|Doug & Linda's RV-7A|
3/01/03 ~ 4-20 ~57.5
7/27 - 8/15 ~47hrs
8-17 - 8/24 31 hrs
Center & fwd fuselage
8-25 - 4-20-03 ~238.3
1/23 - ?? ~160 hrs
5/6 - 7/20 32 hrs
6/13 - 7-20 ~28 hrs
2/13 - 3/24 ~60 hrs
4/11 - 7/20 4.5 hrs
10/22 - 11/3 50 hrs
11/02 - 11/13 19 hrs
11/15 - 12/03 50 hrs
01/12/03 - 01/18/03
11/27 - 12/20 37.5 hrs
Link to the last pages updated.
Here are a couple of short (~5 min each) videos of the first flight of N277DL. The first one is kind of poor quality as it was approaching dusk when I finally flew but it is the first flight. The second one is the Chris's first flight the following morning. It is much better quality as the lighting was better and we figured out how to use the borrowed camera. Hope you enjoy. We're having a blast. As of Saturday, May 8, 2004, N277DL has over 40 hours and is out of the test phase.
As of 4/13/04, N277DL is flying. Here are a couple of pictures of the finished product. I've got a couple of short videos that I hope to get published to the web soon. She flys great!!!
Miscellaneous pics from the last couple months
everything from remote compass, gps antenna,
(12/12/03) Well the garage is empty. We moved everything to a friend and fellow pilots body shop to paint before first flight. It seems really strange to not be spending every spare night in the garage. This means first flight will take place in 2004. I did go last weekend and we tweaked the fit of the canopy. Mark is priming now and will paint soon. I'm guessing I'll get all the parts back sometime in Jan.
(10/25/03) Panel is done, wiring as finished (well as much as can be considered done without installing the wings), canopy is installed on the plane and the fiberglass is curing tonight on the windshield. I hope to get the rest of the fiberglass tips, the cowling and the landing gear fairings completed in the next couple weeks. Once that is done, it's out of the garage and into a paint shop. If all keeps going as planned, this plan will fly this year. It may just line up with the anniversary of the Wright brothers flight.
(08/27/03) The frequency of web updates does not correspond to the effort being applied to getting this airplane finished. I still want to be flying before the snow starts flying in Iowa and I'm working just about every night and weekend trying to accomplish the goal. Baffles are done relatively complete and there just isn't a lot more "construction" left or at least if there is, I don't have the parts laying around to "construct" with. The plan is to focus heavily on the panel and wiring starting this weekend. It's Labor day weekend and I'm going take a couple extra days off, get Chris home for the long weekend and see how much of this we can get completed.
(07/16/03) I don't really know where to start with an update but to say that I'm spending a lot of time trying to get this bird in the air. I've posted a few pictures but not much commentary. Some day I'll go back and add some commentary to these shots but right now I don't have the time. The only reason this update is being done is that I'm on a 737 descending into Chicago O'hare and they won't let me fly the plane(:. I do understand now why the details diminish from most web sites.
The engine is hung, the prop is mounted, cowling relatively finished, electrical in process, panel in process, avionics shipping next week, need some sleep! I'm keeping multiple things going so that when I need to order some little piece, I don't have to stop working on other things. I think all the more expensive stuff is finally purchased. Now to finish and fly!!!!!
(05/16/03) Finish kit arrived on Tuesday. Linda and I inventoried everything and I started working on the sliding canopy. The web updates are getting more sporadic. I can't seem to work, build an airplane, have a family, go to church, do yard-work, have a life, etc. and maintain the web as timely as I did at the beginning. Something has to go so the web gets less attention. The other thing about the web, how many times can you take a picture or talk about dimpling.... I have been working on the plane and I'm making significant progress..
(04/10/03) ENGINE & PROP ARRIVE! I have purchased an engine and a prop. If you read below you will notice that the original intent was to purchase the 180hp carbureted version of the O360 from Aerosport Power. I've bought a 200hp, fuel injected IO360-A1B6 and a 3 bladed MT prop.
Why the change? Well first, there is no such thing as a bargain in plane building, but I did get a good value in the above combination. I bought these from Ken, a builder who purchased the engine from Aerosport and the prop from Vans for a -8. He then decided to build a One Design for more robust acrobatics. I talked to Aerosport and they will transfer the warranty to me so I'll still have a years warranty from startup.
Secondly, is the counter-weighted crank on the IO360-A1B6. The O360-A1A does not have the weights on the crank and there is a warning limiting the RPM operating range of the O360 with the Hartzell constant speed prop. (I know there are tons of planes with this combination flying just fine but when you're looking for justification to support your choices you can use what ever you want as the reason.)
And finally, it should push you back in your seat and it will definitely look cool with the 3 blade prop! Ken had a few extra accessories that he threw in that will save me a few bucks in the future. So, in the end I ended up with this combination for the same $$$ as the O360 and a Hartzell prop. I'm satisfied with what I received and trust that Ken was as well.
(03/01/03) I have been so busy at other things that I haven't spent much time on the plane and even less on the web page. I have managed to spend a couple Saturdays working and have accomplished some of the more boring things like installing a zillion nut plates on the fiberglass wing tips. Still haven't ordered an engine. I did spend some quality time talking to a couple of engine shops this past month.
(01/31/03) I ordered the finish kit on 1-3-03 expecting a 12 week lead time. Instead, I received at 17 week expected ship date. (Pretty good business to consume 1/3 of your yearly production by the 3rd day of the year.) I did order the finish kit to fit a O360 that I'll order from Aerosport around the middle of March.
