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Old 09-25-2017, 04:11 PM
Tom Martin Tom Martin is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,591
Default 24 years

This month marks a milestone for me. It was 24 years ago, this month, that I purchased a RV4 kit, sept 1993. There was no VAF, very little internet action; I was not even aware of the EAA. I had a Citabria at the time and wanted something faster. A friend suggested a RV4 and I had the very good fortune of going for a ride in Rick West's award winning 4. He and Gord Baxter, RV6, another excellent RV builder provided my support network. I knew nothing, but I had built many projects on the farm and was well equipped with a shop and misc tools.
I stared at the project for two months and then got to work. Seventeen months later it first flew. I thought that I would own that plane forever but I was now addicted to speed and had heard about the Harmon Rocket. I built two of those and then along came the F1 Rocket. I completed 4 of the standard wing F1s and then built a F1 with the EVO wing for myself. I love that plane and still fly it. For five or six years I was quite active in the Sport Aircraft Racing league and the plane did really well. Constant changes to the cooling system, airframe cleanup and prop changes added over 30 knots to my top speed. The aircraft is remarkably efficient and my wife and I typically do a few cross country flights. We have been to the east and west coast, and most of the midwestern and eastern USA.
Along the way a RV7 and a RV10 were also completed in my shop.
I took a couple of years off and have just finished a RV14. The final inspection was last week and I am waiting for the flight permit. The "kits" have improved remarkably over the years but it does not seem to have shortened the built time. When I started there were no autopilots, basic simple panels and gps was just being thought of. Every year the aircraft get more complex with more and more systems. These systems add time and weight to the aircraft. Although the equipment is truly amazing it does add to built time. I am looking forward to flying the RV14, I have about 30 hours in the 10 and I loved the lift and I expect this plane to climb similar to the 10. It should be a lot of fun solo with half fuel.
It is hard to believe that 24 years and 12 aircraft have passed and I have met the most wonderful people in the aviation world. People ask me if I am going to build another one and I just purchased a high end cabinet saw as I would like to get back to my first love, woodworking. I have this big pile of Ash in the barn and I am thinking an all wood motorcycle or car would be a neat project. I might even throw in some aluminum bits here and there!
Tom Martin RV1 pilot 4.6hours!
CPL & IFR rated
EVO F1 Rocket 1000 hours,
2010 SARL Rocket 100 race, average speed of 238.6 knots/274.6mph
RV4, RV7, RV10, two HRIIs and five F1 Rockets
RV14 Tail dragger

Fairlea Field
St.Thomas, Ontario Canada, CYQS

Last edited by Tom Martin : 09-25-2017 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 09-25-2017, 05:22 PM
salto salto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Wee Waa Australia
Posts: 279

What an understanding Wife you must have .. congratulations.
Kit 140241
Tail Feathers done
Fuselage kit completed.
wings almost complete.
Flaps and ailerons done.
Canopy next. Phew!
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:13 PM
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catmandu catmandu is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sierra Nevada
Posts: 1,012

When I grow up, I want to be Tom Martin.
Mike C.
Sierra Nevada
RV-6A bought flying (for sale soon)
Super-8 bought flying
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:32 PM
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Plummit Plummit is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,390

Originally Posted by catmandu View Post
When I grow up, I want to be Tom Martin.
Sorry Mike, you cant do both... ;-)

2021 Donation Made
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:08 PM is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: TN
Posts: 69

Tom I still need to learn what the shiny silver stuff is! I forgot after I built the f1 rocket..

24 years? Fun!

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Old 09-25-2017, 09:17 PM
miko38 miko38 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: vermilion ohio
Posts: 84

Wow, congradulations! Makes me feel like I should be out in the garage working. LOL
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Old 09-25-2017, 11:10 PM
precession precession is offline
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 146

Impressive, amazing accomplishments, congrats & hats off.
RV-4 in NJ
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:57 AM
6 Gun 6 Gun is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 846
Smile Tom

Had the good fortune of meeting Tom at OSH this year after he parked he was kind enough to stop by my RV6 to give some pointers on improvements.
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Old 09-26-2017, 07:06 AM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 2,714

You should get the ultimate Perseverence Award! Congratulations!!!
Vic Syracuse

Built RV-4, RV-6, 2-RV-10's, RV-7A, RV-8, Prescott Pusher, Kitfox Model II, Kitfox Speedster, Kitfox 7 Super Sport, Just Superstol, DAR, A&P/IA, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor, CFII-ASMEL/ASES/RW
Kitplanes "Unairworthy" "Diagnostics" monthly feature
EAA Sport Aviation "Checkpoints" monthly column
Author "Pre-Buy Guide for Amateur-Built Aircraft" & "Are your Nuts Tight?"
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:37 AM
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Jared_Solomon Jared_Solomon is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Powder Springs, GA
Posts: 117
Thumbs up Congratulations!

Jared Solomon
A&P, EAA Technical Counselor

Powder Springs, GA
2021 Dues Paid
RV-14A (N214WJ) - Flying since Sept 2017
RV-7A (N211WJ) Flying since 2009 (SOLD)
RV-7A (N132RD) bought flying 2014 (SOLD)

KPUJ (Silver Comet Field)
Youtube channel:

RV-14 Build Log:
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