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Bob D. 08-31-2017 04:29 PM

RV-14 Fuselage - can be built by one person?
Is it possible for one person to build an RV-14 Fuselage kit single-handedly? Has anybody out there done it? If not, what about the QuickBuild kit?

I am a loner. An introvert. Somewhat anti-social. Live alone. No wife, ex, kids, girlfriend, etc. Very independent minded. Like to think I am self-sufficient. Like to do everything myself. Don't like asking for help from anybody for anything. That's just a quirk of my personality.

So far, I have been successful in building the RV-14 Empennage and Wing Kits single-handedly (although I have had to be a little creative at times).

The Wings are nearly done - I will need to place an order for the Fuselage kit very soon. I need to decide whether to order the SlowBuild or the QuickBuild kit. I prefer to go with the SlowBuild kit. However, if that can not be built single-handedly and if the QuickBuild kit can, that might be a good enough reason for me to go with the QuickBuild kit.

I'm not looking for advice about how to achieve a personality makeover, but I would be very interested in hearing from others regarding whether or not the Fuselage kit can be built single-handedly. I am hoping that somebody out there will say "yes it is possible - I have done it!".

ps - I am of average height with average length arms, and pretty fit for an old retired guy.

mturnerb 08-31-2017 05:39 PM

I'm doing MOST of it alone, with occasional help bucking rivets when my arms just aren't long enough (I have very long arms).

Biggest problem becomes weight and bulk. You get to a point where you need someone to help you position the fuse to rivet, etc. My son in law lives close so I call him when I need him for that stuff.

I'd say, not impossible but better if you can get some help at critical phases.

Mike S 08-31-2017 06:29 PM

Welcome aboard !
Bob, welcome to VAF:D

Nova RV 08-31-2017 11:34 PM

I have managed probably 99% of the fuselage SB by myself but as mentioned there are some parts that get big and heavy and it becomes really difficult to do yourself without damaging something in the process. I would imagine you probably could figure out a way to do it all by yourself but it will be very difficult.

control 09-01-2017 01:53 AM

I guess nothing is impossible but there are at least 3 hours of work that would be incredibly challenging to do without a helper.

jeffw@sc47 09-01-2017 10:25 AM

If you built the wings without any assistance with riveting portions of the top wing skins and mostly the bottom wing skins, you will likely be able to build the fuselage alone - but it will require some clever ways to do it.

I did the wings slow build with occasional help. I opted for the QB fuselage to save lots of time and substantially completed it in about 130 hours of time.

I was able to mate the rear fuselage cone to the cabin fuselage portion by myself - had to do some clever things and hold my tongue just right.

JDA_BTR 09-01-2017 12:19 PM

I've done most by myself. I had to have help to rivet the bottom skin to the ribs. I got some help with the angles to the firewall. When I joined the fore and aft I got it clecod but needed help to rivet the assembly. I will need help to rivet the forward top skin. But all that help adds up to less than 20 hours in total. Go for it and it will work out. People like to help I think.

KatanaPilot 09-02-2017 07:53 AM

Synergy Air
There is a fantastic builder assist facility in Eugene. They have been known to make "house calls" when their schedule permits.

It is not a free service, but the knowledge and expertise of their folks is worth the money, in my opinion. If they can work with me, they can work with anyone. You might want to check them out.

Bob D. 09-06-2017 06:05 PM

Thanks to all who responded to my question - I think I will go ahead and order the slow-build Fuselage kit and find some help when I need it.
Bob D. 09-11-2017 10:58 AM

I did a 10 fuselage with 5 hours of help from others. 14 is similar enough that I would suspect you could do it with some extra work all by yourself.

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