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Old 06-06-2018, 01:47 PM
davidm21 davidm21 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Posts: 4
Default First Post, Couple of Questions on RV-10

Hi folks,

So I haven't yet made the official jump on purchasing a kit. From what I can tell I think we (it'll be a family affair) will be ready to start in about 2 years. I'm gathering as much research as possible to help prepare ourselves for the marathon ahead.

A little about my family and I: My wife loves flying and so do my two little ones (2.5y/o twins (boy and girl)). My son is OBSESSED with airplanes (he wears my GA magazines out before I can read them) and my wife wants to get her PPL. We take up our AA5B Tiger about twice a month to get pancakes and during the cooler months we fly to CA to visit the in-laws and my brother and sister-in-law (2 hrs flying vs 5.5 driving). I'm a corporate pilot by trade and have a ton of free time on my hands (kids take a lot of that up for now). I'm also an A&P and really enjoy working on my airplane when the need arises. As an aside I went to A&P school after the Air Force and I noticed that I really excelled in sheet metal and thoroughly enjoyed working with it (composites were okay), which really led me down the RV route versus Velocity. My mission requirement is a 4 place aircraft with the range to make most of the west coast possible from AZ (including over mountain treks). I honestly believe the Vans community is where I want to hang my hat with and I look forward to pressing on with a family project.

A couple of questions:

1. Does someone have actual experience to compare the AA5B and the RV-10? Numbers clearly look superior for the RV-10 in terms of speed and payload, how do they differ in flying?

2. How do you successfully finance the build? I know I can sell my AA5B for around $65k, of which I have around $35-40k in equity. I'm a corporate pilot (in light jet category) so I don't make 20 year Delta Airlines pay, but I do okay and the future is bright in terms of compensation growth. How much can you finance? I understand the RV-10 will cost around $120-160k to build out the door, I'll likely go with the slow build because my wife wants to be a big part of the project and we can save some there. I know I'll want a EFIS IFR panel, but I'm okay with a modular approach to avionics.

3. Has anyone built an RV with their little ones? I'd like to shoot around 4.5-5y/o for my kids to start to help. I'm sure my son would be super interested and I'd like to get my daughter hooked on something STEM related at a young age. Obviously I'm planning on them being 8-9 by the time we are finished (assuming a 3-4 year build time).

4. Any pieces of sage advice to give to someone who is planning on a build with the family? I'm sure there's quite a few out there who had the chance to build with their family members.

5. Anyone in the Phoenix area with an RV-10 who would be gracious enough to give a demo flight? I'd happily pitch in for some fuel. I'd like to be able to compare notes and really get to know the aircraft before I start shooting rivets.


All the best,

David Marques
David "Dave" Marques
Corp. Pilot, AA5B owner, A&P
Prospective RV-10 Builder

Last edited by davidm21 : 06-06-2018 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:48 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 14,485
Default Welcome to VAF

David, welcome aboard the good ship VAF

You will love the 10.
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."
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:56 PM
RONSIM's Avatar
RONSIM RONSIM is online now
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Largo, FL
Posts: 854
Default AA5B and RV-10

Had a brand new Tiger, my favorite GA airplane in the 180hp class. Built and flew and RV-10. Really not an apples to apples comparison. The Tiger was light on the controls and fun, the -10 was light on the controls and "funner", bigger, faster, and would carry a great load. The -10 was by far a better family airplane for serious cross country. Although my current -6A is unbridled fun, the -10 was a far more practical aircraft for two, or more people.

