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Old 09-10-2016, 01:51 PM
ronsno ronsno is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: West Linn, OR
Posts: 9
Default Cost to build

I keep coming back to the RV-14A as the plane that matches my desires, but then I look at costs to build. The Vans cost estimator results in the 14 costing over $20k more than a 7 or 9. Included in that $20k is the engine which costs $10k more. So my questions are, can you use a Lycoming 180 or the Titan I0-370? These engines cost $10k less. If you do does it make installing considerable more difficult and costly. What about FP? The description of the 14 says it comes with more components included. Does this not lower some costs? Are there other areas that bring the cost more in line with the 7 or 9?

Thanks in advance, Ron.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:16 PM
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Plummit Plummit is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SoCal
Posts: 772

You can build and install any engine/prop combination you like, but be aware that the resale value will be affected if you use a smaller engine /FP Prop. YMMV, but I was taught to always look at the exit strategy.

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Last edited by Plummit : 09-10-2016 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:21 PM
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Mike S Mike S is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,651

The design was crafted around the angle valve 390, although the angle valve 360 was used in the second prototype IIRC.

The engine weight is a big part of the design----as I recall, then engines you mentioned are somewhat lighter and would cause issues with the C/G.
Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:52 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,796

So would be a fixed pitch prop.

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Old 09-10-2016, 04:07 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,848

Yup - the lighter engines would create a considerable CG issue that would have to be addressed.

One thing to consider, however, is that while about the only 390's you'll find will be new, used angle valve 360's are pretty common - if you spend time shopping, you might well save ten grand right there.
Paul F. Dye
Editor in Chief - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:15 PM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 1,968

Originally Posted by Mike S View Post
The design was crafted around the angle valve 390, although the angle valve 360 was used in the second prototype IIRC.

The engine weight is a big part of the design----as I recall, then engines you mentioned are somewhat lighter and would cause issues with the C/G.
Just did a W&B on an IO-390 RV-14. The plane has a custom two blade composite prop instead of the Hartzell BA CS prop. The effect is that the plane, while lighter than the Van's prototype, cannot use the full gross weight as the nose is light. We are thinking of adding a second PC-680 battery on the firewall to both compensate for the light prop, and add some much needed battery reserve.

From working on the RV-14 I have reservations on the direction Van's has gone with this plane:
- Yes - you get pre made wire runs and such. While I assume they will satisfy some builders, I found them to add a lot of unnecessary rework.
- If you want to build a duplicate of the Van's demostrator, the kit takes you there. Keep in mind the $$$ needed to pay your panel people as Van's assumes you will not do your own avionics. The panel blanks are not even included in the kit. Of all the things about the RV-14, the assumption from Van's that people just want to build their panel with their wallets bothers me most.
- Van's makes many decisions for you. For example the fuselage has pre-punched holes for the antenna installs, headset jacks, ELT mount, etc. They also include clunky (my opinion) holders for various Molex plugs that you may or may not use.

The RV-14 is huge. The cockpit is spacious and the baggage area will accommodate anyone's needs. The wings and flaps are straight from the RV-10 design so you get those benefits. You pay for all this in increased fuel burn (think 10 GPH instead of 8 for a parallel valve IO-360 RV-7). The plane, in my opinion, needs the extra HP.

Bottom line - the RV-14 does have more work done for you in the kit. You need to decide if that work is what you want in your plane. I suspect many builders will be ok with this. If you do go with the RV-14 I recommend you say with an angle head engine and Hartzell CS prop.

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Old 09-10-2016, 04:50 PM
YellowJacket RV9 YellowJacket RV9 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Clearwater, FL / KZPH
Posts: 1,185

I think Carl makes a lot of good points. What you gain in the 14 (size, ease of building), you lose in both $ as well as ease of modifications. For some people that is exactly what they want; for me, I needed to be able to build on my budget, which meant building my own panel with a fair amount of used equipment. This saved me literally 10's of thousands of dollars over what I would have paid for an RV-14 type panel. Combine that with a used engine and FP prop and my 9A was probably half the cost of a 14A. It still goes fast, sips gas, and hauls me and my wife and a whole lot of stuff. Remember, the 9A top speed is only 10mph slower than the 14A, on 50 less HP. Cruise is within 5mph. The 7A is faster than the 14A, also on less HP.

What are the criteria that makes the 14 your ideal plane? Are they things that can't be met with any other models? As others have said, a 14A with a smaller engine would certainly take a resale hit. For the same money though, you could probably build one of the nicer 7's or 9's around. I think the 14 is a great addition to the lineup but is certainly not a replacement for the other side by sides, simply aimed at a different type of customer.

Chris Johnson
RV-9A - Done(ish) 4/5/16! Flying 4/7/16

Last edited by YellowJacket RV9 : 09-10-2016 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:31 PM
coffeeguy coffeeguy is offline
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Lake in the Hills, IL
Posts: 112
Default cost vs ease of build

I looked at the 7 before I bought my 14 kit. I think that I would have been happy with it, maybe more so than the 14. The 14 flies very nice, but I haven't flown the 7. The 7 would be large enough for my wife and I and would be much easier on the wallet, both building and flying.

The major factors in deciding on the 14 is the completeness of the kit and it is easier to build. Yes, it is more expensive and it is a tough decision to go with it. Before starting the 14 I had a 4 place fiberglass Wheeler Express that I was building. After another child, time away from my build, older boys growing up and out of the house, my mission changed. Easier build was probably one of the biggest factors in my decision to go with the 14. I'm happy with where I'm at, but you have to look at what's important to you.
Jeff Dingbaum
RV-14A empennage, wings
Cherokee 180
2018 dues paid
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:05 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,961

Empty CofG is a very important consideration. As others have pointed out, going with the IO360 would require some careful engineering so as to ensure you can achieve full weight-carrying capacity in the baggage area. While I'm not building an RV, I can say this is a very considerable challenge with the aircraft I am building, a Glasair Sportsman. The aircraft works very well with the IO-390. Ours has an O-360 and, as a result, I am installing everything as far forward as possible so as to get the empty CofG out past the forward limit. The ideal is to be on or near the forward limit with a reasonably light pilot in the seat. This ensures full cargo carrying capacity as all loads including pilot, pax, fuel and baggage shift the CofG aft. I believe the 14 faces the same challenge. It's not a huge deal if you remain very congnizant of CofG as you are building.

Oh, by the way... I don't know if Vans has produced a full set of numbers for the 14's with 360 and 390 power, but there's a good youtube video that compares the performance of the same engines on the Sportsman. Bottom line is pretty simple. The 390 buys shorter takeoff roll and faster climb and faster cruise, at the expense of higher fuel burn and substantially higher acquisition cost. I'm quite happy with the choice of the 360 in our bird - I'll keep that extra 10-20 grand in my pocket and save 1-2GPH, and arrive only a few minutes after the 390-powered birds arrive. Heck, we're building this as a retirement cruiser so 5 knot speed difference isn't likely to make that much difference in our lives. The higher fuel consumption, when buying fuel on fixed retirement income, would be a much greater influence on our ability to enjoy the airplane.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:30 AM
ronsno ronsno is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: West Linn, OR
Posts: 9

Thanks for all the replys. It's back to the drawing board for me. I'm going back to a 7 or 9. Having problems on this decision as well and that's what led me to 14. I saw it as a compromise. I like the idea of having aerobatics but would probably rarely use it, but the 7 has less restrictions.
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