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  #1  
Old 01-20-2020, 09:03 PM
gmintermill gmintermill is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 3
Default Converting 7 to 7A

Have been looking for a 7A in all the normal places, but not finding what I'm looking for. I have located a 7 that has only been flown a few times (wife hates it). It hasn't been painted but has everything that I want. Just trying to figure out how difficult it is to convert to a 7A. Vans has a two page instruction on the conversation but I really want to know from a builder.
Thanks for the advise in advance
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2020, 10:21 PM
gfb gfb is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 617
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It's really not bad.

- new engine mount + moving engine will take a bit but not crazy
- new gear and weldments need to be mounted. I don't remember exactly but I think they are bolted to the wing bolts? If so, this will be the hardest part. We damaged a wing bolt getting it in when doing final assembly on my airplane and it took me 4 hours to get that one bolt out. I'm sure I was just unlucky...
- Do you need to do anything for a tail tie-down?
- some cowl fiberglass, nothing too crazy, specially as its unpainted.

I'm gonna guess this is 2-3 weeks of work. All fairly straightforward.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2020, 01:13 AM
DeeCee 57's Avatar
DeeCee 57 DeeCee 57 is online now
 
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Location: Zürich W, Switzerland, Europe, Earth, Milky Way, known Universe...
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Quote:
wife hates it
Time and $$$$ to kill the beast
The real question is, will your wife like it more with that training wheel in the front? If not, that could get real expensive
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:43 AM
Jrskygod Jrskygod is offline
 
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Location: Edinburg, TX
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It will take less time to learn to fly tail wheel.
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:28 AM
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wirejock wirejock is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Estes Park, CO
Posts: 3,573
Default 7 to 7A

Quote:
Originally Posted by gfb View Post
It's really not bad.

- new engine mount + moving engine will take a bit but not crazy
- new gear and weldments need to be mounted. I don't remember exactly but I think they are bolted to the wing bolts? If so, this will be the hardest part. We damaged a wing bolt getting it in when doing final assembly on my airplane and it took me 4 hours to get that one bolt out. I'm sure I was just unlucky...
- Do you need to do anything for a tail tie-down?
- some cowl fiberglass, nothing too crazy, specially as its unpainted.

I'm gonna guess this is 2-3 weeks of work. All fairly straightforward.
-There is a new engine mount and nose gear assembly. Worth looking at since your buying anyway
-New gear towers get bolted to the forward side of the center section spar so all the bolts have to come out and go back in. Pay attention to where the plans call for washers. There is also one washer installed as a shim. Look for it on the plan notes.
-New gear and tower is drilled with a special size reamer. .311" I think.
-Relief holes in the bottom skin for new gear.
-Probably glass work to the cowl
-Remove the tail weldment.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2020, 10:30 AM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Meridian ID, Aspen CO
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I did it on my 9 to 9A and it wasnt difficult at all. It took some time and some money but most was offset by selling the removed parts. I did not remove the tail weldment. I may someday, but I didnt feel it was worth the effort. It is fun to put the tail wheel in when people look at the plane.

I made the change because I prefer the looks with a nose wheel and like the ground handling and visibility. I have flown a Kitfox and loved it as a tail wheel, but for a traveling machine like the 9A, it fits my mission better.

Build what you and your wife are comfortable flying. You and your wife's plane, your choice.

Have fun with it and let me know if you have any questions.
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2020, 10:42 AM
rvbuilder2002 rvbuilder2002 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Hubbard Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wirejock View Post
-Remove the tail weldment.
The simple way to deal with the aft end is to leave the tail weldment in place and make a tube with a welded on tie down ring that slides into it.

The RV-7A demonstrator is configured this way. It started life as a tail dragger.
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2020, 04:06 PM
gmintermill gmintermill is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 3
Default 7 to 7A

Thanks for all the info. There is a professional builder at the airport that gave me the same ideas after reading the tread. The current owners wife doesn't like the speed, but my wife loves those short approach calls from ATC.
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  #9  
Old 01-22-2020, 06:52 AM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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Location: SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrskygod View Post
It will take less time to learn to fly tail wheel.
I agree with this statement.

My -9 started life as a taildragger and I have never once wanted to change it. I live on a grass strip and visit a bunch of others and never worry about the nose gear flip-over issues or ground looping my taildragger.

As for cross country flights, fear no crosswinds with an RV. There is just so much control authority in these planes, crosswinds are simply a non-issue.
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  #10  
Old 01-22-2020, 08:28 AM
RV7ator RV7ator is offline
 
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Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 1,005
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You'd better figure out why your wife doesn't like the TD. There's more at issue I'm sure. A principal reason I build 7s is there's no jungle-gym, trip-and-fall, gear support structure intruding into foot space. The A's a taller step up.

What about the canopy. Slider? Tipper? What configuration suits your wife for entry/exit, loading bags, etc.

John Siebold
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