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Tom023
09-21-2006, 10:40 AM
I'm thinking about starting an RV-8 this spring and am curious if anybody here has started a Vans or other kit plane and what was your general experience. I've spoken to several builders, and there are several at my airport, and they are all positive about the project, but I've yet to hear from anyone who has started one and not completed it. From a time commitment, the MC would definitely feel like a neglected child.

chudson
09-21-2006, 11:18 AM
Have you tried?

http://www.eaa.org/

phecksel
09-21-2006, 11:22 AM
I'm thinking about starting an RV-8 this spring and am curious if anybody here has started a Vans or other kit plane and what was your general experience. I've spoken to several builders, and there are several at my airport, and they are all positive about the project, but I've yet to hear from anyone who has started one and not completed it. From a time commitment, the MC would definitely feel like a neglected child.
I'll second eaa.org, they're sure to have a local chapter.

wiltok
09-21-2006, 01:26 PM
I don't know - I review the NTSB accident reports quite frequently (www.ntsb.gov - look at monthly lists). Seems like I see a lot of reports on incidents with RV's...

That said, this is only my opinion based only what I read on the accident reports... Although I am a pilot, I have no experience with homebuilts.

shepherd
09-21-2006, 02:14 PM
My father built an RV6 and I've flown in it several times. The performance is awesome. The same engine (150 hp Lycoming) that is in a 172, but about 70 mph faster. One day we went for a cruise 20 feet above the beach at 180 mph which really gives you a feel for how fast that sucker is (almost as fast as a Monza! :D ). The plane climbed out like a rocket too. My only complaint is that the cabin is kind of small - more like a Cessna 150.

The hot performance may have something to do with the accident rates Wiltok mentions. But the stall speed is fairly slow so it's not like you have to come screaming in for a landing. My father's RV6 is a taildragger and I never really got the hang of landing it, but I guess you won't have that problem.

Be warned: It took him several years to build the plane, and he was retired! But he didn't work full time on it. Also, I'll second the advice on EAA. If you haven't built a plane before, you'll need a lot of advice and assistance. Your local EAA chapter should be able to help you there, and you'll probably meet someone who will take a personal interest in the process and help you a lot. If you want, I can put you in contact with my father if you want some advice (PM me).

My impression is that the RVs give you some of the best performance for the dollar. There's a lot of them out there flying now, which is a testament to their quality and also means there's a lot of experience out there with them that you can tap into. Good luck!

Tom023
09-21-2006, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the tips, I'll check out the EAA chapter, I'm sure the current builders here are involved. The three I know building at my airport have never build one before and they all say that although challenging, it's not a hard as they thought due to good instructions, good build kits and the availability of others to help, from the manufacturer to other builders.

Tom023
09-21-2006, 03:34 PM
I don't know - I review the NTSB accident reports quite frequently (www.ntsb.gov - look at monthly lists). Seems like I see a lot of reports on incidents with RV's...

That said, this is only my opinion based only what I read on the accident reports... Although I am a pilot, I have no experience with homebuilts.

Interesting database to say the least, reading the accident reports sure gives you things to think about regarding one's own skills. I read all the fatal RV reports and it's amazing that about 75% of them have to due with fuel issues, primarily none in the tanks...I just don't get it. Flight into terrain, runway incursion, stalling on take off and final (one area that I fear the most due to the tight parallel runways at my airport and ATC insistence to square the pattern) and medical round out the probable causes of the fatals. It's good to see airframe integrity doesn't pop upbut I'll read the non-fatals and see. One way to learn from other's unfortunate mistakes, but perhaps that is the good, if any, that would come from these tragedies.