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Old 09-19-2019, 07:19 PM
Bruinpilot Bruinpilot is offline
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 30
Default Newby question on plans

I finally decided after going through so many kit planes that an rv 7 is in my future. I really want the build experience. I shied away from rvs for years because of pride and wanting to be different. (There are so many of yall out there.) Ive traveled the road less traveled enough times now in my life to know why its the road less traveled. The rv is superior to all other kit planes on the market.

Anyways, Ive been emailing back and forth with the people at vans and I do t quite understand the concept of preview plans. I know what regular plans are, but what are preview plans? I am close to being ready to buy the empennage kit, and am not sure if I need plans, or preview plans or what to go with it. Any clarification would be appreciated. Thanks yall.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:46 PM
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Dbro172 Dbro172 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Fargo, ND
Posts: 1,070

Preview plans are an entire set of the plans on 11x17 paper and the builders manual on 8.5x11. You can also get this on CD. You need to purchase the preview plans. Then, when you order the kit(s) each kit comes with a full size set of plans (24 x 36 (or so)) and the build manual for that section. The preview plans are nice to have because they are much smaller and allow you to read forward into the build before buying every kit.
Derek Hoeschen
EAA Tech Counselor
RV-9A #92103 - N803DK
G3X, Superior XO-320, Dual Pmags, Catto 3B

1974 Bellanca Super Viking - N16AW - Flying
RV-8 #83565 - N184DK - building
1968 Mooney M20C - N6801N - Sold
1956 C-182 - N744W - Sold
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:58 PM
rapid_ascent rapid_ascent is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Dublin, CA
Posts: 1,202

I think the intent of the preview plans is to give potential builders an opportunity to see what they are getting into. It's a good chance to see what is involved in building a plane.

Once you start building it's sometimes nice to have the full set of plans so you can look ahead to future kits since the plans for a particular kit are provided with the kit as Derek mentioned.

I have a couple copies of the preview plans that I use for reference when I'm not at my hangar where the larger format drawings are located. I like the USB stick version which I reference all the time.
Ray Tonks
2020 Donation Paid
Titan IOX-370, Dual PMAGs, 9.6:1 Pistons, FM-150
RV-7 Fuselage in progress
* Cabin Interior - In progress
RV-7 SB Wings
* Both Wings fully skinned
* Fuel Tanks Complete - No leaks finally
* Ailerons Complete
* Flaps Complete
RV-7 Empennage - Complete (a little fiberglass work left)
Vans Training Kit # 2 - Complete
RV-7 Preview Plans
Vans Training Kit #1 - Complete
EAA Sheet Metal Class - Complete
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:06 PM
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jcarne jcarne is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Worland, Wyoming
Posts: 1,145

Buying the preview plans in paper form was the biggest waste of money! Seriously, it makes me mad every time I see them laying deep within the pile of stuff on my coffee table. I have LITERALLY never looked at them since the day I got them. Get the flash drive with the plans instead. The plans in PDF form I find way more useful.
Jereme Carne
RV-7A Emp. done
Wings done
Fuselage done
Finish kit almost done
Exempt but gladly paying!
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:20 PM
Mike.Smith Mike.Smith is offline
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Prattville Alabama
Posts: 50
Default Suit yourself

I bought an older second hand kit. The plans that came with the fold out kind in a three ring binder. I dont use them. I use the preview plans I bought. Just the right size for me. I did also buy the usb drive plans and have looked at them, but I like the size of the preview plans. So, suit yourself.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:45 PM
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johnbright johnbright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Newport News, Va
Posts: 299
Default preview, build, USB stick

Originally Posted by Mike.Smith View Post
I bought an older second hand kit. The plans that came with the fold out kind in a three ring binder. I dont use them. I use the preview plans I bought. Just the right size for me. I did also buy the usb drive plans and have looked at them, but I like the size of the preview plans. So, suit yourself.
To me preview plans = fold out in three-ring binder = B size 11 x 17".
Build plans are D size 22 x 34".
USB stick is great to have for reference when out of the shop.
John Bright, RV-6A 25088, at FWF
O-360, 8.5:1, vert sump, dual SDSEFI EM-5-F
Schematic and other electrical related files
Instrument panel CAD jpg images
Construction Photos
Newport News, Va
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Old 09-19-2019, 10:54 PM
arffguy arffguy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Elk Grove, CA
Posts: 404

You are required to purchase the preview plans in order to receive a serial number and purchase a kit. Period.

As Derek said above, when you receive a kit you only receive full size plan sheets that go with that kit.

Whether you prefer a big binder with paper or a PDF file that requires an electronic device to read is up to you. Both have their pros and cons. Personally, I use both.

Good luck!
Mike F
RV-6A wings/fuselage
RV-3 empennage (extra thanks to Mr. Zilik)
RV-4 Plans only S/N 2938
Cessna 152
Elk Grove, CA
VAF #744 Exempt but paid anyway

Last edited by arffguy : 09-19-2019 at 11:25 PM. Reason: Added words
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:13 AM
LCampbell LCampbell is offline
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Columbia, MO
Posts: 16

I got the preview plans on USB for the RV-10 prior to getting going, just to see what I was getting into. I've looked ahead countless times, as I'm finishing up the tail kit, to have context and understanding.

Also, in PDF form, I've found several times, that I can zoom way in, and get better clarity if I'm not sure what tab may lay over or under what part a few times.

Was well worth the $10 spent.

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Old 09-20-2019, 08:26 AM
bcondrey bcondrey is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Bellevue, NE
Posts: 523

Actually, there are no preview plans for the RV-10 and later models, the plans on USB are the same as the build plans. All are 11x17 pages with directions and drawings integrated.

Earlier models (The RV-9 and earlier) have a completely different concept for how the plans are done. For those, the plans consist of 8.5x11 pages with directions and drawings are on 24x36 sheets. Preview plans for the earlier models are drawings on 11x17 pages.
RV-10 builder x2
RV-7A under construction
EAA Tech Counselor
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:40 PM
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Low Pass Low Pass is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,977

Possibly more valuable back in the day before Internet when people like me were wondering just what these "RV kits" airplanes consisted of and just how well engineered they were.

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