RV-10 Co-built, maintained, flown (sold)
RV-8A Maintained and flown (Sold)
RV-6A Bought and Flying (N177RV), upgrades $$$
IO360, 180HP/CS, AFS 5600T, D10A, G650, G430, G327, ADS-B, VIZ385 AP
Very Happy Contributor
Based at KCLW (Clearwater, FL)
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:12 PM
mciaglia mciaglia is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 142
Default Family Build

Great seeing your ideas are brewing. I was in the same postion about 4 years ago. Bought the empenage for the -10 at OSH 16 and have been going strong for the last 2 years. I am probably one of those that will take ~5 years for the build.
As for family...
My wife helps occasionally. My daughter is 6 and my son will be 3 in a few weeks. They both enjoy coming out in the garage and helping. My daughters small hands are priceless for getting to the tight areas that have nuts in them. She is learning a lot and loves seeing it come together. My son, Dominick usually is organizing the silver from the copper clecos, but likes to hold the drill and screw driver. I built a plane with my dad and it was the best memories for me.

As for financing...
Self funded. Have the airplane fund and contribute to it constantly. The kits have been a low drain on it..I'm worried about the engine and avionics bills. Your 120-160 estimate is a little low, I would probably add 25-50K with a realistic cost of 175-200K for a nicely finished interior and IFR avionics of which I am sure you would wont being a corporate pilot

Jump in and go for it
Dr. Mark Ciaglia
Houston, TX
Donating Monthly since 10/17
N189PT- Christen Eagle II
N627DG (reserved)- RV10 in the making
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:28 PM
woxofswa woxofswa is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Mesa Arizona
Posts: 520

I’m at Falcon in Mesa and will give you a ride any time, including this evening if you like. I have to warn you though, I have A/C and once you’ve done A/C during an AZ summer, you’ll never go back.
602 421-2868
Myron Nelson
Mesa, AZ
RV-10 BPE, Dynon, Airflow systems A/C
First flight May 10, 2014
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:39 PM
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ppilotmike ppilotmike is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1,884
Default Welcome to the Madness..

..I will add a bit to the posts above.

In my opinion, a slow build, with kids will likely be slower than you think. I also planned on a 5 year build, but here I am in year 7 and I'm still a few years away. Then again, I made my wife and kids the priority, I incorporated several modifications that certainly extended my build and I've self-financed my way thus far. Your mileage may vary (others have built much faster than me), but this has at least been my reality.

Having gone the slow build path, if I could do it over again, and didn't care to modify things, I would have gone quick-build. In retrospect, I think the added cost is worth the time saved.

I'll close by saying that you're on the right path with the RV-10. I spent a year researching, kicked tires at Oshkosh and took a ride, before I decided on the 10. It's a great airplane. There are other wonderful kit airplanes too, but the challenge to successfully build and fly the RV-10 has been greatly diminished in comparison, by Vans Aircraft and the awesome VAF community.
Mike Rettig
EAA Chapter 301
VAF Dues Current: Paid for 2019 on 12/03/18
RV-10 (41PX Reserved) Fuselage
F-14 (Pedal Plane - Daughter's Project) "Flying"
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Old 06-06-2018, 05:22 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 5,457

I have just a few hours in an AA-5; builder/owner of a -10. As a previous post said, the extra power, and attention to drag reduction, make the -10 the hands down winner. You need to be aware that there is no such thing as a standard RV. Everyone builds them for what they want. Empty weights are all over the place. I built for maximum practical usefullness which, for me, means a rather spartan interior (leather seats, but no headliner, minimal side liner, no sound insulation) and a poor looking do-it-yourself exterior paint job. I tuned the injectors to allow for lean of peak operation. My plane will go 172 KTAS but needs 14-15 gal/hr to do it, limiting the range. Instead I typically fly at 11000-12000í, mixture lean of peak, and see 160 KTAS on a bit less than 10 gal/hr. On those settings I can go non-stop from San Francisco to nearly anywhere in New Mexico (standard 60 gal fuel).My empty weight is 1610 lbs, allowing 730 lbs of people and bags with full fuel. IMHO good noise-attenuating headphones are needed in any -10, sound insulation or not.
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:37 PM
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Auburntsts Auburntsts is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dumfries, VA
Posts: 2,590

I financed the majority of my build with a construction loan from First Pryority Bank out of Pryor, OK. They do a lot of aircraft financing, both kits and factory built. Some have also gotten good rates from their local bank or used a home equity loan.

