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Old 12-14-2018, 09:37 AM
edbooth edbooth is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Trenton, SC
Posts: 113
Default 7 or 14

I have built a 6, 7,10, 9A and helped on an 8A, 12 and 14A. Flown all but the 3 and 4. I liked them all and fly a 7 most of the time now (1200 hrs). If I had a choice now and money no object, I think it would be the 10. Second choice would be the 14. I like them for the room (and I am not a big guy). Of the "cheaper" models, it would be the 7, tilt up. I know, it's cool taxiing around with the canopy slid back, but your not going to taxi to your destination......and I like the great visibility out of the tilt up, and access behind the panel. The baggage compartment is adequate and holds almost as much as the wife wants on the long trips taken. It all boils down to personnel preference and your mission. All the ones mentioned are good x-country machines, just make sure you include a good auto-pilot.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:51 AM
RV7ator RV7ator is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 978
Default Fat 7

Sticking with the OP's 7 v 14, my take remains the same as when I've been around and in the 14 at OSH since it's introduction: I wouldn't choose the 14 over the 7. Back in '12, I asked the Van's crew, "Why?"

Van's 14 push was to address builder angst about certain aspects of slow builds, one biggie being bending the fuselage longerons and a handful of other fabrication improvements meant to reduce frustration, improve self-jigging, and speed builds. If you're thinking QB7, much of this is addressed. Except for the blubber factor where the 14 gives you a touch more elbow room, a stock 6'+ pilot fits just fine in the other SBS models.

Having built five RV-7s, this is why I turned my nose up at the 14:

Tipper only; fine, if that's what you want. I don't.

Center tunnel (limits sprawl and ability to load across the fuse beneath your knees for heavy/long things).

Begs for a non-existant baggage door. That capacious bag area is difficult to access. Consider clambering onto the wing and awkwardly reaching under the roll bar with a heavy ice chest and retrieving it. This is a problem with all tippers and neatly addressed with a tail draggin' slider with a tip-up alteration.

Not acro stressed (which the OP desires). I don't think you outgrow tumbling the world once you've done it.

Van's seems intent on 14 commonality and pre-fabbed subsystems, much like the 12. Speeds building, but I'll just bet enhances the corporate bottom line by bringing in house what the builder could accomplish with his "free" labor.

Pricey with an expensive engine and no faster than a 7. A fat 7.

John Siebold
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:51 AM
Darin Watson Darin Watson is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 134
Default RV7 slider with tip up option

Originally Posted by Aero_Octaveus View Post
I'm 6'-2" and 210lbs and building the 7A. I like to think that it helps keep me in shape! When I order a burger I think, do I want to eat the whole thing, or go flying
I too am 6’-2” and about 210# and my wife a fairly average 5’-7”, we fly 3 hour legs often and comfortably. In Jan this year did our longest ever round trip Calgary, AB to Los Cobo, MX. Easily fit two “overhead” size well bags, winter wear that we shed somewhere south of Utah, O2 tank, snacks and water.

Sure one can always have more room, but the only time I can say I REALLY would have liked more room was using a port a John on a 4 hour leg over mountains one time Since then I try to keep my legs to 3hr max.

Also keep in mind, fuel and maintenance cost difference. My O-320 I can TAS 160kt on 8.5gph and other than having a constant speed prop, you won’t find anything much less expensive to maintain.

My opinion, worth every dollar you are paying.
C-GULF RV-7 located in Calgary, AB
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:57 AM
RV7ForMe RV7ForMe is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Europe
Posts: 447

I am Building a 7 and am helping now with a another 7 and a 14...

Well BOTH ARE GREAT FUN if you enjoy building and you really should ENJOY BUILDING if you want to finish this kind of project.

That being said, the plans are much much better for the 14 than for the 7. Doesn't mean you wont do just as well with the 7 plans. Just a little more time and thinking.

If money was no object I would build a 10. But between the 7 and the 14 if money was no object it would also be the 14.
Kit cost, engine cost, fuel burn... All around more expensive.

Since money is an object and the 7 will fit my mission just great that's what I have decided and I would decide it like this again!

