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  #1  
Old 06-09-2013, 10:04 PM
IFlySlow IFlySlow is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Reading, PA
Posts: 59
Default First ride in an RV

I had caught wind of a special day that had been planned by a member of EAA Chapter 240 at New Garden Airport (N57). One of the older members, Jim (whose last name escapes me at the moment, but he's a gentleman and a scholar!), had arranged to have a P-51D visit the field to give rides to the first 10 (which turned into 12) people to get their names on the list. Before you get the wrong idea about where this story is headed, I was not one of those 12! In fact, that's not what this thread is about really (although seeing the -51 in such a low-key, uncrowded environment was every bit as cool as you think it was!).

Actually, my story is more about the RV-7A I spotted on the way past the main hangar to the ramp. Now, I've been going to this airport since my Dad started taking me as a kid back in the 70's, and as soon as I got my driver's license, this was the first place I wanted to go with my new-found freedom. But I got older, got married, got divorced, got re-married, blah blah blah...so years of "other responsibilities" kept me away until, over the last few years I found myself drifting back to N57 every time I had a few spare hours on a Sunday (my only day off, which is usually reserved for family). Anyway, I digress...

There I am, walking past the open hangar, in which normally resides an odd assortment of planes, ranging from a brand new Pipistrel Alpha LSA trainer (weird thing...looks like a bug), A Fairchild 24 that's immaculately restored, a PT-22, an L-2, a couple of Golden Age biplanes whose makes I can never remember...all of these I've seen and photographed plenty of times. But today there was something different. An RV-7A was tucked in there on the far side, and I was immediately drawn to it (yes, the P-51 was directly in front of me, gassing up at the pump, and I ignored it for the RV...I am truly infected in a sad way.

Noticing that I was smitten (and possibly trying to prevent me from drooling on the plane), a stranger walked over and we started talking about RV's...this one wasn't his (he owned the aforementioned L-2, but he wants an RV-8)...however he knew the owner, and promised to point him out to me if he showed up. This he dutifully did, and that led to more RV talk with Dave Hagerty, who had recently purchased this particular 7A from a gentleman in Kansas. One thing led to another, and I finally admitted that although I've been a fan of the brand for many years, I'd never even sat in one. You know what came next...one minute I'm testing out the left seat, babbling like a kid in a candy store, and the next thing I know, Dave is off in search of some Dave Clarks because he wants me to get a little air time.

Not too long after that, we were airborne. I don't need to tell you guys and gals what a rush I got from the first surge of power, but let me at least say it was just shy of a religious experience for me. I mean, I've flown spam cans with similar horsepower, but I've never felt anything quite like the acceleration this 180hp motor was making me feel in this smaller, lighter airframe.

It was hot, humid, and hazy today, but I really didn't care. We didn't have chutes, so no acro, but some steep turns showed off the responsiveness of the plane. And then Dave said, "Ya wanna try it?" Does a bear fart in the woods? Is the Pope Argentinian? Is that horizon virtually indistinguishable? YES PLEASE!

Two fingers and a thumb (yes, from the same hand, thank you very much) were all that was needed. My turns were less aggressive than Dave's, but the immediate response to every input was so unlike the Skyhawks and Cherokee's I'm used to (again, I know I'm preaching to the choir here). Initially, the sight picture in Dave's tip-up was a little disorienting, and I found myself gaining 500 feet when I thought I was staying pretty straight and level, but once I got used to it, holding altitude got easier. I may need about another 2...make that 2000 hours in the type to get used to it, but if it's the last thing I do, I will find a way to get me one of these things!

I know this was a lot to read, but I suspect there are a lot of wannabe's (and likely as many "already are's") like me here on VAF who understand why I still can't wipe the RV Grin off my face (no pic of that, but trust me, it's there!). Sorry my words were inadequate to express the joy that short flight brought me, after so many years of letting my license collect dust (due to all the usual suspects). I've never lost my love for aviation, but as the dream seemed to be slipping away, I needed this reminder to rejuvenate the passion, and remind me that all the other cr*p life throws at me is worth it if I can somehow end up an RV owner.

Once again, to Doug Reeves, and all the regulars here at VAF, thank you for inspiring guys like me, and showing that it can be done if you want it bad enough. And finally, thanks to Dave Hagerty for his generosity and kindness to this airplane nerd from way back. I am forever grateful, even if it does turn out to be the most expensive free ride I've ever taken! An extra mid-year donation to VAF has been entered in Dave's honor.

(Here's a pic of Dave's gorgeous RV-7A to wrap up this dissertation)

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David Kilmer
Wannabe RV Dreamer

Last edited by IFlySlow : 06-09-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:32 PM
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DougJ DougJ is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Prather, CA
Posts: 191
Default

Great story!