If you can properly manage the debt, itís a viable option if you donít have the availabile cash like me and donít wait until you do.
Todd Stovall
RV-10 N728TT - Flying!
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:47 PM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 3,459

I'm right at 3 years into finishing a second hand kit I picked up at more or less quick-build status. Right now, I'm in fiberglass finishing **** (which is different than cabin top **** or door ****), and am weary of the fiberglass work. Because of this, I've been slacking on the project for the last couple of weeks. I figure I have a hundred, maybe a hundred fifty hours of work before the entire project goes to the airport for paint (pro painter friend has a shop on my home field) and final assembly.

Regarding kids and help, my son was 4 1/2 when I started the project and is (do the math) 7 1/2 now. He's curious about the project, but is absolutely no help other than "hold this for a minute" or allowing him to drill a couple of holes. He just doesn't get much from the build process and his ability at this point means he has to be watched like a hawk or 5 minutes of his help will turn into 2 hours of rework. :-0

So, I do most of my work after he goes to bed in the evening.

As far as cost goes, my airplane will be very basic IFR and will finish out right at the top of the range you mentioned, including paint and paying the local taxman's fee which will amount to $6-8k.

I'm self-financing, for what that's worth. To make sure I didn't have liquidity problems, I have (twice) found zero interest credit cards (6-12 month periods, respectively) to allow me to buy something expensive and keep the cash in my account for a few months. Very effective if you have that option and the discipline to pay things off before the grace period is over.
Kyle Boatright
Atlanta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
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Old 06-06-2018, 08:06 PM
DRMA DRMA is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Posts: 283


Sounds like you are asking a lot of the right questions for this early decision.

I am getting close to first flight on my RV-10, hopefully before the end of this year. I have had the opportunity to take the controls a couple of times on other RV-10s, and while the 10 is faster and climbs quicker that the Grumman Tiger, in my opinion it's not that different in feel from the Grumman.

I currently own an AA-5 which keeps my hand in and allows me to fly while I build. You might want to think hard about your idea of selling your Tiger to raise cash to buy your RV-10 kits. If your wife is interested in a PPL, what will she fly to get that license, and what will she fly after she gets it? The 10 is a big plane and a big project that will likely take you several years to complete. Do you really want to be without a plane for family outings and fun flights (as opposed to your corporate pilot job) during that time? Maybe consider selling the Tiger when your 10 is close to complete in order to pay for the avionics, so you are only without a personal plane for a short time?

I agree with the previous posts that your estimate of the total cost is likely low. Mine is coming in around the $200k mark without exterior paint (add another $10-15k for professional painting after Phase 1 is complete). But mine is a quick build, with air conditioning and upgraded interior, an over-the-top Garmin avionics package (with 3 each 10" screens, a G5, GTN650, GTX 45R Xponder, etc. - about $35 - 40k in avionics alone), a new IO-540 from Lycoming with an MT 3 blade prop. If you put a used/rebuilt engine in yours, did a slow build, kept it spartan with a VFR panel to start out, you could probably stay under $175, but your re-sale value will be equally lower. That's what makes this fun though - each of us can build the plane the way we want it and can afford it.

One other comment. You say you are looking at the RVs because you like sheet metal work rather than composites. I thought I was buying a sheet metal project with the RV-10, and didn't realize how much fiberglass work is involved in the 10. There is a lot more fiberglass work on the RV-10 than on any of the other RVs. It's something I have worked through and am about finished with, but for me at least it wasn't what I anticipated. I'm sure you can handle it, but just want to be sure you are aware of this.

Best wishes as you move forward. If you wish to talk about my experiences by phone, let me know and I'll send you my number by PM.

Dave Macdonald

RV-10 Finishing Kit & FWF in-progress
2019 VAF Dues Paid
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