Whatever you choose you can't go wrong as long as you finish it!
VAF dues paid until 10/2019
RV7-A (N137MX Reserved) - Empennage 95% done
RV7-A (N137MX Reserved) - Wings Started...
RV7-A - Rebuild Done.
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Old 12-14-2018, 10:02 AM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 941

One point I'll add for the build: almost all parts (except those in common with older models) including skins are punched to full rivet/screw/bolt diameter. This greatly reduces the time spent match/final drilling and deburring (Most RV-14/14A skins' rivet holes can be cleaned up with scotchbrite if they need any deburring at all).

Synergy air dimples the skins with blue vinyl in place, no deburring at all and there is good evidence that this is an acceptable practice (there is also good evidence that it's really easy to over-deburr holes).
Turner Billingsley
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:11 AM
Nashman Nashman is offline
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: San Jose, ca
Posts: 4

I’m really grateful for the relevant advice and wisdom from this forum — it gives those of us starting or considering a lot of confidence that we’re not alone.
As many have mentioned, there isn’t a bad choice — these are first world problems.
Given that I am a first-time builder, I probably lean toward “just sell me everything…”. My #1 priority is to enjoy the build *and* flying, so I’m starting to think that the 14 might be better for me because it makes that path more likely given my experience level.
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Old 12-14-2018, 11:32 AM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 8,147

Originally Posted by Carl Froehlich View Post
Not to be a pain, but my observations are from flying the RV-14A. My fuel burn comparisons are as stated, between the RV-8A, RV-14A and RV-10. Flying the three airplanes, a standard 170kt TAS LOP cruise at altitude the RV-8A is at 7.8gph, the RV-14A is a little more than 9 and the RV-10 is at 11.5. I have no time with an RV-7/7A so cannot comment on it so will defer to Scott’s data.

I’m sure other people’s data will be different, just like no two RVs are the same.
I have done an extensive amount of cross country in the 14 and 14A and typically cruise at 170-171 Kts TAS at about 8.1-8.2 GPH

It is incorrect to think that a bigger engine automatically means higher fuel flow.
If you built two identical RV-7's except one having an IO-320 (160 HP) and one having an angle valve IO-360 (200 HP) and you fly them side by side in the same conditions, the IO360 airplane will have nearly an identical fuel flow as the IO-320 airplane when it is throttled back to match the speed of the smaller engine.
Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")

Last edited by rvbuilder2002 : 12-14-2018 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:44 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 8,147

Originally Posted by RV7ator View Post
Back in '12, I asked the Van's crew, "Why?"
That question is usually best answered (for anything bought and sold actually) by actual sales data.

With the RV-14(A) approaching 100 flying and 600 kit starts in about 5 years, I think it proves that what is right for one person, may not be right for everyone (and that is why the RV-7 and RV-9 are still popular and available).
Any opinions expressed in this message are my own and not necessarily those of my employer.

Scott McDaniels
Hubbard, Oregon
RV-6A (aka "Junkyard Special ")
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Old 12-14-2018, 08:47 PM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Southwest
Posts: 647
Default My take

I looked really hard at the 14 before deciding on the 9 ( 7’s ugly sister) . I thought where I would be in life in 10 years and realize I dont need the size and did not need the extra fuel burn and cost. In addition, I wanted a fixed pitch to keep the prop overhaul costs down( CS props require more maintanence). I did not want to have to sell my build because i couldnt afford to fly it. But that is just me.
John S

WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.

Dues paid 2019, worth every penny

RV9A- Status: tail feathers done less tips
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Old 12-15-2018, 03:49 AM
rmartingt's Avatar
rmartingt rmartingt is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 835


I started my build shortly after the -14 was announced. I did look at it, but chose a -7 instead because:

- The -14 is significantly more expensive (airframe and engine). This was by far the biggest driver.
- The -14 has no slider option.
- The -14 seems to have a little less flexibility for customization.

But then, I already had a fair bit of building and flying time with a -6 and knew the -7 would be easier to build, and would essentially fly the same.

The additional room was the only major benefit of the -14. Now, had the -14 been a 2+2 that was aerobatic with two on board... but instead, I think we'll find a 4-seater project to group build or buy into.
RV-7ER - finishing kit and systems installation
There are two kinds of fool in the world. The first says "this is old, and therefore good"; the second says "this is new, and therefore better".
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