Irvís RV-7A journey
I started my build when I lived in a real house in W Massachusetts. I had an actual walk out basement that I turned into my shop. Actually it was a great motivation to finally clean, purge, and organize it. I built my empenage down there in about 9 months.
Hiccup. My wife and I decided to move to NYC (empty nest syndrome). She is from Manhattan and my moms side is from Brooklyn. Airplane goes into storage for a year and a half while I try to figure things out. Eventually I get the use of a hangar at an abandoned airport in Long Island. The hangar is the biggest and best one on the field (which isnít saying much considering most of the other ones are in total disrepair). However I now have a means of building! I order my wing kit and buy a 12000 watt generator and on we go!
Progress was slow due to the drive. Pandemic traffic was great in NY. 1.5 hrs each was wasnít great but it was doable. I was getting out to the hangar twice a week. It was a nice break from the eerie-ness of Brooklyn where I live. Then traffic started building again and the 1.5 hrs turned into 2 turned into 2.5. It was becoming a burden. Something had to change.
I began looking at commercial buildings near me and calling brokers. As you can imagine, nobody is giving away space for cheap in NYC. I was shown a place for 700 a month that was about 700 sq ft. Nope not for a hobby. Then as luck would have it I spoke to a guy who spoke to a guy that was opening up a wood shop a mile from me that would consider it. We spoke and he seemed excited about someone building an airplane in his shop. We came upon a reasonable price and I moved in. This new space is nowhere as spacious as my hangar but it did have electric and plumbing! The deal was all my workspaces had to be on wheels so if he had a big delivery he could roll my stuff out of his way. Done.
So now Iím at the shop almost every day Iím not flying for my airline. My wife is on the phone all day for work so we have breakfast together before I leave. I get back home around 2-3. I get my build time and she doesnít feel abandoned. Works great. The lesson Iíve learned is that if I want to realize my goal of building an airplane, I have to make compromises and accept change. I know that I may outgrow my shop Iím in now and will have to change again but I also know that if I stay committed, I will find a way.
Iím currently half way through my wing build and am feeling good about it again. Little mistakes arenít a huge setback because of the time I can now dedicate. As they say ďbuild onĒ.
A320 Capt at some airline