My wife and I recently returned from a flight to Arizona in the new RV14. We departed southern Ontario, CYQS and cleared customs in Port Clinton KPCW, Ohio. The next stop was Mt Vernon for fuel and then on to Branson Mo, for the night. My wife does not handle rough weather well so we typically only fly in calm morning hours. This was our first trip to Branson and it defines the word "tacky" The ribs, however, were awesome.
The next day we departed early with a fuel and lunch stop in Amarillo TX. They have a nice little restaurant on the field and all the airforce trainers in Texas and New Mexico just happened to be doing training in the area at lunch time!
Although our destination was Chandler AZ we decided to spend a night in Santa Fe NM. Now this spot is on the opposite end of the tacky scale. What a beautiful city. We ducked into one nice shop to inspect some very nice clothing. I almost lost my lunch when I noticed the $1400 price tag on a sweater!
The next morning we left Santa Fe on our way to Chandler. I flight planned 12,500 as there are some serious mountains and rough terrain on the route to our destination. We were, at times facing a 40 kt headwind. The unusual thing about the head wind was that there was no roughness at all.
The RV14 is an honest 175knot TAS airplane. With 35 hours on the engine I was still breaking it in thus rich settings. It was interesting that we were getting the same airspeed a 12,500 that we were at 10,500 but one gallon per less fuel burn. This speaks well for the RV10/14 airfoil. The plane, at these power settings was perfectly in trim in the yaw axis. The Garmin system worked well at providing auto trim in roll and pitch. Without the autopilot the aircraft flies nicely with minimal control inputs. It is much more stable in roll then the RV6 or 7. I found it to be even a bit more stable in roll then the RV9.
The fifty gallons of fuel is more then adequate even at the rich setting I was using. Cabin comfort is second to none, with controls all in the right spot. It was different having my wife sitting beside me in the aircraft and after just a bit of time she was setting the radio frequencies as they were called out by control.
There is a lot of luggage room and it was nice not to have to plan where every thing went, just throw it in the back, that space can swallow a lot of stuff. Aft loading did not significantly affect the handling of the aircraft. All and all I rate this aircraft very high as a cross country traveller. Although 35 knots slower then the rocket it was a very relaxing and enjoyable ride.
In terms of the build this was a parts kit and it all went together without any serious problems. The manual is amazing, detailed and easy to understand. The airplane is big, you really do not appreciate how much bigger it is then the other two seaters until you stand beside the aircraft. This one is a tail dragger and the spinner is as high as the one on my rocket. The tail dragger is a particularly good looking aircraft. (beauty is in the eye of the beholder but tail draggers rule in racy department)
My wife and I had a great trip to Phoenix and area. We toured around the state by car for a couple of weeks and really enjoyed the weather and scenery.
Sadly the RV14 has found a new home in Chandler and my wife will have to put up with the back seat of the rocket again!
Tom Martin RV1 pilot 4.6hours!
CPL & IFR rated
EVO F1 Rocket 1000 hours,
2010 SARL Rocket 100 race, average
speed of 238.6 knots/274.6mph
RV4, RV7, RV10, two HRIIs and five F1 Rockets
RV14 Tail dragger
St.Thomas, Ontario Canada, CYQS