Vaccaro has written a magnum opus on RV transition training that is packed full of useful information.

https://www.flyonspeed.org/van-s-rv-...raining-resour

I feel lucky to have these resources available to (hopefully) become a better, safer pilot.
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http://rv8.ch
"Hello, world!"
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  #19  
Old 02-02-2021, 03:17 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,290
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Getting an objective opinion about your flying skills is only part of the equation. More difficult is an honest self-assessment of your emotional state. If things go wrong and the safest option is to land in a corn field, will you accept and do that? It’s easy to answer,’yes, of course’ but in practice much harder to actually do. Just off hand I can think of three RV10 fatal accidents, all low altitude stalls. And while no one can read dead pilots’ minds, it seems likely all three were thinking about trying to save the airplane instead of themselves.
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  #20  
Old 02-02-2021, 04:22 PM
N49ex N49ex is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
Posts: 109
Default How many of you flew your maiden flight?

As others have said, there is no right decision other than what is right for you.

I flew my maiden flight, and here's how I decided:
1) I got serious transition training in a friend's same model, same engine plane, numerous take-offs and landings, etc. And then I did the maiden flight literally two days later, so the control and performance feel were fresh in my mind. And sure enough, the first flight was no surprise whatsoever from that perspective.
2) I used all the FAA and other available guidance on how to do a first flight to prep my mindset and make test cards, and flew it in my mind ahead of time over and over so it is was all just following a script.
3) Once the matter of control and performance characteristics has been pre-learned, it boils down to the possible un-expected. So, my reasoning was that un-expected problems can fall into two categories - minor or at least flight control not in question, and you take notes, or land, or major - possibly disastrous. In that latter category, maybe a test pilot could handle an emergency better, and maybe not - and if not, would I want to kill someone else? Best to spend a ton of time making sure "Your nuts are tight" as Vic Syracuse would say - double check flight control and fuel systems stuff including having others look over your construction in detail!
4) For me, it was also a simple matter of after having built that thing over so many years, how could I possibly let someone else make that first flight!

A couple other thoughts if you do your own first flight:
1) Circle over the airport to eliminate that cornfield landing possibility mentioned in the previous post.
2) Don't bring a bunch of friends/observers, etc. to watch. This should not be a show. You want to be totally focused on the flight, not interactions with others. I brought along just my wife - morose, but JIC something terrible were to happen, I would rather she knew right away rather than with a phone call.

So, good luck with the decision, and ask yourself if you are confortable
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