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Old 05-08-2013, 03:11 PM
JDBoston JDBoston is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 266
Default RV-14 Project Cost and other thoughts

I am going back and forth between starting the RV-14 and starting a RV-9A.

I have four people in the family, but my son doesn't like to fly much and we can still keep the Cherokee for family trips in the partnership I am establishing with a couple of other people.

My wife and I are not large (I am 5'11" around 180 typical FAA size) and my wife is petite. In other words the large capacity is not a requirement for passengers.

Mission is cross country flying as well as local trips. Aerobatics are not something I am that interested in although I have not tried either. I figure that by the time my kids (11, 9 years old) are finishing high school the plane might be done so my four seater need will not be there.

Pros: More luggage space, easier build (canopy, etc), 'better' nosewheel.

Cons: Price?? That is my question.

Obviously without the final kit prices we are guessing, but my assumption is that the kits will be around the 9A price perhaps a slight bit more.

The Engine as currently specified looks like it is around $11K more than the 9A Engine (new prices from vans).

Assuming avionics are the same, is it correct to assume that the 14 will be around 11K or so more than the 9A?

I love guessing without real facts, but I am itching to start something now that I picked up a used tool kit, and it is appealing to start a tail rather than a wing in the off chance that building is not for me.

Status: Wings complete, Working on: Elevators. Location:MA

Last edited by JDBoston : 05-08-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:20 PM
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LAMPSguy LAMPSguy is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 374
Default FWIW

As I went through this same thought process, I realized that many people seemed to spend "about" what Van's projected...based on the simple, basic, flyable examples they built. BUT, if you factor in whiz bang avionics, a different engine, professional paint, and purchasing/setting up shop then your cost will go up.

Somewhere on their website they say a completed -14 will cost you about $90K. I am thinking this should be really you cannot really find used 390's and they specify that as the design engine, I assume they factored a new one into the build price.

Now if you want/need your own tools, add a few thousand. Professional paint job, 3-8K. Fancy avionics/redundant systems, add 10-20 thousand. The sky is the limit.

I basically took the -10 sub kit prices and the -8 prices and averaged them to get my estimate for plane parts. Then I took their engine price. I take current prices for all the extras I want. Add in all my tools. I came up with a total, multiplied by 1.2 for project creep and used that as my number. Divided that by how many years I want to go by before flying it, voila yearly cost.

Now I have to figure out how many extra jobs I need to afford that
RV-? in planning stages.
RV-14 #140050 SOLD

Permanently willing to contribute fuel for RV rides

Helicopter ATP/CFI(I)
ASEL/AMEL Commercial/Inst/CFI(I)
Aerobatic Instruction available

Atlanta based.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:47 PM
JDBoston JDBoston is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Boston Area
Posts: 266


For the sake of argument though, I think the point I was trying to make is all of the things you mentioned in your post are the same costs with a 9A as they are with a 14 the only variables are the engine cost and the kit cost.

So if I say 11K more for the engine and 5K more the kits are we saying the 14A comes out around 16K more than a 9A in hypothetical numbers? I think it might be the case.

You are totally correct, I am not trying to come up with a final price here just a differential. I figure the painting cost, etc and systems will all be the same as we are talking about the same class of airplane here just size being the difference.

Status: Wings complete, Working on: Elevators. Location:MA
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:01 PM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ridgeland, SC
Posts: 2,225

Jeff, Ive had the same conversation with myself for 4 years, between the 7A and the 9A. Then Van comes up with the 14. Gee. What to do. I look at it like this, the 7 is faster than the 9, the 9 has a longer wing, the 14 has a bigger cabin and more fuel capacity. The 7 and the 14 are about the same speed.
For me, like alot of guys, its about the money, and for me, my limited flight experience.
The sliding canopy is a big deal for me, so its gona be a 7A. (Sorry Jay!)
Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
Teflon Hose Assemblies for Experimentals
Proud Vendor for RV1, Donator to VAF
RV7 Tail Kit Completed, Fuse started-Pay as I go Plan
Ridgeland, SC,
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:17 PM
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Kahuna Kahuna is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Gold Hill, NC25
Posts: 2,382

