VansAirForceForums  
Home > VansAirForceForums

- POSTING RULES
- Donate yearly (please).
- Advertise in here!

- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

  #1  
Old 05-27-2016, 11:51 AM
KJP KJP is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Western NC
Posts: 18
Default Can I build an RV-3B?

Hi Folks,
I'm considering building a 3B and have not built an RV before. I've thought about this for a long time and have some questions:

After asking Vans on 05-25-16, they told me that they had revised the RV3 plans with all of the known discrepancies, errors, and so forth, Do you think that they have done so?

Are they capable of answering build questions re this older model?

Please direct me, within this site, to find beginning point and beginning information so that I may become more capable of making the build or not-build decision.

I have lots of time, tools, space, etc. And as long as I'm making progress I have a reasonable amount of patience.

Thanks,

Keith
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-27-2016, 12:01 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 13,615
Default Welcome to VAF!

Keith, welcome aboard the good ship VAF.

I have no idea where WNC is, but if there is an EAA chapter in the area, I would suggest you join it and talk to folks who have built RVs in the past----or are building one now.

Also, there are build schools around the country, and Vans does offer a practice kit or two for you to dampen your toes with.

Yes, Vans can answer the questions about the older model. No idea about the current status of the plans.

Good luck, and again welcome.
__________________
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."

Last edited by Mike S : 05-27-2016 at 12:05 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-27-2016, 12:15 PM
KJP KJP is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Western NC
Posts: 18
Default

Hi Mike,
WNC is Western NC. I've been in EAA for about 25 years. RVs are not common here. I ask these questions due to the 3's reputation as being very difficult to build. I'm certain I could build a newer model. I have lots of experience restoring non-RV aircraft and some experience with sheet metal.

It's really the plans and their omissions, errors and so forth that I'm concerned with.

Keith
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-27-2016, 12:35 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 3,257
Default

If I can build one, you certainly can.

Van's has been pretty helpful with issues. Considering that they sell so few of them and probably don't have an active builder base to keep them familiar with the kit, they are doing quite well. In fact, yesterday I emailed them about something and today got back a thoughtful, helpful reply.

One thing to be aware of, is that unless they've updated the plans since I got mine in 2012, sometimes the parts supplied aren't exactly made per the plans. And sometimes they substitute RV-4 parts for the RV-3 ones called out. Things like this add to the challenge and make building the plane more interesting, and don't particularly make it significantly more difficult.

For the most part, the parts supplied are fine. In a few cases, I've had the pieces arrive longer than they needed to be and had to trim them to length. So far, in every case, the formed shapes have been good, with a few exceptions. Please bear in mind that I'm just now getting to the fuselage and have heard that the bulkheads don't necessarily fit the formed skins all that well. But I can't comment about that yet.

Must say that one part (there were a handful) that came mis-shaped was replaced quickly and for free, even though it was four years since I bought my kit. Because of the delay, I'd offered to buy it, but they insisted on sending it for free. Hard to argue with that service!

On VAF, look into the RV-3 section. If you are planning the quickbuild wings, then Ironflight's postings there will give you an excellent look at the overall process, plus they are highly readable. In any event, try to read all the threads there; you'll get a good overview. In the builder's blog section, I've been describing my progress here. As I have the standard-build wings, this will give you a chance to see how those went (hint - they were hard for me but many of my difficulties were of my own making).

I've found it very helpful to be in contact with a couple of mentors and also to sometimes see the airplanes that other RV builders are building. For example, while I was so concerned about the leading edge shape, I found later that most of the RVs that I saw had similar shapes and flew just fine. The construction details and the processes and the overall design is quite similar from airplane to airplane and even seeing an RV-7a, with its nosewheel and pre-punched parts, is educational.

Hope this helps.

Dave
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-27-2016, 12:37 PM
wilddog wilddog is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: va.
Posts: 311
Default

Keith,
Try to find someone building a RV and offer to help, we all need help riveting some parts. Without sheet metal airplane experience, a -3 would be a handful to build. I own a 3A, bought flying, and am deep into building a -8, the pre punch kit and step by step plans are a great help. Without that, it would be very easy to get backed into a corner and have to redue a lot of work. My previous airplane experience was all tube and fabric and RVs are much different, there is a whole lot to learn and a lot of tools to buy for sheet metal work. The -3 is a really super nice flying airplane and is certainly well worth building.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-27-2016, 03:04 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
VAF Moderator / Line Boy
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,443
Default

Welcome aboard Keith! You've gotten some great thoughts already, and I give a lot of credence to David Paule, as he is currently invovled in the project. When we built our -3B, I had been working on airplanes all my life, and had already built one RV (an -8) and had worked on quite a few others. I think that previous experience working on RVs will give you a much better understanding of how the various pieces go together, for to some extent, the -3,-4,-6,-7,-8,-9 are structurally the same airplane - just with different dimensions.

Becasue of the previous experience, I found it very easy, once we had the fuselage jig built and the bulkheads mounted, to simply build the fuselage around the frame, without really referring that much to the drawings. The RV-3 is an airplane where you "make it fit", trimming as necessary. When do you know if it is necesssary or not? We'll.....that's when the previous experience comes in. At the very least, having another RV handy to look at when you get stuck would be very helpful.

All that said, we have to remember that most of the early RV-3's were built by first-timers. Kit standards were very different in those early days, and builders were expecting (and expected) to go it pretty much alone, interpolating the plans as required. Today's kits are much more advanced, and expectations are higher in most cases. But with the fortitude, the willingness to ask questions, and the time to read many of the notes posted here in the RV-3 section of VAF, building one is certainly a doable task. And the result is, in my opinion, the best flying airplane Van ever designed.
__________________
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)
http://Ironflight.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-27-2016, 06:27 PM
Tony Spicer Tony Spicer is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 513
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJP View Post
Hi Folks,
.

I have lots of time, tools, space, etc. And as long as I'm making progress I have a reasonable amount of patience.

Thanks,

Keith
Keith,

Add perseverance to your list and you'll do just fine. The plans sucked when I built mine 2006-08 and I doubt they've changed much. The -3 morphed into the -4, so having a set of -4 plans or study prints will answer a lot of questions. My prior experience was scratch-building a Sonex.

If you're in love with the -3, check out the Panther. Better looking and much easier to build. Did the first flight on mine just this morning.

Tony
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-27-2016, 06:40 PM
KJP KJP is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Western NC
Posts: 18
Default

Thanks Tony,
You are a one-man aircraft factory.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-27-2016, 06:41 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 13,615
Default Congratulations!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Spicer View Post
Did the first flight on mine just this morning.

Tony
Tony, congrats on the first flight
__________________
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."
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-27-2016, 06:45 PM
KJP KJP is offline
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Western NC
Posts: 18
Default

All the commentary and advice is what I need to hear, and I am grateful for it
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:38 AM.


The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.