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  #1  
Old 02-20-2021, 07:53 PM
shortApproach shortApproach is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 10
Question Can you change landing gear configuration?

Hi, I'm new to these forums so let me do a brief intro. I started and paused my private pilot training 25 years ago. Recently restarted and am in the late stages of PPL now. I'm a fan of RV's in general and would really want to own a 6, 7 or 9 someday. But I don't have the time, space or patience to try to build one myself. I'm in awe of those of you who are building your own planes -- wish I could myself ... but sometimes a man has got to know his own limitations.

So I keep looking on the forums and websites for used RVs. Sometimes I've seen an RV6 that would fit my mission and my budget. But realistically I want a tricycle gear plane. I would love to get a tailwheel endorsement and expand my horizons, but I'm looking for a good xc machine and my passengers would not feel comfortable in a tailwheel.

So I'm wondering if it's possible to change an RV6 to an RV6A? Is is possible with an RV7 or RV9 as well? How much time, effort and money does it take?
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  #2  
Old 02-20-2021, 08:17 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Location: North Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortApproach View Post
Hi, I'm new to these forums so let me do a brief intro. I started and paused my private pilot training 25 years ago. Recently restarted and am in the late stages of PPL now. I'm a fan of RV's in general and would really want to own a 6, 7 or 9 someday. But I don't have the time, space or patience to try to build one myself. I'm in awe of those of you who are building your own planes -- wish I could myself ... but sometimes a man has got to know his own limitations.

So I keep looking on the forums and websites for used RVs. Sometimes I've seen an RV6 that would fit my mission and my budget. But realistically I want a tricycle gear plane. I would love to get a tailwheel endorsement and expand my horizons, but I'm looking for a good xc machine and my passengers would not feel comfortable in a tailwheel.

So I'm wondering if it's possible to change an RV6 to an RV6A? Is is possible with an RV7 or RV9 as well? How much time, effort and money does it take?
It is possible to change the gear config but for someone who doesn't "have the time, space or patience to try to build one myself" it is not a practical endeavor.
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Fokker D.VII replica
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2021, 08:37 PM
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rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
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Location: Hubbard Oregon
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Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
It is possible to change the gear config but for someone who doesn't "have the time, space or patience to try to build one myself" it is not a practical endeavor.
I agree with Sam.
You will be far better off continuing to search until you find the right one (be sure to use some experienced help to evaluate I before committing to buy though).
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2021, 08:44 PM
shortApproach shortApproach is online now
 
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Location: Northern Virginia
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So it sounds like it's a bit of effort. Can you give me a ballpark? Is it about 40 hours of work? 400? Could I utilize a build assist center? I don't have the space at home to work on a plane and all of the local airports have a multi year waitlist for hangars.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2021, 08:51 PM
shortApproach shortApproach is online now
 
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Originally Posted by rvbuilder2002 View Post
I agree with Sam.
You will be far better off continuing to search until you find the right one (be sure to use some experienced help to evaluate I before committing to buy though).
rvbuilder2002, thanks for the guidance. Um, I'm going to ask a dumb question, cause I really don't know. Where are some places I can get experienced help to evaluate potential planes?
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2021, 09:01 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Originally Posted by shortApproach View Post
So it sounds like it's a bit of effort. Can you give me a ballpark? Is it about 40 hours of work? 400? Could I utilize a build assist center? I don't have the space at home to work on a plane and all of the local airports have a multi year waitlist for hangars.
I suppose you could use professionals to convert the gear but the expense would far exceed what it would cost to buy a tri-gear RV in the first place. Converting the gear is not a trivial undertaking especially going from taildragger to nose gear.

Are you considering keeping a "new to you" RV outdoors?
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Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 02-20-2021 at 09:04 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2021, 09:03 PM
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PaulvS PaulvS is offline
 
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The work/effort to convert a 6 to a 6A would include all/some/more of the following:

New engine mount and nose gear = remove and refit engine.
Modifications to engine cowling.
Modifications to baffling.
Modifications to firewall penetrations.
New main gear legs and sockets.
Reinforce lower fwd fuselage sides.
Remove tailwheel and patch rear fuselage.
New gear leg fairings and wheelpants.
Paint cowling, fuse sides, fairings.
Fuel line and vent line routing.
Weight and balance.
Flight testing.

This would take more than 40 hours for sure! Depending on the skill, experience and resources of the builder could be 2-4 weeks or more effort I'd guess.

Note that parts for the 6/6A have gone up in price and wait times are longer since Vans discontinued this model. You could scrounge for unused parts, but that takes time and patience...
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2021, 09:15 PM
shortApproach shortApproach is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Northern Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Buchanan View Post
I suppose you could use professionals to convert the gear but the expense would far exceed what it would cost to buy a tri-gear RV in the first place. Converting the gear is not a trivial undertaking especially going from taildragger to nose gear.

Are you considering keeping a "new to you" RV outdoors?
Sam, thank you. I'll focus on the tricycle gear models from here on.

Unfortunately, ramp tiedowns are probably my only option for some time. The closest airport has a 5 year waitlist for hangars.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2021, 09:16 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
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Location: Livermore, CA
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When it comes to pre-buy inspections, Vic Syracuse (search here on VAF) in the Atlanta area comes highly recommended. But first: google Gallagher Associates (or search VAF for Leah Ringeisen) and have a heart to heart talk about insurance costs for a brand new private pilot.

Last edited by BobTurner : 02-20-2021 at 09:20 PM.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2021, 09:28 PM
shortApproach shortApproach is online now
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulvS View Post
The work/effort to convert a 6 to a 6A would include all/some/more of the following:

New engine mount and nose gear = remove and refit engine.
Modifications to engine cowling.
Modifications to baffling.
Modifications to firewall penetrations.
New main gear legs and sockets.
Reinforce lower fwd fuselage sides.
Remove tailwheel and patch rear fuselage.
New gear leg fairings and wheelpants.
Paint cowling, fuse sides, fairings.
Fuel line and vent line routing.
Weight and balance.
Flight testing.

This would take more than 40 hours for sure! Depending on the skill, experience and resources of the builder could be 2-4 weeks or more effort I'd guess.

Note that parts for the 6/6A have gone up in price and wait times are longer since Vans discontinued this model. You could scrounge for unused parts, but that takes time and patience...
Thanks Paul! Seeing your list now makes it clear why others are telling me to go a different route. Not a small undertaking for a newbie.

I think I've probably put my foot in mouth by saying I didn't have time or patience. I actually do, in other areas of my life. But I've been doing those areas for many years. I had to quit my flight training 25 years ago because life got in the way. Now I've finally been able to prioritize it, but I'm much older. I don't know how many years of flying I'll have ... so I've gotten a little impatient in trying to catch up for lost time.
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