With the advances in ECI's stroker motors, it would seem to me that the engine cost is washed out. A 205hp Titan Stroker puts the same HP, at much less weight, same TBO, less cost, assembled and to your door with run compared to the 'recommended' 390. Seems its really down to kit costs. Which is likely going to be trivial. So.... whats the rub now on the 14?
6A, S8 ,
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Gold Hill, NC25
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:38 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,615

They say time is money. As a family guy you may find your time limited. Is one kit quicker to build than the other?
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:20 PM
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propsync propsync is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 310

The 14 is supposed to be a faster build, but I'm not sure about comparing a regular kit to a quickbuild kit (which are not available yet).
The RV-14 kit has the full benefit of the RV kits that have gone before. It comes into the world ready to set new standards in completeness and accuracy. We expect that with these improvements, builders will complete RV-14s in significantly less time than the other ‘driven-rivet’ RVs. All the aluminum components are formed and pre-punched for all the rivet and bolt holes. The “matched-hole” punching technology makes the airframe essentially self-jigging: when all the holes line up, the airframe must be straight. As with all other RV kits, all welding is complete. Wing spars come fully assembled and ready to install. The canopy has been the focus of considerable design effort. It should install with much less effort than any previous RV. Fully designed wiring, avionics and engine installation packages will be available that reduce the time spent on those traditionally very time-consuming tasks dramatically. A QuickBuild (QB) will become available after Standard Kits are released. For either kit, you’ll need a shop about the size of a two-car garage, an air compressor, bench grinder and a set of aircraft hand tools like rivet guns, dimple dies, etc.
Tom B
Tampa, FL
EAA - Tampa Exec Airport
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:18 PM
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MauiLvrs MauiLvrs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: KTCY
Posts: 642

Originally Posted by JDBoston View Post
Cons: Price?? That is my question.
Don't forget the extra 3-5 gal/hr fuel burn
Love our 9

Originally Posted by TS Flightlines View Post
For me, like alot of guys, its about the money, and for me, my limited flight experience.
The sliding canopy is a big deal for me, so its gona be a 7A. (Sorry Jay!)
And not a 9A
Dave & Trina
RV-9A Flying - 330 Hrs. Painted Finishing the interior.
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:52 PM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
Posts: 8,113

Originally Posted by MauiLvrs View Post
Don't forget the extra 3-5 gal/hr fuel burn
3 - 5 GPH ?

Not sure where you are coming up with those #s. If you make an apples to apples comparison (engine HP output Vs fuel flow) it is far closer to the same than you apparently think.

For some reason over the years the the fallacy has developed that smaller engine airplanes are more efficient than bigger engine ones are. This (for the most part is just not true.

Build 2 identical RV's, one with a 150 HP Lyc and one with a 200 HP Lyc.
Send them out on a flight together with the bigger engine airplane matching the performance of the smaller one, and both using the same criteria when leaning, etc., then measure the fuel usage when they return and it will very close to the same.
Sure, the bigger engine has more pumping losses and other technical stuff we could get into endless debates about, but the real world difference they make for most of us is of little consequence.

So, if you are feeling a little down because you ended up with 180 HP instead of the more efficient 150 HP that you wanted, I have a special price for you (uhoh I'm not a paid advertiser, Doug is likely to pull this whole post ) on the 180 HP efficient power conversion kit. It is a bolt on block that limits throttle travel (manifold pressure) so that you can attain no more than 150 HP.

Seriously, bigger engines can fly as efficiently as smaller engines if the person managing the throttle has the restraint to do so. The flips side to that is the bigger engine has the extra surplus power available in an emergency or other times it is needed.

So lets stop this fallacy here and now. Every one raise there right hand and repeat after me... Smaller engines in RV's do not automatically mean a lower operating cost, more efficient airplane.

And all the people said....
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 05-09-2013, 08:53 AM
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Aerosporty Aerosporty is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Lawrenceville GA
Posts: 94

For Mike "Kahuna". The 14 requires the heavier angle valve engine, due to CG considerations....according to Vans. Would be nice to have more options....your old LZU buddy, Gordon.
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