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  #1  
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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  #2  
Old 11-06-2017, 06:27 PM
dlloyd3 dlloyd3 is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Locust, NC
Posts: 341
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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.
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2017, 07:02 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Location: Dayton, NV
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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
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  #4  
Old 11-06-2017, 08:33 PM
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Sam Buchanan Sam Buchanan is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: North Alabama
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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.
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2017, 08:49 PM
RandyAB RandyAB is online now
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: St Albert, Alberta, Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironflight View Post
. Much time is spent NOT working on teh plane - just thinking ahead and shopping

Paul
I'm glad you said that Paul. I thought it was just me!
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2017, 12:15 PM
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Raymo Raymo is offline
 
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Location: Richmond Hill, GA (KLHW)
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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.
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Last edited by Raymo : 11-07-2017 at 02:33 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2017, 01:01 PM
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Vern Vern is offline
 
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Location: Peachtree City, Ga
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Default Time to finish

When the parts look like an airplane, you are half done.
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2017, 11:29 AM
Jpm757 Jpm757 is offline
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Sherman, CT
Posts: 75
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We purchased a languishing -7 QB kit with wings/tail and rudder pedals completed. Purchased finish kit, engine/ prop & FWF kit from Vans. Added AFS quick panel and Classic Aero interior. Put the build on the fast track and was flying in 14 mos..
I know that we all have time and money constraints which need to be taken into account when committing to a project such as this, on the other hand I just inspected an RV8A that a gentleman had been building for 20 years! Beautiful workmanship and ready for paint and DAR inspection. Unfortunately the builder passed before He was able to enjoy the fruits of his labor. What a shame!
Building one of these birds is not difficult for the average mechanically inclined person, but it takes an honest commitment to see the project to fruition. I think if more builders realized this before taking on the task, then you would see far less "projects" up for sale.
The rewards of building and flying one of these machines is indescribable, and nothing else flys like an RV!
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2017, 12:23 PM
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bret bret is offline
 
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From airframe built to completing the other 90% was 1.5 years, the challenges were, working fulltime with a 2 hr. commute, financing the expensive stuff, and balancing the build time to complete the project and still be married when finished.
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2017, 04:47 PM
sblack sblack is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Montreal
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I bought an RV4 at about the QB stage. I figured 2 yrs to finish. That was 3 yrs ago. The engine is hung, much of the wiring is in - working on the panel now. Then I have a bit more airframe work to do, then assembly and paint.

My problem is that I live 45min from my hangar and that's where the plane is, so I only get to work on it on weekends. That drags things out. I am told that an accurate estimate for completion time is your best guess multiplied by PI (3.14). I had guessed 2 yrs so that would put me at 6 and a bit. I bet it will turn out close to that.

LIke a previous poster implied, if your criteria is "how long till I can fly" then you are buying this for the wrong reason. You need to enjoy the journey or else you won't finish it or it will be a very unhappy experience. If you don't WANT to build, go buy a flying RV. You will be much happier. They are great airplanes.
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