I'm getting to the point that I really need to paint the interior of the plane. Mark, the president of the Flying Country Club (a great local flying club that I'm a member of) has a body shop and has painted the club planes so I need to chase him down to get some expert advise on painting. I've mounted the tail feathers and I'm ready to mount the wings so I'm debating whether to paint them now and get it over with as well?????
I'm still finding plenty of stuff to do so I don't expect to lose much time waiting on the finish kit. But I do have to have a plan of what I'm going to work on or I'll just piddle on stuff and not get anything done. I don't have a Van's supplied script to work from now as it's just a bunch of little stuff. I'm planning to work on some of the fiberglass and lighting/strobes this weekend.
(12/16/02) I believe the right decision for me on an engine is to buy new from Aerosportpower. My configuration will be an O-360 with Lightspeed electronic ignition to replace one mag. Bart at Aerosportpower was extremely helpful and answered a ton of "dumb" questions to help with my decision. He took the time to understand my mission profile and actually recommended the simple solution. I haven't made the financial commitment and placed the order but I expect to do so after the first of the year.
Making the engine decision allows me to go forward with ordering the finish kit. I've also been checking around on avionics. I discussed my mission profile with John Stark at Stark avionics. I want the function of an IFR GPS. While I prefer the UPSAT GX-60 and SL-30 combo, it appears that the Garmin 430 is about $800 cheaper than the combo. John also mentioned it would be a simpler installation. This one is still up in the air.
(09/25/02) I seemed to have slowed down a little on the fuselage. It's a combination of being busy with other things but the primary reason is the frustration over trying to find an engine. I was hoping to find a good used O-360 or IO-360 but have had no luck. I've expanded my search to a high time engine and thinking about overhauling it myself. There is just no such thing as an economical solution, or if it is I haven't found it. By the time you buy any sort of engine, overhaul or new, firewall forward kit and a constant speed prop you're pushing $25,000.
I even checked on the Eggenfellner Subaru package. This is a complete firewall forward package with a supercharger available. The cost of this would be about $22,000. It would require an electric constant speed prop and the best option is a MT prop but it is about $5,000 more than the hydraulic version available from Vans. SO the total cost is again $25-30,000. (And the next available delivery window is July, 2003. ) Enough whining, it'll all work out in the end.
(08/13/02) I've updated the navigation of this web site. I hope this flows much better. It had gotten pretty hard to get around in even for me. I did have to add a couple of "place holder" pages to make it easier for me to maintain the flow. While they add an extra "click" in a couple of places, these pages allow me to take advantage of some navigation automation within FrontPage which makes it easier for me to update.
I also added a search feature. We'll see if it works when I publish to the server (:. Please drop me an email if you hit a link that doesn't work @ firstname.lastname@example.org .
(07/08/02) The fuselage kit arrived today. I'm finishing up the flaps and some things on the wings. I'll inventory the fuselage kit in the next couple of days but finish up the wings before starting the fuselage. Summer is a busy time around here so I'm not getting as many hours in as I did in the winter so things are going a little slower. But honestly, I'm still ahead of what my original expectations were!
(4/27/02) Well it's officially a RV-7A as the fuselage has been ordered and configured with a nose wheel.
(11/01/01) I'm putting this web site up to for a couple of reasons. The primary one being all the help I've received from viewing other builder's sites. It is great to be able to view how various builders approached a difficult area and how they overcame the obstacles. The other reason it that you have to have a builders log of some sort as documentation of the building process.
This will be a family affair. My son, Chris, is also a pilot. He attends Iowa State and is the president of the Flying Cyclones. I expect that he will come and visit a little more often during the building process. I also have a 16 year- old daughter that will lend a helping hand when asked. I have the most supportive wife in the world. As we get into this, I'm certain that I'll use her as the needed third hand a lot!
I've decided to build an RV 7?. The "?" is I'm not absolutely certain whether I'll build it in a tail wheel or a tricycle wheel configuration. Today I'm leaning towards the tricycle. My son leans towards the "coolness" of the tail wheel. But, let's see.... who's paying the bill....
If you've made it to this site, you probably have a desire to build yourself. The question of "Why build" is often asked. You could take the $$$$ dollars that you will spend on building and buy a used, 20 year-old, 4-seat plane. So why build a 2-seater?
For me, the answer is the desire to build as much or more than the desire to just own a plane. I grew up in the country on a farm and actually farmed for about 10 years. After getting as rich farming as possible, I went back to college and today I manage a group of ~50 IT professionals that develop the business systems for a large manufacturer of office furniture (HON INDUSTRIES). Writing computer code or now, managing a group of developers, is not the same as creating something with your hands. I look forward to building and seeing the visible signs of accomplishment as I progress towards completion.
I've looked around quite a bit over the last year reviewing the alternatives of what to build. I really need a 4-seater. My mission profile includes cross country trips of 450 nm from our current home in Iowa to our families' homes in North Alabama with my family of 4. I seriously considered the 4-seat composites that are available today but ended up ruling them out due to cost or design.
I ended up deciding to build the RV 7 and continue my membership in the Flying Country Club, a local flying club and use their 4-seaters as needed. It was really interesting as the day that I filled out the order form for the tail kit that Vans web site had the first official article on the RV-10. I had the order form filled out but had not faxed the order to Vans. I contacted Vans the next morning concerning the RV-10 but the best guess was that it would be at a minimal of 2 years before the -10 would be available. I couldn't make myself wait that long before starting to pound rivets. So, we will see how the -7 building process goes and who knows....maybe a -10 at a later date.
Since March 1,2002
All info is presented for entertainment. For the facts, contact Vans Aircraft