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Friday, January 2, 2009

Why Build an RV-7 ?

Over the last years I have been trying to decide which airplane to build. It's a big decision and once you make it you are kind of stuck with it for obvious reasons, but boils down to money and time. I had 3 aircraft in mind all with big differences.

The Three were: One of the RV's, a Murphy Rebel Elite, and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2.

This isn't an RV-7 Commercial, but here is why I chose the RVs.. They are common, proven, lots of builder assistance available (even though maybe harder to build than others), proven track record of the company. Relatively inexpensive. Fast, fully aerobatic, great visibility.

The other two planes I was interested in were more of the bush plane nature where the RV is more of the sport plane. Its faster and more aerobatic.. Great for cross country. But just the same, I really like the idea of a bush plane. The sportsman is 2+2 meaning 2 larger people and 2 smaller people can fit in the plane, great set up. If just Bekah and I are traveling we could take about 300 pounds of luggage in this plane, she would have liked that. The Rebel can fit 3 people, but it in particular is pretty darn slow, more along the lines of Cessna speeds. Big tires and or floats someday on both of them would allow for those planes to go anywhere. Also, high wings on them would keep me out of rain and/or provide some shade if necessary on a hot day.

The Sportsman is expensive and lots of composit, I really wanted to stay with aluminum as much as possible. The rebel was good, just not a super beautiful plane. So all in all for many more reasons than I can list here I finally chose the RV. It is damn good looking, you will see.

Now what RV to build..

Aerobatics? YES ! of course, why would you ever want a plane that you couldn't turn over.. So that excludes the RV-10 even though it seats 4.. Plus it is much more expensive and more difficult to build as a slow build. The 10 is really cool, but too big for me to handle for a first homebuilt project.. (oh yes, I think there will be more)

For me I definitely wanted a slow build airplane. All manufacturers offer an option for a somewhat prebuilt wing and fuselage that speeds up the building process. These are pre-assembled in the Philippines..

My airplane is going to be 100% built in the USA..

OK then the -7 or the -8. The -8 is tandem seating and looks good, and is great for aerobatics and maybe even a bit faster than the -7. Both seats have great visibility both forward and back. In an RV-8 you can turn around and almost look at the ground immediately behind the airplane. But the passenger would be looking at the back of my head a lot. I still have hair back there, but still, its odd to be talking to the back of someones head. ;-) So with Bekah and others I really want to be able to sit next to them and look at them when we talk in the cockpit. Also, the -7 is a bit easier to balance out from a weight perspective, and has room for larger pieces of luggage.

So the -7 it is. Best of all options. 2 seats is the only drawback, but I have had 4 place airplanes for about 5 years now and that back bench seat is empty most of the time. I am sure I will miss the 3rd and 4th seat sometimes, but the ability to roll the beast will surely make up for it. ;-)

All in all I am going to be very excited about the fast and sexy RV-7 !

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Places we have been in our RV-7 ! (Blue 2013, Yellow 2014, Green 2015, Purple 2016, Red 2017)