You're ahead of where I was in the RV experience vs ownership curve. I sat in one, but had never flown one before putting down a deposit to buy.

I'm very happy I bought my RV-6, it's been a great experience so far and the fun has just started!

Doug
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2013, 12:03 AM
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Flyguytki Flyguytki is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fairbanks AK
Posts: 758
Default

Just wait until you fly the one you build, that feeling of amazement multiplies to levels you think dont exist. I have only been flying mine for a week now but I'm close to 20 hours already, I think its safe to say I am addicted.
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  #4  
Old 06-10-2013, 05:20 AM
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pierre smith pierre smith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,885
Default Yep

Now you realize why there are around 8,000 RV's flying and probably close to that many under construction.

Best,
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:00 AM
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Jeff Vaughan Jeff Vaughan is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: West Chester, Pa
Posts: 595
Default Related?

David you do not know me but we are related I think. I gave Dave a ride in my 7A two months ago at New Garden. I then received a phone call two weeks later to tell me his ride was the most expensive ride he has ever had. He had purchsed his 7A! I think that makes us related! Great story. Now it is your turn.
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RV 12 N237VW ELSA
RV 7A N561EV Sold
West Chester Pa

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  #6  
Old 06-10-2013, 08:15 AM
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Dvalcik Dvalcik is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Royersford, PA
Posts: 858
Default More RV to ride in

David you have an invite for a ride in a 12, email me. I am sure Scott (RV8) would also take you up. You can knock off 2 more models this upcoming weekend.
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EAA 1250 KPTW
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RV12 #568 EAB
* Started 9/30/2011
* 1st flight 8/30/12


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  #7  
Old 06-10-2013, 09:45 AM
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MS19087 MS19087 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 735
Default Maybe add a 9A too!

Not to be shown up by David (12) and Scott (8), you can hitch a ride in my 9 as well KPTW or KOQN - or even better at EAA240 Pancake breakfast this weekend . . .
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RV-9A; Built, Flown & Sold
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2013, 09:50 AM
pvalovich pvalovich is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 435
Default Magic

I started my 6 1/2 year RV-8A without having flown in an RV. Decision for the -8 was made when the wife told me she'd never fly in the thing, so fighter-like tandom won over side-by-side togetherness. At the time I had 7200 hours of flight time - mostly in Navy jets, but zero tail dragger time. Lived in the boonies in the Mojave desert so decided a tail dragger endorsement was too difficult logistically and opted for a nose dragger. Random high winds here in the High Desert makes that decision seem like inciteful brilliance - although there is a loss of "cool" compared to a taildragger -8.

Never flew in an RV until I showed up at Mike Seegar's for transition training. Now havew 320+ hrs on my -8A and am still overcome by feelings of amazement everytime that sucker lifts off. Warning: the RV fun factor will lead to an amazing number of FACIT flights - "Fool" Around and Call It Training - that turns $ into engine noise for no other reason than the pure joy of flying an RV.
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  #9  
Old 06-10-2013, 11:41 AM
IFlySlow IFlySlow is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Reading, PA
Posts: 59
Default

Jeff, You have the 7A that's white with kind of a green trim, right? Dave H. told me about you, so your fame precedes your comments! He basically said the same thing about his ride with you. I have a few pics of you taxiing by yesterday. If there are any good ones (like, say, you're not picking your nose or something), I'll send them over, although I'm sure you have plenty of others! All of that said, if and when I finally get one of these for my very own, I'm committed to passing it forward as you and Dave H. have done. Thanks for checking in!
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  #10  
Old 06-10-2013, 11:42 AM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is online now
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IFlySlow View Post
...but some steep turns showed off the responsiveness of the plane. And then Dave said, "Ya wanna try it?" Does a bear fart in the woods? Is the Pope Argentinian? Is that horizon virtually indistinguishable? YES PLEASE!

Two fingers and a thumb (yes, from the same hand, thank you very much) were all that was needed. My turns were less aggressive than Dave's, but the immediate response to every input was so unlike the Skyhawks and Cherokee's I'm used to (again, I know I'm preaching to the choir here).
Ha, he's hooked! Pretty cool huh? I had the same reaction to my first RV ride.

A couple of weeks ago I took up an RV newbie; he's a share owner in an old West Houston based 7GCAA Citabria but has the bug for an RV-8. He's done his research and has a set of preview plans, yet he's not been up for a ride nor even sat in one. So he sits in the front seat to see if it fits... meanwhile I'm plugging a spare headset into the back seat. Wanna ride? His response was the same as yours; YES PLEASE! When I let him fly it, it took all of about three seconds for him to start giggling and laughing, tossing the ship from left to right, marveling at the handling and the visibility, even from the back seat. I think I ruined him financially; after landing he wanted to throw rocks at his dump truck Citabria and start looking at TaP and Barnstormers for an RV-8!
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