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Old 11-06-2017, 05:30 PM
mizer2167 mizer2167 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Lutz, FL
Posts: 17
Default Time left to complete - engine and avionics

I happened upon an RV-7A kit that is complete to the point of needing the engine, systems and avionics at what I think is a decent price ($25K). It has the finish kit included and all the building appears done, even fiberglass short of the cowling.

Assuming nothing crazy for the avionics, how long does it take to finish the avionics, interior, and engine install?

Would a fast panel from Dynon or similar greatly reduce that time?
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Old 11-06-2017, 06:27 PM
dlloyd3 dlloyd3 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Locust, NC
Posts: 337

January 2010 my 7 was on the gear with the tip up canopy complete and most of the airframe wiring run. About 250 hours to hang engine, engine controls, accessories, exhaust, fit the engine cowling, finish the landing gear fairings, spinner, install and wire the radios. Got the radios from Stein with point-to-point wiring done, so I did not have anything overly complicated. I cut the big holes for the Dynon displays and Garmin radios with a die grinder, not a big deal. Suddenly one day everything I could do at home was done. Took the small parts to an auto body shop for painting. Then the fuselage on a tilt bed, then the wings when the fuselage was done and started taking stuff to the airport for assembly. All the assembly was another 30 or 40 hours. FAA did the paperwork and first flight was November 2.
Every day I spent in my shop, I went in with a list of what was researched the previous night(s) that was needed to be accomplished. Previous engine and electrical system and wiring experience was next to none.
RV-7 Tipup, Flying, I0-360,
Hartzell, Dual Skyview
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:02 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,420

It totally depends on your experience with engines, systems, and avionics. It sounds like the kit you're looking at is 90% done....which means there is 90% left to go.

We jumped into a metal airplane project (a four seat Tundra) at just about the point you'e describing. It took us a year and a half to get too first flight, and I've been doing this awhile. We had three people working, and had a couple of build sessions a week. Mostly we used RV components and designs, so there was nothing from out of left field. Much time is spent NOT working on teh plane - just thinking ahead and shopping.

In short - it takes the time it takes.

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 11-06-2017, 08:33 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
hall monitor
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 3,506

You only need to consider this project if your desire to build a plane is such that you are willing to take whatever time and $$$'s is needed. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment.

If there are doubts about available build time, there are many completed RVs on the market that will have you in the air in a short time. Building is a great adventure but only for those who have the passion for the journey.

Best wishes whichever path you take.
Sam Buchanan
1999 RV-6
1918 Fokker D.VII replica
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:49 PM
RandyAB RandyAB is online now
Join Date: May 2016
Location: St Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 172

Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
. Much time is spent NOT working on teh plane - just thinking ahead and shopping

I'm glad you said that Paul. I thought it was just me!
Randy P.
1st time builder
RV10 - Empennage (Started March 2017)
St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
2017 dues paid
Reserved:C-GRPY (GRumPY)
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Old 11-07-2017, 12:15 PM
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Raymo Raymo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Richmond Hill, GA (KLHW)
Posts: 1,344

I purchased my kit from the original builder in, essentially, quick build state with no finishing kit, engine or avionics. It was finished in just over 2 years of weekends, holidays and vacation days.

Though I'm an A&P, I had been out of aviation for almost 15 years but the skills came back quickly and I happened to be in a hangar with a guy who'd build several planes, including an -8.

You'll spend a lot of time shopping not only for parts but also for tools.
RV-7A - Slider - N495KL - First flt 27 Jan 17
O-360-A4M w/ Catto 3 blade NLE, AFP FM-150 FI, 1 PMag, Vetterman Trombone Exh, SkyTech starter,
PlanePower Alt, FlightLines Interior, James cowl & plenum
All lines by TSFlightLines

"The object of the game, gentlemen, is not to cheat death: the object is not to let him play."
Patrick Poteen, Sgt. U.S. Army

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Last edited by Raymo : 11-07-2017 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 11-07-2017, 01:01 PM
Vern's Avatar
Vern Vern is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Peachtree City, Ga
Posts: 914
Default Time to finish

When the parts look like an airplane, you are half done.
Vern Darley
RV-6A N680V / RV-10QB N353RV
Luscombe 8E
Hatz Biplane
Falcon RV Squadron
KFFC Hanger D-30
Peachtree City, Ga
770 310-7169
EAA Technical Counselor #5142
EAA Flight Advisor #486336
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