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Old 02-03-2021, 02:11 PM
dflyguy's Avatar
dflyguy dflyguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 5
Default Plan vs. Actual


I am at the planning stage of an RV build. Van’s says that the build on a -14 is 1100 hours. I’m adding 50% to that total (plus a few months). If I pay attention to my intention then the math says that I can build for 100 hours a month and be finished in 18 months. I know that all builders begin a project with the best intention and then unforeseen circumstances may side tract them. Age does not afford me that option.

So, my questions to the group are:

In the beginning of a build, do members have a “complete plan” laid out by month-by-month moving forward step-by-step? If so, would you like to share your plan with me? I’d like to plan my build from start to finish.

I’m curious; is the group tracking all of the builders who have completed their project and the hours that they have spent on their project? I saw a member with an “actual” completed build time of 638 hours. That’s amazing! I’m certain that he began with a comprehensive plan.

Thank you for your sharing,
Dragonfly MkII
and an RV wanna be

Last edited by dflyguy : 02-03-2021 at 08:26 PM.
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Old 02-03-2021, 02:28 PM
RV7A Flyer's Avatar
RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: US
Posts: 2,398

The best-laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley...

Plans are good, but in the end...who cares? It takes however long it takes, whether that was your original plan or not.

Just follow the manual, and enjoy the build!
2019 Dues paid!
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Old 02-03-2021, 02:53 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,733

Unless you have prior experience, start with some of Van's practice kits.

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Old 02-03-2021, 02:53 PM
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scrollF4 scrollF4 is offline
Moderator, Asst. Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Flower Mound, TX
Posts: 1,562

What he said. In addition, an aircraft build is an effort you don't want to rush. If you fall behind your planned progress, will you feel compelled to pick up the pace? That's not a good thing. This gumbo needs to simmer along as long as it needs. You must not allow yourself to rush the build: Shortcuts aren't good for safe aircraft construction.

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 02-03-2021, 02:59 PM
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Freakshow108 Freakshow108 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Eatonville WA
Posts: 142

Originally Posted by RV7A Flyer View Post
The best-laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley...

Plans are good, but in the end...who cares? It takes however long it takes, whether that was your original plan or not.

Just follow the manual, and enjoy the build!
638 hours at 8 hrs a day average is roughly 80 days. I would imagine the only way to make that happen is:
Have help, experienced help
Live near one of the aviation supply houses
Order every kit at the same time
Never make a mistake
Have the engine and avionics at the start of the build
Have no kids
Not married unless she/he is the helper
Have a hangar to build in on the airfield
Perfect weather

I would imagine that it is possible to complete the build in that short of a time but unlikely for most. Plans are good but often need to be amended in the middle of the build for numerous reasons. There is no harm in planning but be prepared to accept that it may change. For me the building process is the fun part. Time is never my end goal. It will be done when it’s done. I don’t like putting and end time on a project like this. I do not feel safe rushing the build!!
Sorry. Quoted the wrong post

Last edited by Freakshow108 : 02-03-2021 at 03:00 PM. Reason: Quoted wrong post
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:26 PM
Robin8er Robin8er is offline
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Socal
Posts: 497

Don't set deadlines, you are just going to get frustrated and not enjoy the build.

I would just build as much as you feel like for the day. When you get tired, call it a day and go do something else. Sometimes I can build for 6 hours straight, other times in burned out after 45 minutes just depending on how the day is going.
RV-8 N695RA flying
Working on an RV-4

Born to fly, forced to work
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:34 PM
KayS KayS is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: lake constance
Posts: 352

T,act = T,plan x Pi

that applies if you have a plan.

Last edited by KayS : 02-03-2021 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:37 PM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 264

Having a month by month plan for your first build is impossible. You won't have any idea about how long stuff will take as you start to learn, what mistakes you will have to undo / redo, what modifications you will want to make, and what part you absolutely positively need right now that gets back ordered for a month or spends two weeks in a USPS sorting facility....

You can have a big picture of what and when, and then find that the engine backlog is 9 months or your ailerons are back ordered for 11 months and counting (true story).
RV-10 build blog --
Started 12/19/2019
Engine hung 1/9/2021
Panel in 2Q 2021
Flying fall 2021?

N1814T reserved with FAA
Donated Jan 11 for 2021, EAA and AOPA member
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Old 02-03-2021, 03:53 PM
airguy's Avatar
airguy airguy is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,367

It's not like you're going to get to a particular point (on either the calendar OR the budget) where it exceeds a certain threshold and you just say "Screw it, that didn't work, I quit."

You're gonna do it, or you're not. If you're gonna do it then keep doing it until it's done.

I had a 5-year plan to pay for it and build it, and it only took me 8 years - but it survived one ex-wife, a couple girlfriends, a job change and a move, so I figured it worked out.

Likewise - I did not track the costs of the build - because it didn't matter to me. I knew I would spend "about" $90k-100k for the airplane the way I wanted it, and I wasn't going to fret about passing any particular point on the budget because I knew I wouldn't quit building when I hit that point - so I simply ignored it. I wrote checks when I could, and paused when I couldn't, and kept building.

It's not a football game with a clock - it's a life event. Enjoy it.
Greg Niehues - SEL, IFR, Repairman Cert.
Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 750 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.

Last edited by airguy : 02-03-2021 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:05 PM
deek deek is online now
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Flathead Lake Montana - 8S1
Posts: 348

OP is not unfamiliar with homebuilding; he has a Dragonfly and is re-powering the "biplane". I personally know a number of the Bakersfield gang who cranked their RV-4's out in 3-4 months, and know of 2 LongEZ's (plans built, not kits) that went from first layup to first flight in less than 100 days.

I've built a number of planes, and enjoy the building process, but understand sometimes the goal is simply get in the air. Is 3 or 4 months realistic for a 14 or 14a? Who knows, but waiting for parts (especially the ones you don't know you need after the airframe is built) can put a real hitch in the best laid plans.
'83 LongEZ - N888EZ 3,671 hours
'89 LimoEZ - N26EZ 686 hours (sold)
A couple of Glasairs and a Lancair 320...
Next: a RV14 need something to build

Last edited by deek : 02-03-2021 at 04:20 PM.
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